Administration of mughals Upsc

Administration of Mughals

The Mughal Empire, spanning from the early 16th to the mid-19th century, remains an indelible chapter in the annals of Indian history. Known for its opulence, architectural marvels, and cultural synthesis, the Mughal dynasty was equally distinguished by its administrative brilliance. In this blog post, we embark on a journey to unravel the intricacies of the Mughal administration, a system that blended military might with bureaucratic finesse.

Village Administration

  • The Muqaddam, the privileged headman of the village, formed the Panch (Panchayat), an administrative organ of the village.
  • The Panch was responsible for the collection and maintenance of accounts at the village level. The Panch allotted the unoccupied lands of the village to artisans, menials, and servants for their service to the village.
  • The middle class consisted of small Mansabdars, petty shopkeepers, hakims (doctors), musicians, artists, and petty officials of the Mughal administration.
  • There was a salaried class that received grants called Madad-i-Mash from the Mughal emperor, local rulers, and zamindars. This section often became part of the rural gentry and a link between the village and the town.


  • It is estimated that during the reign of Akbar over 15% of the nobility consisted of Rajputs. Raja Man Singh, Raja Todar Mal, and Raja Birbal were Rajput nobles of repute during Akbar.
  • The Rajputs appointed Kayasths and Khatris for various positions in government administration. Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangzeb employed Marathas in their nobility.
  • For example, Shaji, the father of Shivaji, served Shah Jahan for some time. There were continuous migrations from Central Asia as there were better career prospects in India.
  • These migrations led to the enrichment of culture through the assimilation of diversity.

Foundations of Mughal Administration

1. Centralized Authority:

  • At the apex of the Mughal administrative structure was the emperor, wielding centralized authority. The emperor’s decisions permeated through the hierarchy, reflecting the autocratic nature of Mughal rule.

2. Mansabdari System:

  • Akbar, the third Mughal emperor, introduced the Mansabdari system, a unique military-cum-civilian administrative framework. Under this system, officials, known as Mansabdars, were appointed based on their military ranks (Mansabs), which determined both their military command and administrative roles.

3. Provincial Administration:

  • The empire was divided into provinces (subas), each governed by a Subedar appointed by the emperor. This administrative decentralization allowed for efficient governance across diverse regions.

Administrative Innovations under Akbar

1. Din-i Ilahi:

  • Akbar’s reign witnessed attempts at religious syncretism, including the creation of Din-i Ilahi, an eclectic religious doctrine aiming to integrate elements of various faiths. While short-lived, it showcased Akbar’s innovative approach to governance.

2. Revenue Reforms:

  • Akbar implemented significant revenue reforms, including the introduction of the Zabt system, which aimed to fix revenue demands on agricultural produce. This stable revenue system contributed to economic prosperity.

3. Judicial Reforms:

  • The emperor established a fair and efficient judicial system. Qazis (judges) administered justice based on Islamic law, ensuring a degree of uniformity in legal proceedings.

Decline and the Later Mughals:

1. Administrative Challenges:

  • The later years of the Mughal Empire witnessed administrative challenges, including corruption, weak successors, and increased regional autonomy. The decline of administrative efficiency contributed to the empire’s gradual weakening.

2. Aurangzeb’s Rule:

  • Aurangzeb’s ascension to the throne marked a departure from the syncretic policies of his predecessors. His more orthodox rule contributed to increased religious tensions and administrative challenges.
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* * All the Notes in this blog, are referred from Tamil Nadu State Board Books and Samacheer Kalvi Books. Kindly check with the original Tamil Nadu state board books and Ncert Books.
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