For the sake of administrative convenience, the states of India are divided into districts, talukas and parganas.
District is considered as the most important unit of rural administration.
The District Collector(DC) or District Magistrate (DM) manages the administrative affairs of the district with the help of various officials.
The responsibilities of district administration is as follows:
- To maintain law and order:
- It is one of the key responsibilities.
- The Superintendent of Police (S.P) assists the District Magistrate in this task.
- SP supervises that everyone is following and maintaining the law and order.
- The Deputy Superintendent of Police maintains law and order in talukas or tehsils.
- Sometimes, the tehsils are further sub-divided into police circles.
- Normally, around ten or more police stations come under a circle.
- The police stations are managed by an Inspector or Station House Officer (S.H.O).
- Other officials who help in maintaining law and order are Sub-Inspector, Assistant Sub-Inspector, Head Constable and Constable.
- The districts also have jails with jailor as its head and a deputy jailor to assist him/her.
2. To maintain land records and collect revenue:
- The land records provide information such as owner’s name, amount of cultivable and non-cultivable land, what kind of crops are grown, etc.
- Land records help in solving land disputes, obtaining loans, purchasing new land, division of property, etc.
- Tehsildar (revenue officer) assists DM in collecting revenue.
- Tehsildar also deals with land disputes and issues caste certificates.
- At the village level, Patwari is responsible for maintaining and updating land records.
- Patwari is also known as Lekhpal, Kanungo, Karamchari, Village Officer, etc.
- One of the main responsibilities of Patwari is to maintain Khasra (register of harvest inspections).
- The other responsibilities include updating government about crops grown in the area, updating land records, updating administration about any calamity or disaster in that area, etc.
3. To provide and maintain civic amenities:
- The district administration is responsible for the overall development of the area.
- It provides amenities like water, electricity, healthcare, primary education, construction and maintenance of roads, drainage system, etc.
- The District Civil Surgeon is responsible for looking after the health services.
- The Inspector of schools is responsible for setting up and maintaining schools of the district.
- The District Planning Officer and Executive Engineer are responsible for construction and maintenance of government buildings, roads, drainage system, etc.
4. To look after Panchayati Raj institutions:
- It acts as a link between the state and the local bodies.
- It allocates funds, conducts elections and also dissolves non-performing local bodies.
5. Judicial administration:
- At district level, District Judge and Additional District Judge deal with the civil cases.
- At district level, Sessions Judge and Additional Sessions Judge deal with the criminal cases. And can even award a death sentence.
- Sessions judge of the lower courts are headed by officials such as Assistant Sessions Judge, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Court of Magistrate of First and Second Class and Executive Magistrate.
- At village level, we have Nyaya Panchayats.