Gram Panchayat Reservation Histories Across the Indian States

The purpose of this page is to disseminate information about Gram Panchayat reservation rules across the Indian states and, where possible, to post data on reservation histories. While the 73rd amendment of the Indian constitution required quotas for weaker groups in rural councils, it left the details of implementation to the states. Thus, the rules for assigning quotas for women, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and other groups differ across the states, with important consequences for the design of empirical research (see Dunning and Nilekani 2012). Moreover, scholars often lack comprehensive data on reservation histories at the village council (Gram Panchayat) level, in part because these are compiled by bureaucrats at the block or district level and are sometimes not centrally collected or computerized by the relevant State Election Commissions.

The data posted here have been collected from the staff of State Election Commissions and Departments of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, and/or bureaucrats at the district and block level, in various states. Data collection is ongoing, and the page will be updated as feasible. Contributions and updates from other scholars are very welcome. Please email thad.dunning@yale.edu to contribute data and/or corrections or supplements to information on reservation rules.

Jharkhand. Reservation status of all Gram Panchayat presidencies in 2010 (the first year of panchayat elections in Jharkhand) is available in Stata 10 format here and as a comma-separated values file here. The unit of observation is the Gram Panchayat. Also in the file are SC, ST and OBC population variables (see the “read.me” file for details).

Karnataka. Reservation status of Gram Panchayat presidencies in 1993, 2000, 2002, 2005, and 2007 is available in Stata 10 format here. The unit of observation is the Gram Panchayat. Also in the file are 2001 census variables merged from the revenue village to the GP level and information on the number of members’ seats reserved for each category.

Extensive information about the process of Gram Panchayat reservation for women in Karnataka can be found in Janhavi Nilekani’s senior essay at Yale, which is linked here:

Nilekani, Janhavi. 2010. “Reservation for Women in Karnataka Gram Panchayats: The Implications of Non-Random Reservation and the Effect of Women Leaders.” Senior Essay, Economics, Yale College.

Rajasthan. 2001 census variables aggregated to the Gram Panchayat level are available in Stata 10 format here. The unit of observation is the Gram Panchayat.

Uttar Pradesh. Reservation status of Gram Panchayat presidencies in 2005 and 2010 is available for 31 districts, in Stata 10 format, here. The unit of observation is the Gram Panchayat. Also in the file are 2001 census variables merged from the revenue village to the GP level.