Two Day National Conference on Twenty Five Years of 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments: Progress and Future Directions

An Initiative by

State Election Commission Maharashtra

Supported by

Government of Maharashtra

Organized by

University of Mumbai, Mumbai


Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune

Objectives of the Conference:

  • To bring together reputed scholars of decentralization, political scientists, policymakers and elected representatives to discuss various perspectives of local bodies in India.


  • To do stocktaking of devolution of funds, functions and functionaries.


  • To extract the best/ model practices carried out in other states/ countries and to see whether they can be implemented in Maharashtra.




  • To discuss existing issues namely- free and fair elections, socio political developments that have accrued due to the Constitutional Amendment and empowerment and viable policy options.


  • To carve out electoral reforms due to challenges/ issues we face.

  • Venue and Dates:

    University of Mumbai, Mumbai

    14th,15th & 16th September 2017(Note:Exact Date to be confirmed later) (Time: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

    Call For Paper

    73rd & 74th Constitutional Amendments and the role of State Election Commission, Maharashtra.



    The 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments were passed in December 1992 and came into force in April 1993, reforming the structure of local government opening opportunities for participation. The basic features of these Constitutional Amendments were reservation of seats, Constitution of State Election Commission and State Finance Commission, powers to Gram/Ward Sabha and transfer of certain subjects through XI and XII schedule. The Act aimed at the larger participation of people in rural and urban areas in terms of not only the elites but also the amalgamation and inclusion of various marginalized sections like the women, Dalits in local governance. The tribal areas were also made a party through Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas in 1995. The 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts in that sense were rightly called as the “Power to the People”. It made elections to the local bodies mandatory. This naturally gave rise to the office of the State Election Commission to oversee and implement the Act in its word and spirit.


    The 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments formally created the third tier of governance. Its significance lies in the fact that the amendments gave local bodies a constitutional status, at both urban and rural levels.


    Maharashtra is a pioneering state in which the State Election Commission has taken adopted a number of strategies to increase the voter turnout. Some of these strategies are:


      1.  Research & Study to understand the Dynamics of grassroot elections & modifications of processes accordingly.


      2. Sensitization of Officers at all levels


      3.  Engagement, participation & Ownership by Public


      4. Use of computers, software, Mobile applications and Modern technology.


      5. Registration of Political parties and Voter Registration


      6. 100% Digitization of Nomination Form & Affidavits of Candidates through software and analysis and publicity of affidavits of contesting candidates outside the polling stations.

    State Election Commission

    SEC, Maharashtra was established on 26th April, 1994 as per the 73rd & 74th Constitutional Amendment Act- Single Member Commission. Under the able leadership, guidance and vision of State Elections Commissioner, Shri J.S. Saharia, the SEC Maharashtra has adopted a number of initiatives/ strategies to ensure that there is free and fair elections for all and the voter turnout is also high in all parts of the State. Some of such initiatives are (i)Research & study done to understand the dynamics of grass-root elections & modifications of the process accordingly. (ii)Sensitization of Officers at all levels (from CS/DGP at State level to Talati/Gramsevak at village level) (iii)Engagement, Participation & Ownership by Public by involving voters through social media, virtual classrooms, community radio etc. (iv)Use of Computers, Software, Mobile Applications and modern technology to educate the voters of the candidates, their wards, polling stations, to maintain voter data and to facilitate citizens to complain if they come across violations in MCC to the concerned officers. (v) Control over the expenditure done by the candidates & Political Parties

    Web Site

    Gokhale Institute of Politics & Economics, Pune.

    Gokhale Institute of Politics & Economics, Pune has been working along with SEC by doing a number of surveys, analysis and research on the electoral process. Some of the studies done by the institute are (i) What type of candidate does the urban voter want? A pre-nomination voter perception survey in 20 Municipal Council Elections in Maharashtra. (ii) How Model is the Model Code of Conduct? A voter perception survey in 20 Municipal Councils in Maharashtra. (iii)Assessment of Expenses in Municipal Council Elections (iv)Why people do not Vote in Municipal Corporation Elections? A Voter based study in Brihan Mumbai and Pune Municipal Corporations (v) A post-poll Voter Perception Survey on Ease of Voting in ZPs and Municipal Corporations of Maharastra.

    Web Site

    University of Mumbai, Mumbai

    Mumbai University has done research on Motivations & Strategies for contesting Municipal Elections (i)Motivational factors for candidates for contesting (ii)What difficulties candidates face while completing formalities of nomination form? (iii)What strategies are used for election campaigning? (iv)How do candidates arrange election fund?

    Web Site

    Call for Papers



    At the initiative of the State Election Commission of Maharashtra, University of Mumbai and Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics are pleased to announce a Two Day National Conference on "Twenty Five Years of 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments: Progress and Future Directions" from 14th to 16th September at University of Mumbai


    Local bodies have had their fair share of challenges in the past 25 years, from devolvement of functions to empowerment of women, and from administrative issues to local body elections. It is time to take stock of the existing issues and trends and to discuss viable policy options to make rural local bodies truly vibrant for future challenges.


    The Conference aims to bring together reputed scholars of decentralization, political scientists, NGOs, policy makers and elected representatives to discuss different angles to local bodies in India.


    The Conference themes include but are not necessarily restricted to:


      1. Developmental Trajectory of Local Self Governments in India


      2. Issues in Local Body Elections in India


      3. Dynamics of Local Body Elections Special reference to Maharashtra


      4. Experience Sharing by Local Body Representatives in India and Abroad


      5. Womens Participation in Local Bodies


      6. Best practices and Model Villages and Cities- Success stories


      7. Media and Local Body Elections

    Paper Guidelines:



      1. Authors are invited to submit original papers, not submitted/ accepted elsewhere, for the Conference.


      2. Last Date of Submission of Full Papers is 15 August 2017.


      3. Registration: 15th August 2017 to 12th September 2017


      4.  Paper can be written in English/ Marathi languages.


      5. Submissions must include title, abstract, keywords, author and affiliation with mail address. Total number of words not exceeding 8000.

          Please double-check the paper size in your page setup to make sure you are using the A4 size paper layout (21 cms X 29.7 cms).

          The paper should not contain page numbers or any special headers or footers.


      6. Papers should be submitted on the following email conferenceseptember2017@gmail.com


      7. For any paper related query please contact:

          Dr. Mrudul Nile, University of Mumbai, Mumbai Ph: +91-9867246463 Email:nilemrudul@gmail.com

          Ms. Somya Mathur, Gokhale Institute of Politics & Economics, Pune Ph: +91-7447259664 Email: somyamathur78@gmail.com

          For an logistics related query please contact:Mr.Hanmant Wanole Ph: +91-9867602142 Email:hanmantwanole@gmail.com

    Guest speakers:


  • Prof R. Ramakumar

  •    Dean at School of Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

       M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics (TNAU), Ph.D. in Economics (Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata)

       Visiting Post-Doctoral Researcher, Centro de Estudios Economics, El Colegio de Mexico, Mexico City, 2004.

       Visiting Scholar, Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum, from March 2005 till February 2006.

       Assistant Professor, School of Social Sciences, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, from March 2006 till March 2010.

       Associate Professor, School of Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, from April 2010 till March 2013.

       Professor, School of Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, from April 2013.

       NABARD Chair Professor, School of Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, from June 2016.

       Non-ministerial Member, State Planning Board, Government of Kerala, from September 2016.



  • Dr. Girish Kumar

  •     Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Public Administration.

        Areas of Interest/Specialization: Democracy; Governance & Administrative Reforms; Government, Politics & Society; Social sector Reforms; Decentralisation;

        Urban & Rural Development Management



  • Dayabati Roy:

  •     Dayabati Roy is an independent researcher. She completed her postdoctoral study at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies,

        University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Her research interests include rural politics, postcolonial theories, social movements and governmentality.



  • Jagdeep S. Chhokar:

  •     Jagdeep S. Chhokar is a teacher/trainer, researcher, adviser in management, a lawyer, a citizen activist, a bird-watcher and naturalist.

    A Ph.D. in management and organisational behaviour from Louisiana State University (USA), an MBA from Delhi University, Graduate Engineer from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (London) and the Institution of Production Engineers (London), and LL.B. from Gujarat University, he taught at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, for 22 years from 1985 to 2006. He was also Director In-charge and Dean at this Institute. Before that, he worked with the Indian Railways in a number of engineering and managerial positions for 12 years; and as an international marketing manager in a public sector company for 4 years.

    He has earlier taught at the Louisiana State University in the US from 1981 to 1984. He has also taught at the Murdoch University and the Curtin University of Technology in Australia for the academic year 1993, and at the Loyola Marymount University in the US during the summer of 1996. He was a visiting professor at the University of New Orleans, USA during the academic year 1997-98. During the summer of 2001, he was visiting professor at the Group Ecole Superieure de Commerce Et de Management (ESCEM) (Campus de Tours), France; and at the International University of Japan (Graduate School of International Management).


    His professional interests are eclectic, covering all aspects of organisational functioing including management / organisational behaviour, organisational structure, design & development; management and development of human resources; in addition to cross-cultural management, international marketing & management, and strategic management. He is also interested in management in government, in public sector/systems, and industrial & occupational safety. His broader interests include electoral and political reforms, informed choice(Right to and freedom of information), bird watching (ornithology), and world affairs. His research has appeared in several national and international journals. He has also contributed chapters to several edited books and written several cases for teaching. His writing has also appeared in the business and popular press such as The Economic Times, The Times of India, The Hindu, The Indian Express, The Financial Express, The Tribune, The Pioneer.


    Actively involved in cross-cultural research for the last few years, he is a Charter Member of the GLOBE Network of Cross Cultural Scholars set up in 1994 as part of the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness Research Program (GLOBE), and is a member of the GLOBE Coordination Team. He is the lead editor of a volume titled Culture and Leadership across the world: The GLOBE book of in-depth studies of 25 societies published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates (USA) in 2007, comprising chapters on the societal culture and leadership of these countries, written by researchers in these countries who participated in the GLOBE Research Programme. This book has been awarded the 2008 Ursula Gielen Global Psychology Book Award by the International Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association. This award is given every year to the authors of the book that makes the most significant contribution to psychology as a global discipline.


    On electoral / political reforms and informed choice (freedom of information), he is one of the founding members of the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). The stated objective of this group is to improve democracy and governance in India. It has worked for electoral reforms through the judicial system by filing Public Interest Litigation's in the High Court and the Supreme Court to get relevant laws improved, and on the ground by providing information to voters about the background of candidates contesting elections so that the voters can make informed choices while voting. It is now taking up deeper political process reforms such as internal democracy and financial transparency in political parties. He has also spoken about political and electoral reforms in several forums, and has also published articles on it in newspapers and journals including the Economic and Political Weekly, and Seminar



    Get in touch.

          Papers should be submitted on the following email conferenceseptember2017@gmail.com

          For any paper related query please contact:

          Dr. Mrudul Nile, University of Mumbai, Mumbai Ph: +91-9867246463 Email:nilemrudul@gmail.com

          Ms. Somya Mathur, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune Ph: +91-7447259664

           Email: somyamathur78@gmail.com

          For an logistics related query please contact:

          Mr.Hanmant Wanole Ph: +91-9867602142 Email:hanmantwanole@gmail.com

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