Deputy Commissioner's Office, Mandya
The District is the Principal Administrative unit below the state level. It is a unit of administration covering most of the departments of Government. In the words of the study team on district administration constituted by the Administrative Reforms commission :
The district is the most convenient geographical unit where the total apparatus of public administration can be concentrated, and where it comes into direct contact with the people. Most departments of the state Government out-side the secretariat, have external services which are located in the district. The sum total of the activities of these departments and some others, which may also be connected with the affairs of the Central Government, together constitute the administrative machinery in the district.
The block and village level bodies are generally executive in nature, while the district level body mostly has a co-ordinating and supervisory role.
Present Day District
Administration can perhaps be traced to the Mauryan Era. In those days of slow and
difficult communications, an unwieldy empire had to be split up into smaller and more
manageable administrative units and placed in charge of imperial agents. The agent, who
roughly corresponds to the present day collector(D.C.), was called the Rajjukkara. Though
essentially a Revenue officer, the Rajjukkara also exercised judicial powers and was
charged with the responsibility of maintaining roads in the proper state of repairs,
promotion of trade, Commerce and industry, to carry out public works like construction of
new roads, Irrigation schemes etc.
being the head of the district administration, is perhaps the only officer who exercises
powers under the largest number of laws both state and central.
The functions of the
district administration can be summarised as follows :
1. Law and order and magisterial matters: The first group of functions relates to public safety and tranquility. Maintenance of Law and order is the joint responsibility of the Superintendent of Police, who head the Police force in the district, and the District Magistrate. The Deputy Commissioner of the District is also the District Magistrate. Though there is a separate department for the administration of jails, the district Magistrate exercises general supervision over the Jails in his district.
2. Land Revenue : The second group of functions relates to revenue administration. While the most important component of this group is land administration including maintenance of land records, it also includes the assessment and collection of land revenue and also collection of the other public dues which are collected as arrears of land revenue. The Deputy Commissioner is a designated Revenue officer in various laws governing the land to deal with disputes arising out of land records and management of public lands and properties. The other revenue officers, namely, the Assistant Commissioners, the Tahsildars and the Deputy Tahsildars also perform functions of dealing with land disputes under the overall supervision and control of the Deputy Commissioner.
3. Development Activities: These include Public Health, Education, Social Welfare, welfare of Backward Classes and communities. Each of these functions is looked after by separate department, headed by a specialist officers in the district. The various special economic programmes like Jawahar Grama Samrudhi Yojana (JGSY), Swarnajayanthi Grama Swarozgar Yojana, etc.and the poor people's housing scheme Ashraya are implemented by the Zilla Panchayats in each district. The Deputy Commissioner does not get a direct role in these schemes. However, since these programmes call for an integrated effort by various field departments at the district level, Public Works Department and Minor Irrigation, Forest etc., the role of D.C. in co-coordinating and guiding their activities is of prime importance for successful implementation of these programmes. Social Security measures like Old age Pension, Widows Pension, Maternity allowance to expectant mothers and stipends to physically Handicapped persons, Workmens compensations matters, rehabilitation of displaced persons under various projects Aids for Religious (Muzrai Schemes) and charitable Institutions and Endowments are also carried out.
4. Regulatory Functions: These include
(i) control, regulation and distribution of Food and Civil supplies and essential commodities.
(ii) Excise and Prohibition matters.
(iii) All matters relating to
Stamps and Registration, Societies registration Act, 1960, Registration of firms under the
Indian Partnership Act, 1932.
(iv) Matters relating to Urban
land (ceiling and regulation), vacant lands in urban areas(prohibition of alienation Act,
Improvement Loans Act,1963, Agriculturists Loans Act, 1963., Non-agricultural Loans Act,
5. Elections and Citizenship Matters: This relates to holding of elections of Parliament, State Legislature and Local Bodies. The Deputy Commissioner is responsible for the proper observance of process of elections from the registration of voters to the declaration of results of elections.
Municipal Administration Matters : The DC is generally responsible for the
supervision and proper functioning of the urban local bodies. The implementation of
various developmental and anti-poverty measures for the urban poor is monitored by the
Deputy Commissioner. The most important of these programmes are the Swarnajayanthi Shahari
Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY), Urban Ashraya (Housing), Tenth Finance Commission development
grants and the Integrated Small and Medium Towns Development (IDSMT) Programmes.
Emergency Relief : In situations like floods, famines, accidental fires,
earthquakes and other natural calamities, the entire district administration is geared to
meet the threat and the DC assumes charge to co-ordinate the activities of the various
departments and takes proper steps to alleviate sufferings of the people.
8. Land Acquisition matters and Land Reforms: Acquisition of land for public purposes like construction of development projects, industries etc. is carried out by the Land Acquisition Officers under the control of the Deputy Commissioner.
Residuary functions: There are a number of executive functions of
Government which have not been precisely defined and there is no separate representative
of the Government to carry out such duties in the district. It is the DC, in his capacity
as the chief representative of Government in the district, who has to deal with all
residuary matters. This group of activities includes miscellaneous functions like
collections under the small savings schemes,
contributions to public loans,
implementation of family planning programme
Public Grievances: The DC is the District Public Grievances
officer, in consequence of which he maintains the overall responsibility to ensure proper
functioning of all departments in the district.
Regional Transport Authority
Visits of V.I.P.s
Matters relating to forest
The Assistant Commissioners actually working in the Revenue Department Man the following categories of posts:
1. Headquarters Assistants to Deputy Commissioners
2. Sub-Divisional officers
3. Special Land acquisition Officers
4. Special Assistant Commissioners for Land Reforms.
The sub-Divisional Officers(S.D.O) are placed in charge of specific taluks in a district and they supervise both revenue and Development Departments. They are also Sub-Divisional Magistrates. In regard to revenue matters the Tahsildars are subject to the control and supervision of the sub-divisional officers. The Assistant Commissioners in charge of the sub-divisions have been vested with powers of the D.C. under many of the Sections of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964 and also other state laws. The AC is the first appellate authority in respect of revenue matters handled by his sub-ordinates and he is also the lowest level at which powers of revision under section 56 of Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964 are vested. The SDO normally handles the land acquisition work relating to his sub-division and is also the chairman of the Tribunals constituted under Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961 for the Taluks in his sub-division. Special Land Acquisition Officers are to be handled by the SDO along with his normal work. The SDO is also the returning officer for one or more of the Assembly constituencies in his sub-division.
Taluks, more or less in their present form, were in existence in the areas governed by Tippu Sultan and the Peshwas.
In a Taluk, The Tahsildar is the most important Government functionary. He is for his charge what the DC is for the District and is immediately sub-ordinate to the Sub-divisional officer.
The Tahsildar is responsible for the collection of land revenue and seeing that the village Accountants and Revenue inspectors in his charge work efficiently and keep the village records up-to-date. By virtue of his office, the Tahsildar is an executive Magistrate under the Criminal Procedure code. He is the Electoral Registration Officer for his Taluk and also the Assistant Returning Officer for the Assembly Constituencies covering his taluk. He is also the secretary of the Tribunals constituted under the Land Reforms Act.
Shirastedars have been appointed in each taluk to assist the Tahsildar. Under Rules 43 and 67 of the Karnataka Land Revenue Rules, 1966, Shirastedar or any officer of Revenue Department equal or superior in rank to him can hear and pass orders in disputed cases arising out at the stage of preparation of record of Rights and also at the maintenance stage.
The Revenue Inspector is appointed for a circle. Depending on the size of the circle, a Revenue Inspector heads 10 to 20 Village Accountants. His main function is to supervise the work of Village Accountants working under him, and furnish information, reports etc., to the Tahsildar as and when called for. The various registers and forms that he is required to maintain are given in a separate chapter entitled Office Procedure.
Revenue Inspector is a vital link between the Village Accountant and the Tahsildar. He is required to be in constant touch with the Village Accountants and the Tahsildar. He is required to perform all the duties prescribed under the Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964 and Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961 & in or under any other law for the time being in force.
Though he is a Revenue Functionary and his main function is to collect revenue, he is increasingly called upon to perform a host of other functions related to general administration and of departments like Development, Health, Forest, Election, Census etc.
The Village Accountant is appointed for a Village or a group of Villages and he performs all the duties prescribed in or under the Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964 or in under any other law for the time being in force. He has to keep all such registers and other records as are prescribed by Government. (Details of Registers and forms to be maintained by Village Accountant are given separately in the chapter on Office Procedure). Whenever called upon by any Superior Revenue Officer of the Taluk or District, he prepares all records connected with the affairs of the Village. The Records may be notices, depositions, Mahajars or reports required by the State or the Public.
The Village Account is directly under the supervision and control of the Revenue Inspector. The Village Accountant being an important functionary of Revenue Administration at the Village level, should reside in a central village of his circle to be available to the villagers. The Headquarters of the Village Accountant is fixed by the Deputy Commissioners, non-residence in the Headquarters by the Village Accountant would attract disciplinary proceedings against him.
The Village Accountant has therefore, a dual role to play. On the one hand, he is under the administrative control of the Tahsildar and is responsible for all matters of Revenue administration at this level. He collects revenue, makes crop entries, draws Mahazars, issued notices and carries out functions that his superiors direct him to perform. On the other hand he attends to the Panchayat and Development Administration of the Village and functions under the control and supervision of the Chief Executive Officer of the Taluk Development Board.
The activities of the Revenue Department have increased over the years. Although collection of revenue continues to be one of the most important tasks of the village accountant he is playing an important role in the identification of the beneficiaries under the several programmes launched by the Government for the amelioration of the conditions of the rural population in general and the Weaker Sections in particular.