The District is the Principal Administrative unit below the state level. It is a unit of administration covering most of the departments of Government. In the words of the study team on district administration constituted by the Administrative Reforms commission.
The district is the most convenient geographical unit where the total apparatus of public administration can be concentrated, and where it comes into direct contact with the people. Most departments of the state Government out-side the secretariat, have external services which are located in the district. The sum total of the activities of these departments and some others, which may also be connected with the affairs of the Central Government, together constitute the administrative machinery in the district.
The block and village level bodies are generally executive in nature, while the district level body mostly has a co-ordinating and supervisory role.
The D.C., being the head of the district administration, is perhaps the only officer who exercises powers under the largest number of laws both state and central.