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gaon panchayat: What Assam government’s Panchayati Raj reform looks like?

Assam government brought amendment in the Panchayati Raj System, the state government has tabled a legislation for introduction of political symbols in elections of Zilla Parishad and Anchalik Panchayat and no party symbols for candidates contesting Gaon Panchayat (GP) elections.

The bill stated that no confidence motion cannot be initiated for the first 2.5 years of the term of President and VP of Gaon Panchayat (GP), Anchalik Panchayat (AP) and Zilla Parishad (ZP).

The bill stipulated reservation of seats for SC/ST by rotation in wards of GPs having more than 10% SC/ST population. Constitution of Ward Sabha. Categorisation of Districts to be on the basis of Population Density and reorganisation of GPs to be done accordingly.

The reforms stipulated by the bill include the constitution of the District Delimitation Commission to decide the size of ZP/AP/GP constituencies. Disqualification of elected representatives of Panchayats upon violation of legal age of marriage. Disqualification of members of political party due to Anti Defection, audit of ZP accounts by the Accountant General of Assam. For GP members – Matriculation (Class X Pass for SC/ST members), AP/ZP members – Higher Secondary Pass (Matriculation for SC/ST).

For Administrative Expediency, to derive maximum synergy, productivity and efficiency at grass root level and in aid of a good citizen centric administration, the Governor of Assam sanctioned creation of 79 (Seventy nine) Sub Divisions, which shall also be known as Sub-Districts within their respective Administrative Districts with immediate effect.

The geographical limits of the Sub Divisions/Sub-Districts shall be co-terminus with the boundaries of Legislative Assembly Constituencies. The Headquarters of the proposed Sub-Divisions/Sub-Districts will be in a central location of the Sub-Districts or any other appropriate location to be decided by District Commissioner of the District. In case of any dispute/confusion regarding Head Quarter of any Sub Divisions/Sub-Districts, the Head Quarter of Sub Divisions/Sub-Districts will function from the District Head Quarter till the dispute/confusion is resolved.

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