Provincial Mughal Administration – Provincial, District, Local

Provincial Mughal Administration

The empire was divided into several provinces. There were fifteen provinces during the reign of Akbar but the number increased to twenty during the reign of Aurangazeb. The head of the provincial administration was called Nazim or Sipahsalar. The provincial administration was the duplicate copy of the centre. Akbar had given wide powers to his Diwan and all provincial Diwans. were kept under the supervision of the Diwan at the centre. Akbar kept a balance of power between the Subedar and the Diwan by clearly defining their duties so that none of them had the power to revolt.

Check out History of India notes in detail. 

Mughal Administration – Subedar

He was the head of the provincial administration and had maintained peace within his province. He suppressed the revolts, decided criminal cases, constructed roads, bridges and other public utility works and exacted tribute from feudatory chiefs whose territories were within his province.

Mughal Administration – O Diwan

Diwan was the financial officer of the province. He was appointed by the emperor on the advice of the Diwan (wazir) at the centre. He was next to the Subedar in rank and respect within the province but was not subordinated to the Subedar as he was directly under the Wazir at the centre. He collected revenue and other taxes. He looked after agriculture, supervised the income and expenditure of the province, informed the central government regarding the economic condition of the province and decided civil cases.

Mughal Administration – The Bakhshi

His primary responsibility was to look after the military organisation of the province. He managed the recruitment, discipline, training and supplies for the provincial army.

Mughal Administration – Waqaya Navis

He was the head of the spy-department of the province. He sent reports of all affairs and also functioning of all officers including that of the Subedar and the Diwan to the central government.

Mughal Administration – Kotwal

In every provincial capital and every city, there was a Kotwal who maintained peace and looked after the cleanliness, public services, visitors, etc., in the city. He was a military officer and maintained sufficient soldiers with him.

Mughal Administration – The Sadr and the Qazi

In provinces, mostly these two offices were given to the same person. He was subordinated to the chief Sadr and the chief Qazi at the centre. As the Sadr, he supervised that the Muslims practised Islamic laws and the subjects, in general, observed morality and as the Oazi he dispensed justice, solemnised marriages and led the Friday prayers.

The Sarkar (District)

Every province or Subah was divided into a number of districts called Sarkars for the convenience of administration.

The Faujdar

The Faujdar was the military officer of the district. His primary duty was to maintain peace in the district, provide security to the subjects and enforce the laws of the state. He was appointed by the emperor directly though he was subordinated to the Subedar.

The Amal Guzar

He was the finance officer of the district and was subordinated to the provincial Diwan. He collected the revenue and other taxes, protected agriculture and punished the guilty ones. He was in charge of the district treasury as well.

 The Bitikchi

He worked under the Amal Guzar, He prepared all papers concerning the lands of the peasants and was the custodian of all records. He also gave the receipt of payment of the revenue to the cultivators.


He worked under the Amal Guzar and was the treasurer of the district.


Every district (Sarkar) was divided into several paraganas.

  • The Shiqdar

He was a military officer and head of the administration of the Paragana. He maintained peace and order and helped in the collection of the revenue.

  • The Amil

He was the finance officer of the Paragana. His primary duty was to collect the revenue and, therefore, he was in direct contact with the cultivators. 

  • The Fotedar

He was the treasurer of the paragana.

  • The Qanungo

He was the head of village patwaris. He prepared all papers concerning agriculture and the collection of revenue. Karkuns were the clerks who helped different officers in preparing records and all papers concerning administration. 

  • The Village

The Mughals did not take the responsibility of administering villages. Therefore, the .. administration of villages was left in the hands of local village Panchayats. 

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