The socio-political changes expected from the introduction of Panchayati raj system have not fulfilled and remained largely unfulfilled for long. More importantly the objectives like social equality, gender equity and changes at the grassroots level leadership envisaged as the main objectives of panchayati raj are not achieved in a meaningful manner. There is a need to change the system of planning at all India level. A gradual shift from sectorial planning to area planning is necessary in the context of increasing people’s participation in the planning process. The panchayats must be given adequate powers to use resources and undertake integrated local development. This paper is intended to emphasize the rural development role of panchayats and measures to improve their functioning.
Panchayati Raj System, Rural Development, Grassroots Level Planning