Competitive Exams: District Collector

  • A District Collector is the head of the district administration and the official agent of the State Government in the district.

  • The office of the District Collector is unique as it has no parallel in the administrative system of other countries except the office of the Prefect in France.

  • A District Collector is also called as District Magistrate in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, and Deputy Commissioner in Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana and Karnataka.

  • The General Administration Departments are directly under the charge of the District Collector.

  • He is a multi-purpose functionary around who revolves the entire administration of the District.

  • The District Collector belongs to the General Administration Department of the State Government which is headed politically by the Chief Minister and administratively by the Chief Secretary.

  • The District Collectors are controlled and supervised by the Divisional Commissioners.

Role and Functions Revenue Administration

  • Historically, collection of revenue has been the first and the foremost function of the District Collector as the very title Collector signifies.

  • He is still the head of the revenue administration in the district.

  • He is responsible for the collection of revenue for the State Government through the Board of Revenue or Revenue Tribunal in Maharashtra and Gujarat or Financial Commissioner in Punjab, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir.

  • As the Head of the revenue administration in the district, the Collector is responsible for the following functions:

  • To collect land revenue

  • To collect other Government dues

  • To distribute and recover loans

  • To maintain land records

  • To collect rural statistics

  • Acquiring land for the purpose of industry, capital construction, colonization, slum clearance and so on:

  • To implement land reforms.

  • To look after the welfare of the farmers.

  • To make an assessment of losses of crops and recommend relief during natural calamities like fire drought and flood.

  • To supervise Treasury and sub-Treasury.

  • To enforce Stamp Act.

  • To pay rehabilitation grants.

  • To manage government estates.

  • To hear revenue appeals against the orders of lower authorities.

  • To pay zamindari abolition compensation.

Law and Order

  • The maintenance of Law and Order in the district is the principal duty of the District Collector.

  • For this purpose, the District Police headed by the District Superintendent of Police is kept under the control, supervision and direction of the District Magistrate.

  • Before Independence, the District Collector acted as both, the Executive Magistrate and the Judicial Magistrate.

  • As an Executive Magistrate, he was responsible for the maintenance of Law and Order.

  • As a Judicial Magistrate, he was responsible for the trial of criminal and civil cases by interpreting the law.

  • After Indenendence. The Judiciarv and the Executive were separated according to Article 50 enshrined in the Directive Principles of State Policy. As a consequence, the role of the District Collector as a Judicial Magistrate came to an end.

Functions of District Collector

The District Collector in his capacity as the District Magistrate performs the following functions:

  • To control and supervise the Subordinate Magistracy.

  • To issue orders when there is a threat to public peace and order under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

  • To dispose all the petitions received from the Government and others.

  • To release prisoners on parole.

  • To inspect the jails.

  • To submit an annual criminal report to the Government.

  • To grant, suspend or cancel many kinds of licenses like arms, hotel, explosive, petroleum and others.

  • To grant superior classes to prisoners.

  • To supervise and control local bodies.

  • To enforce the Entertainment Tax Act and the Press Act.

  • To call the Armed forces to aid and assist the Civil administration to deal with any abnormal situation.

  • To prosecute offenders under the Factories Act and the Trademark Act.

  • To order the disposal of unclaimed property.

  • To recommend schemes for the development of forests.