The Gram Sabha includes all adults of the village who are more than 18 years old. They together elect the members of the Gram Panchayat.
- The Sarpanch is the head of the Gram Panchayat. A Vice Sarpanch is also elected from among its members. They are honorary members and are not paid a salary.
- The membership of a Village Panchayat varies from 5–31 depending on the size of the village.
- One-third of the seats in the Panchayat are reserved for women. Seats are also reserved for the members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
Administrative Functions of Gram Panchayat
- To look after the public works such as maintenance of the village roads, bridges, tanks and wells
- To look after sanitation and to set up dispensaries and basic health care centers at the village level
- To provide primary education to children
- To look after the irrigational facilities and supply seeds and fertilizers to farmers
- To maintain the records of common village property, their sale, and purchase
Social and Economic Functions of Gram Panchayat
- To construct and build libraries, guest houses, and marriage halls
- To organize village fairs and exhibitions
- To establish fair price shops and co-operative credit societies
- To plant trees, parks, gardens, and playgrounds for recreational activities
Judicial Functions of Gram Panchayat
- Nyay Panchayats, also known as Panchayati Adalats, look after the administration of justice in villages.
- They ensure quick and inexpensive justice to villagers.
- They cannot award a sentence of imprisonment and lawyers cannot appear before these panchayats.
- If Nyay Panchayats deliver justice within their jurisdictions, there can be no appeal against its decisions.
- However, sub-divisional magistrates and sub-judges of the district are empowered to hear appeals.
- The state government or the state judicial service decides the jurisdiction of these panchayats.
Panchayat Samiti (Block Level)
The Panchayat Samiti works at a block or middle level. It consists of the following members:
- Sarpanchs of all panchayats which come under its circle
- Members of the State Legislative Assembly of the state from the area
- Members of Parliament of the area The gram panchayat have set up various health care centers in their villages
- Block Development Officers of the area
- Representatives of Cooperative Societies in certain states
- Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, and Secretary
Functions of Panchayat Samiti
- To supervise and coordinate the working of Gram Panchayats
- To make provision for education at the secondary level and above for a group of villages at the block level
- To build hospitals and provide health facilities to the people
- To develop agriculture by undertaking irrigation projects, distribution of good quality seeds and fertilizers
- To approve building plans and to undertake the construction of roads and bridges at the block level
- To provide safe drinking water
- To act as a link between the Gram Panchayat and the Zilla Parishad
- Also Read Panchayati Raj System