The Ministry of Panchayati Raj, is organizing a Two-Day Regional Conference on Strengthening of PESA Act 1996 at Ranchi, Jharkhand.

Key highlights:

  • Gram Sabhas under the PESA Act is crucial for social issues, resource management, and economic empowerment.
  • This conference also highlighted the Gram Manchitra tool for facilitating efficient planning in PESA-designated areas.
  • The main objective of the Conference is to assess the progress made by the States in implementing the PESA Act and to develop a common vision of its impact at the grassroots level. 
  • The Conference aims to foster collaboration and discussions among participating States on enhancing the implementation of the PESA Act for the sustainable development of tribal communities in Scheduled Areas.
  • Its objective is to raise awareness about the benefits of the PESA Act, empower Gram Sabhas, and extend the benefits to tribal communities as envisioned in the Act.
  • The efficient implementation of the PESA Act will pave the way for strengthening traditional lifestyles and mitigating societal evils. 

PESA Act 1996:

  • The Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA Act) was enacted by the recommendations of the Bhuria Committee Report (1995), which advocated for tribal self-rule in India’s Scheduled Areas.
  • The Act extends the provisions of Part IX of the Constitution (relating to Panchayats) to Fifth Scheduled Areas with some modifications, aiming to strengthen the Panchayati Raj system (decentralized governance) in these regions.
  • State legislature holds an advisory role in the operation of Panchayats and Gram Sabhas.
  • The MoPR is primarily responsible for implementing PESA’s requirements in the states.


  • The PESA Act grants Gram Sabhas significant autonomy in decision-making processes including:
    Planning and management of natural resources like land, water, and forests.
    Approval of development plans for their villages.
    Controlling social sector activities like education and healthcare.
  • Protection of Tribal Rights: PESA safeguards the customary laws, social and religious practices, and traditional resource management systems of tribal communities.
  • State Legislation: The Act mandates states with Scheduled Areas to enact their own Panchayat laws, aligning them with PESA provisions.

Fifth Schedule

  • Article 244(1) of the Indian Constitution mentions the Fifth Schedule, to the administration and control of Scheduled Areas and Tribes in all states except Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram.
  • Ten states have designated Fifth Schedule areas include:
    Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Jharkhand
  • Article 275(1): This article mandates the formation of Tribes Advisory Councils (TACs) in states with Scheduled Areas to advise the Governor on matters related to tribal welfare and development.

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