Prabhat Kumar Pal is an Associate Professor & Head Specialization in Agricultural Extension and communication Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya, India.


The present study was undertaken in the backward villages of Cooch Behar –II block of Cooch Behar district, West Bengal, India to assess the performance of the Gram Panchayets in respect of different development activities undertaken by the same. After the inception of Panchayeti Raj Institutions (PRI) in India and as a consequence of different constitutional amendments undertaken time to time to empower and authorize PRI, the overall development of the rural areas is mostly taken care of by this institution in an integrated manner. The present paper assesses the performance of the PRI through an index developed specially for this study. The index was developed taking different development indicators like transport and communication facilities, health and sanitation status, success status of government development programmes undertaken by PRI, literacy and employment scenario of the villages, agricultural development status etc. Some proxy indicators like villagers’ opinion regarding performance of the PRI have also been taken for assessment. The study reveals that the development status of the studied villages is on the lower side and concluded that the performance of the panchayets is not so impressive in the study areas in respect of different rural development aspects.
Keywords: PRI, Performance Assessment, Development Indicators.