6th Class Social Science Local Government Notes - Rural Administration

Notes - Rural Administration

Category : 6th Class


Rural Administrations




1.            Two rural government officials administer a village - the patwari and the police.

2.            The in-charge of the police station of an area is the Station House Officer (SHO). He solves cases of burglary, quarrels, etc., in that area.

3.            The patwari is the village accountant who maintains land records by visiting agricultural lands, preparing land maps, writing records of land ownership and crop grown in every harvest, etc.

4.            The patwari reports to the tehsildar who is the revenue officer at the tehsil level.

5.            The District Collector is the head of the revenue department in a district.

6.            The Hindu Succession Amendment Act (HSAA) which came into force in September 2005 gave the Hindu sons and daughters equal right to ancestral property.


Villages in India are mainly clusters of small huts and most of the people residing here are farmers. Around three-fourth of Indians population live in villages. This is why Gandhi at the beginning of 20th century said, ?The soul of India lives in its villages?. Villagers own pieces of land and grow crops in them. The local government maintains proper records of the size of the lands and their produce. It maintains peace and settles disputes over their land. This is how rural administration works.


1. From the above story what impression do you get of a patwari in a village?

2. When villagers are in trouble, who helps them to resolve their problems?

Let us understand the Police and Patwari and their roles to answer the above questions.



Two rural government officials play an important role in administering the villagers during conflicts: the patwari and the police. The patwari is the land record officer, whose job is to visit agricultural lands and maintain record of ownership and yield. The local police solve the quarrels and are in-charge of maintaining law and order in the village.



You have seen how the police helped Ramu, a villager. Villages are divided into areas and put under different police stations. Each police station is responsible for maintenance of law and order of that area. The people of that particular area can report cases of burglary, quarrels and accidents in the police station. The SHO or the Station House Officer is in-charge of the 32police station. He has many police constables under him. The SHO registers a case by taking a written statement of the complaint. This is called the FIR or the First Information Report. Then as per procedure the police begin an investigation on the matter and takes appropriate legal action.





You have seen how the records maintained by the patwari helped Ramu get justice. The patwari is the village accountant. He is employed on an administrative government post in rural parts of India. He is known as talatti in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka, and karnam or adhikari in Tamil Nadu.


Q. Find out what the patwari is known as in your state.


The chief duties of the patwari include:

1. Visiting agricultural lands and preparingland maps. A Land map

2. Maintaining records of land owner, that is, the number of people who own that land.

3. Maintaining records of the crop grown at every harvest.

4. Collecting land revenue, irrigation dues, etc. from the farmers.

The Patwari regularly updates his records when there are changes, such as when a farmer rents out his land, buys more land, changes the crop grown or divides his land among family members. The Patwari also provides a copy of his records to the villagers on the payment of a small fee when they need it to apply for a loan, land transfer, etc.




Know a Little More

The Patwari system was first introduced during the rule of Sher Shah Suri and the system was further enhanced by Emperor Akbar. The British continued the system.



We know that states are divided into smaller units known as districts. They are further sub- divided into smaller administrative units called tehsils or talukas. Within a tehsil are villages about which we have discussed above. Officers at the district level have specific local responsibilities like coordinating revenue collection and maintaining law and order in the region.



Every district has a revenue department headed by the District Collector also called the District Magistrate or the Deputy Commissioner. He or she is elected from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). The District Collector's duty is to collect revenue and manage the administration of the district. The Collector also supervises the work of the Panchayati Raj institution. For management of revenue, its collection, measurement of land and its produce, maintaining records and other necessary functions, the tehsildar is appointed to manage the tehsil. The patwari reports to the tehsildar and the naib-tehsildar who make sure that he is doing his job properly.


The patwari's records are called jamabandi. These are land records maintained for all villages within a tehsil. The tehsildar checks these records and attests them. Today, in many states, the land records have been computerised. The jamabandi prepared and made available on the website.



The most important responsibility of the District Magistrate is to maintain law and order in the district. He can pass orders to check lawlessness and rioting. He is also assisted by the Superintendent of Police (SP).



Each district has a judicial set up of civil and criminal courts for administration of justice. The dispute can be between citizens or between the government and the citizens. The civil court deal with civil cases like property and financial disputes, whereas the criminal courts deal with criminal cases like theft, assault, murder and other criminal acts.


Hindu Succession Act, 1956

While dealing with transfer of land and property to the descendants, in the early times females were given lesser right to inherit. Parents' property was often given to the sons or male relatives. The Hindu Succession Act (HSA), which came into being in 1956, was biased towards Hindu sons.


Let us read one more story regarding this.

Rabri and Hari were the children of Motiya, a farmer. Motiya was growing old. He decided to make a will. He told his family that he will divide the property equally among them. His son, Hari objected. He said that Rabri was already married and was the responsibility of her husband. Unfortunately, Rabri's husband did not have a regular job. But Hari was worried about her daughter. Hari pointed out that his mother and Rabri were illiterate women, and would not be able to take care of their share. So, he offered to take care of Rabri and his mother, and requested Motiya to will his property to him. Motiya was confused.


The village patwari was his friend. Motiya approached him for advice. The patwari told him about the law that gave married women the right to her ancestral property. Motiya divided his property equally among his wife, son Hari and daughter Rabri.


The New Inheritance Law (2005)

The Hindu Succession Amendment Act (HSAA) came into force in September 2005 and made changes in the former Act of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. It gave the Hindu sons and daughters, an equal right to ancestral property. With this law, the government aims to overcome the present-day problems of bride burning, domestic violence, suicides of wives, daughters and sisters that are rooted in inequality between men and women in our society. The HSAA has given the Indian woman, the right to lead a dignified and independent life.



Do you think a Patwari is still needed in today's world of computers? Find out how far a Patwari is at all required today.

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