Public Sector Reforms in India – 2&3

ACTIVITIES OF DO

  1. Law and Order, Preventive Detention are supervised by the DO, whereas, the SP or SSP or Captain Sahed as described in UP and MP looke after the investigation of the Crime. The line of control is that SP is assisted by ASP or SP city or Dy.SP who inturn subordinated by SDPO at division and CI at circle , SHO at thana and OC. 
  2.  For Revenue Collection the DO is assisted by ADM, DRO (AP, TN), ADM (LR) in Bihar, District Land and Land Reforms Officer in WB. The DCTO or Dy. Commissioner, Commercial Tax heads commercial tax collection, registration and stamp duties are collected uner District Registrars office and Sub-registrar’s office at sub-division, the DTO for Motor Vehice and the Superintendent of Excise for Excise duty.
  3. The regulatory activities include Arms, and Explosives licensing, Cinema lincensing, Citizenship Registration and Passport, motor vehicle and PDS.  
  4. The technical departments that are supervised are PWD Construction Board, PWD Bridges, PWD Highways, Public Health Engineer, Minor Irrigation and Waterways. The EE are assisted by AEs and JR or Sub engineers 
  5. Forest activities are wild life conservation, social forestry, parks, gardens, soil conservation and silvi culture. The commercial affairs or eco-tourism is looked after by FDCs. These activites are supervised by DFOs, rangers, beat officers 
  6. The technical to social infrastructure includes a range of activities. The health  is headed at the district by CMO, ACMO, CHCs, PHC and sub-centers. Education sector includes the DEOs or DI of schools at the district level councils at the gross root PS / SS.
  7.  The livelihoods development includes the development, support and promotion of livelihoods, service provision, extension, improvement of physical infrastructure, catalytic role in improvement of economic development like agriculture, animal husbandry, horticulture, fisheries, handloom development, khadi and village industries, agricultural marketing and industries. At the district the DAO or PAO heads, AD or AH at sub-district and an IPO at each block. 
  8. Collectorate is described as ‘machine bureaucracy’ by Henry Mintzberg (1983). In TN, AP exists one ADM and a Head, Development. In Bihar,WB and Orissa 3-5 ADMs exist. Each ADMhas 5-8 departments or sections. The section head is also called Dy. Commissioner, supported below by head clerk, senior cleark, 2-3 junior clerks and a peon. In Punjab, UP and Uttranchal the ADM or the SDM sadar (HQ) is supported by a section officer or head clerk. The three major activities of the Collectorate are system maintenance, regulatory and developmental. All the actions are taken in the name of DO who can delegate his powers and implements laws, rules and delivers services and goods in the nature of sanctions.  
  9. Technology is to work on standardized procedures,  laws and rules, delivers services, implements goods in the nature of sanctions which are positive or negative and delivers a permit, a license, amount of money, a certificate and so on. The Collectorate is a reactive organization for the directions from above and applications from below, with a directive action with a deadline. It’s a programmed decision making. The work dairies are abandoned at present.
  10. The environment is fashioned by legal, policy frame works, statutes and rules that demarcate its environment. The stakeholders are individuals, interest groups, political parties, NGOs, private firms, media and non-state actors.
  11. The regulatory is activity is by Criminal Procedure Code 1973 with a separation of judiciary from executive. The judiciary role includes acting as judicial or metropolitan magistrates for criminal cases and as executive magistrate for administrative activity supported by subordinate magistrates who deal with preventive action not punitive, means with CPC but not IPC like prevention of crimes, maintenance of law or order & tranquility, prevention of public nuisance, prevention of nuisance or apprehended danger, disputes regarding immovable property that threaten public peace.  
  12. Prosecution of criminal cases in courts of law at the district head quarters and sub-division through a panel. The review of disposal of cases, service of warrants of arrest and orders for attachment of property. The area of social justice of SCs & STs, bonded labor, children and child labor, disabled and women.
  13. The development activities are income generation, self employment, assets creation, social security schemes involve govt departments, PRIs, GFIs, banks & NGOs. The industrial development is also taken up.
  14. The social sector has education, health and social welfare wings. The crisis management is done by management of  natural or man-made disasters, floods, cyclones, droughts etc.  
  15. Residuary functions are enforcement of special acts, small savings collection, public relations/ protocol duties, PGR, single window for citizen customers, may act as the temple trust/  VC, may mediate between labor, industry and agriculturists.  
  16. Act as Chairman or Executive VC or VC to various committees, secretary or member of numerous committees. The Collector is the chairman to the District Red Cross Society, debuttar/ temple trusts, district sports association, film societies, centers of art and music.  
  17. The position of the Collector has remained a classic example of unclassified, unconsolidated, diffused responsibility that seems to be one of the marked features of the Indian Administration system.

                  EVOLUTIONARY ROLE OF DO:

  1. The DO is the kingpin, lynchpin or keystone evolved from Company Bahadur undergone the constant process of dimution of authority and stature. The DM is the ‘tortoise’  which supports the elephant on which ‘Govt of India’ rests. The DO evolved from Mauryan Janapada/ ahara province, Mughal administration to Diwan of Bengal, Bihar, Orissa appointed supervisors in 1765. The District was the area of operation and assigned ‘Company Bahadur’ to carry out commercial activities.
  2. On 11th May 1772, the Company supervisor was renamed as Collector by Warren Hastings who crated the office of the Collector through a regulation statute. It reads ‘the Company having determined to stand forth as the Dewan, the supervisors should now be designated as Collectors, ‘The first essentials that the DO responsible for were: ‘public order, the swift administration for justice, prompt payment of taxes moderately assessed, maintenance of accurate and up to date land records which would prevent disputes” stated by Philip Woodruff in 1954. The sole consul of a great province, the district assigned to him being about the size of four provinces in Ireland.
  3. The timeline of evolution of as following.
  4. 1765    –           Bengal generated revenue amounting to 50% of the British public revenue; in 1830 – 1850s, the 20-25 million pounds were collected by the East India Company was about half the revenue of domestic British State.
  5. 1780    – Civil judges were established in districts
  6. 1787    – Collector was made Civil Judge and Magistrate to collect revenue effectively. Gradually became the representative of governing power and the head of general administration.
  7. 1790    – Company took one over the administration of Criminal Justice from Nawab
  8. 1793    – Cornwallis separated judiciary functions and the Collector became the CEO of district
  9. 1820s  – Magistracy, revenue collection, judicial functions and general administration unified.
  10. 1831     – Cornwallis centralized administration due to the British Crown in the wake of the mutiny of 1857.
  11. 19th Cen- SP, PWD, Health. Sir George Campbell, Lieutenant Governor of WB, strengthened the Collector’s office as the General Controlling Officer to the control local departments.
  12. 1859 – 1919 – Era of triumphant bureaucracy. The British rule crystallized, land revenue and tenancy laws and 3 comprehensive codes, IPC and CPC.
  13. The welfare activity depended upon the predictions of individual D.Os and was often a source of amusement among collegues.
  14. “The Godavari & Krishna ayacuts, the Godavari dam, thousands of tanks, wells, roads, schools, hospitals and dispensaries were created by the DO’s efforts in almost all the provinces of the Raj, with or without govt. prompting.”
  15. Late 1920        -Conflicting pressures and received contradictory signals from provincial and central govs.
  16. Lord Irwins    -Fluctuating policy with Cong not comprehensible at the field level.
  17. 1919 Montague Chelmsford reforms – Difficulty laid in the move from an authoritarian to a representative gov and transfer of power from administration to politicians. The district boards were set up later. Prior to Independence the Civil Service was responsible for both deliberation and policy formulation as also implementation of the policy.
  18. 1940    – Independence violence
  19. 1960-70s        -Student Violence and agitation against the emergency
  20. 1980s  -Emergence of terrorism in Punjab, J&K
  21. 1990s -Ultra left inspired militancy, conflict resolution
  22. Shift from revenue collection to redistribution of ceiling, surplus land and the formulation and enforcement of intermediary rights.
  23. Land – Enactment of land ceiling laws, levy on land improvement, agricultural income tax, expansion of old activities and consolidation of land holdings
  24. Collection of dues – Taxes, govt. loans, cooperative loans, excise revenue, motor vehicle revenue, mining cess, royalties, land revenue and water rates and other user charges.
  25. Kerala, Maharastra, J&K      – Communal consideration are allegedly responsible for creation of new districts with a concentration of minority population. The justification shown is to take government closer to the people and make implementation of development programs more manageable. The no. of districts grown from 360 to 619.
  26. 1976    -State changed from being reactive to proactive, planning emphasized
  27. 1951     -Planning commission was established.
  28. 1963    -IADP, IAAP, AD in 1969
  29. 1960    -PDS
  30. 1955    -Essential Commodities Act. 
  31. The diarchy emerged in Bihar with DDC and DO. The problems with inter departmental coordination started, until 20 points formula restored its strength in Bihar.
  32. 1958    -Madras District Council Act created. The DDCs were headed with DO as the chairman. The DO became both democratic and bureaucratic
  33. 1968    -The DO made as head of the development programs for its speedy implementation.
  34.  4,5th plan –SFDA, MF & ALA, CADA, DPAP, DDP, TDAP, IRDP with which DRDAs formed.
  35. 5th plan –tribal sub-plan strategy implemented.
  36. 1960s -70s –Role of the state expanded with respect to social welfare programs
  37. SC&ST –District Harijan Welfare Committees which are agents of social change formed.
  38. 1970s – More poverty alleviation & RD programs
  39. 1980s -90s     – Saw project mode of development intervention. The principles of management used with mission approach to tackle illiteracy and drinking water lead to creation of five ‘five spl. missions’. The rise in externally increased projects increased and the funding projects is multilateral and bilateral institutions such as World Bank, DFID, UK&UN. The DFID sponsored DPEP in six states, WB funded irrigation and health projects in four states, GTZ of Germany supported drinking water and health projects in five states. 
  40.  The Dos status weakened due to short term, political interference and generalist vs specialist controversy.
  41. Post Independence, the DO is overburdened, relatively powerless and inadequately compensated.
  42. 1960s – Increase in responsibilities, decrease in authority, new matrix of democracy and self-governance.
  43. On the whole, there has been an increase in his responsibilities, if not his authority. The authority of the DO has steadily been eroded and his position in district as no. 1 is no longer unquestioned.
  44. Changes in the nature of regulatory functions, a diminution of the judicial responsibilities, a significant elaboration of the developmental functions, and an accretion of duties in the area of social change.  
  45. Significance of the change : Through 73rd and 74th Constitutional (amendment) Act, through growth of non-state actors, NGOs and GROs, economic reforms initiated in 1990 lead to forces of privatization and marketization, contractualisation, Public Private Partnership, by administration aimed to improve efficiency of govt systems, by new forces for accountability such as judicial activism, RTI & media, by legislations of social change, women & child issues, welfare of disabled.  
  46. But the impact on the administration machinery received no more than a passing attention.
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