President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu presents the National Panchayat Awards and inaugurates the National Conference on Incentivization of Panchayats

azadi ka amrit mahotsav

The President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu presented the National Panchayat Awards and inaugurated the National Conference on Incentivization of Panchayats in New Delhi today (April 17, 2023).

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that despite the rapid urbanization over the past few decades, the majority of the population still lives in villages. Even those who live in cities are somehow connected to villages.  The development of villages can lead to the overall progress of the country.

The President said that Panchayats are not just a means of implementing government programs and initiatives, but also a place to encourage new leaders, planners, policy-makers, and innovators. By adopting the best practices of one Panchayat in other Panchayats, we can quickly develop and make our villages prosperous.

The President said that for the holistic development of any society, the participation of women is very important. Women should have the right to make decisions for themselves, for their families and for the welfare of society. This right could be achieved through their empowerment at the family and village level. She was happy to note that out of more than 31.5 lakh elected representatives of local rural bodies 46 percent are women. She urged women to actively participate in the work of the Gram Panchayats. She also appealed to their families to support them in these efforts.

Speaking on the occasion, the Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Shri Giriraj Singh said there are 21 States that have made 50% reservation for women in the 3-tier Panchayats. He called upon the remaining States to provide reservation for women beyond the 33% Constitutional provision in the Panchayats.

Calling for holistic development of Panchayats, Shri Giriraj Singh said we should plan a development model to take the Panchayats towards saturation of schemes on the basis of the nine themes as laid out under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.

He said the Modi Government firmly believes the Panchayats have to be the focal point of development.

“Earlier, the Government used to allocate just Rs.54 per person for development under the Finance Commission, it has now been increased to Rs.700,” he said.

The Minister said the Government is providing several schemes for the welfare of citizens of the country. All these schemes including providing foodgrains under the Garib Kalyan package would not have been possible without the involvement of the Panchayats.

“In this Amrit Kaal, 75th Year of Independence, and 30 years since the 73rd Constitutional Amendment related to Panchayati Raj, the time has come for the States to give the legal rights to the Panchayati Raj Institutions,” he said.

Calling for saturation of schemes in the Panchayats by the line Ministries of the Centre and the States, Shri Giriraj Singh said 31 lakh elected representatives have been imparted training towards sustainable village under the Gram Swaraj Abhiyaan.

“The parameters for determining the vibrant Panchayats have changed to include Carbon Neutrality, Water Sufficiency, Literacy and Employment Generation. Earlier, just about 10-20% Panchayats were participating, today more than 90% Panchayats have vied for the Awards,” he said.

The Minister said the youngest Panchayats in Jammu & Kashmir UT have made commendable efforts towards the goal of achieving Carbon Neutrality by the year 2030.

Shri Giriraj Singh said drone flights have been completed in more than 2.5 lakh villages, property cards have been given in more than 64,000 villages and over 57,000 rural residents have been provided property cards.

Highlighting that Bhu-Aadhaar and SVAMITVA Schemes have a huge potential to transform rural India and benefit the rural populace, Shri Giriraj Singh said, “under the SVAMITVA Scheme, Drone Survey has been completed in more than 2.35 lakh villages whereas 6.57 lakh villages, viz 95% of 6.62 lakh villages have been provided with Bhu-Aadhaar under Unique Land Parcel Identification Number (ULPIN) project.

Later, addressing the National Conference on Incentivization of Panchayats, Shri Faggan Singh Kulaste, Union Minister of State for Rural Development and Steel, extended best wishes to all well-performing Panchayats. While appreciating the awardee Panchayats for their valuable, remarkable and outstanding achievements, Shri Kapil Moreshwar Patil, MoS for Panchayati Raj, said that national award is the endorsement of the exemplary work done by Panchayats and the Best Practices should be replicated by other Panchayats. Shri Kapil Moreshwar Patil said that the country cannot develop without the development of the villages, and the Central Government provides adequate financial support to the States for the infrastructure development in rural areas. Shri Patil called for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to localize the SDGs and realize thematic goals in Gram Panchayats.

In line with the Prime Minister’s vision towards maximizing digital technology for social benefit, Shri Giriraj Singh later launched the GS NIRNAY, National Initiative for Rural India to Navigate, InnovAte and Resolve PanchaYat decisions, a mobile application of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj aimed at empowering rural communities during the National Conference.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Giriraj Singh emphasized the need for enhancing rural governance through adoption of digital tools and technology. He stressed the importance of leveraging technology to enhance the reach, scope, and outcome of government actions in the course of development. He opined that the administrative capacity and effectiveness of regional and local governments must be enhanced, through the provision of technological tools and resources for playing a meaningful role in the course of development. In this pursuit, GS NIRNAY mobile app will be a game-changer for rural communities in India, providing them with easy access to critical information discussed during a Gram Sabha; acting as a means of verification of facts where necessary or in case of queries that may arise regarding the resolutions undertaken during the Gram Sabha. This would bring in more transparency and increase efficiency in the functioning of Panchayats, which play a vital role in decentralized participatory democracy.

The launch of GS NIRNAY marks a significant step towards realizing the vision of ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance’ at the grassroots level, and is expected to accelerate the pace of rural transformation to achieve the vision of Gram Swaraj laid down by Mahatma Gandhi.

Shri Ranjeet Kumar Dass, Minister of Panchayat & Rural Development, Government of Assam, Shri Murari Prasad Gautam, Minister of Panchayati Raj, Government of Bihar, Shri Yumnam Khemchand Singh, Minister for Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Government of Manipur, Shri Pu K Lalrinliana, Minister of Local Administration Department, Government of Mizoram, Shri Metsubo Jamir, Minister of Rural Development, Government of Nagaland,  Shri Errabelli Dayakar Rao, Minister of Panchayati Raj & Rural Development and RWS, Government of Telangana and Shri Satpal Maharaj, Minister of Panchayati Raj, Government of Uttarakhand participated in the National Conference on Incentivization of Panchayats and Award Ceremony and shared their views and vision of the State on Localization of Sustainable Development Goals through Panchayati Raj Institutions.

The Awardee Panchayats under various categories of National Panchayat Awards–2023 namely, (i) Deen Dayal Upadhyay Panchayat Satat Vikas Puraskar (DDUPSVP) for the performance under individual LSDG themes, (ii) Nanaji Deshmukh Sarvottam Panchayat Satat Vikas Puraskar (NDSPSVP) for the aggregate performance under all 9 LSDG themes and green initiative related Special Categories, (iii) Gram Urja Swaraj Vishesh Panchayat Puraskar and (iv) Carbon Neutral Vishesh Panchayat Puraskar were felicitated by the dignitaries and the award money was transferred digitally to the Awardee Panchayats on this occasion.




For details of the National Panchayat Awards–2023 click here 

A booklet on ‘Best Practices on Works of Awardee Panchayats’ was also released by Shri Giriraj Singh, Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj and the first copy of the booklet was presented to the President of India. Short films on (i) Journey of Localization of Sustainable Development Goals (LSDGs) and Revamped National Panchayat Awards aligning with 9 themes of LSDGs, (ii) Exemplary works of best-performing Awardee Gram Panchayats and (iii) Gram Sabha Proceedings Recording Mobile App (GS NIRNAY) were screened during the National Conference which witnessed enthusiastic participation of more than 1,200 delegates from various States/UTs including a large number of elected representatives and functionaries of Panchayati Raj Institutions.



Source PIB