Panchayati Raj Institutions: Issues and Challenges

In news: Mayor’s Election


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Mayor in ULBs, Powers and functions

Mains level: NA

PC: Hindustan Times


  • The Supreme Court has nullified the outcome of the mayoral election held on January 30 in Chandigarh.

Who is a Mayor?

  • In India, the mayor is the head of an urban local body, which is responsible for providing essential services and infrastructure to the residents of a city or town.
  • The mayor is usually elected by the members of the Municipal Corporation or Council.
  • He/She serves as the ceremonial head of the local government.

History of Mayor’s elections in India

  • Municipal corporation mechanisms in India was introduced during British Rule with formation of municipal corporation in Madras (Chennai) in 1688, later followed by municipal corporations in Bombay (Mumbai) and Calcutta (Kolkata) by 1762.
  • However the process of introduction for an elected President in the municipalities was made in Lord Mayo’s Resolution of 1870.
  • Since then the current form and structure of municipal bodies followed is similar to Lord Ripon’s Resolution adopted in 1882 on local self-governance.
  • The 74th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1992 was introduced providing for the transfer of 18 different powers to urban local bodies, including the election of a mayor and to recognise them which included Municipal Corporations, Nagar Panchayats, and Municipal Councils.

Elections and tenure

  • The method of electing mayor and their tenure varies for each city in India.
  • In Bengaluru (Karnataka) the election process is indirect with a tenure being for one year.
  • In Mumbai (Maharashtra) it follows indirect elections with tenure for 2.5 years and Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) follows a directly elected mayor with a term for 5 years.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Governs the local civic body.
  • Fixed tenure varying in different towns.
  • First citizen of city.
  • Has two varied roles:
  1. Representation and upholding of the dignity of the city during ceremonial times and
  2. Presiding over discussions of the civic house with elected representatives in functional capacity.
  • The Mayor’s role is confined to the corporation hall of presiding authority at various meetings relating to corporation.
  • The Mayor’s role extends much beyond the local city and country as the presiding authority at corporation meetings during visits of a foreign dignitary to the city as he is invited by the state government to receive and represent the citizens to the guest of honour.
  • At government, civic and other social functions he is given prominence.

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