Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2022- UPSC Current Affairs

DELHI MUNICIPAL CORPORATION (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2022

In today’s edition of our Current Affairs Dialog box, we will talk about Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and how it should be studied during the UPSC exam preparation. It has relevance to the UPSC CSE syllabus in the following ways:

For Prelims: Urban Local Governments, Municipal Corporations, 74th Amendment to the Indian Constitution

For Mains: Challenges to functional autonomies of urban local bodies, Constitutional Provisions related to Municipal Corporations.

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Why in the News?

Recently, the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 was passed in Rajya Sabha.

Probable Question

“The local self-government in India has not proved to be effective instrument of governance”. Critically examine.

Key Points

About the Bill

  • The Bill seeks to amend the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957 passed by Parliament.
  • The Act was amended in 2011 by Delhi Legislative Assembly to trifurcate the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi into: (i) North Delhi Municipal Corporation, (ii) South Delhi Municipal Corporation, and (iii) East Delhi Municipal Corporation.
  • The Bill seeks to unify the three corporations.

Important Provision of the Bill

  • Unification of Municipal Corporations in Delhi: The Bill replaces the three municipal corporations under the Act with one Corporation named the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.
  • Number of Councillors: The Bill states that the total number of seats in the new corporation should not be more than 250.
  • E-governance system for citizens: The Bill adds that obligatory functions of the new Corporation will include establishing an e-governance system for citizen services on an anytime-anywhere basis for a better, accountable, and transparent administration.

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Reasons for Bringing the Bill

  • The trifurcation was uneven in terms of the territorial divisions and revenue-generating potential of each corporation. 
    • As a result, there was a huge gap in the resources available to the three corporations, vis-a-vis their obligations. 
  • The gap has widened over a period of time, increasing the financial difficulties of the three municipal corporations, leaving them incapacitated to make timely payments of salaries and retirement benefits to their employees and thereby creating serious impediments in maintaining civic services in Delhi.
Historical Perspective: The institutions of urban local government originated and developed in modern India during the period of British rule.
In 1687-88, the first municipal corporation in India was set up at Madras.
In 1726, the municipal corporations were set up in Bombay and Calcutta.
Lord Ripon’s Resolution of 1882 has been hailed as the ‘Magna Carta’ of local self-government. He is called the father of local-self government in India. 
Government of India Act of 1935, local self-government was declared a provincial subject.

About Municipal Corporations

  • Municipal corporations are created for the administration of big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore and others. 
  • They are established in the states by the acts of the concerned state legislatures, and in the union territories by the acts of the Parliament of India. 
  • There may be one common act for all the municipal corporations in a state or a separate act for each municipal corporation.
  • A municipal corporation has three authorities, namely:
    • The Council, 
    • The Standing committees and 
    • The Commissioner.

Constitutional Provisions related to Municipal Corporations:

  • In the original constitution of India, no provision was made for the establishment of local self-government, except the incorporation of Article 40 in the Directive Policy of State Policy.
  • The 74th Amendment Act,1992 has inserted a new Part IX-A into the Constitution which deals with the administration of Municipalities and Nagar Palikas.
  • Part IX-A of the Constitution provides for three types of municipalities in every state, 
    • Nagar panchayat for a transitional area, 
    • Municipal council for a smaller urban area and 
    • Municipal corporation for a larger urban area. 

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