Concept of District Administration
According to S.S Khera, “District administration is the provision of public works in the prescribed state”. In other words, the district administration performs all the functions of the government in the district, that is, the district administration is the collective form of all the functions of the government in the district and the complex organization of the management of public works. The District Administration of India is a dual entity in terms of public administration. On the one hand the district administration is the regional unit of state administration, on the other hand it has become the administrative unit of development of the federal government with the effective implementation of the Panchayati system. In the implementation of the Panchayati Raj system by the district administration, the accountability of the state administration is maintained. Two important functions of social and political life ‘security’ and ‘development’ come under the purview of the district administration. The district administration executes the policy instructions from Concept of District Administration. The emergence of Panchayati Raj in India has strengthened the district administration and due to the politics of public representatives, the district administration has been democratized.
Evolution and Development of District Administration
The concept of district administration in India has existed since ancient times. First of all we find mention of district administration in books like Manusmriti. Apart from Manusmriti, there is mention of Kautilya’s economics, Mauryan empire, medieval administrative system and district administration in the administrative system of British India. In the Mauryan period, the Collector was called Rajjuk. The district administration officer was an important pillar of the administration of the state during the Mughal period. During the Mughal era, during Akbar, the district was called Sarkar and its marshal was called the Faujdar.
Originating in the British period
In 1765, the company gained civil rights or revenue collection rights from the Mughals in 1765. The East India Company used to do business with the area it started calling it ‘District’. Later, when the British government started to rule India directly, this administrative unit was not changed, the Collector was appointed as an important officer of this unit. In 1772 AD, Warren Hastings created the post of District Collector for the first time in India. Initially this post was mixed with revenue and law and order, but in 1792 AD, the judicial powers of the District Collector were separated and created the post of District Judge. During Lord William Bantik’s period, the magistrate’s responsibility was separated from the District Judge and included in the post of District Collector and his post was renamed as Collector and District Magistrate.
Initially, the appointment of District Collector was from ‘Covenant Civil Service’, they were given training at Helbury College, England. Later on the basis of the Macaulay report, the Indian Civil Service (ICS) started appointing the Collector. During the British rule, collectors mainly worked for law and order and revenue collection. After independence, district administration remains the main unit of regional administration in India, on which the structure of public administration of India has been laid. As far as the Indian Constitution is concerned, there is no mention of making the district an administrative unit anywhere in it. After independence, there were changes in the goals and functions of the district administration and their scope and responsibility increased.