Land Revenue System

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The history of Land Administration dates back to the olden days of kings and Kingdoms. The Land Revenue was the major source of revenue for the kings. The present system of preparing and maintaining land records originated from the Moghul period and it reached its scientific form during the British rule. During the British times the Revenue Department was the pivot of Administration. The Board of Revenue that wielded extraordinary powers administered it. The Collector was the virtual monarch at the District. The British domination over Indian land started in the seventeenth century and by the end of that century the British rule extended over large areas with the fall of Mughal empire, defeat of the Marathas and subjugation of local powers. The British inherited the institutional form of agrarian system from the Mughals. The British superimposed a system over the existing pattern in tune with British customs and laws relating land. Broadly three principal types of land revenue system were introduced in British India. The basic characteristic of each system was the attempt to incorporate elements of the preceding agrarian structure. The interaction of colonial policy and existing systems produced widely different local results and hybrid forms. it is interesting to note that the techniques used in land surveying in many parts of India even today remain substantially unchanged since their introduction by Raja Todarmal during the reign of Mughal Emperor Akbar. Different land revenue systems were introduced in various part of British India, as the British annexed different parts of India in various periods. Let us have an introspection into three broad land revenue systems introduced by the British. These land revenue systems are 1. Zamindari system, 2. Rywotari System and 3. Mahalwari System.

Zamindari system:

The Zamindari system was introduced in early British period. The Permanent settlement Act was passed in 1793 and initially introduced in Bengal. The...
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