“The Collector or the District Magistrate remains even today the linchpin of the administrative system in India more than a hundred years after the creation of this Institution by the British...

Indeed, revenue collection is the least important of tasks today. You have become agents of change, of good governance and development administration at the very base of our democratic structure. The insights you gain during your tenure at the district level stands you in good stead throughout your career because it gives you a first hand experience in dealing with the hopes and aspirations, the lives and livelihoods of our people. The State and Central Governments benefit immensely from this district level administrative experience very early in the lives of our administrators...
In this redefined role of the Government, the cutting edge of a Government’s function is at the district and lower levels. I think someone said India lives in States, I could amplify that to say that India lives in districts. Therefore, the provision of education and health facilities for improving human infrastructure, provision of physical infrastructure, improving economic opportunities for marginalised sections of society, preparing the society at large to face the challenge of disasters – natural disaster as well as man made disasters - and who can forget the role of terrorism in disturbing all civilised societies in the world that we live in. We have to be prepared to meet all this challenges. And these are all functions which are best performed by local bodies and district administrations. As we sit in Delhi and try to design a template for a humane, caring and prosperous India, we are aware of the criticality of your role in this process – your role in ensuring good governance at the grassroots, in promoting innovation, in improving service delivery, in enhancing public private partnerships and in ensuring outlays become outcomes. I believe that unless we reform governance from the village level upwards, there can be no real reform at the National level. And what I heard this morning gives me confidence that we have men and women in this room who can be trusted to be active agents of improving the quality of our governance in the years to come...
We have also had a major shift in our administration through the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments, which sought to revitalise local bodies and create elected representatives down the line. Though this was expected to whittle down the powers of the Collector, our historical experience is that the role of the Collector
has only been transformed into a more powerful one of coordinator, facilitator and a person who is responsible for inter-sectoral coordination of various activities that characterise the work of our grassroot administration....
Many of the challenges that you face in your district, be it the education challenge the water challenge, the health challenge or the employment challenge, the solution may lie in enabling people to handle change and improving service delivery. A Collector therefore can provide a leadership to this task of nation building...”


*** The Prime Minister at this time is Dr.Manmohan Singh***


sources :- SECOND ADMINISTRATIVE REFORMS COMMISSION, FIFTEENTH REPORT, STATE AND DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION