A two-day National Seminar on “Democratic Decentralization in India – Two Decades of Constitutional Amendments: Experiences, Issues and Challenges” was inaugurated by Prof. Ramakrishna Ramaswamy, Vice-Chancellor, University of Hyderabad (UoH) on 25th April 2013. The seminar is organized by the Department of Political Science, School of Social Sciences (SSS) in association with the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) and University for Potential Excellence (UPE).
Ms. Susan George, IRS, former Director, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India (GoI) was the Chief Guest of the seminar. Ms. George highlighted the measures which are being taken by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India. The measures include backward class grant fund, Panchayat empowerment and accountability, incentive schemes, Mahila Swashaktikiran Yojena etc. Ms. George also stated that during the 12th five-year plan Rajiv Gandhi Panchayati Swashaktikiran Abhyan is being implemented for the capacity building of local governance in terms of participatory planning, empowerment of the women and marginalized communities.
Prof. S.K. Singh, former Director (T), Centre for Integrated Rural Development in Asia & the Pacific, Bangladesh in his key-note address said that according to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report, decentralized governance has been functioning in 120 countries across the World irrespective of nature of political regimes. Prof. Singh while revealing his experiences in the Asia Pacific Countries said that there has been a growing importance for the local Government. Prof. Singh said that the process of globalization has created disparities and to overcome the issue of disparities the only alternative institution that has been existing is the local governance for effective delivering of services to the poor people.
The participants of the seminar will discuss and debate on issues like Local Governance and Issues in Conceptual Framework; Democratic Decentralization-Empowerment of Women and Urban Local Bodies; Democratic Decentralization and Empowerment of the Marginalized Communities; Issues in Institutional Arrangements for Local Governance; Local Governance and Decentralized Planning; Decentralized Governance, Devolution and Service Delivery etc.
Prof. Arun Kumar Patnaik, Head, Department of Political Science welcomed all the participants while Prof. Aloka Parasher Sen, Dean, School of Social Sciences gave a brief note about the School. Dr. E. Venkatesu, Coordinator of the Seminar gave introduction to the seminar. Mr. Umar Jalees Moniri, Research Scholar proposed a vote of thanks.