Chronology of Related Events –Kerala Local Self Government
1920 – Madras Village Panchayat Act
1950- Travancore-Cochin Panchayat Act – Based on the Act the Panchayat Delimitation Committee was formed. The Committee recommended the formation of 542 panchayats.
1958- Kerala Panchayat Bill and The two bills on decentralisation were introduced in the State the District Councils Bill Legislative Assembly. However, they could not be enacted and implemented as the Government was dismissed and the Legislative Assembly dissolved in 1959.
1960 The Kerala Panchayat Raj – The first Administrative Reforms Committee suggested decentralisation of a far-reaching nature as early as in 1958. The Act was passed codifying the Panchayat laws that were in force in Malabar- Travancore-Cochin regions.First Panchayat election Based on 1960 Act, the first panchayat election in the state was held.
1964 Kerala Panchayat Union and Zilla Parishad Bill The Government introduced the Bill but the
government before the Bill could become Act.
1967 Kerala Panchayat Raj Bill The government that succeeded introduced the Bill but it could not be passed due to the fall of the government.
1971 Kerala District Administration Bill The Government of Kerala introduced the Bill but this too did not become a law.
1978-1980 Kerala District Administration Bill Again the government introduced this Bill in the
Legislative Assembly in 1978 and it became an Act in 1980.
1991 District Councils After one decade, the government implemented the Act and the District Councils came into being. However, they could survive only for a short period.
1994 Kerala Panchayat Raj Act and Kerala Municipality Act
The Kerala Assembly passed the new Panchayat Raj Act and the Kerala Municipal Act.
1995 Elections The first elections based on the constitutional amendments and the new Acts.
1996-2002 People’s Plan Campaign Local government level participatory planning process for
preparation of the development plans under the Ninth Five Year Plan.
Committee on Decentralisation (Sen Committee)
The committee was appointed to suggest the measures to be taken for institutionalisation of Powers (Sen Committee) of the decentralisation process.
1999-2003 Amendments to the Acts Based on the recommendations of the Sen Committee, various Acts were restructured and restructuring to suit the decentralisation process.
2002-2007 Kerala Development Programme The Tenth Five Year Plan was named as Kerala
2007 People’s Plan Campaign People’s Plan Campaign was re-launched as part of the preparation of the Eleventh Five Year Plan.
In the beginning of 12th Five-Year Plan some changes were made in the Plan guidelines, mainly in sectoral ceilings and project appraisal.
The 13th Five-Year Plan period, the State envisages revitalisation of the system of decentralised democratic governance by learning from the experiences of the past.
Principles of Decentralisation of Powers in Kerala
1 Autonomy: The local self-governments are to be autonomous, functionally, financially, and administratively. The different tiers of local self-governments should be seen as complementary units rather than hierarchically organised.
2 Subsidiarity: It means that what can be done best at a particular level should be done at that level and not athigher levels. That entire can optimally done at the lowest level should be reserved to that level. Only the residual should be passed on to the higher levels.
3 Role Clarity: There should be clarity regarding the roles of each tier in the development process and clear division of functions between the tiers.
4 Complementarity: The functions of different tiers should not be overlapping, but should be complementary to each other.
5 Uniformity: There should be uniformity of norms and rules.
6 People’s Participation: The functioning of the localself-governmentshould be such that it facilitates maximum direct participation of people in the development process.
7 Accountability: The elected representative accountability is not to be confined to the periodic electoral verdicts. There should be continuous social auditing of the performance.
8 Transparency: People should have the right to information regarding every detail of the administration.
To be Continued…………