“Bihar Gram Swaraj Yojna Society” was registered in 2010 under Society’s Registration Act, 1860 under the aegis of Panchayati Raj Department, Govt. of Bihar. The Society under its by-laws is governed with a General Body headed by Development Commissioner, Govt. of Bihar as its Chairperson and Principal Secretary / Secretary of the ten line Departments under Govt. of Bihar as its Members. This body has the mandate to meet at least once in year to review the physical & financial progress of the programs that the Society is supposed to implement. The next is an Executive Committee chaired by the Principal Secretary / Secretary of the Panchayati Raj Department, Govt. of Bihar and representatives from the same set of ten line departments of the state government.
The Society was created as a special purpose vehicle for implementation of a World Bank aided project under the name of “Bihar Panchayat Strengthening Project”. The Society is committed to implement the project in 12 districts of the state vis-à-vis Patna, Nalanda, Bhojpur, Rohtas, Gaya, Aurangabad, Saharsa, Supaul, Madhepura, Darbhanga, Samastipur & Madhubani . The project design is to assist the state government in the processes of decentralization that includes infrastructure support & strengthening the Gram Panchayats in ways & means that lead to self-sustainable democratic bodies, with equal access to every citizen, under the Gram Panchayat, in planning the development activities that addresses the local needs through a robust collective decision making processes.
It is extremely important that the plans & activities under the “Bihar Panchayat Strengthening Project” are so design that leads to achievement of the objectives aspired under the 73rdConstitutional Amendment, 1993. The project has a very clear objective – to promote and ensure “inclusive”, “responsive”, “accountable” & “transparent” gram panchayats. In order to achieve the same the project has four components each serving precious roles. The first of them is Component 1: “Panchayat Sarkar Bhawans” split in to two sub-components – Component 1 (a): Construction of 330 Panchayat Sarkar Bhawans in 12 Project Districts as per the existing model & design of the state government, and Component 1 (b): 330 Functional Gram Panchayats in the 12 Project Districts. The purpose of this component is to assist the ambitious plan of the state government to provide every panchayat in the state with its own “Panchayat Sarkar Bhawan” in a phased manner.
Simultaneously, the project aims to demonstrate successes in terms of “Gram Panchayats” operating full throttle in delivering on the aims & objects of the project with assisting 330 Gram Panchayats, where the state government has already built Panchayat Sarkar Bhawans from other sources in the 12 project districts, with skilled human resources, in addition to the necessary ongoing capacity development programs. The aim is to demonstrate successes that are self-sustainable in way that is easy to replicate and scaled up for rest of the panchayats in Bihar.
The Component 2: PRIs Institutional Strengthening with four sub-components Component 2 (a): Core Institutional Capacity Building that aims to equip the elected representatives under Panchayati Raj Institutions to meet up to the expectations of the people in terms of the required role defined for them under “Bihar Panchayati Raj Act, 2006” and amendments, thereof. Component 2.1 (b): Civic Engagement aims to providing a platform for the citizens that will help understand the citizens the role & responsibilities that they are expected to play in the eco-system of the Gram Panchayat in a face-to-face contact program for the citizens, with multiple activities. Component 2.1 (c): Communication & Mass Media that has the aspiration of producing motivational awareness generation materials that prompts them to act with utmost seriousness and unparalleled zeal to make their panchayats par excellence, at every possible front that leads to upgrading the quality of life for the citizens. Component 2.1 (d): Building Gram Panchayat Financial Management Capacity, which is defined for the purpose of assisting the Gram Panchayats become accountable with every financial transaction captured in real terms and real time.
The Component 2.2: Strengthening Development Capacity of the Panchayats through which the project shall assist the panchayats in understanding the very importance of safe drinking water & sanitation have in the lives of the rural masses.
The Component 3: Strengthen the Capacity to Manage Decentralization, which is to ensure that the Gram Panchayats take up the onus of their responsibilities and deliver in accordance with spirit as enshrined under the 73rd Constitutional Amendment, 1993 and subsequently detailed out in Bihar Panchayati Raj Act, 2006. The component shall provide infrastructural system setting for mandatorily recording the transactions of the businesses of the Gram Panchayats in electronic and manual formats.
The Component 4: Project Management & Coordination is to support the project in administrative terms including human resource management and monitoring & evaluation of the project in terms of its performances.
The project is time-bound and is expected to perform strictly in adherence to the time lines specified for each of the activities. Therefore, it is essential to lay down an annual action plan for each of the years in its life cycle. In order to perform up to the expectations and beyond, the Annual Action Plan 2016-17 for all the activities under “Bihar Panchayat Strengthening Project” is comprehensively laid down for understanding at every level of its administrative units. It is further emphasized that the plans are easy to comprehend for anyone and everyone, without exceptions.
The Annual Action Plan, 2016-17 of BGSYS is a reflection of the Society, implementing Bihar Panchayat Strengthening Project, in action. This document attempts to put in the intended set of activities, with budget, that shall lead to attaining the aim & objectives in the shortest possible time, yet without compromising on quality and/or accuracy. The document, though, is sacrosanct remains a live document, which with approval from the appropriate authorities may be altered / tailored to best suit the purposes in accordance with needs emerging from the practical helm of affairs.
This document is prepared against the facts laid down in the legal documents related to the Society and Project mandates – on-ground actions for the necessary transformation in the ways of the local self-governance systems at the level of Gram Panchayats & beyond, i.e. to cater to the precise and accurate needs of the citizens. In doing so utmost care was observed seeking opinions from the concerned office bearers in the Society and jurisprudence of the team at the disposal of the Society, with diverse backgrounds, especially of those, who have practical understandings of the systems in place for the spectrum of services to meet the legitimate rights of the people as per the laws of the land, in the rural set up in Bihar.
With archetypical understanding of the existing plight of the people in the rural setting, eternally suffering from their own inaction, the project in its very first year of action, after it’s restructuring, proposes to evict from the archaic & stereotype mindset to address the miseries of the people in the hinterland, replacing the same with professionally managed off-beat approach that is designed to make the masses accountable for the pathetic situation, that possesses them without any clue to turn the table around, with a very-loud-ongoing insistence to prompt people to take charge of their own situation and act strictly in accordance with the democratic principles to get their rights delivered substantially without excuse, that too, on-time forever, thereafter. In simple terms, the golden phrase is “Civic Engagement”.