Om Birla, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, inaugurated the Outreach and Familiarization Programme for Local Bodies of Meghalaya and the other North East states here on Friday.
The programme has been organised by the Parliamentary Research and Training Institute for Democracies (PRIDE) of the Lok Sabha Secretariat.
The inaugural programme was also attended by Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, Union Minister of State of Food Processing Industries Rameshwar Teli, Meghalaya Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh, District Council Affairs Minister Lahkmen Rymbui and others.
The outreach and familiarization programme for grassroots institutions, which was initiated by the Lok Sabha Speaker, focuses on enhancing participatory democracy through a greater awareness of the procedures and processes followed by democratic institutions functioning at various levels, right from the grassroots to the apex level.
The programme is intended to strengthen the institutions of governance and planning at the grassroots, since maximizing self-governance is critical to empowering people. Apart from the Panchayati Raj system, there is a need for mobilizing and strengthening traditional grassroots institutions as found in Fifth and Sixth Schedule states.