Write a short note on the Mansabdari system

Write a short note on the Mansabdari system.

The mansabdari system, introduced by Akbar, is a standout feature of the Mughal administration. Under this system, every officer of the Mughal empire was given a rank or ‘mansab’. The lowest rank in the system was 10 whereas the highest was 5000 for the nobles. It was a grading system used by the Mughals to decide rank, salary and military responsibilities. The ranks were divided into two, namely zat and sawar. Zat fixed the personal status of a person and the salary due to him. The sawar rank implied the number of cavalrymen or sawar a mansabdar was required to maintain. For every ten cavalrymen, the mansabdar had to maintain twenty horses.

The mansabdars got their salaries in terms of revenue assignments called jagirs. It was not a resident assignment and the revenue was often collected by the mansabdar’s servants on his behalf while he himself served in some other part of the country.