Sl. No

Functional Area

Role of District Collector/ Deputy Commissioner (DC)

Variances across Select States



The Collector handles all matters connected with land reforms and revenue administration (including custody of government lands). He is assisted by an Additional Collector / Joint Collector.

Collector is the officer-in charge of the district under the State Excise Act.

Similar across different States


Executive Magistracy
and Maintenance of law
and order

As the Magistrate of the District, exercises functions and powers under various provisions of the Cr.PC. Is the Officer in overall charge of Law and Order and internal security in the district.

Is the authority to issue custody/detention warrants under special anti-crime/security enactments e.g. NSA. Retains importance in Police matters too e.g. under Bihar Police Act 2007, the Collector is the Chairman of the District Accountability Authority which monitors issues concerning departmental inquiries and complaints of misconduct against junior policemen.

Varies from State to State though Cr.P.C. functions are broadly similar


Licensing and Regulatory

The Collector is the licensing and regulatory authority under various special laws such as Arms and Cinematography Acts etc. in the district.

Similar across different States


Disaster Management

The Relief /Disaster Management branch of the Collector’s office deals directly with these functions.

Similar across different State



The Collector is the District Election Officer for Parliament, State Legislature and Local Bodies.

Similar across different States


Food and Civil Supplies

In most States, the Collector has a direct role to play in the functioning of the Food and Civil Supplies Department at the district level. He oversees the implementation of the Public Distribution System and has powers to enforce provisions of the Essential Commodities Act and related Rules and Orders.

Similar across different States



The Collector plays a very critical role in the execution of welfare programmes such as those relating to disability, old age pension etc. either through direct superintendence or through oversight.

Varies from State to State depending on the role envisaged in this regard for local bodies.
In Maharashtra, Zila Parishad (ZP) has a stronger role in welfare activities unlike in Andhra Pradesh or Rajasthan.



The Collector is the principal Census Officer.

Similar across different States



One of the most important roles of the Collector is to coordinate activities of other agencies/departments at the district level

Similar across different States


Economic Development
(Agriculture, Irrigation,
Industry, etc.).

Though, many activities/functions of these sectors stand transferred to PRIs and local bodies, the Collector still has some role in many of these programmes. He chairs meetings of various Committees of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Veterinary, Sericulture, Handlooms, Textiles, Irrigation and Industries departments. Also reviews their activities in monthly/bimonthly meetings and coordinates among the departments..

Varies from State to State depending on the role envisaged in this regard
for local bodies.
In Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh, the ZP has a stronger role in primary economic development activities unlike that in Andhra Pradesh or Rajasthan.


Human Resource

Though, a major part of this subject (primary education) stands transferred to the PRIs, the District Collector/Deputy Commissioner has been retained as Chairman /Co-Chairman in some of the district level committees.

Varies from State to State depending on the role envisaged in this regard for local bodies.

In Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh, powers have been given to PRIs in matters relating to health & primary education.


Rural Development

Though major activities of this department stand transferred to the PRIs/ULBs, in some States, the Collector still continues to be the nodal authority for some programmes.
Under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, the Collector has been designated as the District Programme Coordinator in some of the States.

In Andhra Pradesh, the DC is the Executive Director of District Rural Development Agency.

In Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh, DRDA is under the ZP. In Himachal Pradesh, the ZPs have been empowered to appoint
Assistant Engineers in DRDA.


Local Self Government
(PRIs / ULBs)

The role of the District Collector/ Deputy Commissioner with regard to local self governing institutions varies across different States. Mostly these relate to he powers of the State Government vis-à-vis the PRIs. (Powers of suspension, resolution, supersession etc.)

In Andhra Pradesh, the DC exercises direct control over the Gram Panchayats; in Orissa, the DC is the CEO of the ZP; in Maharashtra, the DC has a limited
role to play


Preparation of
Development Plan

Though under Articles 243-ZD and 243-ZE, the planning functions in a district have been given to DPC/MPC, the Collector coordinates with departments /agencies involved in execution of various works

Similar across different



The Collector exercises superintendence over the District NIC Centre.

Similar across different States.