The bulk of Auroville's administration is
carried out by working groups. While these are theoretically empowered
by the Residents Assembly or community-at-large, it is not always clear
what the respective working groups do and what their parameters are.
We therefore have recently requested the various groups to give a resume
of their mandate or a general policy paper pertaining to heir activities.
The following groups have given their mandates / policy papers.
From the AV-Foundation Act:
18. (1) The Residents' Assembly shall consist of all the residents of Auroville who are for the time being entered in the register of residents maintained under this section.
(2) The Secretary to the Government Board shall maintain the register of residents in such manner as may be prescribed and all the persons who are residents of Auroville and who are of the age of eighteen years and above are entitled to have their names entered in the register on an application made to the Secretary in such form as may be prescribed.
(3) All the names of residents, which have been included in the register maintained by the Administrator appointed under section 5 of the Auroville (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1980 immediately before the appointed day, shall be deemed to have been included in the register maintained under this section.
19. (1) The Residents' Assembly shall perform such functions as are required by this Act and shall advise the Governing Board in respect of all activities relating to the residents of Auroville;
(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the foregoing powers, the Residents' Assembly may-
(a) allow the admission or cause the termination of persons in the register of residents in accordance with the regulations made under section 32;
(b) organize various activities relating to Auroville;
(c) formulate the master plan of Auroville and make necessary recommendations for the recognition of organizations engaged in activities relatable to Auroville for the approval of the Governing Board;
(d) recommend proposals for raising funds for Auroville for the approval of the Governing Board.
(3) For the purpose of carrying on its functions, the Residents' Assembly may establish such committees as it may consider necessary which shall represent it in relation to the functions to be performed by the Governing Board.
Decision making by the Residents’ Assembly
As approved by the Residents’ Assembly of August 13th, 2007
Decision making in the Residents’ Assembly of Auroville is based on the principle of universal suffrage. This means that each person has the right and privilege to participate in decision making, but that there is no compulsion to exercise this right.
Whether or not a person participates in decision making is a private matter. People should be respected for their participation as well as for their decision not to participate.
There may be many reasons why a person does not want to participate: for example the topic does not interest him or her; or one has pressing business elsewhere; or one is simply satisfied to leave the decision to others.
The principle of universal suffrage implies that each Aurovilian who wants to bring out a vote should be allowed to do so in the way which is most convenient to him or her. Some people prefer to cast a vote from their homes through email or by sending a signed note. Others may prefer to attend a meeting in person and bring out their vote. All options are equally valid.
Who can participate in decision making?
Only residents of Auroville can participate in decision making.
The Residents’ Assembly is defined in the Auroville Foundation Act as consisting of “all the residents of Auroville who are for the time being entered in the Register of Residents maintained under this section,” which means all Aurovilians of 18 years and older. It excludes therefore newcomers, long-term guests and friends of Auroville.
Decision making by consensus versus decision making through voting
Auroville prefers to make decisions through consensus instead of through voting. This is based on our spiritual aspiration, and on our endeavour to find a solution that can satisfy all. However, this attempt has also sometimes blocked situations from getting resolved.
The problems of everyday life have often many possible solutions, some equally good, and backed by equally valid arguments.
In Auroville, everyone has the opportunity to give his or her views through the intranet.
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