Services (Prelims) Examination Special
Quick Revision Notes
Empire - III (Administration under Akbar) :
Each province or suba was divided into a number of
districts or Sarkars. Every
district had a faujdar, an
qazi, a kotwal,
and a khazandar.
27. The head of the district was faujdar.
He had three principal
duties to perform: First, to maintain peace and tranquility
in his jurisdiction, to keep the roads free from robbers
and thieves, and to enforce imperial regulations; Secondly,
being a military officer, he was incharge of a small force
or local militia. It was his duty to keep this army ready for
service; Thirdly, he was required to assist the amalguzar
(the collector) in the work of revenue collection.
the revenue collector was the second most important
official of a district. He was also required to punish
robbers and other miscreants in order to protect the peasantry.
The Bitikchi was
an important assistant of amalguzar. His duty was
to prepare necessary papers and records regarding
the nature of land and its produce and it was on
the basis of these records that the assessment was made
Each sarkar (district)
was divided into a number of parganas or
mahals. The pargana was
the lowest fiscal and administrative unit of
There were four principal officers in every pargana.
They were: the shiqdar,
and the karkun.
Besides, as in the times of Sher Shah Suri, there were two
other semi-official functionaries: the qanungo
and the chaudhri.
The Shiqdar was
the executive officer of the pargana
and was responsible for its general administration.
The amil (sometimes
called the Munsif)
had to discharge the same duties in the pargana as
the amalguzar in
The Fotadar was
the treasurer of the pargana. The
karkuns were the writers and kept land
The Qanungo was
the head of the patwaris of
the pargana and kept records of the
crops, the revenue demands, actual payments,
The Mughals had no navy, but as their eastern and
western frontiers touched seas, they had large number of
sea-ports in their possession. All sea-ports were treated
as independent administrative units. For example, Surat
was classed as a sarkar and
comprised several parganas.
Every town of considerable importance had an independent
to take charge of municipal duties, besides police
work. In small towns, these duties were looked
after by amalguzar.
The uniforms of
the kotwal and
the city police were of red colour.
Akbar recognised the village panchayats as a legally established
court of justice and upheld its decisions.
Akbar introduced the mansabdari system
to organise his armed forces more effectively.
All imperial officers, except the qazis and
the sadars, were enrolled as members
of the mansabdari system
and were required to maintain some troops proportionate
to their ranks. All the vassal chiefs, who were rulers
of semi-independent States, were also enlisted as mansabdars.
Some mansabdars commanded
troops that were recruited directly by the State
and not by the mansabdar concerned.
Such troops were called dakhilli or
the gentlemen troopers who were recruited
individually and were under the command of a separate
officer, and had a diwan and
a bakhshi of their own. Ahadis
were considered very efficient and
loyal troops and were paid high salaries.
An officer was incharge of each branch of the army and
was known as Mir
Many elephants were trained to catch enemy soldiers
and dash them against the ground. Such elephants carried
two soldiers and two guns called gajnals.
Akbarâ€™s army consisted of officers and troops of several
nationalities, over two-thirds of whom were foreigners. Thus,
it was not a national army, and was not bound by common
interests and common sentiment of love for the country.
The fiscal sources of
Mughal empire under Akbar were divided into two
main divisionsâ€”central and local.
The central revenue was
derived from Commerce, Mint, Presents, Inheritance,
Salt, Customs and Land. Of these the land revenue
was the most lucrative and important.
Akbar abolished the religious taxes charged
from Hindus, such as the pilgrimsâ€™
tax and the jaziya.
was of two kinds, namely, first a religious tax from the
Muslims only, and second, on cattle and some other articles,
Akbar undertook a series of experiments to
improve the revenue collection and management. The first
of the experiments was undertaken in 1563, when Akbar
appointed Aitmad Khan to
look after the affairs of the Khalisa lands
which comprised the provinces of Agra, Delhi and a
part of Lahore.