H man Development in ndia           20.7
     strengthening the Pris                                 for the district as a whole. DPCs have been set up
                                                            in most of the states. Much of implementation
     The 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments
                                                            of these panchayat acts, i.e., power-sharing with
     marked a watershed in the history of decentralised
     governance, planning, and development in               panchayat bodies, is left to the states. Over the years,
     India as these made panchayat bodies the third         the panchayat bodies have not been strengthened
     tier of government with reasonable power and           in terms of functions, finances and functionaries
     authority in addition to creating space for women      (triple Fs) with regard to preparation of plans and
     and marginalised groups in the federal set-up.         the listed subjects. The Economic Survey 2014–15
     Decentralised democracy was also extended to           suggests the following steps towards strengthening
     Fifth Schedule areas through the provisions of         the PRIs:
     another Panchayat (Extension to the Scheduled                (i) The panchayat bodies have the potential
     Areas) Act 1996 known as the Extension Act                       to become true vehicles for carrying
     which not only made the gram sabha a strong                      out the government’s slogan of “less
     body, but also put ‘jal, jungle, and jamin’ (water,              government–more governance” if states
     forest, and land) under its control.                             show consensus.
          These central acts, however, instead of clearly        (ii) In order to convert outlays of the local-
     specifying the powers and functions of panchayats                centric programmes into outcomes,
     and municipalities, have left it to the discretion of            these institutions need greater awareness,
     state governments. Articles 243 G and 243 W of                   responsibility, and accountability, which
     these acts decree that the legislature of a state may,           will also enable better connect of these
     by law, endow the panchayats/municipalities with                 programmes with the common man.
     such powers and authority as may be necessary             (iii) Greater devolution of powers to the
     to enable them to function as institutions of self-              panchayats and municipalities is need of
     government. Such law may also contain provisions                 the hour, in respect of the ‘triple Fs’ in a
     for devolution of powers and responsibilities                    phased manner.
     upon panchayats/municipalities, subject to such
                                                                (iv) Majority of panchayat/municipality-
     conditions as may be specified therein, with respect
                                                                      centric programmes do have earmarked
     to the preparation of plans and implementation
                                                                      funds for awareness generation and
     of such schemes for economic development and
                                                                      capacity building. These funds across
     social justice as may be entrusted to them. These
     may include inter alia schemes and plans in relation             ministries need to be pooled together
     to socio-economic development and providing                      under the Panchayati Raj Ministry and
     basic services as listed in the Eleventh and Twelfth             Ministry of Urban development to make
     Schedules of the Constitution.                                   infrastructure and capacity building
                                                                      of panchayats and municipalities a
          Article 243 ZD of the 74th Amendment Act
                                                                      continuous and regular process.
     providing for constitution of district planning
     committees (DPC) by the state government                     These steps will create the following
     in every district is a milestone in decentralised      possibilities in the local bodies:
     planning with people’s participation. These                      (a) Enable them to understand not
     committees are expected to consolidate the plans                     only their role and rights but
     prepared by the panchayats and municipalities in                     also their responsibilities and will
     the district and prepare a draft development plan                    make them accountable, bringing