ASSAM ADMINISTRATIVE REFORMS COMMISSION
Interim Recommendations Part II
(F) Rationalisation of District/ Sub-Divisional level Committees,
(G) Utilisation of Information Technology in Government Administration
(H) Decentralisation of powers up to Divisional level vis-à-vis strengthening of
the role and powers of Divisional Commissioners,
(I) Compilation of Annual Administrative Report
by State Government Departments,
(J) Mechanisms for Monitoring & Coordinating
Self-Employment Opportunities in the State.
(F) Rationalisation of District/Sub-Divisional level Committees
The Commission had requested the Deputy Commissioners and the Sub-Divisional
Officers to furnish lists of district and sub-divisional committees for examining the
multiplicity of committees and for recommending reduction in the number of these
committees and their rationalization, so that the already over-worked D.C.s/ S.D.O.s were not
over burdened with unnecessary committees. From the list submitted by Deputy
Commissioners, the Commission found that there were as many as 84 district level
committees in a particular District.
The Commission analysed the list minutely and carefully, and also held discussions with
a few Deputy Commissioners and Sub-Divisional Officers. The Commission would like to
make the following recommendations on the district level committees:
The Deputy Commissioner or the Sub-Divisional Officer is the kingpin of administration
at the district/sub-divisional level and hardly finds time to do justice to all the committees
formed at district/sub-divisional level. Also, there is no rational basis in constituting many
district and sub-divisional level committees, resulting in multiplicity of committees,
duplication of work, dilution of powers and wastage of valuable time and money. For
example, the following committees formed at the district level could be dispensed with, as
separate law enforcing agencies exist to prevent violation of the law:
1. District level Committee to prevent power theft,
2. District level Committee to prevent illicit liquor,
3. District level Committee to prevent cruelty to animals
Such committees, instead of strengthening the law-enforcing agencies under various Acts,
are likely to dilute the powers of the law-enforcing agencies. Therefore, the Commission
would recommend their dissolution.
The Commission also noted that, there are as many as nine district level committees (as
shown below) constituted by Health & Family Welfare Department:
1. District T.B. Control Society
2. District Leprosy Control Society
3. District Committee on National Malaria Control
4. District Level Advisory Committee on AIDS
5. District Committee on State Health & Family Welfare Society for
voluntary activities (SHFWSVA)
6. District Red Cross Society
7. Civil Hospital Management Committee
8. District Committee on Rehabilitation of Children with autism, etc.
9. District level Standing Committee for renovation, improvement, and up
gradation of Rural Health Institutions like PHCs, CHCs.
It is observed that the committees at serial 1 and 2 above are registered societies formed by the Government and central funds are routed
through these societies. Therefore, the Commission feels that all such registered societies
will have to continue.
Similarly, District Red Cross Society and Civil Hospital Management Committee
would have to continue for their specific functions.
However, the Commission would like to suggest that all other committees listed above
be dissolved and one district level committee on Health & Family Welfare be constituted
where all matters relating to health, epidemic, sanitation, etc. may be discussed with
representatives of Health & Family Welfare Department, Civic bodies and other concerned
departments along with leading public representatives. As health is an important service
sector, the committee may also entertain public grievances on this sector.
The Commission also noted that there are as many as five committees formed by the
Education Department at the District level, as shown below:
1. District Education Board under Sarba Siksha Abhijan
2. District Academic Council
3. District Committee on Scouts & Guides
4. Navodaya Vidyalaya Samittee
5. Committee for implementation of Mid-day Meal Scheme
The Commission would like to recommend that in view of the importance given to total
literary programme and human resource development, a separate district level committee
be formed for Education, Sports & Culture and Human Resource Development with
representatives of concerned departments, representatives of local bodies, representatives
of SC, ST, Minority and Tea tribes, where all matters relating to education, sports, culture,
human resource development be discussed after abolition of above-named five committees.
The Commission observes that several district level committees were constituted earlier
for selection of beneficiaries under various schemes. Some of these committees are listed
1. Selection of beneficiaries under various schemes like Antyodaya Anna
Yojana, Annapurna Scheme & BPL
2. Committee for selection of beneficiaries under National SC Finance
3. District Level Selection Committee for ARIASP Scheme.
Selection of beneficiaries under any scheme in the rural areas should now be the
responsibility of Panchayats, and, therefore, the Commission recommends dissolution of all
the abovementioned committees formed for the selection of beneficiaries.
The Deputy Commissioner is also the District Collector responsible for land settlement,
land management, land acquisition and requisition, revenue collection, maintenance and
correction of land records in the districts. At present, there are three district level
committees on land as below:
1. Land Settlement Advisory Committee
2. District Committee for Revenue Collection
3. District Committee for Computerisation of land records
The Commission recommends that one district level committee should be formed for
land settlement and management, which should also look after such matters like revenue
collection, correction and computerization of records, replacing the three district level
committees named above.
The Commission is of the view that the District Development Committee (DDC) is a
very important forum, which could be better utilized for monitoring and reviewing the
implementation of on-going schemes undertaken by various departments in the district. For
the DDC to be purposeful and meaningful, it should be so organized that the Deputy
Commissioner has enough time to review the working of all the departments. A proper time
table, department-wise, be prepared well in advance and circulated so that only the officials
of the concerned departments are available for discussion at particular hour. The
Commission feels that many district level committees can be dissolved and the related
subject can be easily discussed in the District Level Committee meeting. Accordingly, the
Commission recommends dissolution of the following district level committees.
1. District Committee on CIC
2. District Level Committee on RPRS
3. District Level Committee on MLIS
4. District Level Committee on National Green Crops
5. District Committee on Zilla Paryavaran Vahini
6. District Committee on matters related to petroleum products
7. District Level Committee for prevention of Manual Scavengers‟
8. Public Utility Coordination Committee
9. District Committee on abolition of Bonded Labour
The Commission also recommends that the CEO of the Zilla Parishad be made a
member of the District Development Committee.
The Commission is of the view that there are some Committees, which are statutory in
nature; these Committees shall have to function. A list of such Committees is given below:
1. Regional Transport Authority
2. Sub-Divisional Relief Committee
3. Fish Farmers Development Agency
4. District Review Committee for Joint Security
5. Airport Security Committee
6. Zilla Sainik Board
7. District Women Cell
8. District Committee on Protection of Human Rights
9. District Committee on Prevention of Child Labour
The Commission recommends that to avoid multiplication of committees in future, the
concerned department should obtain prior concurrence of the Administrative Reforms &
Training Department for constituting any District/Sub-Divisional level committee,
involving the D.C./S.D.O.
The government may nominate non-official members to the District level/Sub-
Divisional Committees from a panel of names recommended by the concerned Deputy
Commissioner, keeping in view the representation of S.C., S.T., O.B.C., Minority, Tea
Tribes and Women in such committees.
The D.C.s may be authorized to invite public representatives, such as Chairman,
M.Bs/T.Cs, Chairman, Z.P. and a limited number of A.P. Presidents by rotation to the
concluding session of the District Development Committee meeting for better interaction
with the public representatives.
The District Development Committee meeting may be held in block headquarters by
rotation to bring administration closer to the people.
In the Sub Divisions also, there are a large number of committees presided over by the
Sub Divisional Officers which are mere replication of the district level committees. The
Sub Division level committees should also be restructured in the same principles as
enunciated above for the district level committees to relieve the over-burdened Sub
Divisional Officers to pay more attention to field visits and developmental works.
The Commission has recommended the aforesaid rationalization of District level
Committees, taking into account the involvement of Deputy Commissioner or his nominee,
but if any Department has justification for having such District level Committee, the
concerned department may have such committees (for example District Academic Council)
without the Deputy Commissioner or his nominee as Chairman/member.
The District level Committees should be convened with fixed agenda, and the agenda
with the agenda notes should be circulated along with the notice issued for holding the
There should be proper records of all the important decisions taken in the meeting, and
their follow up action should be discussed in the next meeting.
With a view to introducing E-Governance in the State Administration, the Assam Administrative
Reforms Commission recommends that the following steps should be taken on a priority basis:
1. Functioning of the proposed Information Technology Department should commence
immediately as it is already delayed.
2. Each Department must have an I.T. plan, which has to be implemented on annual basis.
Common software for tracking all files, file movements, grievance redressal, etc. should
be used by all the Secretariat Departments. At least 5% of the budget of the Department
should be earmarked for computerization.
3. Each Department and each important public agency, e.g., Zila Parishads, DRDAs, etc.,
must have a well defined website of its own, hosted by a duly authorized agency,
preferably a Govt. agency, like, NIC, AMTRON, etc. These websites should be updated
regularly, at least once a month and also after any important change. These should also be
interactive, so that people could give their feedback and access information through them
from the Government.
4. Each Secretary holding a Department must have a MIS (Management Information System)
with relevant database, so that he/she can exercise effective control over the functioning of
5. The LAN installed in the Secretariat should cover all the departments as early as possible.
There should be extensive use of E-mail in the State Government Administration for
quickening communication as well as reduction of telephone bills.
6. Government of Assam should have the State Wide Area Network. Initially, this may
perhaps be done by interlinking the 219 CICs with Sub-Divisional and District Head
Quarters as well as State Capital at Dispur.
7. As a first step, all the staff in the Secretariat, irrespective of seniority, must be
appropriately trained in computer operation so that common software can be used across
8. Typists and stenographers in all Secretariat departments must be trained for working on
computers. Manual typewriters in the Secretariat should be phased out and substituted by
computers, except keeping a few as standby. The cadre of typists should be abolished and
the present typists may be designated as data entry operators.
9. The LAN should be used for most communications, and except matters that are
confidential in nature, service matters, and matters before the courts, all the rest of file
work should be done on computers.
10. Each Department must immediately create databases covering the subjects dealt with in
the department, with built-in system for regular updating of such databases. Provision
must be made for sharing data among the departments whenever required.
11. The Departments should not set up individual info. kiosks at the field level; common
kiosks should be set up at the district or the block level, covering all the concerned
departments. The CICs could also be used for this purpose.
12. All Citizens‟ Charters must be put on the web and all the services that citizens
most frequently need and use should be provided locally as a part of e-
Governance, as has been done through „GYANDOOT‟ Programme.
13. The Departments of Transport, Taxes, Police and Revenue should be computerized on a
priority basis, including all check-gates like Srirampur Baxirhat, etc.
14. For communication with District, Sub Divisional and other field offices, the Internet
facility should be extensively used. Messages related to only law and order should be sent
through Police Wireless System., as using Police Wireless System for sending all types of
messages is a very costly proposition.
15. The provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000, where digital signatures have
been legalized, should be given wide publicity, so that not only the officials but also the
general public are aware of this provision.
16. Payrolls in all departments should be computerized. This would speed up the work and
also economise on the costs involved.
17. Recruitment rules of all the departments should be suitably modified so that appropriate
computer skills are made mandatory for all entry-level direct recruitments.
18. Government employees should be encouraged to acquire computer skills relevant to daily
office use within a specified period. For this purpose, the government should introduce
incentive schemes to motivate employees.
19. The Government of India, in the Ministry of Information Technology, has adequate funds
for helping the States in introducing E-Governance. Thus, there would be no dearth of
fund for introducing E-Governance in Assam.
The Bhumi Project introduced by the Karnataka Government, covering all the areas of
revenue administration, should be introduced in Assam also at the earliest with suitable
modifications. The Government of India is prepared to provide 100% finance required for
this purpose, and the Govt. of Karnataka is prepared to help with technical know how.
As an experimental basis, registration of documents in Kamrup Metropolitan District
should be computerized. NIC has necessary expertise in this regard, since such
computerization has been done by NIC in other states.
Functions of the Divisional Commissioner (H)
The institution of Divisional Commissioner has been working very satisfactorily in some of the
major States of the country. In these states, the Divisional Commissioner is functioning as the
eyes and ears of the State Government on the one hand, and as a friend, philosopher and guide to
the district administration on the other. Administrative functions and duties of the Divisional
Commissioner relates primarily to supervision and co-ordination. These functions are quite
specific and wide in respect of revenue, law and order and development administration.
The Commission feels that the institution of Divisional Commissioner should be developed as an
effective instrument of the government at the regional level so that it could function effectively.
Moreover, the supervisory and co-coordinating role of the Divisional Commissioner is very
important for streamlining of the administration and expeditious execution of programmes and
works at the field level. Many of the appeals under different Acts and rules, which are now heard
at the Secretariat level, could be delegated to the respective Divisional Commissioners, and such
a step would bring the administration closer to the people at the field level. In this context, the
Commission would suggest that:
1. Only the senior-most Commissioners having adequate district and Secretariat
experience should be posted as Divisional Commissioners.
2. Minimum tenure of an officer as Divisional Commissioner should be 3 years, in
view of the importance and wide range of his duties and functions.
3. The jurisdictions of the Divisional Commissioner and the DIG/IG Range should
normally be co-terminus and their headquarters should be at the same station so
that this important duo at the regional level could function in close coordination
and perfect harmony.
4. The Divisional Commissioner should be specifically recognised as the leader at
the regional level and should be equipped with suitable powers for effecting
coordination among different departments and monitoring of progress. He/She
should exercise all the powers and authorities as prescribed in the Executive
5. As recommended earlier, the Divisional Commissioner should oversee the system
of redressal of public grievances in the district level and should be authorized to
intervene in appropriate cases and to issue directions in cases of default.
6. The Divisional Commissioner should be empowered to exercise supervision and
inspection over the urban local bodies as well as the Panchayati Raj Institutions,
so as to be able to offer guidance and to recommend correctives, where necessary.
7. It should be imperative for the regional level officers of the government
departments to comply with the directives given by the Commissioner, and if, for
some reason, they are not in a position to do so, they should refer the matter to the respective Heads of Departments for order under intimation to the Commissioner. The Head of Department must give due weight to the recommendations made by the Commissioner in such matters and if, in any case, they are unable to accept the Commissioner‟s advice, they should report the matter to their respective
administrative department of the government for decision.
8. The Commissioner of the Division should review the ACRs of the district/ regional-level officers of the line departments. Alternatively, a special report should invariably be obtained from the Divisional Commissioner regarding the annual performance review of the district/ regional-level officer of the line departments, which should form a part of the ACRs of these officers.
9. Tour programmes and tour notes of all regional level officers should invariably be endorsed to the Commissioner. Whenever a regional officer proceeds on leave, the Commissioner should be informed in advance, and if the Commissioner feels that in the interest of the government works the officer should not proceed on leave during that period, he may advise the administrative department of the government accordingly.
10. The Divisional Commissioner will keep himself/herself constantly posted with the law and order situation of the division and ensure that it is effectively maintained. He/she will meet at least once in a quarter with the DIG/ DCs/ SPs of the division to review and coordinate matters relating to law and order in his/her jurisdiction. He/she will send a monthly law and order review of the division, based on reports received from districts, for consideration of the State Government. This report should be addressed to the Chief Secretary.
11. The Divisional Commissioner, functioning as regional coordinating and supervisory authority in the field of planning & development, will be responsible for supervision, coordination, monitoring and review of all development activities/ programmes in the division. He/she will ensure necessary support and guidance as well as action in the planning & development activities without in any way inhibiting the process, which has been developed at the district level.
12. To be constantly in touch with the development activities in the field, the Divisional Commissioner may call for information and periodic progress reports from the implementing agencies. Copies of all periodical progress reports prescribed to be submitted to the government will invariably be endorsed to the Divisional Commissioner.
13. The Divisional Commissioner, being the senior most Revenue Officer, will be in overall charge of revenue administration in his/her jurisdiction. He/she should be authorized to appoint ministerial and class-IV staff of his office and also function as the senior most Establishment Officer in respect of the officers and staff of the General Administration and Revenue Departments in the Division.
14. The Divisional Commissioner will look after the management of inter-state/
international boundary/ boundaries within the Division and ensure development
of border areas as per Government Policy and decisions. For this purpose, he/she
will maintain necessary liaison with the other Divisional Commissioners/ Deputy
Commissioners having such areas under their jurisdiction.
15. In emergencies, the Divisional Commissioner should have the powers to: (a)
temporarily deploy any Government officer/ employee of the Division (other than
Police Personnel) below the rank of a Sub-Divisional Officer to any place within
the Division, (b) initiate departmental proceedings against any Government
officer/ employee except the Police and the regional/ district heads of departments.
16. DETAILED EXERCISES SHOULD BE UNDERTAKEN FOR
DELEGATION OF MORE POWERS PARTICULARLY APPELLATE
POWERS FROM THE GOVERNMENT TO THE DIVISIONAL
COMMISSIONERS IN THE INTEREST OF SPEEDY DISPOSAL OF
17. Inspection being an important tool of administration, one of the most important
functions of the Divisional Commissioner will be periodic inspection of district,
sub-division, circle and block offices, district jails, etc., for which the
Commission would like to prescribe a tentative time-table for consideration of the
Yearly Schedule for Inspection by Divisional Commissioners:
? Own office Once in a year
? D.C.s‟ offices, including District
Treasury, Registration Office, etc. Once in a year
? S.D.O.s‟ offices 50% in a year by rotation
? Circle offices 25% in a year by rotation
? Block offices 20% in a year by rotation
? District Jail Once in a year by rotation
? Sub-Divisional Jail 25% in a year by rotation
The Commissioner should also inspect at random other offices and institutions as
prescribed in the Executive Manual.