(Last Updated on : 03/01/2011)
Regional administration in India, also known as divisional administration refers to the governance of organizations that function below the State level but above the district. For the purposes of administrative convenience, the various departments in the medium and large-sized State divide the entire State into a number of regions (or divisions) and maintain regional headquarters in each region. Thus for instance, the police department has Deputy Inspectors-General at the regional level. Similarly, the department of irrigation has superintending engineers, each of whom is in charge of the executive engineers of his region. It may happen in some cases that the boundary of the region may co-incide with the Divisional Commissioner's division. But, where the workload does not call for it, a region may not be equal with the Commissioner's division. Thus, the forest department divides the State into ranges, which take into consideration its own specific requirements. There are always some departments which are not represented at the regional level. Whether a department needs an organizational set-up at the regional level or not depends mainly on two factors-the size of the State and the workload of the department.
The regional officer, in general, supervises and inspects the work of the district functionaries of his department, and coordinates their work at the regional level. He is the latter's boss at the regional level. He is the standard setter, and he performs this role by undertaking frequent visits and inspections, by demanding periodic reports and returns, by issuing necessary instructions and directives, by organizing periodic conferences of the district level functionaries of his department, etc. He also needs to relieve his head of department of less important work pertaining to the region under his jurisdiction. The Divisional Commissioner is the most important Regional Officer.
Generally speaking, regional officers perform the following functions: undertaking supervision and coordination of the work of the district level officers of the department; providing technical guidance to the district level officers; keeping themselves in active touch with the functioning of the Panchayati Raj institutions; undertaking inspections and tours to keep themselves in touch with the working of their departments, to identify problems and difficulties experienced in the field and to help evolve appropriate solutions.