The first National Consultation on Strengthening of Local Self Government on the theme “Swarajya to Suraajya”, being organized by Indian Institute of Public Administration was inaugurated and addressed by Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu Garu, Honourable Vice President of India in the presence of Union Ministers Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, the Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj and Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, MoS(i/C), Housing and Urban Affairs, Sri. M.Mahmood Ali, Dy.Chief Minister of Telangana at Swarna Bharat Trust, Muchintal, in Hyderabad on March 18, 2018.

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The University of Hyderabad was invited and actively participated in the national consultation on strengthening of local self government in two parallel sessions on Rural Development (73rd Amendment) and Urban Development (74th Amendment). Around 16 faculty members and 41 students from different schools, departments, centers of UoH have participated, including School of Social Sciences, School of Economics and School of Humanities. Apart from the University of Hyderabad, Osmania University, NIRD, CGG, and TISS, Hyderabad have also participated. All the participants were presented with the participation certificates in the valedictory session of the program. The Dean, Students’ Welfare (DSW) office has facilitated all the arrangements. Participants were Prof. Darla Venkateswara Rao, Dy. Dean, Students’ Welfare, Prof. Rajamohana Rao ( Director, CSSEIP), Prof. Tummala Ramakrishna, (Head, Dept. of Telugu), Dr. Arulmozi (CALTS), Dr. Alok Kumar Mishra (Economics ) Dr. Rani Ratnaprabha (CSSEIP), Dr. Nagamani (SCIS), Dr. J.Bheemaih (CCL/Humanities), Dr. E.Venkatesu (Political Science), Dr. Naveen Nekuri, (SCIS), Dr. Ramadas (Political Science), Dr. Gangaprasad (Telugu/Humanities), and Research Scholars, PG Students of UoH.

Dwelling on the issues of local governance, Shri Naidu, who is a former Minister of both rural and urban development, urged the local leadership to have the political will to mobilize the much required resources by raising taxes and levies by ensuring delivery of quality services. He stressed that 3Ds – Decentralisation, Devolution and Development go hand-in-hand for the prosperity of rural and urban areas and urged the States to ensure transfer of 3 Fs -Functions, Functionaries and Funds to local governments.

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The Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Shri Narendra Singh Tomar said self reliant and effective local governments are critical for building a New India and referred to the good work being done by village Panchayats in making rural areas Open Defecation Free. He stated that Rs.2,00,292 cr are being transferred to villages during 2015-20 as against only Rs. 60,000 cr in the previous five years, Shri Tomar urged the State Governments to ensure adequate administrative staff for village Panchayats for effective utilization of these rising funds.

The Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri emphasized that a radical change is needed if cities are to provide a socio-economic environment that will be inclusive, contribute to better quality of life, and sustain rapid growth. To achieve this following steps are necessary:
1) Local governments should have functional autonomy;
2) They should have financial autonomy and should aim to be financially viable;
3)Parastatals should not be allowed to undermine the authority of ULBs;
4) Need to establish a dedicated and a specialised trianed cadre to serve and cater to the complex needs of Urban local body governance.

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This programme was coordinated by Prof. Darla Venkateswara Rao, Deputy Dean – Students’ Welfare.

Report by Dr. Alok Kumar Mishra email : misalok@gmail.com

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