The active process of entrustment of a part of work or responsibility and authority to another and the creation of accountability for performance is known as delegation. Thus, there are three elements of delegation as follows-

  • Assignment of Responsibility: This is also known as entrustment of duties. Duties can be divided into two parts: one part, that the individual can perform himself and the other part, that he can assign to his subordinates to perform.
  • Granting Authority: Authority refers to the official powers and position required to carry on any task. When duties are assigned to subordinates then the required authority must also be conferred to himCentralization-Vs-Decentralization
  • Creating Accountability: The delegatee is fully answerable to his superior for performance of the task assigned to him. Thus, the superior ensures performance through accountability by his subordinate.


Decentralisation refers to a systematic effort to delegate authority at all levels of management and in all departments. This shifts the power of decision making to lower level under a well considered plan.

Decentralisation has number of benefits. Firstly, it reduces the workload of the top level management. Secondly, it motivates the employees and gives them more autonomy. It promotes initiative and creativity. It also helps employees to take quick and appropriate decisions. In this process, the top management is freed from the routine jobs and it enables them to concentrate on crucial areas and plan for growth.

Distinction between Delegations and Decentralisation

Decentralisation is not same as delegation. The points of differences are –

  • While delegation is the process of assigning responsibility and authority and thereby creating accountability; decentralisation is the ultimate outcome of planned delegation.
  • Delegation of authority takes place between the manager and his subordinates while decentralisation involves the entire organisation, and is between top management and divisions/departments.
  • Delegation is done to speed up the work and is essential in trace; while decentralisation is optional and is usually done in large scale organisations.
  • In case of delegation the responsibility and authority delegated may be withdrawn by the delegator; which is not so easy in case of decentralisation.


Decentralized Planning is a type of planning where local organisations and institutions formulate, adopt, execute actions and supervise the plan without interference by the central body. Decentralized planning in the State operated mainly through the following institutions and instruments; Grama Sabha (GS): People’s participation in decentralization was sought to be ensured mainly through meetings of the GP ward level Grama Sabha, chaired by the ward member.

There are following major dimensions of decentralization:

(i) Financial:- the transfer of revenue, budgeting and expenditure authority to local elected bodies.

(ii) Administrative:-the transfer of functional responsibilities in various sectors as well as staff resources to the jurisdiction of elected local governments

(iii) Political:- the transfer of policy and legislative powers to local councils that have been democratically elected and establishment of mechanisms of accountability to local constituents

Panchayats are mentioned in Rig Veda, which is believed to have been composed more than 1000 years before Christ. The five members of the Panchayat of the village were known as Pancha Parameswar, or the five godly persons. Kings were respectful towards them. The Panchayat distributed land, collected revenue and settled disputes in the village. However, the Panchayats suffered a steady decline later under feudal and Moghul rules. A new class of feudal chiefs called zamindars came to function as a link between the king and the people.

Lord Ripon, who is regarded as the father of local-self government in India. He attached importance to both administrative efficiency as well as political education at the local level.

The 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts, 1992, which gave Constitutional status to panchayati raj institutions (PRIs) and urban local bodies (ULBs) respectively, in both letter and spirit in order to bring about greater decentralisation and increase the involvement of the community in planning and implementing schemes and, thus, increase accountability.

The Amendments left important matters such as implementation, service delivery (including local capacity building) and transfer of responsibilities and powers to rural local bodies at the discretion of the state legislatures. Consequently, while expenditure responsibilities of local bodies are extensively enhanced, there is no law to ensure a corresponding assignment of funds to match the additional responsibilities.

The District Planning Committee was made under the Constitution (74th) Amendment Act, 1992. Accordingly, there shall be a District Planning Committee at the district level to consolidate the plans prepared by the panchayats and municipalities and to prepare a draft development plan for the district as a whole.

  • Village/Ward Committee: Micro visioning & planning – linking vision to individual/family
  • Gram Panchayat:Link vision to own responsibility , resources , decide goal & plan
  • Intermediate Panchayat:Link vision to own responsibility , resources , decide goal & plan
  • Zilla Panchayat:-Link vision to own responsibility , resources , decide goal & plan
  • District Planning Committee :Integration & Consolidation

The Eleventh’ Schedule of the Constitution has recommended 29 subjects for devolution to Panchayats. The most important rationale for decentralized planning is direct involvement of the people in addressing their own development. An intervention which has impact only at the local level and can be organized locally is best left to the Panchayat to organize the same.


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