History Optional Paper-1 Solution – 1996: Q.1 (c)

History Optional Paper-1 Solution – 1996: Q.1 (c)

Q.1 (c) Write a short essay on: “Mauryan municipal administration.”


Megasthenes’ account of municipal administration

Megasthenes has given a vivid description of the administration of Pataliputra where he mentions six committees of five members each, in charge of the following aspects:-

(a) Industrial  arts; 
(b) the entertainment and surveillance of foreigners;
(c) maintaining records of birth and death;
(d) trade and commerce (inspecting weights and measures, etc);
(e) supervising the public sales of goods;
(f) the collection of taxes on merchandise sold in the market.

Ashokan inscriptions

It mentions  the nagalaviyohalaka- mahamatas who were associated with municipal administration.

The Arthashastra

(a) It gives information about  an officer called the nagaraka who had sthanikas and gopas under him.

(b) It mentions high officials like Samaharta (Chief collector of revenue and who maintained the accounts) and Sannidhata (treasurer and also in charge of royal stores).

(c) It also mentions about officers like dauvarika (chief of palace attendants), the antaravamshika (chief of palace guards), and adhyakshas (departmental heads).

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