Who can be a district collector?

The institution of District Collector, as it exists today, was created and developed during the British rule and has become a unique feature of Indian public Administration by the time the Country became independent in 1947. The role and functions of the Collector have multiplied and today in most of the states, he is inundated with multifarious responsibilities. Presently, the District Collector is normally a functionary borne on the cadre of the Indian Administrative Services (IAS). A District Collector may, therefore, come from the following backgrounds: officers appointed to the IAS through regular recruitment based on annual competitive examinations and state civil service officers appointed to the IAS through promotion. An officer of the Indian Civil Services (ICS) got his substantive appointment as Collector after acquiring nearly twelve years of experience in various assignments, whereas, a directly recruited officer to the IAS spends the first two years of his service under training and the next two years as sub-divisional officer in charge of a revenue sub-division. Since the post of District Collector is generally a senior IAS scale post, a directly recruited officer becomes eligible for being appointed to a comparatively small and easier district charge in the fifth or sixth year of his service.