Democratic Decentralization in India: Experiences, Issues and ChallengesDr. E. Venkatesu

02/03/2017 Dr E Venkatesu

New books

This book explores experiences, issues and challenges which have emerged since Constitutional status was granted to the local bodies at grassroots level in India in the early 1990s. Among other issues, it focuses on:

(1) The contrasting political ideas of Mahatma Gandhi and B. R. Ambedkar on Panchayati Raj Institutions
(2) the legal and constitutional provisions which were introduced through the 73rd and 74th Amendment Acts
(3) The devolution process, status and challenges of democracy for local governmental bodies
(4) Empowerment of the women and lower castes through reservations in the local bodies
(5) Governance in Schedule V and VI tribal areas

Based on extensive fieldwork across India, this volume will be useful to scholars and researchers of political science, sociology, public administration as well as policymakers and civil society activists.


Some reviews on the book


One of India’s remarkable experiments after independence has been the mode of institutionalization of power to subserve self-rule at various levels of the polity. Concerns such as fairness, diversity and difference have been add-ons to it. There are many flaws in this endeavour but there are few today who deny its need. This volume documents this great experiment through specific case studies of many states, communities and concerns in India.


Valerian Rodrigues, National Fellow, ICSSR and Professor (Retired), Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India



This book brings together critical evaluations of the various contemporary issues and aspects of decentralized governance in India. This is particularly welcome as many of the authors are young and upcoming researchers in the field. Various chapters of the book throw light on the evolution of the institutions of democratic decentralization, recent legislation, and problems in making such institutions work by situating them in the actual social structures and political practice.


K.C. Suri, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Hyderabad, India