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“In India, local governance is constitutionally recognized, but not empowered”, examine the statement in the backdrop of the effect of ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

Topic:  Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

5. “In India, local governance is constitutionally recognized, but not empowered”, examine the statement in the backdrop of the effect of ongoing Covid-19 crisis.(250 words)

Reference: Live Mint 

Why this question:

The author in the article discusses the significance of local governance amidst such challenging times and in what way it is yet to be empowered.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the current conditions with respect to local governance in the country and examine closely how they are constitutionally recognized but are yet to be empowered.

Directive:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In short present the local governance scenario of the country.

Body:

To start with, explain the coming of the concept of local governance, its origin, constitutionality etc. Discuss what are the challenges and concerns before the Indian local governance system. One can use the current case of COVID crisis to explain the lacunae in the local governance system. Suggest what needs to be done to address the challenges and ensure the system is more empowered.

Conclusion:

Conclude that it’s time for the States to devolve more functions and finances to local governments and build capacity before the next crisis hits the country.