History Optional Paper-1 Solution – 2015: Q.8 (c)

History Optional Paper-1 Solution – 2015: Q.8 (c)

Q8.(c) Compare the Peshwas’ bureaucratic management with that of the Imperial Mughal administration.


Imperial Mughal Administartion

The Mughal state was a combination of Indian and foreign elements. To be more accurate, it was a ”Perso-Arabic system in an indian setting”.

Central Administration

A centralised despotism, with the emperor at the pivot of the administrative edifice, enjoying absolute power. The emperor as the head of the state with unlimited powers, being supreme commander of the army, the chief executive of the civil administration and the supreme dispenser of the justice.

The Mughal emperor had a council of ministers, and other officers and nobles who met to discuss administrative, political and military policies.

The Wazir or Diwan– the prime minister who sometimes also headed the revenue department. He was assisted by two junior officers- the diwan-i-am (incharge of salaries) and the diwan-i-khas (incharge of crown lands).

The Mir bakshi– the chief military adviser and the inspector general of the cotingents.

The khan-i-saman– headed the emperor’s department of manufacturers, stores and supply.

The Muhtasib– was appointed to inspect public morals.

The sadr-us-sadur was the chief sadr of the empire, the guardian of the Islamic law and the spokesman of the ulema.

There were also many other officials who helped in central administration. For example- darogha-i-dak chauki, mushrif, mustaufi, khwan salar etc.

Provincial Administration

Akbar divided the mughal empire in 12 subas which rose to 15 after his Deccan conquest. By the time of Aurangzeb’s reign the number of provinces stood at 21.
Every suba was governed by a subedar. He was assisted by other officials like the diwan, bakshi, faujdar,  kotwal, qazi, sadr, amil, quanungo and patwari.
The subas were divided into sarkars or districts and the sarkars were sub-divided into parganas. The subedar wielded both civil and military powers.
The head of the sarkar was a faujdar who was in charge of maintaining law and order.

Local Administration

The parganas being a union of several villages, the administration was carried out by a number of officials such as shiqdar, amil, potdar and bitikchis.

The Mughal state was a bureaucratised state which ran according to the detailed rules and regulation. There is evidence of the Dastur-ul-amal (Rules’ book).

Maratha Administration

Maratha kingdom consisted of Swarajya and Mughalai. Swarjya referred to the areas of Maratha system of administration while the Mughalai fell outside the Swarajya and was subjected to Maratha and other external raids from time to time.
To protect people living in the Mughalai areas chauth and sardeshmukhi were imposed.

Central Administration

The king was the head with all powers-executive, legislative, military and judicial concentrated in his hands. A council of eight ministers assisted him- Ashtapradhan system.

1. The Peshwa or the prime minister- duty was to look after general welfare and interests of the state.
2. The Amatya or Finance minister- in-charge of checking and countersigning all public accounts of the kingdom.
3. The Mantri- maintained a detailed account of the king and his court.
4. The Sumant or dabir- to advise king on the external affairs, war and peace.
5. The Sachiv-to look after the correspondence of the king and checked the accounts of parganas.
6. Danadhyaksha-the Ecclesiastical head-judge of canon law and censor of public morals.
7. The Nyayadhish or Chief Justice- responsible for dispensing civil and military justice.
8. The Senapati- the commander-in-chief in charge of recruitment, organization and discipline in the army.

Local Administration

The kingdom was divided into 4 provinces and each was placed under a provincial governor.To assist him, there was a council of ministers based on the central model.
The provinces were divided into a number of regions called prants. Each prant was subdivided into parganas and tarafs. The viilage was the lowest unit of administration,run by the village headman known as the patel.Over a group of villages there were officers known as deshmukhs and despandes.


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