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Introduction to Public Administration

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Introduction To Public Administration­MGT111
VU
LESSON 39
DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION
In this lecture and the lectures up to 42, we will discuss administration at the local level and its
responsibilities. At the end of this lecture students will be exposed to the
:
-  Concept of district administration;
-
Functions of deputy commissioner as the head of district and
-
Other departments that function at district level.
District Administration
District administration is defined as the cutting edge of the tool of public administration (S S
Khera). By this it is meant that district form the pivot of administration. District administration as a concept
of public administration stems from the dispersal of state authority largely in countries with centralized
administration. It is at the district level that people have a feel of government. Before year 2000, district
administration was a unified organic administrative organization. The district magistrates or deputy
commissioner was responsible for the cooperation and orderly application of all resources. His task was of
five kinds: Revenue, magisterial, judicial, executive and development. The purpose of district
administration was:
1.
Maintain law & order;
2.
Structural arrangement for dispensation of justice;
3.
Assessment and collection of a number of taxes including land revenue, irrigation rates etc;
4.
Maintenance of land records;
5.
Regulatory and control function such as rationing of food, regulation of movement of
commodities or purchase of agriculture produce;
6. Response for immediate action of natural calamities such as flood, disaster etc.
7. Execution of development activities
Background
The district administration has its origin from the Muslim revenue system established by Sher Shah
Suri (1529-45). He divided his empire into 47 divisions or Sarkar, which was subdivided into 113,000
parganas. He established office of revenue at sarkar and parganas. In the broad sense, Deputy Commissioner
was the descendent of Faujdar of Mughal administration (Mughal kings did not change the administrative
structure established by Sher Shah Suri). The Mughal Empire was divided into provinces (subas) and district
(sarkar). The provinces were headed by governor who was responsible for law & order and revenue
collection. The district (sarkar) was subdivided into parganas; which was headed by shiqdar who was
responsible for law & order and general administration. The Mughal had no functionary at the village level,
but Muqaddam use to perform revenue function. He used to collect revenue. Patwari was an accountant,
who uses to keep account of cropped areas, the crops sown and revenue demanded. In the Mughal system
there was separation of judicial and revenue collection functions.
The British largely adopted the administration of Mughal, in the North of sub continent.
The British Period
The evolution of modern district administration system can be traced back to Warren Hasting who
initiated the appointment of full time collector to supervise `zamindar'. Later they were given the dual
authority of revenue collection and judge. And were known as Judge-Magistrates. In 1818 , they were given
policy control of the districts in some provinces. In 1829 Lord William Bentick appointed commissioners of
revenue and circuit. These commissioners supervised the work of Judge-Magistrate and worked as court of
appeals. Between 1831- 1857 the main functions of Collector-cum-District Magistrates (DM) was to collect
revenue and law and order. After 1857 the responsibilities of DM were extended to development, irrigation
functions, hospital, roads, and railways. In 1861 the control of police in the district was given to DM, and
he was to be the head of all government departments in district.
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Introduction To Public Administration­MGT111
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After Independence
After independence the District administration was effective and useful in responding to the
requirements of public and organizing rehabilitation of refugees, settlement of evacuee properties etc. Apart
from the old regulatory functions he was to perform new functions like industrialization, education, health.
In the new situation he had to be more responsive, accessible, responsible and accountable. The functions
to be performed by DM were:
Functions
1.
Executive
2.
Judicial
3.
Revenue
4.
Coordinative functions
1. Executive
Law and order is one of the important functions to be performed by DM. In the executive
functions were included the power to give license, permits etc. He reported to the provincial government
on the political and criminal conditions
2. Judicial functions
Deputy Commissioner works as DM as he supervises the functioning of all executive magistrates.
DM was also performing judicial functions such as judicial inquiries, the trial of cases etc. DM presided over
many courts which deal with preventive laws relating to the breach of peace. In the past all the magistracy
was organized under the DC
3. Revenue
DM was also collector of revenues, like land revenue, water rates etc. the management of land,
accounting of revenue and implementation of reforms.
Land revenue was an important source during British period. The revenue on land, however,
declined after partition.
4. Coordinative
DM also performed coordinative functions in the districts. He was not a technical person but
person who had knowledge and experience of general administration departments like health, education,
irrigation, public work, industry etc. although independent in hierarchy, but their activities were coordinated
by DM.
Miscellaneous
As the head of district DM would organize election, relief and rehabilitation work, protocol duties,
attending functions, meetings etc. He was expected to remain constantly accessible to public
Other Departments at District Level
In addition to the office of DM, there were other important departments that existed. There were:
-
District and session judge was the highest court of criminal and civil in the district;
-
Superintendent of police at district level;
-
District Health officer at district level;
-
District Education officers at district level
-
Executive Engineer at district level;
-
Excise and taxation officer
The Issues
As the size of population increased the demand and pressure of work at the district level increased.
The district though still important from the administrative and development aspect, the office of Deputy
Commissioner (DC) could not come up to the challenge. The reasons were many for the declining
performance of the office of D.C. Some of the reasons for low performance were:
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Introduction To Public Administration­MGT111
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Administrative Reforms 1973 took the constitutional guarantees of civil servants. The
constitutional guarantees provided protection to civil servants against the  unnecessary
intervention by the politician. These protections were taken away. This made them
vulnerable to political interference.
-
The technical vs. generalist debate: There was strong resentment that DC is a generalist, i.e.
does not specialize in any particular field and he coordinates the activities of specialized
department.
-
Inaccessibility of DC: Because of the pressure of work DC had become inaccessible to
general public.
-
Too much concentration of power in one individual: The office of DC had too much of
power and this made it inefficient.
Concepts
Executive function:
The responsibility to execute or implement development projects.
Judicial function:
To hear and announce verdict on criminal and civil cases.
Magisterial functions:
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Table of Contents:
  1. INTRODUCTION:Institutions of State, Individualism
  2. EVOLUTION OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION:Classical School, The Shovelling Experiment
  3. CLASSICAL SCHOOL OF THOUGHTS I:Theory of Bureaucracy, Human Relation Approach
  4. CLASSICAL SCHOOL OF THOUGHTS II:Contributors of This Approach
  5. HUMAN RELATIONS SCHOOLS:Behavioural School, System Schools
  6. POWER AND POLITICS:Conflict- as Positive and Negative, Reactions of Managers, Three Dimensional Typology
  7. HISTORY OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION I:Moghul Period, British Period
  8. HISTORY OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION II
  9. CIVIL SERVICE:What are the Functions Performed by the Government?
  10. CIVIL SERVICE REFORMS:Implementation of the Reforms, Categories of the Civil Service
  11. 1973 CONSTITUTION OF PAKISTAN:The Republic of Pakistan, Definition of the State
  12. STRUCTURE OF GOVERNMENT:Rules of Business, Conclusion
  13. PUBLIC AND PRIVATE ADMINISTRATION:The Public Interest, Ambiguity, Less Efficient
  14. ORGANIZATION:Formal Organizations, Departmentalization
  15. DEPARTMENTALIZATION:Departmentalization by Enterprise Function, Departments by Product
  16. POWER AND AUTHORITY:Nature of Relationship, Delegation of Functional Authority
  17. DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY:The Art of Delegation, Coordination
  18. PLANNING I:Four Major Aspects of Planning, Types of Plans
  19. PLANNING II:Planning ProcessThree principles of plans
  20. PLANNING COMMISSION AND PLANNING DEVELOPMENT:Functions, Approval Authority
  21. DECISION MAKING:Theories on Decision Making, Steps in Rational Decision Making
  22. HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (HRM):Importance of Human Resource, Recruitment
  23. SELECTION PROCESS AND TRAINING:Levels at Which Selection takes Place, Training and Development
  24. PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL:Formal Appraisals, Informal Appraisals
  25. SELECTION AND TRAINING AND PUBLIC ORGANIZATIONS:Performance Evaluation,
  26. PUBLIC FINANCE:Background, Components of Public Finance, Dissimilarities
  27. BUDGET:Components of Public Income, Use of Taxes, Types of Taxation
  28. PUBLIC BUDGET:Incremental Budget, Annual Budget Statement, Budget Preparation
  29. NATIONAL FINANCE COMMISSION:Fiscal Federalism Defined, Multiple Criteria
  30. ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL:Types of Accountability, Internal Control, External Control
  31. AUDIT:Economy, Effectiveness, Objectives of Performance Audit, Concepts
  32. MOTIVATION:Assumptions about Motivation, Early ViewsThree Needs
  33. MOTIVATION AND LEADERSHIP:Reinforcement Theory, Leadership, The Trait Approach
  34. LEADERSHIP:Contingency Approaches, Personal Characteristics of Employees
  35. TEAM I:Formal & Informal teams, Functions of Informal Groups, Characteristics of Teams
  36. TEAM II:Team Cohesiveness, Four ways to Cohesiveness, Communication
  37. COMMUNICATION I:Types of Communication, How to Improve Communication
  38. COMMUNICATION II:Factors in Organizational Communication, Negotiating To Manage Conflicts
  39. DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION:The British Period, After Independence, The Issues
  40. DEVOLUTION PLAN I:Country Information, Tiers or Level of Government
  41. DEVOLUTION PLAN II:Aim of Devolution Plan, Administrative Reforms, Separation of powers
  42. POLITICAL REFORMS:District, Tehsil, Functions of Union Council, Fiscal Reforms
  43. NEW PUBLIC MANAGEMENT (NPM):Strategy, Beginning of Management Approach
  44. MANAGERIAL PROGRAMME AGENDA I
  45. MANAGERIAL PROGRAMME AGENDA II:Theoretical Bases of Management, Critique on Management