Describe significance of Lakhina experiment. Explain the role of the Collector in Panchayati Raj Institutions.
To make the district administration effective and responsive to people, many experiments of administrative reforms have been done. It was found that structural changes did not yield the desired results. In fact, reforms aimed at structural changes remained superficial in nature, and underlined the necessity of real attitudinal change.
In this context the exercise done by the Collector of Satara district Anil Kumar Lakhina is noteworthy. It involved regulation of visitors to the Collectorate designing the office as per task sequence, getting rid of old and unnecessary documents; provision of dust proof and fire fighting equipment’s and, last but not the least, motivation and training. The objective of the exercise was to explore the possibility of attitudinal changes by improving the physical work environment. The Lakhina experiment showed that the ‘will’ to adopt reforms is most crucial. The point is that the methods to improve the working of a Collectorate should be equally applicable to other organs at the district level.
The Collector’s role in development works has increased with the advent of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs). Though Balwant Rai Mehta. Committee recommended that Collector should be the Chairman of the Zilla Parishad but some States did not accept it and some accepted it with modifications. Therefore, the linkages between the collector and the PRI differ from State to State. The relationship between the Collector and PRIs changed a lot after 73’d Constitutional Amendment (1993) and enactment of Panchayati Raj laws by various States.