Lucknow: In a bid to oil the rusted functioning of the Panchayats, the Centre has stumbled upon a novel idea which will increase the participation of the villagers in the democratic system of villages. Bringing in changes in the functioning of gram panchayats, the Centre has asked for the Gram Sabha meetings to be recorded on cameras. The meetings would be video graphed, photographed and its record would be sent to Additional Development Officer (Panchayat).

BM Meena, Principal Secretary, Panchayati Raj and Gram Sabha, has directed the District Magistrates through letters to ensure the implementation of the new system in the council and committee meetings. Also, the Secretary has insisted on holding meetings on schedule and abiding by all the rules. According to the Panchayat Raj Act, Gram Sabha should hold two open meetings in a year.

There is a provision of holding one meeting just after the harvest of the Rabi and Kharif crop, where presence of all the villagers is essential. The date and venue of the meeting should be informed at least 15 days prior to it. In order to complete the quorum, presence of 1/5 villagers is mandatory. 

In the meeting, yearly record of the books of the panchayat, report on developmental works, governmental schemes report, approval and selection of beneficiaries of the governmental schemes report should be presented.

Ironically, in place of discussing the development of the village, the concern of the Gram Sabha is jotted down in the registers due to which the importance of the Pachayati Raj is decreasing gradually.

With the implementation of the new set of rules in the Gram Sabha meetings, the videography and photography of the meeting has been made mandatory. The record of the proceedings would be in the custody of ADO (Panchayat) at the block level and District Panchayat Officers have been nominated as nodal officers.

(JPN/ Bureau)