Panchayat samiti (block)

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Mandals, taluka panchayats, block panchayats, or panchayat samiti are rural local governments (panchayats) at the intermediate level in panchayat raj institutions (PRI).

It has been said to be the "panchayat of panchayats".[1]

The 73rd Amendment defines the levels of panchayati raj institution as :[2]

  • District (or apex) level
  • Intermediate level
  • Base level

They operate at the tehsil (taluka) level and govern the villages of the tehsil that together are called a development block. The panchayat samiti is the link between the gram panchayat (village council) and the zila parishad (district board).[3] The name varies across states: mandal praja parishad in Andhra Pradesh, taluka panchayat in Gujarat, and mandal panchayat in Karnataka.

Composition

Typically, a panchayat samiti is composed of elected members of the area: the block development officer, members of the state's legislative assembly, members of parliament belonging to that area, otherwise unrepresented groups (Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women), associate members (such as a farmer, a representative of the cooperative societies and one from the agricultural marketing services sector) and the elected members of that panchayat block (tehsil) on the zila parishad (district board).[4]

The samiti is elected for five years and is headed by a chairman and deputy chairman elected by the members of the panchayat samiti.[4] One sarpanch samiti supervises the other grampanchayats. It acts as a co-ordinating body between district panchayat and grampanchayat.

Composition of mandal parishads

A coterminous mandal parishad is constituted for each revenue mandal. A mandal parishad is composed of:

Mandal parishad territorial constituency (MPTC) members are directly elected by the voters, whereas the mandal president is elected by the MPTC members. The members are elected for a term of five years. The election to MPTCs is done on a party basis. The elections are conducted by the state election commission.

The sarpanches are permanent invitees to the mandal parishad meetings.