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Chapter: 11th Political Science : Local Governments

Classification of local government institutions

Local governments are classified as Rural and Urban based local governments.

Classification of local government institutions

Local governments are classified as Rural and Urban based local governments. The Rural and Urban divide is made based on the nature of the occupation of the residents viz; agriculture based or non-agriculture based occupations. The agriculture based occupation means that almost or most of the residents of an area are engaged in agriculture related occupation and the nature of the functions normally would be farming, dairying, poultry, and other similar types of activities. Whereas, in urban areas the citizens would engaged in industrial, trade and business and other activities.

The urban areas are the places where the people’s livelihood is based on occupations in industry, trade, commercial institutions and administration like government offices and private company offices. The urban areas are the link between the outside world to the local villages. The local governments formed in rural and urban areas are called rural local governments and urban local governments respectively.


In India, the rural local governments have given general name “Panchayati Raj” which means the system of Panchayat institutions, that is, the institutions which does the panchayat, (deliberate, discuss, and deliberate). The Urban local governments in India are classified in to various types depending upon the political and economic basis of the formation of the urban local governments such as, Municipal Corporations, Townships, Area Planning Committees and Cantonment Boards. For example, in India the urban local governments are classified into various types such, Municipal Corporations in metropolitan cities, Municipalities in small towns, Townships in industrial towns, Cantonment Boards in military establishments.

Types of Urban Local bodies

Municipal Corporations

Municipalities

Municipal Townships

Town Panchayats

Cantonment Boards


The Municipal Corporations are established in metropolitan cities with population with 1 million plus cities, which are large and need an elaborate machinery for providing amenities and services to the metropolitan population.

The increase in the number of the population in metropolitan cities due to migration of people from rural and other small and medium towns and other metropolitan areas over the years make these cities mega polis.

The Municipalities are established in small and medium cities and town with population of less that 1 million. The Municipalities too are reclassified as Class I, Class –II etc., depending upon the number of the population and also range of the revenue collection. The grades of the Municipalities are reviewed periodically by the higher levels of the governments to facilitate the classification of the municipalities.

The Townships and the Notified Area Committees are emerging urban areas, where the new industries are established, the changing occupations of the residents of that area from farm employment to non-farm employment.

The Cantonment Boards are established in military establishments, where the defense establishments such as Training institutes for defense personnel, defense industry etc. Both the Rural and Urban local governments are lowest tier in the government hierarchy.

In various countries of the world, rural and urban local governments are organized differently. However, the basis and principles of which local governments are being established are almost same. Local governments are being established for the local people with revenue predominantly derived from local resources. The upper layer of the governments normally does the function of supervision and monitoring the local bodies.


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