Akbar Administration

The Administrative System of Akbar holds a  significant place in Indian History. Emperor Akbar’s administration system was built on systematic imperial policies which survived several generations.

The wide and sweeping conquests of Mughal emperor Akbar are an eloquent testimony to his extraordinary military talents. But it would be a mistake to look upon Akbar as a mere conqueror. He was even greater as an administrator.

Babur laid the foundation of the Mughal rule in India. But be died before he could consolidate. Humayun was unequal to the task he was called upon to fulfill. Akbar was required to build a new, and he built to last. Historians have rightly accorded him the distinction of being regarded as the architect of the Mughal Empire of India.

Like all rulers of his age Akbar was a despot, but he did not abuse his position for personal welfare. The administration of akbar was based on the principles of the moral and material welfare of people. He extended equal treatment to all classes of his subject irrespective of the faiths they professed. He pursued a liberal and benevolent policy and believed that the end of government was to promote the welfare of the governed.

King Akbar made sincere efforts to bring order and discipline in the work of government. He introduced the system of paying his officers in cash instead of granting them jagir as was the past. He thoroughly reorganized the revenue administration system with the help of Raja Todar Mal. He made a thorough and minute survey of all lands and classified those under three heads according to their fertility. He fixed the revenue at one-third of the gross produce and allowed it to be paid either in kind or in cash. His revenue settlement was modeled on that of Sher Shah and it brought lasting benefits to his people.

The Mughal government of Akbar was divided divided into fifteen administrative units known as Subhas, viz., Delhi, Agra, Ajmer, Lahore, Kabul, Multan, Ahmedabad, Ahmednagar, Malwa, Khandesh, Berar, Allahabad, Oudh, Bihar and Bengal. He placed a governor named Subahdar in charge of each Subah. He was to be held responsible to the Emperor for the maintenance of peace and order within the Subah. Each Subah was again divided into a number of small administrative units known as Sarkars. The officer in charge of a Sarkar was known as Faujdar. Both in the centre and in the provinces there was an elaborate staff of bureaucratic officials. The most prominent among them were the Dewar, in charge of revenue department, the Bakshi in charge of pay department, the Mir Babar in charge of shipping, ports and ferries, the Wakia Navis in charge of the Record Department, and Sadar, in charge of the Ecclesiastical Affairs.

The military administration of Akbar is also priseworthy. Mughal Akbar reformed the existing military organization by introducing regular gradation of military officers called Mansabdars. They were divided into 33 grades. They received fixed pay from the state and were required to render such military duties as were entrusted to them from time to time.

Akbar realized that India being the common land of the Hindu and the Muslim alike, the policy of Government should be directed towards securing the goodwill of all classes of hi subjects. He acted up to this principle and succeeded in evolving what may be called a nation-state in India.

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