(source Panchayat system in India):Panchayat /s In India : The district is the principal subdivision within the state (union territories are not subdivided). There are 476 districts in India; the districts vary in size and population. The average size of a district is approximately 4,300 square kilometers, and the average population numbered nearly 1.8 million in the early 1990s. The district collector, a member of the Indian Administrative Service, is the preeminent official in the district (see The Civil Service, this ch.). During the colonial period, the collector was responsible for collecting revenue and maintaining law and order. In the 1990s, the collector's role in most states is confined to heading the district revenue department and coordinating the efforts of the other departments, such as agriculture, irrigation, public works, forestry, and public health, that are responsible for promoting economic development and social welfare.
Districts in India are subdivided into t