Constitutional reforms are proposed in India that would see half the seats in local representative bodies would be allocated for women. However, proposals for reservation in higher levels of government appear stuck.
Even as a bill to provide 33 per cent reservation for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies continues to be stuck in Parliament, Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Chaudhary Birender Singh has said that a proposed legislation is on the cards this year to reserve 50 per cent of the seats in rural and urban local bodies for women.
The Constitution Amendment Bills, if passed, would mean that half the seats in all three tiers of the panchayati raj system across rural India — gram panchayats, panchayat samitis and zilla parishads — would be reserved for women candidates. The same would apply in the case of urban local bodies such as municipal corporations, municipal councils and nagar panchayats.