Mandals, taluka panchayats, block panchayats, or panchayat samiti are rural local governments (panchayats) at the intermediate level in panchayat raj institutions (PRI).
It has been said to be the "panchayat of panchayats".
The 73rd Amendment defines the levels of panchayati raj institution as :
- District (or apex) level
- Intermediate level
- Base level
They operate at the tehsil (taluka) level and govern the villages of the tehsil that together are called a development block. The panchayat samiti is the link between the gram panchayat (village council) and the zila parishad (district board). The name varies across states: mandal praja parishad in Andhra Pradesh, taluka panchayat in Gujarat, and mandal panchayat in Karnataka.
Typically, a panchayat samiti is composed of elected members of the area: the block development officer, members of the state's legislative assembly, members of parliament belonging to that area, otherwise unrepresented groups, associate members (such as a farmer, a representative of the cooperative societies and one from the agricultural marketing services sector) and the elected members of that panchayat block (tehsil) on the zila parishad (district board).
- extracted from Panchayat samiti (block), Wikipedia as on 13th July 2018