Back to District HQ.
For the purpose of the village administration the State Government had promulgated the Nagaland Village and Area Council Act, 1978
(Act No. 1 of 1979) and rules were also framed under the Act known as the Nagaland Village and Area Council Rules, 1979. The Act
and the Rules were extended to the whole state of Nagaland. Every village whether big or small has a Village Council. The Village
Council members are elected or chosen from amongst the villagers in accordance with the prevailing customary practices and usages.
Every khel (i.e. part of the village) and clan is given fair representation in the Village Council by allowing the khel/clan to
nominate/elect its representatives in the Council. The size of the Village Council depends on the size of the village - smaller villages
have few members while larger villages have more members. The number of representatives of each khel or clan is also depended on the size
of the khel/clan. Normally, the Village Council consists of members composed of two representatives and one Gaonbura (G.B.) from each clan,
two women representatives and one representative of the youth front from the whole village. The life of the village council is normally 5 years.
After its life span is over new members are elected in the village council by a notification of the Deputy Commissioner of the district.
The villages also have the Village Development Board, VDB in short, having representatives from each clan. The Secretary and other members
of the Village Council are also actively associated with the VDB. The VDB is the developmental agency for the village and meets frequently.
All the development funds of the State Govt. for the village are it in the form of inter village road construction, water supply schemes,
construction of play grounds, etc. come through the VDB. The VDB executes these schemes with the labour drawn almost entirely from amongst
the villagers without outside help on the basis of ‘for the village by the villagers’. The life span of the VDB is generally three years.
Within the village there is also the Village Court/Council Judiciary Committee board which has the powers to try small and petty offences
and can award minor punishments and fines. Major cases are referred to the Dobashis (who are Govt. servants) attached to judicial court of
Sub-Divisional Officers/Deputy Commissioners. The Village Court also performs the duty of a counselor to find a compromise between the
disputing parties Gaonburas (G.B.) are also very important functionaries of the village and are directly involved with the administration of
the village. In bigger villages there are more than one Gaonbura. Usually Gaonburas are permanent representatives and they are either elected
from amongst the villagers or nominated by them. In fact Village Council, Gaonbura(s) and Dobashi(s) work in coordination with the villagers
in all development activities of the village.
Immediately above the Village Council there is the Area Council. The villages to be included within the Area Councils are notified by
the State Government. Village council members nominate representatives to the Area Council. The Area Council looks after development schemes
such as water supply, village roads and sanitation, village forests, social welfare activities and education in the villages. The number of
Area Councils operating in the state differs from district to district.
In the case of a dispute between two villages of the same area of the same district the appropriate authority to settle the dispute is the Deputy
Commissioner and in the case of dispute between villages of different districts the authority is the Commissioner of Nagaland.