What is the significance of the 74th Amendment to the Constitution?

Answer By law4u team

The 74th Amendment to the Constitution of India, enacted in 1992, is a significant constitutional amendment that brought about changes in the governance of urban local bodies (ULBs), commonly known as municipalities or Nagar Palikas. The amendment aimed to strengthen local self-government and decentralize power to urban areas. Here are the key features and significance of the 74th Amendment: Constitutional Recognition of Urban Local Bodies: The 74th Amendment added provisions related to urban local bodies in the Constitution. It specifically inserted Part IXA, which deals with the "Municipalities," containing Articles 243P to 243ZG. Three Types of Municipalities: The amendment introduced the concept of three types of municipalities: Nagar Panchayats for transitional areas, Municipal Councils for smaller urban areas, and Municipal Corporations for larger urban areas. Composition and Reservation of Seats: The amendment mandates the composition of municipalities, specifying the number of seats, reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and women, and the appointment of nominated members, such as experts and representatives of the backward classes. Mandatory Committees: It makes provisions for the establishment of mandatory committees within the municipalities, such as the Ward Committee, Metropolitan Planning Committee (MPC), and District Planning Committee (DPC). These committees play a crucial role in local governance and planning. Devolution of Powers and Responsibilities: The 74th Amendment emphasizes the devolution of powers and responsibilities to municipalities, empowering them to take decisions on local matters. This includes matters related to planning, economic development, social justice, and public services. Financial Empowerment: The amendment highlights the need for financial empowerment of municipalities, ensuring that they receive funds from state governments and have adequate resources to fulfill their functions. Indirect Election of Mayors: In the case of Municipal Corporations, the mayors are to be elected indirectly by the elected representatives, ensuring that they are accountable to the members of the municipal body. Constitution of State Election Commissions: The amendment provides for the establishment of State Election Commissions to conduct elections to municipalities. Urban Planning: It mandates the formation of Metropolitan Planning Committees at the metropolitan level, emphasizing integrated planning for areas that extend beyond municipal boundaries. Decentralization of Power: The amendment is part of a broader effort to decentralize power and promote local self-governance, allowing for greater citizen participation in the decision-making processes at the local level. The 74th Amendment is significant in promoting democratic governance at the grassroots level in urban areas, giving residents a say in local matters, and facilitating effective urban planning and development. It reflects the constitutional commitment to decentralized governance and the idea of empowering local bodies for effective administration.

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