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Two-Day Regional Conference on Strengthening of PESA on 4th and 5th March at Ranchi

Sanjay Kumar Pandey

Dr. Rajeev Arun Ekka, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Panchayati Raj, Government of Jharkhand highlighted the significance of traditional systems in maintaining societal peace and underlined the potential for development and progress through strengthening Gram Sabhas. He expressed confidence in Jharkhand’s commitment to implementing the PESA Act promptly and dedicatedly, ensuring benefits for tribal communities while preserving cultural heritage. 

Smt. Mamta Varma, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj made a presentation giving an overview on compliance of PESA Rules and emphasized on utilising tools such as Gram Manchitra for effective planning. She offered valuable insights into the ongoing formulation of PESA Rules by various States. She emphasized the significance of tools such as Gram Manchitra for facilitating efficient planning in PESA-designated areas. Furthermore, attention was drawn to the distribution of a standardized format for data collection, aimed at identifying key indicators for both economic and social development. The imperative to disseminate knowledge at the grassroots level was also emphasized.

The inaugural day of the Regional Conference emphasized collaborative efforts to strengthen and effectively implement the PESA Act, fostering development and prosperity in Scheduled Areas while preserving indigenous traditions and values. The PESA Regional Conference witnessed key insights and commitments from various stakeholders during the sessions dedicated to pertinent issues.

The second Regional Conference on PESA witnessed participation of representatives from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and State Departments of Panchayati Raj, NIRD&PR, SIRD&PRs, and other key stakeholders, representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions from the five participating States viz. Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Telangana and Civil Society Organizations. Senior officers of State Departments of Panchayati Raj, Tribal Development, Forest, Revenue and Excise from the participating States are also attending the Regional Conference.

The main objective of the PESA Regional Conference is to assess the progress made by the States in implementing the PESA Act and to develop a common vision on 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.

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