In 2011 elections to village councils (henceforth referred to as halqa panchayats) were conducted in Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir. This governance initiative has unleashed a host of intended and unintended consequences. This policy brief analyses the implications and consequences of the initiative from the perspective of institutional changes and new processes. The analysis is framed in the context of:
- differences among the understandings of various stakeholders of the significance of the halqa panchayat elections of 2011 and their role in ushering in change in Jammu and Kashmir; and
- the institutional challenges inherent in the process of devolution of funds, functions and functionaries to the grassroots in a conflict area.
The policy brief makes recommendations both to the state government and to administrative functionaries in order to ensure that this governance initiative achieves its full potential.