The Ministry of Panchayati Raj is a branch of the Government of India looking after the ongoing process of decentralisation and local governance in the States.
In a federation the powers and functions of the government are divided among two governments. In India it is the Union Government and the various State Governments. However, with the passage of 73rd and 74th amendment act of the Constitution of India, in 1993 the division of powers and functions have been further trickled down to Local Self Governments (Panchayat at Village levels and Municipalities and Municipal Corporations in towns and large cities). As such India now has not two but three tier of Governments in its federal setup.
Ministry of Panchayati Raj looks into all matters relating to the Panchayati Raj and Panchayati Raj Institutions. It was created in May 2004. The ministry is headed by a minister of cabinet rank. The ministry is now headed by Shri Giriraj Singh.