Akbar – Central administration – 2
The Central Ministers: In order to advise and assist the emperor in administrative work there was a body of ministers. There was no definite tenure of their office and no definite rule of promotion. They were all appointed by the King and could be dismissed by him at any time. The ministers in the Mughal state did not form a council as such but each minister discussed the affairs of his department separately with the emperor.
The Vakil [prime minister]: Next to the king was the Vakil or the Prime Minister. In the early part of Akbar& his reign Bairam Khan was the Prime Minister. The king being a minor, the Vakil exercised full control over administration and departments. Financial and revenue affairs were in his own hands. He appointed or dismissed the ministers and supervised the working of their departments. He could give any punishment to any noble or offices he liked. He was in fact virtually the sovereign. After the fall of Bairam there was a considerable fall in the authority of the Vakil. This financial and revenue matters were taken away from him and given to a separate minister, Diwan, who greatly eclipsed the authority and prestige of the Vakil.
Diwan-i- Ala or Imperial Diwan [Finance Minister]: The most important minister under the Mughals was Diwan-i- Ala. Muzaffar khan, Todar Mall and Shah Mansoor were the most famous finance ministers of the Mughal. They were all very expert financiers.
The Diwan was the supreme in charge of revenue and expenditure of the empire. He framed rules and regulations regarding land revenue; he inspected and kept official records; he passed all orders of payment; he affixed his sealon on all revenue transactions. He recommended appointment of provincial Diwans, guided them and supervised them.
The Diwans work being very heavy there were some officers who assisted him. They were 1.Diwan-i- khalsa 2.Diwan-i- Jagir, in charge of lands given in lieu of service rendered 3. Shahib-i- Tanjib- in charge of military accounts and 4. Diwan-i- Bayutut- in charge of kharkhanas.
The Mir Bhakshi[ Paymaster General]: Next to Diwan-I- Ala was the Mir Bhakshi, the minister in charge of military affairs. He kept register in which the names, ranks and salaries of the mansabdars were recorded; he presented the soldiers and horses of mansabdars before the king. All orders of appointment of mansabdars passed through him; he prepared a list of the guards of royal palace; he organized marches of the forces and of royal camp during a campaign; he issued certificates under his seal for the grant of Mansab, increments and branding of horses. He had certain assistants like Bhakshi No.1, Bhakshi No.2..etc.
Sadr-us- Sadur [ Minister in charge of Charities]: He was the minister in charge of religious affairs and endowments. He was to act as a religious advisor to the king and to see that the emperor and the government were proceeding according to the injunctions of the quoran. It was also expected of him to encourage Islamic learning and disburse royal charity.
Khan-i- Saman [Lord High Steward]: Khan-i- Saman was the minister of household affairs and spent a good amount of the royal income. He was to meet all requirements of the king and his harem and to manage the royal kharkhanas. It was his responsibility to manage royal feasts and to purchase all necessary things on occasions of royal marriage of a prince or princess. Then his responsibility was to decorate the court and palace. The office of Khan-i- Saman obviously was an important one and as such only trustworthy persons were appointed to the office.
Qazi-ul- Qazat[ lord chief justice]: Next to the King he was the judicial officer. For some time the office of Sadr-us- Sadur and Qazi-ul- Qazat were combined in one person. The Chief Qazi was to decide the case according to Islam and appointed Qazis. He heard appeals from their courts and supervised their conduct and administration of justice.
The Muhatsib [Chief Censor]: In the later Mughal period and particularly in the time of Aurangzeb Muhatsib was an important officer of the realm. He was to supervise the morale of the people and see that the people led their lives in accordance with the law of prophet. He was to prevent immortality and to suppress practices inconsistent with the principle of Islam.
Other Ministers and Officers: Besides the Ministers mentioned above, other important officers of the central government included 1.Daroga-i- Dak Chowki [chief of post and intelligence]. 2.Mir Atish [chief of artillery] 3. The Mustaufi [auditor general] 4.The Mushrif [chief admiral and officer of the harbours] 5.Mir Barr [superintendent of forests] 6.Mir Arz [officer in charge of petitions].
Akbar – Central administration – 2