Executive summary of the Minor Research Project Report
Submitted by Smt.  Shridevi K., Associate Professor in Political Science,
Dr. A. V. Baliga College of Arts and Science. Kumta. (U. K.)

(MRP (H)-1059/10-11/KAKA087/UGC-SWRO) -----XI Plan period.  

Panchayat Raj or Grass Roots Democracy or Local-Self Government is a government at the local level having authority to undertake the power to perform public activities within its territories. It is based on the concept of decentralization of power to the lowest possible level, enabling the people at all levels to participate in the process of administration.
The self government institutions established in the rural area of India are collectively known as the Panchayat Raj. Attainment of village self –sufficiency should be the aim of independent India as conceived by the makers of the constitution. Gandhiji had aptly remarked in 1946 that Indian independence must begin at the bottom and every village ought to be Republic or Panchayat having its own powers. Gandhiji’s dream has been translated into reality with the introduction of three-tier Panchayat Raj system to ensure people’s participation in rural politics of the country. ( Grama Swaraj )
Keeping the objectives of the Panchayat Raj system in the lime light, I undertake this project to enumerate the functioning of the system in the rural area in Uttara kannada District.
In this Project work I have made an attempt to analyze
The concept of Panchayat Raj i. e. decentralization of administrative power popularly known as Grass-root democracy, Its purpose and relevance in Indian Context, Significance of 73rd Amendment of Indian Constitution and the establishment of three-tier system of Panchayat Raj administration.   
         I undertook the field Survey of two Grama Panchayats – Baada and Kagal as a part of the Project entitled------

Functioning of Rural Panchayats- A Case Study of Grama Panchayats-Baada and Kagal with the following objectives in my mind.

1)    To observe the functioning of Grama Panchayats.
2)    To analyze the role of Panchayat Raj Institutions in the development of rural areas.
3)    To make the administrators to understand their weaknesses and try to improve.
4)    To find our obstacles in the process of decentralization of administration.
5)    To suggest all-round development of Grama Panchayats of Baada and Kagal

One happy thing about this Survey is that persons like me who had habituated to reading and lecturing in the class-rooms felt that real study does not lie only in reading books and taking classes to students, it lies in meeting men and women and facing the real world.

The entire operation not only brought home the concept of decentralization in administration but also encouraged me to do library research and prepare the project on the basis of my experience.
I conclude with these words: Without field experience the idea of Panchayat Raj remained a vague idea or probably just another topic in the Text-Book without any relation/relevance to our every day life.


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