Difference Between Gram Sabha And Gram Panchayat- Meaning, Definition

By Trisha Tewari|Updated : September 28th, 2022

The main difference between Gram Sabha and Gram Panchayat is that the Gram Panchayat is a part of Gram Sabha that governs and manages the development of the village. The Gram Sabha is the assembly of members of the village who possess Voter IDs and have their names enrolled in the electoral list, while the Gram Panchayat is the assembly of elected executives. India is a democratic country with several levels of governance. The Gram Sabha and Gram Panchayat play a vital role in managing the internal matters of the village and reducing the significant burden on the higher officials. Another significant difference between Gram Sabha and Gram Panchayat is that the Gram Panchayat is the temporary body, elected for a duration of five years, whereas the Gram Sabha is a permanent body.

Although both the committees work on the development of the village there is a difference between Gram Sabha and Gram Panchayat in terms of powers and functions. India is also divided into rural and urban sections. The urban areas are governed through Municipalities, while the rural areas have a Panchayati Raj system that looks into the local governance. This article focuses on the difference between Gram Sabha and Gram Panchayat, which are groups that come under the Panchayati Raj system.

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Facts About Panchayati Raj

In urban regions, governance is guided through municipalities while in rural regions it is accomplished through the Panchayati Raj system. The Panchayati Raj system works in almost every state except some states like Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Delhi.

Download Difference Between Gram Sabha And Gram Panchayat Notes

Panchayat assemblies were conducted in ancient India to organise the governance of the village. In 1992, the Panchayati Raj was formalised. The system of Panchayat Raj was included in the constitution through the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1992 and was effective from April 24, 1993.

Article 40 in the Constitution of India states that the village panchayats will be granted powers that allow them to function as independent units of self-governance. The first committee formed under the Panchayati Raj system was the Balwant Rai Mehta Committee.

What Is Gram Sabha?

The Gram Sabha is the permanent body taking charge of the legislative actions at the village level. All the adult members of the village constitute the Gram Sabha, they keep checking on the Panchayat. The Gram Sabha takes care of several matters like finance, development, and expenditure. Gram Sabha is part of Gram Panchayat, and there are a few points that highlight the difference between the Gram Sabha and Gram Panchayat with reference to exercising authority and power.

What Is Gram Panchayat?

The Panchayat Raj is divided into three tiers: Zilla Parishad, Panchayat Samiti, and Gram Panchayat. The Gram Panchayat is further divided into Nyaya Panchayat and Gram Sabha. The Gram Panchayat organises meetings where matters related to the village and disputes among the villagers are discussed for resolution. 

Difference Between Gram Sabha And Gram Panchayat

The prime difference between gram sabha and gram panchayat is that the gram panchayat is a temporary elected body that takes charge of numerous tasks to efficiently manage village welfare. The Gram Sabha is a permanent body keeping checks on the panchayat and handling the legislative issues of the village. The table below highlights the major difference between gram sabha and gram panchayat.

Type of Committee

Gram Panchayat

Gram Sabha

Definition

Gram Panchayat is the committee that works at the village level. It is the lower-level element of the Panchayati Raj.

Gram Sabha is the legislative body that works at the village level.

Tenure of the Committee

Gram Panchayat is a temporary body and is elected for five years.

It is a permanent body.

Functions

The main functions of Gram Panchayat include maintaining records, implementing government schemes, ensuring the welfare of the villagers, and collecting taxes.

Organises discussions on different plans of the Panchayat on several personal issues, and development schemes and keeps checks on the Panchayat.

Members elections

The election for the members of the Gram Panchayat is organised. The Gram Sabha elects the members.

There is no election held for electing the members of the Gram Sabha.

Members

The members of Gram Panchayat include the ward members and the Sarpanch.

All the adult members of the village (above the age of 18) and with voter IDs.

Meetings

Meeting every month

Mandatory two meetings in a year

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FAQs On Difference Between Gram Sabha and Gram Panchayat

  • The key difference between Gram Sabha and Gram Panchayat in terms of members is that the Gram Sabha includes all villagers who are more than 18 years of age, whereas members of Gram Panchayat include the ward members and the Sarpanch only. Gram Sabha must organise two meetings in a year while Gram Panchayat organises one meeting every month. Gram Panchayat members are elected by the members of Gram Sabha. There are no elections conducted for Gram Sabha.

  • The difference between Gram Sabha and Gram Panchayat in terms of the tenure of the Committee is that Gram Sabha is a permanent body, whereas Gram Panchayat is elected for a tenure of 5 years. The Gram Sabha is a permanent body while Gram Panchayat constitutes the committee of elected executives.

  • The Gram Sabha is the legislative body of the village that keeps a check on the Panchayat. It is constituted by all the adult members of the village possessing Voter IDs. The Gram Sabha administers the finance, development and expenditure of the village.

  • The Gram Panchayat is the elected executive committee that works at the village level. It monitors and administers the crucial tasks related to the development of the village such as the implementation of government schemes, maintaining records, and ensuring the welfare of the village. The members of the Gram Panchayat include the Sarpanch and the ward members.

  • Panchayati Raj is the assemblies and committees that govern and manage the administration at the village level. The Gram Sabha and Gram Panchayat are a part of the Panchayati Raj. In accordance with the statement of Article 40 in the constitution, the village panchayats are provided with powers and authority to flourish as independent units of self-governance.

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