Akbar’s Organization of Government


  • Akbar hardly brought any changes in the organization of local government.

Administrative Units

  • Akbar followed the system of the Subhah, the pargana, and the sarkar as his major administrative units.

Administrative Units
  • Subhah was the top most administrative unit, which was further sub-divided into Sarkar. Sarkar (equivalent to district) was constituted of certain number of parganas and pargana was the collective administrative unit of a few villages.

  • The chief officer of subhah was subedar.

  • The chief officers of the sarkar were the faujdar and the amalguzar.

  • The faujdar was in-charge of law and order, and the amalguzar was responsible for the assessment and collection of the land revenue.

  • The territories of the empire were classified into jagir, khalsa and inam. Income from khalsa villages went directly to the royal exchequer.

  • The Inam lands were those property, which were given to learned and religious men.

  • The Jagir lands were allotted to the nobles and members of the Royal family including the queens.

  • The Amalguzar was assigned to exercise a general supervision over all types of lands for the purpose of imperial rules and regulations and the assessment and collection of land revenue uniformly.

  • Akbar reorganized the central machinery of administration on the basis of the division of power among various departments.

  • During the Sultanate period, the role of wazir, the chief adviser of the ruler, was very important, but Akbar reduced the responsibilities of wazir by creating separate departments.

  • Akbar assigned wazir as head of the revenue department. Thus, he was no longer the principal adviser to the ruler, but an expert in revenue affairs (only). However, to emphasize on wazir’s importance, Akbar generally used the title of diwan or diwan-i-ala (in preference to the title wazir).

  • The diwan was held responsible for all income and expenditure, and held control over khalisa, jagir and inam lands.

  • The head of the military department was known as the mir bakhshi. It was the mir bakhshi (and not the diwan) who was considered as the head of the nobility.

  • Recommendations for the appointments to mansabs or for the promotions, etc., were made to the emperor through the mir bakhshi.

  • The mir bakhshi was also the head of the intelligence and information agencies of the empire. Intelligence officers and news reporters (waqia-navis) were posted in all regions of the empire and their reports were presented to the emperor’s court through the mir bakhshi.

  • The mir saman was the third important officer of Mughal Empire. He was in-charge of the imperial household, including the supply of all the provisions and articles for the use of the inmates of the harem or the female apartments.

  • The judicial department was headed by the chief qazi. This post was sometimes clubbed with that of the chief sadr who was responsible for all charitable and religious endowments.

  • To make himself accessible to the people as well as to the ministers, Akbar judiciously divided his time. The day started with the emperor's appearance at the jharoka of the palace where large numbers of people used to assemble daily to have a glimpse of the ruler, and to present petitions to him if required so.

Akbar’s Provinces

  • In 1580, Akbar classified his empire into twelve subas (provinces) namely −

    • Bengal

    • Bihar

    • Allahabad

    • Awadh

    • Agra

    • Delhi

    • Lahore

    • Multan

    • Kabul

    • Ajmer

    • Malwa and

    • Gujarat

  • Each of these subah consisted of a governor (subadar), a diwan, a bakhshi, a sadr, a qazi, and a waqia-navis.