In an effort to enhance transparency and bring more accountability in the way gram sabhas are run, more than 500 village panchayats in Akola district livestreamed special gram sabhas on Saturday.
Ayush Prasad, chief executive officer of Akola Zilla Parishad, said the decision to livestream the gram sabhas was taken to enhance transparency and bring more accountability.
As per the 73rd Constitutional amendment, the gram sabha has the power to take a variety of decisions and discuss various issues pertaining to the village. It also has the task of identifying beneficiaries eligible for various government welfare schemes. All villagers are expected to attend the meetings, the minutes of which are recorded and maintained by the gram sevak — the village-level revenue officer.
While the gram sabha has wide-ranging powers and is supposed to be the highest decision-making body of the village, it has faced complaints over the lack of attendance by villagers.
For a gram sabha to function, the law mandates the presence of 10 per cent of the registered voters in the village.