(Last Updated on : 03-01-2011)
Functions of Divisional Commisioner cover a wide range of administrative and supervisory activities. The Divisional Commissioner is, broadly speaking, the coordinator, at the divisional level, of all activities connected with general administration including law and order, revenue administration, and development administration. Matters like registration, excise, supply, etc., have generally been kept out of his jurisdiction. The area of governance of the Divisional Commissioner covers a rather extensive field.
It may be noted that in 1952, the Planning Commission of India
had recommended the setting up of regional officers, although it was not too sure of the merits of the institution of Divisional Commissioners in the altered set-up. Five years later, it was more specific and forthright in its comments on the utility of the Divisional Commissioner. It was suggested in the First Five Year Plan that with increase in district work and some decline in the quality of district administration, there was need for greater inspection, supervision, guidance and training. These could be provided by senior administrative officers in charge of regions or groups of districts. The need for such officers became greater as the volume of business at State headquarters increased, departments and agencies multiplied and at the district level new burdens fell on officers with insufficient experience. On the whole it may be said that the practice of abolishing posts of regional officers which was gaining ground in many States a few years ago has been discontinued and generally, steps have been taken or envisaged for strengthening administration at the regional level.
Generally speaking, the Divisional Commissioner performs the following functions. He is head of the revenue administration in his division and hears appeals against the orders of District Collectors; He coordinates and supervises the work of all wings of public administration in his division; He acts as the trouble shooter: he resolves differences; In some States he has been given certain powers in regard to Panchayati Raj bodies; He has also been assigned a role in municipal administration; He exercises general control over all relief operations within his division; He examines police administrative reports; In Maharashtra
, where the District Collector had been divested of work in the developmental fields, and the chief executive officers look after these functions, the Divisional Commissioner is the coordinator of the work of these two important and co-equal functionaries at the district level; He has touring and inspectorial responsibilities; He ensures integrity in the officials in his division; He also ensures that governmental officials behave properly with the public in keeping with the needs and ideals of democracy.