Akbar realized that a strong political system and efficient administrative machinery were of utmost necessity for an enduring empire; and he made continuous experiments in the field of administration.
Akbar gave the Mughal India one official language (Persian), a uniform administrative system and coinage, and a common system of weights and measures. Akbar abandoned the Islamic theory of taxation and adopted the one prevalent in India that taxation was essentially a consideration paid to the king for the protection given to the subjects and the administration he had to maintain for that purpose.
In 1582 the whole revenue system was overhauled under the supervision of Todarmal, the revenue minister. The revenue system introduced by him, known as Todarmal bandobust or zabti system, based on classification, measurement of land etc., was a pioneering measure.
The same year (1582) Dastur-al-amals or Code of Rules was issued for revenue officials. Earlier in 1575-76, the empire was divided into twelve sub- ahs (subas) or provinces, whose number increased to fifteen after the conquest of the Deccan. Each subah was subdivided into sarkars and each sarkar into parganas or mahals.
In all the provinces too uniform provincial administration was introduced. After the conquest of Gujarat in 1573-74, the officers were classified into different ranks or mansabs, which led to the growth of the mansab- dari system.
This system was at the core of the Mughal civil and military administration and also of the Mughal nobility. The greatest contribution of Akbar was that the administrative system introduced by him survived, with minor changes, till the final decline of the Mughal Empire.
The later years of Akbar's life proved to be gloomy on account of his eldest son Salim's rebellion in 1602. The Mughal court got divided into two groups, one favouring the succession of Salim and the other of Salim's son Khusrau, who was also Akbar's choice.
But shortly before his death in 1605, Akbar himself nominated Salim as his successor who ascended the throne with the title of Jahangir.