IAS/COLLECTORS OFFICERS ROLE   



Redefining the Collector’s Role:

IAS officer is responsible for maintenance of law and order, revenue administration and general administration in the area under him.
At present the portfolio of the Collector’s office generally includes the following functions and activities (though there may be variations across the States):-

  • Acting as the Head of Land and Revenue Administration, including responsibility for District Finance (expenditure and audit).
  •  Acting  as the District Head  of the Executive Magistracy and overall supervision of  law and order and security and some say in the police matters.
  • As Licensing and Regulatory Authority in  respect of the various       special  laws such as Arms, Explosive and Cinematography Acts etc. in the District.
  • Conduct of elections –for Parliament, State Legislature and Local Bodies.
  • As the Officer-in-charge of Disaster Management.
  • As the guardian of public lands with the responsibility to prevent and  remove encroachments which are often a source of tension between vested interests and the district administration.
  •  Public service delivery, either  by facilitating  or directly delivering services assigned  to the district administration from other departments. (In this respect, the Collector often acts as Chairman of the Board for Parastatals, or as Chairman or Member of various standing and inter-departmental committees).
  •  Facilitation of interaction between civil society and the State Government.
  • Handling issues of local cadre management such as recruitment,  in-service training and promotion.
  • As the  Chief Information and Grievance Redressal Officer of the district.  
  • Collection of revenue and function as Courts in revenue matters.
  • Maintenance of law and order;
  • Function as Executive Magistrate;
  • Function as Chief Development Officer (CDO)/District Development Commissioner.
  • Supervision of implementation of policies of State Government    and Central Government.
  •  To travel to places to oversee implementation of policies;
  • Supervision of expenditure of public funds as per norms of financial propriety
  • In the process of policy formulation and decision making, IAS officers at various levels like Joint Secretary, Deputy Secretary etc. make their contributions and the give final shape to policies;
  • To handle the daily affairs of the government, including framing and implementation of policy in consultation with the minister-in-charge of the concerned Ministry.


 Functional Area       Role of District Collector/
  Deputy Commissioner (DC)
across  States
The Collector handles all matters
connected with land reforms and revenue
administration (including custody of
government lands). He is assisted by an
Additional Collector / Joint Collector.
Collector is the officer-in charge of the
district under the State Excise Act.
Similar across different
2Executive Magistracy
and Maintenance of law
and order
As the Magistrate of the District, exercises
functions and powers under various
provisions of the Cr.PC. Is the Officer
in overall charge of Law and Order and
internal security in the district.
Is the authority to issue custody/detention
warrants under special anti-crime/security
enactments e.g. NSA.
Retains importance in Police matters too
e.g. under Bihar Police Act 2007, the
Collector is the Chairman of the District
Accountability Authority which monitors
issues concerning departmental inquiries
and complaints of misconduct against
junior policemen.

Varies from State to State
though Cr.P.C. functions
are broadly similar.
3Licensing and Regulatory
The Collector is the licensing and regulatory
authority under various special laws such
as Arms and Cinematography Acts etc. in
the district
Similar across different
4Disaster ManagementThe Relief /Disaster Management branch
of the Collector’s office deals directly with
these functions.
Similar across different
5ElectionsThe Collector is the District Election
Officer for Parliament, State Legislature
and Local Bodies.
Similar across different
6Food and Civil SuppliesIn most States, the Collector has a direct role
to play in the functioning of the Food and
Civil Supplies Department at the district
level. He oversees the implementation
of the Public Distribution System and
has powers to enforce provisions of the
Essential Commodities Act and related
Rules and Orders.
Similar across different
7Welfare The Collector plays a very critical role
in the execution of welfare programmes
such as those relating to disability, old
age pension etc. either through direct
superintendence or through oversight.
Varies from State to State
depending on the role
envisaged in this regard
for local bodies.
In Maharashtra, Zila
Parishad (ZP) has a
stronger role in welfare
activities unlike in
Andhra Pradesh or
8CensusThe Collector is the principal Census
Similar across different
9CoordinationOne of the most important roles of the
Collector is to coordinate activities of other
agencies/departments at the district level
Similar across different
10Economic Development
(Agriculture, Irrigation,
Industry, etc.)
Though, many activities/functions of
these sectors stand transferred to PRIs and
local bodies, the Collector still has some
role in many of these programmes. He
chairs meetings of various Committees of
Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Veterinary,
Sericulture, Handlooms, Textiles, Irrigation
and Industries departments. Also reviews
their activities in monthly/bimonthly
meetings and coordinates among the
Varies from State to State
depending on the role
envisaged in this regard
for local bodies.
In Maharashtra and
Himachal Pradesh, the
ZP has a stronger role
in primary economic
development activities
unlike that in Andhra
Pradesh or Rajasthan.
11Human Resource
Though, a major part of this subject
(primary education) stands transferred to
the PRIs, the District Collector/Deputy
Commissioner has been retained as
Chairman/Co-Chairman in some of the
district level committees.
Varies from State to
State depending on the
role envisaged in this
regard for local bodies.
In Maharashtra and
Himachal Pradesh,
powers have been given
to PRIs in matters
relating to health &
primary education.
12Rural DevelopmentThough major activities of this department
stand transferred to the PRIs/ULBs, in some
States, the Collector still continues to be
the nodal authority for some programmes.
Under the National Rural Employment
Guarantee Act, the Collector has been
designated as the District Programme
Coordinator in some of the States.
In Andhra Pradesh, the
DC is the Executive
Director of District
Rural Development
Agency. In Maharashtra
and Himachal Pradesh,
DRDA is under the ZP.
In Himachal Pradesh,
the ZPs have been
empowered to appoint
Assistant Engineers in
13Local Self Government
(PRIs / ULBs)
The role of the District Collector/ Deputy
Commissioner with regard to local self
governing institutions varies across
different States. Mostly these relate to
the powers of the State Government vis-
à-vis the PRIs. (Powers of suspension,
resolution, supersession etc.)

In Andhra Pradesh,
the DC exercises direct
control over the Gram
Panchayats; in Orissa,
the DC is the CEO of
the ZP; in Maharashtra,
the DC has a limited
role to play.
14Preparation of
Development Plan
Though under Articles 243-ZD and 243-
ZE, the planning functions in a district
have been given to DPC/MPC, the
Collector coordinates with departments/
agencies involved in execution of various

Similar across different
The Collector exercises superintendence
over the District NIC Centre.

Similar across different

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