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Difference Between Central and Local Government

Central vs Local Government

The system of governance in different countries of the world may be different in form and content as there are various types of political systems in vogue, but the basic objective of all governments is to provide better and more efficient administration to all sections of the population so that their hopes and aspirations are met. Whether it is a democracy or dictatorship, it is the endeavor of all governments to reach out to the people to keep their grievances in check. This is possible through a process known as decentralization that helps governments to administer remote areas and their people in a more effective manner. Decentralization comes through local governance, which is nothing but empowering the weaker sections of the population and devolution of powers to help in better administration. There are many who think of state or provincial governments as local government though it is incorrect. Let us find out the differences between central and local governments in this article.

One of the best examples of local governance is the concept of Panchayati Raj, which was a dream visualized and conceptualized by Mahatma Gandhi in the modern era India. He was of the view that India lives in villages, and it is not possible to rule or administer people at grass roots level by passing laws and making legislations for people without involving them in decision making process. The system of local government is in consonance with central and state governments and does not oppose these authorities. It requires courage and vision to devolve power down to people at the lowest level, but it ultimately not only results in better governance, but also instills confidence in poor and deprived sections of the society that they too can contribute towards development of the country.

The system of local government works wonderfully well at the level of the smallest unit of society in Indian context, that is the village. Panchayati Raj is a three tier system with Gram Panchayat being the lowest rung of power, the other two being Zilla Panchayat and lastly Zilla Parishad. These three units of Panchayati Raj are collectively responsible for sustained development of villages, blocks, and districts that are smaller units than states that have their own governments. A village in this system works as an independent, self sustained unit that has the powers and capacity to look after its own developmental needs.

The system of local government cannot work on its own as all rules and regulations regarding its continuation and implementation are made by state and central governments and these governments also need to ensure that funds being diverted for local government are being utilized in the best possible manner.

Different countries have different models of local government operating according to unique circumstances and requirements of their people. But at every place, there are systems of checks and counterweight in place to ensure smooth functioning of the system.

What is the difference between Central and Local Government

1. The concept of local government is different and should not be misconstrued as federal and state or provincial governments

2. The main objective of local government is to fulfill the political hopes and aspirations of the people at the lowest levels of the population

3. Central government, when it is ready to devolve powers to grass roots levels, makes possible a good and efficient local government


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