It has sometimes been erroneously compared to the fief of medieval Europe. The iqṭāʿ system was established in the 9th century ad to relieve the state treasury. The iqtadari was a unique type of land distribution and administrative system evolved during the Sultanate per~od. Under the system, the whole. Meaning of the Iqta system: ‘Iqta’ is an Arabic word denoting a sort of administrative regional unit. It is usually considered equivalent to a province. Initially the.

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Iqta System

The Ghurid conquest of North India heralding the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate also marked a new process of centralization. It was a period which saw the systematization of agrarian exploitation and concentration of resources. It is used as a territorial assignment whose holder was designated as Mukti Muqti or Iqtadar.

Further, the Sultan had complete control over the size and tenure with the right to revoke it at will.

Irfan Habib has chosen to see the history of Delhi through the administration of Iqta. The three phases are. During the time of Iltutmish, the Sultan paid soldiers of the central army with Iqtas wajh and from here onwards, we hear of the transferring of Muqtis.

In this period, there was still no method of assessing the revenue to be collected. The process of centralization as a clear policy was implemented under Balban. As part of a policy of tighter control over the mobility, he demanded excess revenue or surplus over and above the expenditure incurred by the Muqti.

This suggests a genuine effort to estimate actual revenue expenditure and surplus. Also it indicates a separation of military and financial powers. The principle of heredity was not that popular nor that irrelevant in allocation of certain major iqtas in the 13 th c.


Moreland points that Alauddin had a general dislike of grants and assignments, perhaps because he was aware of the decentralizing potential. However, he made excellent use of the Iqta system as a tool of control and expanding revenue.


Expansion and consolidation of the sultanates territory and security was the main aim of Alauddin. The variety in the nature and size of Iqta also somewhat diminished as somewhat as Alauddin paid his cavalry troops in cash and not iqtas in order to counter the Mongol threat effectively. If any irregularity in accounts was discovered, it was met with harsh punishment. It was seen to it that transfers were also made more frequently. Ghiyassudin Tughlaq introduced a policy marked by moderation.

The important development was that there was the possibility of retaining part of the surplus ssytem oneself, illegally. Muhammad bin Tughlaq followed a drastic policy of centralization which was necessary to enhance the territory and revenue of the sultanate. The Amir was responsible for maintenance of administration and military arrangement within the iqta.

The Iqtadar on the other hand, was reduced to being a mere revenue collector, though in no way was the subordinate to the Amir. A new estimate of revenue income was made and fixed permanently. There was also a reestablishment of the system of payment of troops in revenue of villages. The office of Muqti was made hereditary and we are told that the salary of the Muqti was also fixed at a ststem percentage.

The lack of sources for the Saiyyid dynasty leads to our complete lack of information regarding the iqta system under them. The Lodis on the other hand, reorganized the iqta system such that administsrative parts and revenue assignments were now aligned. The subordinates than followed the same practice for their troops.


The last in this multiplied relation — the trooper- levied the land revenue from the peasants. Ststem combined the function of revenue collector, administrator, pay master and the military commander. The revenue collected was to be used to fulfill the obligations to the Sultan who would fix the strength and pay for the troops.

The muqti was not to have any territorial possessions of his own though he could sub-assign Iqtas from within sysyem territory to anyone he chose. Jackson makes almost every muqti recorded in the 13 th c.

In the 13 th c, the muqtis were commissioned to take charge not of a local territorial unit but a local situation. This was the reason why slaves were appointed as muqtis in order to get loyalty.

Newer Post Older Post Home. You as a teacher, critically analyse the implementation issues of Right to Education Act,face by your school. Suggest ways for better implementation of the Act? Explain with at least two sustem. Explain with at least tw Name of the School I Teach: Survey some schools in your locality and enlist the major issues of the elementary education.

Suggest the ways to resolve these issues. Name of the Schools: