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The Society for Training & Research on Panchayats & Rural Development (STARPARD) was set up in 1997-98 with its Registration No.S/86755 of 1997-98, registered under West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961 (Act No.XXVI of 1961) having its registered office located at the premises of BRAIPRD erstwhile SIPRD, Kalyani with a set of objectives related to training & research on Panchayats & Rural Development
Later on STARPARD was restructured and registered office was shifted to the Department of Panchayats & Rural Development. Presently the registered office of the restructured STARPARD is the Department of Panchayats & Rural Development, Joint Administrative Building, HC-7 (6th to 10th Floors), Sector-III, Bidhannagar, Kolkata-700106. Administrative Office & Work Office of STARPARD is located at Mrittika Bhavan, DD 18/9, Sector-1, Bidhannagar, Kolkata: - 700064.
The Minister-in-Charge, Panchayats & Rural Development functions as President of the Society and Chairman of its Governing Body.
The Additional Chief Secretary / Principal Secretary, Panchayats & Rural Development Department, functions as Executive Vice-President of the Society and Executive Vice-Chairman of its Governing Body.
Apart from this, Sabhadhipatis of six Zilla Parishads, nominated by the State Government function as members of the Society as well as members of its Governing Body.
The Sabhadhipatis of Cooch Behar, Japlaiguri, Hooghly, Bankura, Purba Medinipur and South 24-Parganas are the members of the Society as well as members of its Governing Body until a further Memorandum is issued in this regard.
The other members of the Society as well as members of its Governing Body are as follows : the Commissioner of Panchayats & Rural Development; the Additional Executive Officer of WBSRDA; the Commissioner of MGNREGS & Special Secretary, Panchayats & Rural Development Department; the Joint Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries of the Panchayats & Rural Development Department looking after Panchayat policy issues, issues related to capacity building & training of Panchayats, Panchayat Development Plans etc.
The Special Secretary / Joint Secretary of the Department looking after Panchayat policy issues, issues related to capacity building & training of Panchayats, Panchayat Development Plans etc. functions as Member-Secretary of the Society as well as of its Governing Body.
For residential training of elected representatives and employees of Gram Panchayats 21 District Panchayat Training & Resource Centres (DPTRCs) have been set up in 17 districts. In Alipurduar, Jhargram and Paschim Bardhaman districts training programmes are arranged at hired venues arranged by district administration. At district level, STARPARD Trainers conduct training as per training plan under supervision and guidance of the District Panchayat & Rural Development Officer and District Training Coordinator.
There are District Level Advisory Committee under STARPARD for each district with the District Magistrate as Chairperson, the Additional Executive Officer(AEO) of the Zilla Parishad, the Additional District Magistrate looking after Panchayats matters (if other than AEO), one Karmadhyaksha to be nominated by Sabhadhipati, the Project Director of the DRDC, the District Nodal Officer of MGNREGS as member, and the District Panchayat & Rural Development Officer as its Member-Secretary, to monitor and provide support for activities related to capacity building & training of the functionaries of Panchayats for institutional strengthening and integrated planning in the respective districts.
Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA), a Centrally Sponsored Scheme was started in the year 2018-19 for capacity building & training of elected representatives and employees of the three-tier Panchayats. In West Bengal, RGSA is being implemented by the Society for Training & Research on Panchayats & Rural Development (STARPARD), P&RD Department.