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National Colloquium Marks National Panchayati Raj Day: Grassroots Governance in Focus

New Delhi: On the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day, a National Colloquium on “Governance at the Grassroots after Three Decades of the 73rd Constitutional Amendment” was inaugurated today by Secretary of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Vivek Bharadwaj, and Secretary of the Department of Rural Development, Shailesh Kumar Singh. The event, held in New Delhi, brought together key stakeholders to deliberate on the evolution and future trajectory of grassroots governance in India.

Secretary Vivek Bharadwaj, in his address, highlighted India’s opportunity to showcase digital governance initiatives at the grassroots level for citizen empowerment and sustainable development. He emphasized the pivotal role of Panchayats as engines of rural transformation, applauding the contributions of elected representatives in enhancing transparency and empowering rural citizens. Secretary Bharadwaj stressed the Ministry’s commitment to creating robust and self-reliant Panchayats, leveraging three decades of experience.

Shailesh Kumar Singh, Secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development, underscored the convergence of development interventions and digital initiatives at the Panchayat level, emphasizing the importance of strengthening local self-governance.

The colloquium featured technical sessions chaired by former Secretaries of the Ministry of Rural Development and the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, addressing challenges and opportunities for effective public service delivery and the evolution of good governance principles at the grassroots level, respectively.

Distinguished speakers, including officials from government bodies, academia, and international organizations, enriched the discussions with their insights on leveraging digital technologies for rural governance transformation.

The event, organized by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, commemorated the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992, which conferred constitutional status upon Panchayati Raj Institutions. Participants deliberated on strengthening PRIs through digital empowerment, enhancing transparency, and institutionalizing e-governance at the Gram Panchayat level.

As India celebrates National Panchayati Raj Day, the Ministry reiterated its commitment to fostering a digitally-empowered grassroots governance ecosystem through policy initiatives and strategic partnerships.

In addition to discussions, a photo exhibition showcasing India’s rural heritage aimed to stimulate dialogue on leveraging heritage for revenue generation and the development of Gram Panchayats. The colloquium saw the participation of around 300 representatives from across the country, reaffirming the Ministry’s priorities for strengthening grassroots governance.

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