Administration-management perspective of the DM

The primary role of district administration has been to ensure the “Rule of Law” in the district. There have been three key functions, viz., (a) ensure law and order, (b) ascertain and maintain land records, and (c) revenue and treasury function. The District Collector of Osmanabad was very clear and committed to these three core functions. He said:

The Government has posted me in a district to primarily take care of these three key functions; other works including execution of development programs in the district are secondary. It is only after 1 meet these three primary functions that I can devote my time for any development works. So, I have to work very long hours in order to actively engage in the various development programs that we have implemented in the district.

Professor Padamvir Singh, a retired senior IAS officer, former Director of LBS National Academy of Administration and Director of ABV Institute of Good Governance and Policy Analysis, Bhopal, emphasized the role of District Collector in district administration:

There are so many regulatory functions; these are not facilitations at all; these are pure regulatory functions. All the regulatory functions are important. Law & order is an important regulatory function of Collector along with SP; a huge area of engagement; which to a certain extent is in the back seat. Land administration is another critical area of regulation. (In a digitally driven world), there are lots &1 lots of issues. People are going crazy with this & now the price of land is increasing. Mining requires regulation. So, these regulatory functions are very critical functions. The government must be very clear about the role of the collector.

In summary, the unique features of district administration and the protagonist (District Collector) were systematic planning, detailed time management, clarity in communication and stakeholder mapping, effective alignment of resources, functional expertise, and convergence. The binding factor for all these, however, seems to be the clarity in the sense of purpose by the protagonist and the district leadership. He made clear about this intent when he entered the services back in 2009, as he said,

People always asked me why 1 wanted to serve the society when I had a lucrative career as a dentist ahead. I want to prove to them that by becoming a public servant, I can make my life much more meaningful.

  • 140 Case study of a rural district, Osmanabad Notes
  • 1 A type of chicken that is rich in iron and other nutrients. It is also known as “black meat chicken.” Its origin is known to be Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh, India. These eggs and grown chicken prices were about 10-15 times the price of a normal chicken.
  • 2 These are 51 significant shrines and pilgrimage destinations in Shaktism, the god- dess-focused Hindu tradition.


Audio recorded conversations with the District Collector(s), Resident Commissioner, and Other Key Officials of the District with the Research Team, April-December 2017.

Government of Maharashtra: Osmanabad, District Administration Files and Presentation Slides including Government Orders, Office of the Resident Commissioner, Osmanabad District, Maharashtra.

Gazetteer of India, Maharashtra State (1972). Osmanabad District, Directorate of Government Printing. Maharashtra: Stationery and Publications.

Mitchell, R.K., Agle, B.R. and Wood, D.J. (1997). Toward a theory of stakeholder identification and salience: Defining the principle of who and what really counts. Academy of Management Review, 22(4), 853-886.

Tata Institute of Social Sciences (2017). Farmers’ Distress and Impacts of Baliraja Cbetana Abhiyan, Osmanabad District, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). Tuljapur Off Campus. Unpublished Report.

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