For common weal

Published: Monday 15 December 2003

-- (Credit: CSE)Kerala, along with Gujarat and Maharashtra, are the three Indian states selected for a programme called the Commonwealth local government good practice scheme. The scheme is to be implemented by the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (cglf), a London-based institution founded in 1995 as a focus for action on local democracy in the Commonwealth, and endorsed by Commonwealth Heads of Government that year. The All-India Institute of Local Self-Government will co-implement the scheme, along with the un Habitat Urban Management Programme. Under the scheme, approved projects will receive 50,000 (Rs 3,850,000) over three years.

It was in this context that cglf director Carl Wright visited Thrissur-based Kerala Institute of Local Administration on November 18, 2003. He wished to explore possibilities of forming collaborative training programmes on decentralisation, he told institute officers. Kerala had also made great progress in democratic decentralisation and this, he suggested, had opened up many avenues of collaboration between the State and the cglf. The institute, for instance could develop into an international training centre. Emphasising the importance of local bodies in state structures, Wright said that "across the world, there is a growing appreciation that decentralisation of powers is more effective in running the administration."

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