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INTRODUCTION

Wide regional diversity in terms of physiography, resource endowment, level of development & infrastructural facilities led the union government, as far back as 1950, to advocate for greater autonomy to be vested with the local bodies of governance to achieve balanced development in all sectors through optimal utilization of natural, financial and human resource at the local level. Planning Commission while issuing the first set of guidelines in 1969, strongly recommended decentralized planning at district level for accelerating the process of development, reduce regional imbalances and bring about implementation of sectoral programmes in an integrated fashion. With the passing of 73 and 74 constitutional amendment acts (1992) the authority to plan, implement and participate in the process of local area integrated development was bestowed with the elected local bodies of self governance. 
Drawing up of local area development schemes is a complex and information intensive task involving appropriate data analyzing tools and a large matrix of sectoral data on natural resources, demography, socio-economy, thus, requiring specific scientific interventions in - (i) need based database creation, (ii) improvements in data analysis tools, and finally in (iii) educating the user groups in the use and maintenance of the system.