Shillong: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla will visit Shillong on February 25-26 and address members of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, following which he will visit the construction site of the new Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Building at Mawdiangdiang.
On Thursday, the speaker will inaugurate the ‘Outreach and Familiarization Programme for Local Bodies’ of Meghalaya and the other North Eastern States scheduled to be held at the State Convention Centre, Pinewood Hotel, Shillong.
“Initiated by the Lok Sabha Speaker, this first of its kind programme is being organized by the Parliamentary Research and Training Institute for Democracies (PRIDE), Lok Sabha
Secretariat and the programme focus on enhancing participatory democracy through greater awareness of the procedures and processes followed by democratic institutions functioning at various levels right from the grassroots to the apex level.
The programme is intended to strengthen the institutions of governance and planning at the grass-root level, since maximizing self-governance is critical to empowering people. Apart from
Panchayati Raj System, there is a need for mobilizing and strengthening traditional grass-root level institutions as present in the 5th and 6th Schedule States,” an official statement said.
The first such Outreach Programme was organized at Dehradun, Uttarakhand on January 8, 2021, and the second on the theme ‘Panchayati Raj System/Autonomous District Councils: Strengthening the Decentralized Democracy’ will be held in Shillong.
Eighty representatives from the local self-government bodies of other North Eastern States including 25 Zila Parishad Chairmen from Arunachal Pradesh, 26 Zila Parishad Chairmen from Assam, 6 Zila Parishad Chairmen from Manipur, 6 MDCs from Mizoram, nominated 5 heads of Village Councils from Nagaland, 4 Zila Parishad Chairmen from Sikkim and 8 Zila Parishad Chairmen from Tripura will also be present for the programme.
It may be mentioned that a large part of North-East India is governed by the Fifth and
Sixth Schedules of the Indian Constitution. Three states, namely, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland are exempted from the purview of the 73rd Amendment and come under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
The Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 extends the 73rd Amendment to the Fifth Schedule areas. The non-Sixth Schedule States in the North-East where 73rd and 74th Amendments (Panchayati Raj Institutions) have been implemented are Assam (barring Karbi Anglong Autonomous District Council and North Cachar Hills Autonomous District Council), Manipur, Tripura (barring Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council), Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.