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All states in India are divided into districts. There are some kinds of sub divisions of districts which are known as Tehsils.Tehsildar is a revenue officer in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh in charge of obtaining taxes from a Tehsil. The term is of Mughal origin made of 2 different words "Tehsil+Dar". "Tehsil", an Islamic word derived from Arabic, means "Revenue collection" and "Dar", Persian means "holder of a position", together these 2 words make the word Tehsildar which simply means a Tax Collector. The role of Tehsildar continued during the period of British Rule and was subsequently used by Pakistan and India following their independence from the British. The immediate subordinate of a Tehsildar is known as a Naib Tehsildar.

British rule

During British rule the tehsildar was a stipendiary officer of the government to raise revenue, in the "History of the Colonies of the British Empire: From the Official Records", Robert Montgomery Martin described local government as follows:[1]


Tehsildar is a gazetted (Class I) post in most of the states of India. Officers holding the post of Tehsildar hold a court related to Land, Tax and Revenue matters. Officers from this cadre are appointed as Naib Tehsildars through Combined State Services Exam (i.e. PCS in Uttar Pradesh, HPAS in Himachal Pradesh, RAS in Rajsthan, MPPCS in Madhya Pradesh, BAS in Bihar or other equivalent exams in other states of India) or promoted from subordinate posts like Kanoongo(also known as Revenue Inspectors).They later on get promoted to the post of Tehsildar as per the cadre rules. In modern India a State is divided into various districts. The district's senior most civil servant is the District Collector/District Magistrate, who is an officer from the IAS cadre. These districts are further sub divided into Revenue Sub Divisions or Prants (in West India). Each such Sub-Division is under the charge of an officer designated as Sub divisional Magistrate (S.D.M.) or Deputy Collector who is generally a member of the State Civil Services cadre. These sub divisions are divided into various Tehsils or Talukas. These Teshils or Talukas come under the charge of a Tehsildar. Tehsildar is also known as Talukadar in some states of India. The Tehsils/Talukas are further divided into groups of Villages. Each such group comes under the charge of a Kanoongo who is also known as a Revenue Inspector. Further these villages are put under a Village level Revenue Employee who is known as a Lekhpal or Patwaari. This hierarchy is mainly used for undertaking the regular administrative activities which includes identification and collection of revenue (from land) etc. A separate hierarchy exists for the law enforcement in a district.


  1. ^ History of the Colonies of the British Empire: From the Official Records - Hindostan Government and military, by Robert Montgomery Martin.

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