(Notes) Civil Services (Prelims) Examination : Mughal Empire - III (Administration under Akbar) Quick Revision Notes (II)

Civil Services (Prelims) Examination Special
Quick Revision Notes


Mughal Empire - III (Administration under Akbar) : Indian History

26. Each province or suba was divided into a number of districts or Sarkars. Every district had a faujdar, an amalguzar, a qazi, a kotwal, a bitikchi 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.

28. Amalguzar or 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.

29. 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 by amalguzar.

30. Each sarkar (district) was divided into a number of parganas or mahals. The pargana was the lowest fiscal and administrative unit of administration.

31. There were four principal officers in every pargana. They were: the shiqdar, the amil, the fotadar and the karkun. Besides, as in the times of Sher Shah Suri, there were two other semi-official functionaries: the qanungo and the chaudhri.

32. The Shiqdar was the executive officer of the pargana and was responsible for its general administration.

33. The amil (sometimes called the Munsif) had to discharge the same duties in the pargana as the amalguzar in the sarkar.

34. The Fotadar was the treasurer of the pargana. The karkuns were the writers and kept land record.

35. The Qanungo was the head of the patwaris of the pargana and kept records of the crops, the revenue demands, actual payments, arrears, etc.

36. 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.

37. Every town of considerable importance had an independent kotwal appointed to take charge of municipal duties, besides police work. In small towns, these duties were looked after by amalguzar.

38. The uniforms of the kotwal and the city police were of red colour.

39. Akbar recognised the village panchayats as a legally established court of justice and upheld its decisions.

40. Akbar introduced the mansabdari system to organise his armed forces more effectively.

41. 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.

42. Some mansabdars commanded troops that were recruited directly by the State and not by the mansabdar concerned. Such troops were called dakhilli or supplementary troops.

43. Ahadis were the gentlemen troopers who were recruited individually and were under the command of a separate mansabdar or officer, and had a diwan and a bakhshi of their own. Ahadis were considered very efficient and loyal troops and were paid high salaries.

44. An officer was incharge of each branch of the army and was known as Mir Atish.

45. Many elephants were trained to catch enemy soldiers and dash them against the ground. Such elephants carried two soldiers and two guns called gajnals.

46. Akbar’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.

47. The fiscal sources of Mughal empire under Akbar were divided into two main divisions—central and local.

48. 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.

49. Akbar abolished the religious taxes charged from Hindus, such as the pilgrims’ tax and the jaziya. Zakat, which was of two kinds, namely, first a religious tax from the Muslims only, and second, on cattle and some other articles, lapsed gradually.

50. 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.

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