Women Leadership in Local Bodies

Constitutional Provision of Women Reservation:

The 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act provides for the 33% reservation of women in

Panchayati Raj Institutions. It states that-

(1) Seats shall be reserved for-

(a) the Scheduled Castes; and (b) the Scheduled Tribes, in every Panchayat and the number of seats of reserved shall bear, as nearly as may be, the same proportion to the total number of seat to be filled by direct election in that Panchayat as the population of the Scheduled Castes in that Panchayat area or of the Scheduled Tribes in that Panchayat area bears to the total population of that area and such seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Panchayat.

(2) Not less than one-third of the total number of seats reserved under clause (1) shall be reserved for women belonging to the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes, as the case may be.

(3) Not less than one-third (including the number of seats reserved for women belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes) of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every Panchayat shall be reserved for women and such seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Panchayat.

(4) The offices of the Chairpersons in the Panchayats at the village or any other level shall be reserved for the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and women in such manner as the Legislature of a State may, by law, provide: Provided that the number of offices of Chairpersons reserved for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in the Panchayats at each level in any State shall bear, as nearly as may be, the same proportion to the total number of such offices in the Panchayats at each level as the population of the Scheduled Castes in the State or of the Scheduled Tribes in the State bears to the total population of the State: Provided further that not less than one-third of the total number offices of Chairpersons in the Panchayats at each level shall be reserved for women: Provided also that the number of offices reserved under this clause shall be allotted by rotation to different Panchayats at each level. Having passed this amendment, after several rounds of elections more than a million women have entered in the domain of public life. The political empowerment of women at Panchayat level has achieved success at all the three tiers of Panchayati Raj Institutions, overcoming all the barriers of tradition, culture, caste and the class. After having completed the third round of election, some of the states have amended their Panchayats’ Act and provided more than one–third reservation for women and many states now provide 50 per cent reservation for women.

Impact of Participation of Women and Community Development (AC Nielsen ORG-MARG-Study with MOPR)

    1. The positive impact of entering politics and working as PRIs functionary, a sizeable proportion of women representatives receive enhancement in their self-esteem (79%), confidence (81%) and decision-making ability (74%);


    1. The elected women representatives perceived an increase to voice in decisions related to economic matter and other issues in their family (66-71%);


    1. Beyond the household domain, and in the professional environment, an increase in attention from local government (64%), representatives of the Block Panchayat (60%) and recognition from other Panchayat Members (65%) is reported by higher proportion of female Pradhans. No gender discrimination in the panchayat is reported by 60 per cent of the elected women representatives, acceptability in panchayat meetings and enabling them to raise issues freely, was mentioned by 94 percent,


  1. The supportive professional environment evidently motivates elected women representatives to perform better, as 60-64 per cent reported as increase in their interaction with line departments and parallel bodies. The participation of common women citizens in various activities such as attending Gram Sabha meeting etc. has reportedly increased (68-78%)

Dynamics of Rural Development

Dynamics of Development in Rural & Tribal Bharat

India is truly a country represented holistically by the villages in Rural and Tribal India. Due to many reasons in independent India villages did not get the kind of priority in developmental planning, the way they should have been aligned with the vision of Mahatma Gandhi.

Though Rural Development has been in the forefront of every Government in India since independence, but we are still witnessing a huge deficit on several key indicators of development in rural / tribal areas. There are several indicators which clearly indicate the poor treatment with tribal & rural Bharat.

India’s demographic dividends is the most talked about idea in recent times but more than 60% is not getting level playing field to explore their potential. They are the people living in the villages and denied access to facilities available in Urban India. On the other side, when it comes to earning livelihood and progress, they must complete with urban population who are privileged to have facilities far better than village community.

In recent past, it seems, there is big policy shift and some of the schemes by the govt are aimed at addressing some critical issues ranging from financial inclusion, access to free skill development trainings, livelihood opportunities and financial support through flagship scheme like MUDRA. There is still a long way to go and some of the major challenges that remain are:

Key Challenges:

  • The Physical connectivity which is also being talked about in the concept of PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Area)
  • Availability of quality education at par with urban India
  • Availability of clean drinking water and electricity
  • Availability of high-Speed internet connectivity
  • Long term vision for Agri sector
  • Rural based small industries which are sustainable
  • Primary Health care facilities
  • Quality of life in a village
  • Developmental clusters at district and block level for local employment opportunities for youth

If the above-mentioned challenges are addressed, India is all set to capitalise the demographic dividends, otherwise India is setting foot on a volcano that is her population. India needs to explore the potentials of large percentage of population to turn the large population in her favour.







Challenges and Opportunites in Hills

Challenges & Opportunities in Hills (UK)

The state of Uttarakhand has a total population of about 1.01 crore as per Census 2011. In the last 10 years, 1,18,981 people have migrated permanently. Migration commission was formed by Uttarakhand Government in 2017 with a mandate to study migration from hills over the past ten years. Recently, the commission vice chairman Sh. S.S. Negi released a detailed report which states that over 700 villages in Uttarakhand have been deserted in the past decade with over 50% of them searching for livelihood. He further stated that between the 2011 census and 2017, 734 villages were completely vacated by their inhabitants while in another 565 the population fell by 50%.


Sometime back then Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Sh. Trivender Rawat said “Our villages are slowly getting vacated. People are leaving the hills permanently for want of better lives. The issue of migration is real and needs urgent attention”.


Before the pandemic in September and October during his visit to Uttarakhand in border villages Hon’ble Union Minister Sh. Rajnath Singh expressed concern over the migration, calling the people who live there “A strategic asset for the Country”


With these facts and the gravity of the problem, state of Uttarakhand needs a strategic intervention to provide better livelihood opportunities based on natural resources. Mostly people migrate from villages because of tough living conditions in hills and absence of any livelihood opportunity. On the other side, hilly areas offer a scenic beauty and a village life close to nature and these two aspects are strongest asset for any tourist destination in modern times.

We are living in a world of mobility, and we watch a sea of people travelling to hills but restricting their tours to only a few known and popular destination. The reasons are many but prominent ones are lack of knowledge about new areas and connectivity. If these two factors are addressed, states like Uttarakhand will never face problem of migration from hills.

There is huge potential for promoting sustainable and environment friendly tourism interlinked with organic agriculture, hilly states like UK can become a model of sustainable development.


State can consider developing a Center of Excellence on Tourism & Hospitality in every hilly district as Hub & Resource center with state of the art facilities for Skill Development, Entrepreneurship, Incubation center for grassroot start-ups (people from Uttarakhand and from the same district), Setting up of Research and Development center to  accelerate the process of developing eco-system for rural tourism and work closely with state Govt. to connect different schemes are already available for the sector as a whole and for rural tourism in particular.   This Centre of Excellence will also be developed as an incubation center for entrepreneurship opportunities in rural tourism across the state.

This will address issues of Skill Development, Research, Entrepreneurship at grassroots, promotion of tourism and in particular models like home stays and local employment opportunities. As first move, 100 villages can be identified with good hill view and provide better road connectivity. Each village should be targeted to have 5 home stays to create a community. This will become a model and the same can be replicated in all the hilly districts. Similarly border hilly districts where villages are completely empty, each village can be developed as heritage of hills with best connectivity including helipads. This will bring back youth from these villages back to their roots and this will not only bring life to these ghost villages but will enhance our border security. Time of taking action is NOW.