The 2015-2016 batch Law & Governance specialization students are working towards Operationalizing Panchayat Committees in Mulbagal Panchayat in Kolar district of Karnataka state.
- In most villages of Karnataka, the standing Committees and the other committees are not functional.
- In most of the cases the community members are not aware of such provisions in the Act.
- Even if they are aware of the provisions, the community members in most cases are not aware of the committee formation guidelines.
- Another problem identified is that the meetings are not held regularly.
- As most of the committees are set up under some central scheme or program, there is no system of checks and balances of the funds that are coming for setting up committees.
Proposed action plan:
- With the aim of improving the capacities of the community members in order to participate in governance, our first step will be to understand the background of setting these committees and the composition of these committees.
- The second step will be to do a status mapping of 61 and 61A committees under the Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act in selected Panchayats.
- The third step is to learn from the experiences of the well-functioning Panchayats with most of the committees in place and prepare a compendium of good practices.
- Based on this compendium, the next step will be to prepare a tool kit in order to train and build the capacity of the community members to participate in governance.
- Fifth step will be to identify a Panchayat or a cluster of Panchayats where the standing committees and other committees are not in place and using the tool kit prepared, make people aware of their rights and build capacity to perform leadership roles.
- Sixth step will be to, with the help of local community and our partner organization, Avantika Foundation, to activate some of the committees that are defunct in the Panchayats.