District Rural Development Agency (DRDA)

The District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) has traditionally been the principal organ at the District level to oversee the implementation of different anti-poverty programmes. Since its inception, the administrative costs of the DRDAs were met by way of setting apart a share of the allocations for each programme.

However, of late, the number of the programmes had increased and while some of the programmes provided for administrative costs of the DRDAs, others did not. there was no uniformity among the different programmes with reference to administrative costs. Keeping in view the need for an effective agency at the district level to coordinate the anti-poverty effort, a new Centrally Sponsored Scheme for strengthening the DRDAs has been introduced with effect from 1st April 199. Accordingly, the administrative costs are met by providing separate budget provisions. This scheme which is funded on a 75:25 basis between Centre and States, aims at strengthening and professional sing the DRDAs. The funding ration respect of NE States has been revised to 90:10 with effect from the financial year 2008-2009.


  • DRDAs is a supporting and a facilitating organization and needs to play a very effective role as a catalyst in development process.
  • The District Rural Development Agency is visualized as a specialized and a professional agency capable of managing the anti-poverty programs of the Ministry of Rural Development on the hand and to effectively relate these to the overall effort of poverty eradication in the District.
  • DRDAs must themselves be more professional and should be able to interact effectively with various other agencies. They are expected to coordinate with the line departments, the Panchayat Raj institutions, The banks and other financial institutions, the NGOs as well as the technical institutions, with a view to gathering the support and resources required for poverty reduction effort in the district.
  • The DRDAs are expected to coordinate effectively with the Panchayat Raj Institutions Under no circumstances will they perform the functions of PRIs.
  • The DRDAs will monitor closely the implementation process, besides ensuring that the quality of agencies in improving implementation process, beside ensuring that the quality of implementation of programmes is high.
  • DRDAs shall take necessary step to improve the awareness regarding rural development and poverty alleviation particularly among the rural poor. This would involve issues of poverty, the opportunities available to the rural poor and generally infusing a sense of confidence in their ability to overcome poverty.

DRDAs shall coordinate and oversee the conduct of the BPL Census and such other surveys that are required from time to time. The DRDAs shall also carry out/aid in carrying out action research/or evaluation studies that are initiated by the Central/State Governments. DRDAs should deal only with the anti-poverty programmes of the Ministry of Rural Development. if DRDAs are to be entrusted with programmes of other ministries or those of the State Governments.


Each District will have its own District Rural Development Agency. Ordinary it would be society registered under a Societies Registration Act. In respect of such states where DRDA does not have a separate identity a separate cell should be created in Zilla Parishad / District Collector which maintains a separate identity and separate accounts, so that the accounts are capable of being audited separately. This cell should be directly under the charge of CEO or alternatively an officer who has the qualifications to be a Project Director. The accounts of DRDAs should under no circumstances be merged of amalgamated with those of the Zilla Parishad / District Collector.

In order to be effective, the DRDA must have an appropriate staffing structure as well as suitable personnel policy. Keeping in view the role and functions of the DRDA listed in the previous chapter, the staffing structure of DRDA must include positions for Planning for poverty alleviation, Project formulation, Social organization and Capacity building. Gender concerns, Engineering supervision and Quality control, Project monitoring, Accountancy and Audit functions as well as Evaluation and Impact studies. An indicative staffing structure is given in Annexure and is also detailed below. The State Government may modify the structure suitably, but without altering the basic design,   to take care of the needs of individual district keeping in view their size as well as specificity. However, this eill also be subject to the overall ceiling of administrative costs admissible to the DRDAs in the State. By and large the staff appointed should be dedicated to DRDA- related works and should not be frequently transferred.

  1. Chairman of Zilla Parishad / District Collector.
  2. All MPs and MLAs and MLOs of the District.
  3. 1/3rd of Panchayat Samiti Chairpersons to be nominate by rotation in alphabetical order for a tenure of one year, one of whom must belong to SC/ST and another a woman
  4. CEO of Zilla Parishad / District Collector – Chief Executive Officer / Executive Director
  5. Head of the Central Cooperative Bank of the District
  6. Chairman, Regional Rural bank
  7. District Lead Bank Officer
  8. Representative of the Reserve Bank of India at district level
  9. NABARD representative at district level
  10. General manager, DIC
  11. Representative of KVIB
  12. District Officer, in charge of Scheduled Castes /Scheduled Tribes Welfare
  13. District Women & Child Welfare Officer
  14. District officer dealing with welfare of the disabled


Sl.No Schemes Programmes Projects
1. National Rural Development Guarantee Scheme (NREGS – TN)
2. Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)
3. Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY)
4. Swarnjayanthi Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY)
5. Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS)
6. Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC)
Total (A)


Sl.No Schemes Programmes Projects
1. Anaithu Grama Anna Marumalarchi Thittam (AGAMT)
2. NABARD – RIDF Road Works
3. Member of Legislative Assembly Constituency Development Scheme (MLACDS)
4. Rural Infrastructure Scheme (RIS)
5. Scheme Component of Pooled Assigned Revenue
6. 12th Finance Commision (TFC) Road works.
7. Panchayat Union School Renovation Programme
8. Samathuvapuram
9. Namakku Naame Thittam (NNT)
Total (B)



  • Each, DRDA should be headed by a Project Director, who should be of the rank of and Additional District Magistrate. The Project Director should preferably be a senior scale officer of the All India Services or a senior officer of the State Service, eligible for appointment to the All India Services. He would be in overall charge of the activities of the DRDA and responsible for interaction with the District / State administration as well as with the Government of India. The PD should be exclusively for the DRDA work.
  • In some States, such as Maharastra, the CEO of Zilla Parishad / District Collector is the Chairman of the Zilla Parishad / District Collector. Government of India have suggested to all the State Government that the Chairman, Zilla Parishad / District Collector should be the chairman of the governing body of the DRDA. In the light of this, in such states, the CES of the Zilla parishad could also be designated as the Project Director of the DRDA.
  • Each DRDA should have the following wings:
  1. Self-employment Wing
  2. Women’s wing
  3. Wage employment Wing
  4. Engineers Wing
  5. Account Wing
  6. Monitoring and Evaluation Wing and
  7. General Administration Wing


  • The Self – employment Wing, shall be headed by a Project Officer and should have APOs in the field of planning, social mobilization, credit and Technology. The Project officer may be specifically responsible for any of these four functions. the APO (Planning) would look after the activity dusters, district/block/village group plans, guiding the BDOs and others in plan preparation, planning for infrastructure inclosing marketing infrastructure. He would coordinate with the district officers, the banks as well as other institutions in the
  • The APO (Social Mobilization) would look after group formation, capacity building, monitoring of groups, choice of activities for groups, release of revolving funds and coordination. The APO (Credit), who should be from the commercial banking sector, would coordinate with the banks in all matters relating to credit, including the interface between the bankers and the beneficiaries/beneficiary groups, loan disbursements as well as loan recovery. The APO (Technology) would look after issues concerning Technology up gradation as well as transfer of technology.
  • The DRDAs would be drawing up projects for specific activities under the Self – employment programmes. It would be necessary to have suitable experts to verse the successful implementation of such projects. As part of the overall programming management, the DRDAs may take outside experts on a constituency basis. Society, Rural Development of each state should develop guidelines for selection of constitutions so as to avoid any wrong use of such provisions and to see that only those who have a proven practical expertise are engaged. Such experts to be engaged on project specific basis will function under the overall control and supervision of the Project officer, self-employment programmes.


In order to ensure that women receive adequate attention, in all the anti-poverty programmes a Women’s Cell should be set up in each DRDA. This Cell would establish  necessary synergy with Departments such as Women & Child  Development, Education and health Departments to ensure that women not only receive their due share in the anti-poverty programmes but are also able to receive benefits of other programmes. The Women’s wing will be headed by an Assistant Project Officer, who will function under the overall               co-ordination of the Project Officer of the self employment wing.


The Central concern of the DRDA in the wage-employment programmes should relate to planning, monitoring and  vigilance by a technical wing. The DRDA should not concern itself with the actual implementation and execution of works which can be done by the line department / engineers or the Panchayat Raj Institutions. At the same time, the magnitude of the wage employment wing, with a Project officer assisted by a small complement of staff.


A Watershed Wing will be set up in the DRDA in all such districts where IWDP/DPAP/DDP is in operation. This wing should consist of a Project Officer, assisted by a small complement of staff. This staff would be independent of the programme support in the form of PIAs or Watershed Committees.


Each DRDA should have a technical wing, which should also be responsible for innovations in design or use of materials, as well as training of the engineering personnel of the line departments or the PRIs. This wing should be manned by an Executive Engineer assisted by one or two Assistant / Junior Engineers.


  • Wherever it has not been done, the DRDAs should shift over to commercial accounting systems from the existing government account system. They should publish an annual report along with the balance sheet. The accounts wing of the DRDA should be headed by a Accounts Officer, either on deputation or by engaging  the services of a chartered accountant. He should be supported by an Account Officer each for self-employment programmes and wage employment programmes duly assisted by accountants. Wherever the Watershed programmes (IWDP/DPAP/DDP) are under implementation, an additional post of Accounts Officer may by sanctioned. For Indira Awass yojana, one Accountant at the district level should be available to monitor the progress of the programme and the accounts.
  • One of the Accounts Officers should perform the role of internal audit.


There should be a separate Monitoring and Evaluation wing headed by a Project Economist and functioning directly under the supervision of the Project Director. Apart from monitoring the progress of all the programmes. this wing  should also carry out evaluation/impact studies regularly by independent institutions / experts including NGOs. The cost of such studies will be met from the respective programmes funds. This wing should also monitor issued relevant to poverty in the district.

  2. Personal Assistant to Collector (Development) – 04362-237047 –           7402607335
  4. Assistant Project Officer (Infra- I) –           7402607319