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Political decentralisation has occurred as a result of the 73rd Constitution Amendment Act in practically all of the States. Decentralization of the financial powers and functional aspects of it, however, has made uneven progress. Critically Examine.

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.

3. Political decentralisation has occurred as a result of the 73rd Constitution Amendment Act in practically all of the States. Decentralization of the financial powers and functional aspects of it, however, has made uneven progress. Critically Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 2 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the shortcomings of PRI’s on fiscal and functional decentralisation and suggest measures to overcome them.

Directive word: 

Critically examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to 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. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by writing about the aims and objectives of 73rd Constitution Amendment Act.

Body:

First, write in detail about how political decentralisation has been a success with respect to PRI’s.

Next, write about various shortcomings of PRI’s on fiscal decentralisation – lack of funds, issues with CSS, lack of agency to generate own revenues etc.

Next, write about various shortcomings of PRI’s on functional decentralisation – overlapping functions with state government, absence of a proper workforce, accountability issues etc.

Next, suggest measures to overcome the above.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.