Divisional Commissioner an officer who ranks highest among all the field level officers in the administrative structure below the central secretariat. In fact, a division is the apex field level administrative unit. Its creation dates back to 1829.
In 1828, it was felt that there was no effective control over the district revenue administration, and no coordinating authority to supervise the operation of the judicial and revenue system as a whole. It was thought expedient to abolish the Board of Revenue and to create the post of commissioners, each in charge of a division comprising a number of districts. Bengal was divided into twenty divisions, each under a commissioner.
Each division consisted of three or four districts. At the time of partition in 1947, the area constituting what was then known as East Bengal had three divisions, namely Dhaka, Chittagong and Rajshahi. Later, Khulna division was created out of Rajshahi division. During the 1990s, two more divisions, namely Barisal and Sylhet, were created, thus raising the total number to six.
The Divisional commissioner's primary role is to act as the supervising authority over the Deputy Commissioners in respect of revenue and judicial work done in the districts. However, he is associated with the development work also. Besides exercising judicial and quasi-judicial power, the commissioner acts as the head of divisional anti-corruption committee. Usually, a divisional commissioner is appointed from amongst the senior joint or additional secretaries who have previous experience in district administration. [AMM Shawkat Ali]