Andhra Pradesh

Panchayat Raj institutions key to tackling COVID, says Aiyar

Former Union Minister for Panchayat Raj, Mani Shankar Aiyar, lauded Panchayat Raj institutions for playing a crucial role in keeping the COVID-19 pandemic under control.

In his inaugural address at a national webinar organised by the Tirupati-based Academy of Grassroots Studies and Research of India (AGRASRI) on the eve of its 20th anniversary, Mr. Aiyar said the role played by the PR institutions in curbing COVID-19 was no less important than that of Central and State governments, keeping in mind their grassroots level reach and representation of over 65% of the Indian population.

Mr. Aiyar spoke on the theme of ‘Empowerment or disempowerment of the PR institutions in rural India: Agenda for reform’, wherein he regretted that many State governments had not yet devolved the three Fs (functions, functionaries and finances) to the PR institutions, considered a main step towards realising the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi.

He recalled the reformative steps initiated during the regimes of Rajiv Gandhi and P.V. Narasimha Rao to bring governance to the doorstep of the public. Mr. Aiyar also appreciated AGRASRI founder and director D. Sundar Ram for providing a platform to discuss the percolation of power, rights and funds at the field-level.

Eminent experts, including former Vice-Chancellor of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) M. Aslam, Pragna Bharati chairman T. Hanuman Chowdary, Institute of Social Sciences (New Delhi) chairman George Mathew, Participatory Research in Asia president Rajesh Tandon, Kerala Institute of Local Administration (Thrissur) former director P.P. Balan, and Doordarshan former Director-General R.A. Padmanabha Rao participated as distinguished speakers.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 5:10:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/panchayat-raj-institutions-key-to-tackling-covid-says-aiyar/article33203097.ece

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