Panchayati Raj Current Affairs
The Haryana Legislative Assembly has unanimously passed two bills to make minimum educational qualification criteria mandatory for the urban local bodies election (ULBs).
These bills are (i) The Haryana Municipal (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (ii) Haryana Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
These bill seeks to amend the amend Section 13 A of the Haryana Municipal Act, 1973 and Section 8 of the Haryana Municipal Corporation Act, 1994 respectively.
Key features of the Haryana Municipal (Amendment) Bill, 2016
- Minimum educational qualification for a candidate contesting ULBs election in the general category would be Class X i.e. matriculation.
- Female candidate from open category and a male candidate from Scheduled Caste (SC) will be required to be at least 8th standard pass.
- Minimum educational qualification for SC women candidates will be 5th standard pass.
- Candidate should not be convicted or have charges framed against him in a criminal case by a court for an offence punishable with imprisonment for not less than 10 years.
- There should be no pending arrears of electricity bills against the candidate contesting the elections to ULBs. Candidates must have a functional toilet at their residence.
These amendment bills were proposed on the lines of Haryana Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Act, 2015 which had prescribed similar mandatory educational qualifications for contesting candidates in Panchayati Raj elections in the state.
Haryana Assembly has passed Haryana Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2015 that seeks to fix matriculation as minimum educational qualification for elections to Panchayati Raj institutions (PRIs).
With this Haryana became second state in India after Rajasthan to fix educational and other qualifications for the candidates contesting Panchayat elections.
Key provisions of bill
- General candidates contesting the Panchayat elections should have class X certificates i.e. matriculation as essential qualification.
- For Women (general) and Scheduled Caste candidates’, class VIII mark-sheet is mandatory. The educational qualification for SC candidates for the post of ‘panch’ is class V.
- Mandatory for the candidates contesting PRI elections to have functional toilets and payment of power bills.
- Candidates should not have been charge-sheeted by any court of law and must not be loan defaulters.
State government has taken this decision to improve the quality of leadership and governance in PRIs. The amendment bill will also enable elected representatives of PRIs to be more accountable to people, as they would no longer be able to cite illiteracy as an excuse.