Contributions towards Constitutional Amendments

ISS work in the field of democratic decentralization created a momentum for bringing about constitutional amendments to empower local government institutions.

The ISS organised in October 1985 a national conference in New Delhi on Decentralisation of Power: The Karnataka Model. Scholars and political leaders of eminence participated in this conference including D. T. Lakdawala, Malcolm Adiseshaiah, Upendra Baxi, Nirmal Mukharji, S.K. Dey, Abdul Nazir Sab and others. The impact of the proceedings of the conference was immediate. It fed into the national discourse on Panchayati Raj.

After Rajiv Gandhi introduced the 64th Constitution Amendment Bill and was defeated in the Rajya Sabha, V. P. Singh constituted a committee under the Chairmanship of S.R. Bommai to draft an alternate Bill. The ISS was the nodal agency and Dr. George Mathew was a member. That report was a path-breaking document. Subsequently, when the Bill was presented in 1991 by the Narasimha Rao Ministry in the Parliament, ISS organised a panel discussion by three eminent experts in the field: Nirmal Mukharji, L.C Jain and Arun Ghosh. The constructive critique of the Bill was well received by the government and it helped finetune the Bill.

Consultation Paper for National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution

At the request of the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution headed by Justice M. N. Venkatachaliah, ISS prepared a consultation paper titled ‘A Review of the Working of the Constitutional Provisions for Decentralisation’ in 2001.

Background Paper for the Round Table Conference held by Ministry of Panchayati Raj

ISS prepared a Background Paper titled ‘Panchayat Elections: Progress and Problems’ for the 6th Round Table organised by the Panchayati Raj Ministry in Guwahati, 26-27 November 2004.

Study for Second Administrative Reforms Commission, 2007

The ISS was commissioned by the Second Administrative Reforms Commission (2005) for its Sixth Report, ‘Local Governance: An Inspiring Journey into the Future’.