The Goba of Ladakh cover

The Goba of Ladakh

Current Relevance of a Traditional Governance System
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This study focuses on documenting the present status of the traditional governance system of Ladakhi villages, with a focus on the goba (or lambardar/nambardar), and understanding the current relevance of the system in the context of socio-cultural, economic, ecological and political transformations taking place in the region. For this, the study also looked at the interface between the local/traditional and new/modern governance systems, viz. the goba with the panchayat, Ladakh Hill Council and UT Administration.

Product details
Date of Publication
Kalpavriksh and Ladakh Buddhist Association
Number of Pages
All rights reserved
Language of publication
Table of contents

Glossary and Abbreviations

1. Introduction and background
1.1 Structure of the report                    
1.2 Traditional governance in India   
1.3 Ladakh- a brief profile                    
1.4 Changing ecological and livelihoods landscape          
1.5 The study: Objectives, research questions, methodology and limitations        

2. The Goba System
2.1 Brief history
2.2 General village organisation
2.3 Cosmological order
2.4 Who is a goba?
2.5 Selection and tenure of the goba
2.6 Functions of the goba
      a. Traditional role of goba
      b. Duties of a lambardar as per the Act
      c. Modern-day functions
2.7 Decision-making by goba

3. Relationship with new or modern institutional structures
3.1 Brief context of the Panchayati Raj System in India and Ladakh
3.2 Relation between goba and panchayat
3.3 Goba, the Hill Council and the UT Administration
3.4 Goba and Leh Municipal Corporation

4. Analysis
4.1 Goba and other modern institutions
4.2 Party politics and the goba
4.3 Strengths and weaknesses of goba system as it was and is
4.4 Relevance and role: declining or continued importance?
4.5 Lack of formal recognition of multiple goba roles

5. Recommendations
5.1 Better recognition of and incentives for the goba
5.2 Tackling internal inequities
5.3 Clearer lines of governance between goba and other governance institutions
5.4 Age limit
5.5 Ladakh level goba association
5.6 New norms / rules around current issues
5.7 Constitutional status of Ladakh
5.8 Role of yulpa / village assembly
5.9 Awareness building
5.10 Goba to remain apolitical
5.11 About unregistered gobas
5.12 Further studies

i. List of respondents
ii. List and dates of field visits
iii. J&K Lambardari Act 1972, 2017 Notification

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