Mauryan Administration Notes for UPSC / SSC

Chandragupta Maurya/Source:Wikimedia

These notes will provide you a brief overview of the Mauryan administration.

1. Central Administration

  • The Mauryan Empire had a centralized administrative system.
  • The king was the supreme authority and headed the central administration.
  • A council of ministers advised the king on various matters of governance and policy-making.
  • The council included important officials such as the prime minister, treasurer, and chief justice.

2. Provincial Administration

  • The empire was divided into provinces known as "Janapadas" or "Mahajanapadas."
  • Each Janapada was headed by a governor called "Mahamatya" appointed by the king.
  • The governor was responsible for maintaining law and order, collecting taxes, and overseeing the administration of the province.
  • The provinces were further divided into districts called "Vishayas," which were governed by officials known as "Vishayapatis."

3. Revenue Administration

  • The Mauryan Empire had a well-organized revenue administration system.
  • Land revenue was the primary source of income for the empire.
  • The empire employed officials called "Samahartas" or revenue collectors who assessed and collected taxes from the cultivators.
  • The Arthashastra, written by Chanakya, provided guidelines for revenue collection and administration.
  • The revenue collected was used for various purposes, including the maintenance of the army, construction of public works, and administration.

4. Judicial Administration

  • The Mauryan Empire had a comprehensive legal system to ensure justice and maintain law and order.
  • The king was the highest judicial authority and ensured the fair and impartial administration of justice.
  • The legal system was based on the principles of Dharma (righteousness) and was influenced by the Dharmashastra texts.
  • The empire had lower courts called "Vyavaharika" and higher courts known as "Dharmasthiyas."
  • The judicial system dealt with civil and criminal cases and included procedures for evidence, witnesses, and punishment.

5. Administrative Divisions

  • The Mauryan Empire was divided into administrative units known as "Mahajanapadas" or "Janapadas."
  • The provinces were further divided into smaller districts called "Vishayas."
  • Each Vishaya had a local administration headed by a "Vishayapati" or district officer.
  • The local administration dealt with day-to-day governance, collection of taxes, and maintenance of law and order.

6. Military Administration

  • The Mauryan Empire had a powerful and well-organized military.
  • The army consisted of infantry, cavalry, chariotry, and elephants.
  • The army played a crucial role in protecting the empire's borders and maintaining internal security.
  • The military was headed by a high-ranking officer called the "Senapati" or commander-in-chief.
  • The Mauryans maintained a standing army and also had provisions for mobilizing troops during times of war.

7. Public Works and Infrastructure

  • The Mauryan Empire emphasized the construction of public works and infrastructure.
  • The empire built roads and established a network of highways for trade and communication.
  • Irrigation projects, such as canals and reservoirs, were developed to support agriculture.
  • The capital city of Pataliputra was a well-planned urban center with palaces, temples, and other architectural marvels.

8. Welfare Measures

  • The Mauryan administration introduced welfare measures for the well-being of its subjects.
  • The empire provided relief during times of famine and natural disasters.
  • Medical facilities were established, and healthcare was provided to the people.
  • The Arthashastra mentions the existence of welfare departments to cater to the needs of the less fortunate.

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