Administrative System in India at the Advent of British Rule

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1.0 ' Objectives
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Mauryan and Gupta Administration
1.3 Major Characteristics of Moghul Administration
1.3.1 Role of the King
1.3.2 Bureaucracy
1.3.3 Army
1.3.4 Police
1.4 Structure of the Moghul Administrative System
1.4.1 Central Administration
1.4.2 Provincial Administration
1.4.3 District and Local Administration
1.5 Revenue Administration
1.5.1 Land Revenue as the Primary Source of Income
1.5.2 Types of Land Tenurial Systems
1.5.3 Administration of Land Revenue
1.5.4 Important Revenue Reforms
1.5.5 Modus Operandi of Revenue Collection
1.6 Administration of Justice
1.6.1 Administration of Civil Justice
1.6.2 Administration of Criminal Justice
1.7 Let Us Sum Up
1.8 Key Words
1.9 References and Further Readings
1.10 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises
In this Unit the overall objective is to examine the political and administrative environment in India at the advent 6f British rule. After studying this unit, you should be able to:
Understand the administrative system prior to the Moghuls;
Explain the Moghul administration which was by and large inherited by the East India Company; and I
Trace the roots of some of the present day adminiktrative practices and institutions. .
There are evidences that Indian history originated with the Indus Valley civilization. The sites at Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa and Lothal are described as pre-Vedic period and the coming of Aryans as Vedic period. During the Vedic period, Hinduism first arose (it was during this time when Vedas were \1~ritten). Large parts of India were united during Ashoka's rule. It was at that time that Buddhism spread not only in India but in other parts of Asia also. In the Mauryan reign, Hinduism took the shape. Islam came to light in thi eighth century and in the subsequent three centuries established as a political force. Lodhis, Tughalaks and a number of other dynasties were succeeded by the Moghuls. 1ndian administration in the contemporary period possesses characteristics of heterogeneity ~f;'~oaildse,a ls, focus and roles. It has reflection -. . .- -. . . - . - - . . .

Historical Context The main focus o this Unit is on Mauryan and Moghul administration as it was known in the days f of the great emperors, Chandragupta, Ashoka, and Akbar, who are singled out the most outstanding rulers of India known for their administrative abi Bit"i es of a high order.

This Unit gives a detailed coverage to Mauryan and Moghul adminisetion because these reflect the significant features of earlier administrative systems. Before we examine the nature of the British rule, its distinguishing characteristics and style of functioning, we must examine the administrative environment in India at that time. In other words, we must examine Mauryan and Moghul administration at great Length and take peep into post-Moghul developments to get a comprehensive picture of the administrative system at the advent of British rule.

As mentioned earlier, Indian administration can be traced to the Indus Valley Civilisation which is about 5000 years old that forms the basis of our civilisation and culture. -
In the ancient period we know of the Magadha, Mauryan and the Gupta Ages. Kautilya's Arthashastra, a political treatise on ancient Indian political institutions, written sometime from 321 to 296 B.C., examines statecraft, gives an account of State administration and reflects the rule of the Mauryan kings. Arthashastra, a treatise by Kautilya, a Brahmin Minister under Chandragupta Maurya, is written in Sanskrit. It discusses theories and principles for effective governance.

It comprises fifteen books dealing extensively with the powers and obligations of the king; major organs of the state including the King, the Ministers, the Janapada [territory with people settled on it], the Durga, the Treasury, and the Army;...
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