Administrative System of Gujarat

Administrative System of Gujarat

Government of Gujrat is a democratically elected body that governs the State of Gujrat, India. The state government is headed by the Governor of Gujrat as the nominal head of state, with a democratically elected Chief Minister as the real head of the executive. The governor who is appointed for five years appoints the chief minister and his council of ministers. Even though the governor remains the ceremonial head of the state, the day-to-day running of the government is taken care of by the chief minister and his council of ministers in whom a great deal of legislative powers is vested. The state government maintains its capital at Gandhinagar and is seated at the Government Secretariat.

Office of governor

The Governor is the head of a state just like the President is the head of the republic. The Governor is the nominal head of a state, while the Chief Minister is the executive head.

All executive actions of the state are taken in the name of the Governor. However, in reality he merely gives his consent to the various executive actions. He or she is devoid of taking any major decisions. The real powers in the executive dealings of a state rest with the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers.

According to an amendment in the Constitution of India, brought about in 1956, the same person can be the Governor of two or more states. Apart from the governors in the states, Lieutenant governors are appointed in Union Territories of Delhi, Andaman Nicobar Island and Pudducherry. All other union-territories are governed by an Administrative Head (an IAS officer). The only exception is Chandigarh. The governor of Punjab is also the lieutenant governor of Chandigarh.

State secretariat

While the Governor and the chief minister enjoy a constitutional status under the Constitution of India, the chief secretary, his secretariat and state services have been created to make the state government function on the pattern of secretariat of the Central government.  The state secretarial consists of departments of state government which are headed politically by the ministers and administratively by the secretaries.  The chief secretary Is the head of the entire state secretariat while a secretary is a head of one or two departments. The secretary is a senior administration officer of generalist variety. The secretary is the secretary to the state government as a whole and not to the individual minister concerned. The number of secretariat departments vary from state to state and may ranges from 15 to 40 departments.

Divisional commissioner

In the chain of supervisory area administration, the revenue administration of the collector has been superimposed by a divisional commissioner. A division is an administrative area between the district and the state government comprising 3 to 6 districts, the number varying from state to state and from division to division within a state itself.

The officer-in-charge of this area is called the commissioner who is a senior member of the Indian Administrative Service. The post was first created in 1829 when the then Bengal government established an intermediate authority between the collector and the headquarters administration in the form of commissioners of divisions.

The appointment of commissioners in the subsequently acquired provinces of Punjab, Burma, Oudh and the Central Province followed in due course. Before independence, even province in India except Madras had divisional commissioners. He was primarily a revenue official and heard appeals in revenue cases from subordinate authorities. The divisional commissioners have been called the Fifth Wheel of the car. He has little direct contact with the people. It is a promotion post for the senior members of the civil service.

District collector

The position of District Collector was created by Warren Hastings in 1772. The main functions of the district collector were to supervise general administration, to collect land revenue and to maintain law and order in the district. He was the head of the revenue organization. He was responsible for registration, alteration, and partition of holdings; the settlement of disputes; the management of indebted estates; loans to agriculturists, and famine relief.  All the other officials in the district were subordinate to him and were responsible to inform him of every activity in their respective departments.  He was also vested with the functions of the District Magistrate.

As a District Magistrate, he supervised the police and inferior courts in the district. Along with these, he also performed judicial functions.  After the independence of the country, the judicial powers of the collector were transferred to the judicial officers of the district. With the launch of Community Development Programme, the collector was also entrusted with the additional work of implementing the government’s development programmes in the district.

The District Magistrate or the Collector is the chief executive and chief administrative and revenue officer of a district. He makes necessary co-ordination of the official agencies functioning within the district. The functions and responsibilities of the District Magistrate Collector may be broadly classified as follows:

  • Collector
  • District Magistrate
  • Deputy Commissioner
  • Chief Protocol Officer
  • Chief Development Officer
  • Returning Officer


Sub-Divisional Officer

A few tehsils put together constitute a sub-division. A Sub-Divisional Officer heads the sub-division. He possesses both administrative and judicial duties. He is a magistrate as well as a revenue officer. In fact, his functions are analogous to those of the Collector at the district level.  His revenue duties are—regulation of details and resolution of disputes, doubts and difficulties regarding land revenue, supervision and inspection of all revenue matters, from assess­ment to collection, co-ordination of work in the departments of revenue, agriculture, veterinary and public health within the sub-division, appointment and dismissal of small revenue officials, collection and compilation of agricultural statistics.  His judicial duties comprise of decision of cases pertaining to land rights, enhancing, abating or commuting a rent, ejecting illegal sub­letting and deciding the question of the rightful ownership for a disputed land.


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