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The term Urban Local Government in India signifies the governance of an urban area by the people through their elected representatives. The authority of an urban local government is limited to a specific urban area which is demarcated for this purpose by the state government. Municipal Governments in India have been in existence for many years. The 74th Constitutional Amendment Act gave a federal recognition to local governments in India. The Government of Andhra Pradesh introduced new municipalities to give effect to the Constitutional Amendment Act and showed full commitment and high acceptance of the provisions of the 74th Amendment Act. Before this Constitutional Amendment, the local bodies worked as wings of the state government. Constitution 74th Amendment Act, 1992 provides constitutional status to Municipalities and Municipal Corporations. The constitution provides for three types of Municipalities. A Nagar Panchayat for a transitional area, that is to say, one area in transition from rural area to an urban area. A Municipal Council for a smaller urban area. A Municipal corporation for a larger urban area.
Constitutionalizing: In1989, Rajiv Gandhi’s government introduced 65th Constitutional Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha. Although the bill was passed in the Lok Sabha, it was defeated in the Rajya Sabha in October 1989, and hence, lapsed. The National front Government introduced the revised Bill in the Lok Sabha in September 1990 again. However, the bill was not passed and finally lapsed due to the dissolution of the Lok Sabha. P.V. Narasimha Rao’s government also introduced the modified Municipalities Bill in the Lok Sabha in September 1991. It was passed in both, Lok Sabha Rajya Sabha in 1992. After that, the bill was approved by the required number of state legislatures. It was assented by the President of India in April 1993. This emerges as the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1992 and came into force on 1st June, 1993.
74th Amendment Act of 1992: This act has added Part IX-A to the Constitution of India. In addition, the Act has also added Twelfth Schedule to the Constitution. It contains 18 functional items of municipalities and deals with Article 243-W. The Act gave Constitutional Status to the Municipalities. The 74th Constitutional Amendment Act has given wide ranging responsibilities and functions to the Urban Local Bodies and their elected representatives. The representatives in the Urban Local Bodies have been elected from all sections of the communities, to make the urban governance broad based. The constitution provides for reservation of seats in order to give due representation to the weaker section and special groups.
The Government of India introduced new municipal legislation to give effect to the Constitutional Amendment Act. This proves that Administration of Municipalities in India has become a part of the federal structure with 74th Amendment to the Constitution of India. Though Municipalities form a part of federal structure in India, they are still the entities of the State Governments. In conclusion, we can say that the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act has given power for revitalising and strengthening to the Urban Local Bodies.
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