The Historical Evolution of the District Officer: From Early Days to 1947, is the first of five volumes written by Dr CK Mathew (Fmr. Former Chief Secretary, Rajasthan). Popularly known as district collector/deputy commissioner/district magistrate, the district officer is a critical element in the hierarchy of India’s governance structure. Originally, it was created for revenue collection by the British East India Company and extended in its scope over time. In post-independence India, it mutated to become the administrative head of every district, addressing grievances and implementing public welfare programmes.