Block Panchayats as Change Agents in India's Decentralisation
Decentralised administrative structure in India generally has a three-tier classification, with Gram Panchayaths at the grassroot level, Block Panchayaths at the intermediate level and District Panchayaths at the top level, with Kerala following the same pattern. However, considering the limited geographic terrain of the state and the kind of administrative needs of the society, several studies points out the intermediate tier to be redundant in functioning. However, a generalized judgement cannot be formed on its redundancy. Nedumangad Block Panchayath, in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala, stands out as a case with replicable merits, by effectively performing the specified general and sectoral functions assigned through an optimal mix of good governance, resource management and people's participation. Reiterating the facts, Nedumangad Block Panchayath is the proud recipient of Deen Dayal Upadhyay Panchayath Shaktheekaran Puraskar consecutively for 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20. The book 'Block Panchayath as Change Agents in India's Decentralisation : The Kerala Experience' is an analytical exposition of how Block Panchayaths can become change agents, illustrated through the case of Nedumanagad Block, wherein the multiple facets behind the successful functioning of the particular Block is identified and analysed. A framework integrating elements of good governance, environmental governance and sustainability is used in the study.