Functions and Structure of Local Self Government in India

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What is Local Self Government?

Local Self-government is the management and governance of local affairs by a local body or authority. This also refers that residents in towns, villages and rural settlements are the hosts in their the own home. Local people elect local councils and their heads authorizing them to solve the most important issues in their locality.

we can study the organization of local government in India in two parts :

  1. Rural Local Government
  2. Urban Local Government


Rural local government in India is known al Panchayati Raj. Panchayati Raj is the system of local self government of villages in rural India as opposed to urban and suburban municipalities.

Organizational structure of Panchayati Raj :

(i) (a) Gram Sabhas

(b) Village Panchayats

(ii) Panchayat Samitis

(iii) Zila Parishads

Panchayati Raj 3 tier structure
Panchayati Raj 3 tier structure

(i) (a) Gram Sabha

It is the primary body of the Panchayati Raj system and by far the largest. It is the permanent body. It is the sabha of the electorate.

Functions of Gram Sabha

  • Auditing report of the Gram Panchayat.
  • The administrative report of the preceding year.
  • The taxation proposal.

(b) Gram Panchayat

It is the executive organ of the Gram sabha. It is the most important unit of rural local government. It is directly elected by the voters of that area of the panchayat.

Functions of Gram Panchayat

  • Levy and collect local taxes.
  • Execute govt. Schemes related to employment.

(ii) Panchayat Samiti

It is a rural local government body at the intermediate tehsil level in India. It works for the villages of tehsil that together are called a development block.

Functions of Panchayat Samiti

  • Agriculture.
  • Animal husbandry and fisheries.
  • Health and rural sanitation.
  • social education, communications. and co-operation.

(iii) Zila Parishad

It is basically a local body that is formed through election in Panchayati Raj System to provide various facilities to the public of rural areas.

Functions of Zila Parishad

  • Rural Electrification.
  • Development of Irrigation.
  • Development of agriculture.


It refers to how the local and regional government decide how to plan finance and manage urban areas.

It consists of three tier structure:

(i) Municipal Corporation

(ii) Municipal Council

(iii) Nagar Panchayat

Urban local government 3 tier system
Urban Local Government 3 tier system

(i) Municipal Corporation

It is the legal term for local governing body including cities, towns, townships, villages and boroughs. The term can also be used to describe municipally owned corporation.

Functions of Municipal Corporation

  • Planning for economic and social development.
  • Water supply for domestic, industrial and commercial Purposes.
  • Fire services.

(ii) Municipal Council

It is the legislative body of a municipality or Local government area.

Functions of Municipal Council

  • Construction and maintenance of roads and bridges.
  • Public health and sanitation.
  • Urban forestry, protection of environment and ecological balance.
  • To protect the interests of weaker section of society.
  • slum improvement.

(iii) Nagar Panchayat

It is an organised political unit like a municipality in an urban centre which is converted from a rural centre, where the number of inhabitants is more than 12,000 and less than 40,000.

Functions of Nagar Panchayat

  • It provides sanitation programmes of villages for the welfare of villages.
  • It provides schools in urban areas.


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