Notes on the central and provincial administration of the Mauryas

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a. The Central Administration:

The central government of the Maurya administrative system consisted of the king, the Mantriparishad or the Council of Ministers and various officers who controlled the social and economic activities of the state. King was at the head of the administration and as such the entire administrative activities centered round him. All the administrative functions, be it appointment of royal officers or leading army in the battle-field, were performed by the king himself.

Despite the immense power he enjoyed, the Maurya emperor was not a despot. For, he was assisted in the discharge of his duties by Mantries as well by a Mcrntri-Parishad. Besides, while dispensing justice the king- followed the established customs of the land and the injunctions of the Shastras, known as the Purcinci-Prakriti.

ADVERTISEMENTS:

The central administration was conducted through a number of officers such as: Samiidhcitu (treasurer), Samaharta (collector).’etc.

b. Provincial Administration:

The Empire was divided into number of provinces, each being administered by a province governor. Most important provinces were administered by the viceroys who were appointed from amongst the members of the royal family. Taxila, Ujjain, Tosali and Subarnagiri were the for important provincial capitals.

Governors administering smaller are were selected from amongst the local people. The elaborate system of the Maurya administration provided for effective supervision the administration through small units. As such each of the province was divided into a few districts and the districts again were divided into smaller units. The lowest administrative unit was village.

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