The Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4)
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Dr Sitakanata Sethi Sitakanta

Participatory Development and Local Governance

Dr Sitakanata Sethi Sitakanta
University of Mysore, Karnataka, India

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     Last modified: October 16, 2006
     Presentation date: 11/01/2006 2:30 PM in NT Manchester
     (View Schedule)

In India, after five decades of independence, to make rural areas socially, politically and economically vibrant it is strongly felt that there is a need to strengthen the Rural Local Self-Governments (RLSGs). RLSGs with its well spread infrastructure, untapped resources and elected representatives representing all sections of society especially the disadvantaged sections and women have the potentiality to build strong leaders and a self-reliant society at the grassroots. Adding to this, enactments of the Constitution’s 73rd Amendment Act, 1993 by the State Governments and especially conducting Gram Sabha instill dynamism into the process with a view to give rural poor an opportunity to plan for their area and people. As the paper argues by helping people to participate democracy can be participatory in true sense and sprit, not as only a consultative or deliberative body as it is practiced. It has to be a basic unit for local self-governance. The paper with a model reflects 'how the poorest of the poor at the grassroots, with their knowledge, preference and all resources can participate actively and directly in the local level development decision-making process.

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