Nation Current Affairs 16 Feb 2018 Telangana: SSC norm ...

Telangana: SSC norm to hit several sarpanches

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | L. VENKAT RAM REDDY
Published Feb 16, 2018, 12:52 am IST
Updated Feb 16, 2018, 12:52 am IST
There are no minimum educational qualifications required to contest as MPs and MLAs.
Representational image
 Representational image

Hyderabad: The Telangana state government is all set to make SSC (Class X) qualification must for candidates to contest for the post of sarpanches. At present, there is no prescribed educational qualification for sarpanches. Nearly 80 per cent of the existing sarpanches have no SSC qualification, most of them are illiterate and use thumb impression for signatures. With this, elected sarpanches remain dummies while officials and others or their educated family members in panchayats run the show on their behalf.

Misuse of panchayat funds without the knowledge of sarpanches, who are unable to read, has been a common complaint. The tenure of existing panchayats is set to end on August 2 and the state  government wants to hold elections in March/April. A new Panchayat Raj Act will be passed in the ensuing Budget session of Legislature in March. Punjab, Haryana and a few other the are states implementing the SSC qualification norm. Interestingly, there are no minimum educational qualifications required to contest as MPs and MLAs and no restrictions on having number of children. Those having more than two children are already barred from contesting sarpanch elections for long.

 

The new SSC must norm will result in majority of the existing sarpanches losing opportunity to contest and new ones getting the chance. The Cabinet sub-committee headed by panchayat raj minister Jupally Krishna Rao submitted the report to Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao recommending minimum Class X qualification for sarpanches. “Some states are alre-ady implementing minimum SSC qualification for sarpanches. In undivided AP too, this was tried in 2007 and 2013 but could not materialise. The CM is keen on SSC must norm in Telangana to make panchayats and sarpanches more effective,” official sources in panchayat raj department said.

 

The CM is busy holding meetings with ministers and officials at Pragathi Bhavan for the past few days to finalise the draft Panchayat Raj Bill, which will be introduced in the Budget Session of Legislature. However, a decision on whether to elect sarpanch directly or indirectly is yet to be taken. At present, sarpanch is elected directly, but the TS government wants indirect election under which ward members will elect one among them as sarpanch. However, this is encountering stiff resistance from Opposition parties and BC, SC, ST organisations, who allege that it will encourage ‘camp politics’ in villages and only those with money and muscle power will make it to the sarpanch post unlike now.

 

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Location: India, Telangana




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