Experiences of Elected Members of Pris: A Progressive View of Nauni Majhgaon Panchayat of District Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India

Nandan Sharma[1] & Himanshu Sharma[2]


Nauni Majhgoan village is located inSolan Tehsil of Solan district in Himachal Pradesh, India. It is situated 13km away from Solan, which is both district & sub-district headquarter of NauniMajhgoan village. The total geographical area of village is 37.73 hectares. NauniMajhgoan has a total population of 558 peoples. There are about 165 houses in NauniMajhgoan villag41e. From a village where open defecation was the norm, and water borne diseases were rampant, the dynamism of Panchayat Pradhan Sh. Baldev Singh Verma led this village’s transformation into one of India’s finest, self-sustaining model village. The transformation started with discussion, debate and final acceptance by the Gram Sabha, or village council. The transformation started when the Gram Pradhan was trained in a program called CLTS by Dr. Kamal Kar Community Led Total Sanitation is an innovative approach that involves community participation to eliminate open defecation. Making Nauni an Open Defecation Free (ODF) zone was the top priority, one that was shared by the state, which had schemes to support community led efforts to rid villages of this debilitating ‘habit’. To use government schemes for transformation ensured speedy, effective and long-term solutions to the issues faced by all.The paper has attempted to  bring in the interface of success story behind India’s finest panchayat with the model laid down by Late Dr. B.R Ambedkar’s vision and mission.


Neighbourhood self-government infers the transference of the ability to control to the least rungs of the political request. It is a type of vote-based decentralization where the cooperation of even the grass root dimension of the general public is guaranteed during the time spent organization. Panchayati Raj is simply the arrangement of neighbourhood government for towns. Since Panchayats are a powerful vehicle for individuals’ support in organization, arranging and majority rule process, association of town Panchayats has been made a Directive Principle of State Policy (Article 40).

Real Perspective

Nation India has seen such Panchayats for quite a while. The new Panchayats are a change over the old ones in consistency, institutional structure and states reinforce. The present day Panchayati Raj system was displayed in 1959 on the proposition of the Balwant Rai Mehta Committee. The board had been set up in 1956 generally to propose measures for improvement in the working of the Community Development Program and the National Extension Service which were being realized around at that point. At first assigned by the Government of India to take a gander at the working of two of its earlier activities, the warning gathering introduced its report in November 1957, in which the term ‘reasonable decentralization at first appears.

The Basic Recommendations

  1. Establishment of a three-level Panchayati Raj structure – gram panchayat at town level (organize race), Panchayat Samiti at the square dimension and Zila Parishad at the district level (circumlocutory race).
  2. District Collector to be the executive of Zila Parishad.
  3. Transfer of benefits and ability to these bodies to be ensured.
  4. It prescribed ‘law based decentralization’ and town revamping through the introduction of a three dimension game plan of panchayats. The leading group of trustees felt that reasonable government made out of controlled and composed by noticeable depiction of the areas indispensable the close-by level. The Report decidedly endorsed that arrangement necessities of Panchayat workforce should be given high need.
  5. The existent National Development Council recognized the proposition. Nevertheless, it didn’t request a lone, clear guide to be followed in the establishment of these associations. Or on the other hand possibly, it empowered the states to devise their own specific precedents, while the far reaching basics were to be a similar all through the country. • Rajasthan (1959) embraced the framework first, trailed by Andhra Pradesh around the same time. A few states even proceeded to make four-level frameworks and Nyaya panchayats, which filled in as legal bodies.

Ashok Mehta Committee

Ashok Mehta Committee to study and cover the PR1s. It suggested change in the Balwant Rai Mehta case of PRIs. The three-level course of action of PRIs was to be superseded by a two-level i.e. Zilla Parishad at the zone level and Mandal Panchayat (involving different towns) underneath it; multi year term should not be ceased; region should be the primary reason for decentralization, etc.

  1. Three-level system to be displaced by a two-level structure.
  2. Political social events should take an enthusiasm at all dimensions in the choices.
  3. Compulsory powers of expense gathering to be given to these establishments.
  4. Zila Parishad to be made accountable for organizing at the state level.
  5. A minister for Panchayati Raj to be chosen by the state council of clerics.
  6. Constitutional affirmation to be given to Panchayati Raj associations.
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G.V.K. Rao Committee

G.V.K. Rao Committee-was set up by the Planning Commission in 1985. It recommended for the rebuilding of Panchayati Raj associations and included the need to trade powers to fame based bodies at the area level. Two or three indispensable recommendations that this warning gathering made were:

  1. That the ‘area’ should be the fundamental unit of orchestrating and program utilization and
  2. Zila Parishad could, in this manner, transform into the central body for the organization of all progression programs which can be managed at that dimension.
  3. Zila Parishad to be given prime criticalness and each developmental program at that dimension to be given to it. Post of DDC (District Development Commissioner) to be made going about as the CEO.
  4. Regular choices to be held

L.M. Sanghvi Committee

The Government of India set up in 1986 L.M. Sanghvi Committee to set up a thought paper on the revitalization of the Panchayati Raj foundations. It endorsed that the Panchayati Raj should be unavoidably seen, guaranteed and ensured, by the thought of another segment in the Constitution.

  1. Constitutional affirmation for PRI associations.
  2. Nyaya Panchayats to be developed for gatherings of towns
  3. Though the 64th Constitutional Amendment charge was displayed in the Lok Sabha in 1989 itself, Rajya Sabha negated it.
  4. It was simply in the midst of the Narasimha Rao government’s term that the idea finally transformed into a reality as the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment acts, 1992.

Set Up Provisions

Craftsmanship. 243A says that the powers rehearsed by and the limits performed by Gram Sabha are declined to them by State Legislature. Gram Sabha shares the commitment to take decisions for all expectations and reason open interest, and to screen the execution of picked agents and government specialists.

Craftsmanship. 244 H and 243-I

Craftsmanship. 244 H and 243-I deal with the budgetary game plans. Workmanship. 243-I says that the Legislature of a State may:

  1. Authorize a Panchayat to correct, assemble and legitimate such charges, commitments, tolls and costs according to such framework and subject beyond what many would consider possible;
  2. name to a Panchayat such costs, commitments, tolls and charges forced and assembled by the State Government for such purposes and subject to such conditions and limits;

Workmanship. 244

  1. Art. 244 oversees Constitution of Finance Commission to review cash related position of Panchayats. The Governor of a State will, inside one year from the commencement of the Constitution (Seventy-third Amendment) Act,, 1992, and starting there at the end of every fifth year, set up a Finance Commission to review the cash related position of the Panchayats and to make recommendations to the Governor.
  2. Its sythesis, capacities of its people and the manner by which they will be picked; and components of the Commission are set around law by the State Legislature.

Craftsmanship. 243K

  1. Art. 243K relates to races to the Panchayats
  2. The superintendence, bearing and control of the course of action of optional moves for, and the direct of, all choices to the Panchayats will be vested in a State Election Commission including a State Election Commissioner to be chosen by the Governor.Three Tier Systems:

Gram Panchayat

Gram Panchayats are comprised for a town or gathering of towns having populace extending from 1000 to 5000. In Scheduled and other far flung regions, Gram Panchayats are additionally comprised for a populace of under 1000. The quantity of individuals from Gram Panchayat is resolved based on populace which ranges from 5 to 13 barring Pradhan and Up-Pradhan. Pradhan, Up-Pradhan and Members of Gram Panchayats are required to be chosen straightforwardly by the voters of the Panchayat zone. The Member of the Panchayat Samiti speaking to a section or entire of the Gram Sabha region is additionally the Member of the concerned Gram Panchayat(s) and has the privilege to cast a ballot.

Panchayat Samiti

Intermediate body of the three-tier Panchayati Raj system in the State is called Panchayat Samiti. This institution is generally co-terminus with the Development Blocks. Members of Panchayat Samiti are elected directly whereas the Chair-Persons and Vice-Chairperson are elected indirectly by the elected Members. The number of elected Members of Panchayat Samiti is determined by the Govt. at the rate of one Member for every 3500 population or part thereof subject to a minimum of 15 Members.[3]There is no separate office of Panchayat Samiti but office of the Block Development Officer is functioning as Samiti’s office. Block Development Officer has been designated as the Executive Officer-cum-Secretary of the Panchayat Samiti. The Member of the Zila Parishad, representing the Ward which comprises whole or part of the Panchayat Samiti area, is also the Member of the Panchayat Samiti.

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Zila Parishads

This is uppermost body of the Panchayati Raj System. In H.P Zila Parishads were constituted for the first time after the enactment of new law relating to Panchayati Raj System Consequent upon the enactment of the 73rd Constitutional Amendment, presently there are 12 Zila Parishads in this State.[4]The Members of Zila Parishad are elected directly by the people. However the Chairpersons and Vice- 9 Chairperson are elected by the elected Members indirectly. The number of elected Members of Zila Parishad is determined by the State Government at the rate of one Member for every 25000 population or part thereof subject to a minimum of 10 members. The members of Lok-Sabha, Members of State Legislative Assembly representing a part or whole of the District and the Members of Council of States where they are registered as voters and the Chairpersons of the Panchayat Samitis of the District, are also the Members of Zila Parishad. Additional Deputy Commissioner/ADM has been designated as Chief Executive Officer, whereas District Panchayat Officer is the Secretary of Zila Parishad.

Panchayati Raj Institutions in Himachal

Panchayati Raj system in Himachal Pradesh was established under the provisions of the Himachal Pradesh Panchayat Raj Act, 1952 in the year 1954. Only 280 Gram Panchayats existed prior to the enactment of the Himachal Pradesh Panchayat Raj Act, 1952. However, after the enactment of the said Act, 466 Gram Panchayats were established in the year 1954 and the number of Gram Panchayats was increased to 638 during the year 1962.[5] On 1st November, 1966, the hilly areas of Punjab were merged in the State and consequently the number of Gram Panchayats rose to 1695.[6] In the merged areas, a three tier Panchayati Raj system was in existence under the provisions of the Punjab Panchayat Samiti and Zila Parishad Act, whereas two-tier system was prevalent in the then State of Himachal Pradesh. With a view to bring uniformity in the Panchayati Raj system of the old and the newly merged areas, the Himachal Pradesh Panchayati Raj Act, 1968 was enacted on 15th November, 1970 and the two tier Panchayati Raj system was established throughout the State. Besides this the Nayaya Panchayats were also in existence in this State for discharging judicial functions. During the year 1977 the Nayaya Panchayats were abolished and the judicial functions were transferred to the Gram Panchayats. After the enactment of the said Act in the year 1970 the existing Gram Sabhas were reorganized /bifurcated from time to time and new Gram Sabhas/Gram Panchayats were established. During the year 2005-2006 Government created 206 new Gram Sabha circles, thereby raising the number to 3243. No new Gram Sabha has been constituted during the year 2010. At present there are 3243 Gram Sabhas, 77 Panchayat Samitis and 12 Zila Parishads in the State. In the year, 2015 due to inclusion of 17 Gram Panchayats in the Municipalities the numbers of Gram Panchayats are 3226 and due to creation of new Panchayat Samiti namely Shri Naina Devi, District Bilaspur the number of Panchayat Samitis are 78 in this State.[7]             

The Nauni Story

From a village where open defecation was the norm, and water borne diseases were rampant, Panchayat Pradhan led this village’s transformation into one of India’s finest, self-sustaining model village. The transformation started with discussion, debate and final acceptance by the Gram Sabha, or village council. To use government schemes for transformation ensured speedy, effective and long-term solutions to the issues faced by all. Baldev Singh Verma was elected pradhan, unopposed, of Nauni gram panchayat in 2006 when this ‘model village’ wascarved out from the Oachghat panchayat.
In a village of 300 households, 150 have toilets in their homes.And they are all soak pit and toilets with bio remediation methods. 90 per cent of the households harvest their own rainwater.

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Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS)

The transformation started when the Gram Pradhan was trained in a program called CLTS by Dr. Kamal Kar. Community Led Total Sanitation is an innovative approach that involves community participation to eliminate open defecation. Making Nauni an open defecation free (ODF) zone was the top priority, one that was shared by the state, which had schemes to support community led efforts to rid villages of this debilitating ‘habit’. Through the Gram Panchayat, the villagers learnt about the problems caused by open defecation and as a community, agreed to be a part of the program. It was important to include the socially excluded. For instance, Budhram and Devi Lal, members of the Scheduled Caste community, innovatively used their ginger pits to make a bio-friendly toilet, which was essentially a pit where human excreta was decomposed by bacteria and converted into bio gas and water. Nauni soon was an open defecation free village.

Upgrading Livelihoods

In Nauni, high esteem vegetables like ringer peppers were constantly developed by the villagers. In any case, the yield was low. The villagers feared the idea and cost of polyhouses.

Through preparing, the villagers were made mindful of the benefits of a polyhouse and how, with the joint money related help of the network, they could adequately buy one. Verma clarifies, “The whole town consented to embrace a model where government intercession will be at any rate and every one of the assets are at last possessed by the general population altogether”. Three hundred families contributed one lakh rupees each to purchase polyhouses that expanded the yield of the vegetables. With the assistance of the Pradhan, the villagers were educated of their money saving advantage proportion. The dirt was additionally tried to know the supplement content with the goal that the perfect measure of compost could be included.

Ladies support was energized in all circles. They were enabled to share their perspectives, criticism and even urged to take activities. Esteem expansion in the dairy part was ladies driven. ‘Show the general population’, a supplementary to CLTS was executed to instruct the network (particularly among the powerless, the elderly and kids) about different issues confronted and their answers. This activity has been fruitful in Nauni.

For a layman ‘government plans’ and ‘banks’ are scaring. Be that as it may, the villagers in Nauni were instructed on the different plans accessible, and its belongings. Verma clarifies, “A focused soul can go about as the greatest driver of activity, yet for it to be extremely viable, the procedure must be straightforward for all”.

Accordingly, the villagers were more sure when a specific plan was actualized and were in full help of the progressions that took after.


The Pradhan, with the help of the gram sabha, helped being developed of roads inside and past the town. The domain being uneven, avenues inside the town helped in the straightforward drive of the villagers and basic transport of the convey. The avenue worked outside the town made accessibility less requesting to the rule city. The organization plot used for this was the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. With the help of the State and central government designs, practical power sources were presented. Biogas plants and daylight-based lights are set up over the town. Rain water gathering is sharpened intentionally and significantly. Many water accumulating structures are fabricated wherever all through the town and there are various channels partner these to the houses. The best request one can request is ‘what is the future from this model town?’ The Pradhan and his gathering seem to answer this profound request by their work and not words. When you grasp the way in which this town is progressing and growing, one is recalled Gandhiji’s dream of Gram Swaraj or ex-president A.P.J Abdul Kalam’s PURA (Providing Urban Amenities to Rural Areas) action and how finally it is being sharpened.

[1] Associate Professor, School of Law, Shoolini University, Solan, HP, India

[2] Research Scholar, School of Law, Shoolini University, Solan, HP, India

[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid

[5] Id at p 9

[6] Id at p.1

[7] hppanchayat.nic.in