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Glossary: D

A glossary of special terminology used in India during the British Administration.

Dafadar
An NCO in the Indian Cavalry equivalent in rank to a Havildar in the Indian Infantry

Departmental Officers
Departmental Officers were recruited from the EIC/Indian Army's Conductors and served mainly in the Ordnance, Commissariat and Public Works Departments. Prior to 1904 they held the ranks (in ascending order) of Deputy Assistant Commissary, Assistant Commissary and Deputy Commissary. In 1867 these ranks were given complementary honorary officer ranks ranging from Honorary Ensign to Honorary Captain. From 1904 Departmental Officer ranks were regraded as Assistant Commissary, Deputy Commissary and Commissary with equivalent honorary officer ranks from Honorary Lieutenant to Honorary Major. In 1921 the prefix 'Honorary' was discarded and the complementary ranks assimilated to those of regular officers.

Deputy Collector
In the Regulation Provinces a member of the Uncovenanted Civil Service in charge of a subdivision of a district; the equivalent of an Extra Assistant Commissioner in a Non-Regulation Province

Deputy Commissioner
In the Non-Regulation Provinces an officer in charge of the civil administration of a District; equivalent to a Magistrate and Collector in the Regulation Provinces .

Discharge Papers
Register of soldiers who took the option of unpensioned discharge when the EIC European troops were amalgamated with the British Army in 1859-61. These papers are a convenient source of biographical information since they include both the soldier's service details and a duplicate copy of his entry in the recruitment register, giving physical description, parish of origin etc. An index to the Discharge Papers is available in the Asia & African Studies Reading Room.

District Officer
An officer in charge of the civil administration of a district. In the Regulation Provinces after 1858 he usually held either the title of Magistrate and Collector or (in the Madras and Bombay Provinces) the title of Collector and District Magistrate; in the Non-Regulation Provinces he was called Deputy Commissioner (see above)

Diwani Adalat
See Sadr Diwani Adalat