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