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The presumed need for increased citizen involvement and citizen centric administration have become the visionary goals of the period globally. Terminologies like community empowerment, decentralization or public participation are often used interchangeably with a blurred distinction about their connotations. In Indian context, the idea of Citizen Participation, as superficially talked about is limited to an invited, institutionalized and project specific concept. It is, contemporarily perceived as an approach unfolded by the government, with an objective of imitating civic involvement without any actual redistribution of powers amongst the citizens. With the snowball effect in action, citizen participation is spreading as nothing but a virtual cycle of tokenism. Although with time, a wave of booming problems and undermanaged civic responsibilities has aroused a sense of responsiveness and awareness amongst the citizens regarding the importance of holding power to influence outcomes and decision making processes. The power of partnership and negotiation to progress in harmony have also been realized over time in response to the arising third world issues like the uncontrollable conditions of population growth, climate change, urbanization etc. In Indian cities, multiple invited and claimed platforms of participation have evolved over years showcasing contextual diversifications, needs and forms. A wide range of stakeholder groups try to voice the needs and expectations of the mass. In India, the intra city dynamics position resident associations(RWAs) as the most pivotal stakeholder to enhance citizen participation. The emerging innovative citizen led partnerships between RWAs and the local government invite a possibility of a unique collaborative decentralization. Overall, the study proceeds in alignment with the contextual understanding of social and political set ups prevailing in India and the varied complex and intertwined relationships existing between the political and administrative arms of the government, further exploring the blooming prospects of such unique partnerships on urban local governance in Indian cities.

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Shruti Punjabi (India) 13741
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