6 Civics

Rural Administration

Learning Goals:

  • Settlement of Disputes
  • Role of Police
  • Role of Patwari

Administration: The function of a political state in exercising its government duties is called administration. Administration in rural areas involves many aspects. Some of them are as follows:

  • Construction of public facilities; like road, drainage, check dams, drinking water facilities.
  • Implementation of welfare schemes; like MNREGA.
  • Settlement of disputes
  • Maintenance of land records
  • Collection of land revenue



Settlement of Disputes

Disputes can arise when two people or two groups of people do not agree on a particular issue. While many disputes can be solved in amicable manner, sometimes a dispute may need intervention of administration machinery.

Role of Police

The police have to ensure enforcement of law. It also has to ensure peace and harmony in the area. Police stations are present for every village. A particular police station usually covers many villages.

Station House Officer (SHO): A police station is headed by the Station House Officer. In other words, the SHO is the in-charge of the police station. The SHO registers complaints. Complaints are usually registered in the form of an FIR (First Information Report).

After registering the FIR, the SHO sends a constable to investigate the scene of the dispute or crime. The SHO may try to take help of the Gram Panchayat or village elders in finding a solution. The SHO can also go to the court to reach a solution.

Land Disputes

Land disputes are the most frequent cause of dispute in rural areas. It often happens that a person forcibly tries to occupy someone else’s land. Some people are socially and economically more powerful in a village than some other people. The powerful person may try to grab the land of a less powerful person. In such a situation, people from the SCs/STs and OBCs are usually at the receiving end. Sometimes, land disputes can also arise among people of the same caste.

Tehsildar or Patwari or Kanungo or Karmchari or Land Record Officer

The person who is responsible for collecting land revenue from the village is known by different names in different parts of India. Some names are given above. The Patwari is the lowest state functionary in the Revenue Collection System. The Patwari system was first introduced by Sher Shah Suri. This system was further developed by Akbar.

Land Revenue: Since the times when the early kingdoms and empires flourished in India, land revenue has been a major source of revenue for the government. The government charges some tax for the land holding on an annual basis.

At the district level, the Collector heads the Revenue Collection System. The District Magistrate is also called Collector because of his association with the Revenue Collection System.



Duties of Patwari

The main duties of patwari are as follows:

  • The maintenance of record of the crop grown at every harvest.
  • The keeping of the record of rights to a plot up to date.

Earlier, the land record was kept in manual form in all states of India. This often led to too much confusion about exact ownership of land. The patwari often indulged in corrupt practices and change ownership records at will. This was done to favour someone.

Now-a-days, land records have been computerized in most parts of India. Computerization has helped in reducing the number of land-related disputes to some extent.

Information in the Land Record: The land record of a particular plot contains important information. Key informations among them are as follows:

  • Current owner of the land
  • Area of the land
  • Crop grown
  • Any other facility on the land
  • Boundary of the land




Use of Land Record

Land record is useful for the government as well as for the general public. A person needs a land record in many situations. Someone who is buying a land needs the land record. Similarly, the seller also needs the land record. If a person wants to avail loan against his land, he needs to show the land record to the bank. Land records are also useful in case there is a need to settle ownership dispute. When a person divides his/her property among the children, land record is required.

How to Get Land Record

Anyone can get the land record from the tehsil office after paying the proper fee. One can also get the map showing the land record from the tehsil office. After computerization, getting the land record has become somewhat easier in many villages.

Hindu Succession Amendment Act 2005

Earlier, the land of a person was equally divided among his sons. The government has implemented the new Hindu Succession Amendment Act in 2005. As per the new law, a daughter also has the right on land of her father. This step has been taken to empower the women of India.

Other Public Services in Rural Areas

Some of the public services which are available in rural areas are as follows:

Medical healthcare facilities: Some villages have small hospitals, while some villages have bigger hospitals. Villages where no hospital is present are served by Healthcare Workers.

Schools: Government schools are present in many villages to educate the children of nearby areas.

Milk Society: Milk societies have been established by milk cooperatives. The mil society works as a collection centre for milk. The milk is then sent to the processing plant of the cooperative.

Anganwaadi Centre: Anganwaadi centres have been established to serve poor children. Such centres especially work as crèche for children. Children are given free meals and some basic medicines to poor children.