Shri V.S. Kokje, Governor inaugurated a Seminar on â€˜Citizen Participation in Governance: Reforming Panchayats and Nagar Palikasâ€™ organized by PRIA (Society for Participatory Research in Asia) here today.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri V.S. Kokje said that it was absolutely essential to remove the constraints and promoting peoplesâ€™ participation in Local Self-Governance and added that accountability began from the lowest level of Government. Accountability was a pre-requisite for improving performance of any public body and free access to information was a key element of accountability, he added.
Governor said that it was also important to reflect that Gram Sabha should take care of the accountability of local level representatives, only a strong network of elected representatives of local governance can make the higher levels of governance accountable to the people. Participatory governance can be strong only through our representatives by electing them on merit, he added.
Shri Kokje further said that Self Help Groups of women in each village in Himachal Pradesh, were doing commendable work in promoting micro credit savings, livelihood and were even taking up social issues.
He congratulated PRIA for its contribution towards social change in India and added that it had been working with a vision of developing a democratic society based on the values of equality and justice.
Earlier, Governor released a â€˜Study Report on Gram Panchayats and Educationâ€™ published by PRIA and a book titled â€˜Geography of Himachal Pradeshâ€™ written by Dr. Manoj Jreat in association with Institute of Integrated Himalayan Studies, HPU Shimla.
Prof. L.R. Verma, Vice Chancellor of HPU, welcomed the Governor and Dr. Rajesh Tandon, President, PRIA delivered his keynote address on the occasion.