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Mains Answer Writing

18-November-2023

1. The level of excellence of the administration of the Maurya kingdom was ahead of time and still relevant in present India? Discuss.

ANSWER

The Maurya Empire flourished from 322 to 185 BCE and stands as a remarkable chapter in history. Led by illustrious rulers like Chandragupta and Ashoka, it boasted administrative brilliance, a vast territorial expanse, and significant cultural contributions, leaving an enduring legacy.

THE MAURYA KINGDOM’S ADMINISTRATION IS AHEAD OF ITS TIME

  1. Centralized Administration: Emperor Chandragupta Maurya and his successors created a hierarchical structure with well-defined roles for officials, ensuring efficient governance.Today, many modern nations also employ centralized administrative models, where decision-making and policy implementation occur at the national level.
  2. Efficient Bureaucracy: The Mauryan administration had a sophisticated bureaucracy that included various departments to manage different aspects of the empire. It was based on the Saptanga theory of Kautilya. This organizational structure served as a foundation for modern bureaucratic systems found in contemporary governments, which divide responsibilities among specialized departments for effective governance.
  3. Public Infrastructure: The Maurya kingdom invested in building an extensive network of roads and highways, contributing to improved trade, transportation, and communication across the vast empire. Similarly, modern India places significant emphasis on infrastructure development to support economic growth and connectivity between regions.
  4. Foreign Policy and Diplomacy: The Maurya rulers were skilled in maintaining diplomatic relations with neighbouring kingdoms and states. Chandragupta Maurya’s alliance with Seleucus I was formalized through a treaty known as the “Treaty of Seleucus.” As per this treaty, both empires agreed to maintain friendly relations. Today, India continues to employ diplomacy as a crucial tool in its foreign policy to maintain peace, negotiate treaties, and promote regional cooperation.
  5. Land Revenue System: The Maurya administration introduced a sophisticated land revenue system that ensured fair taxation, productivity, and sustainable agricultural practices. In present-day India, land reforms and revenue collection mechanisms are still relevant to address agrarian issues and rural development.
  6. Civil and Criminal Laws: The Maurya kingdom had a well-developed legal system that addressed civil and criminal matters. This early establishment of legal principles laid the groundwork for the modern Indian legal system, which includes a mix of ancient laws, British colonial influences, and contemporary statutes.
  7. Inclusivity and Religious Tolerance: The Mauryan rulers like Ashoka practised religious tolerance and promoted inclusivity by accommodating diverse beliefs within their empire. E.g.: the policy of Dhamma. This approach to governance is still relevant in modern India, which upholds secularism and protects the rights of all citizens to practice their religions freely.
  8. Military Organization and Strategy: The Maurya administration displayed exceptional military organization and strategic planning. The maintenance of a formidable army allowed them to protect borders and quell internal rebellions.
  9. Civic Planning and Urban Development: Mauryan cities were well-planned, with provisions for sanitation, public wells, and organized residential areas. There was a municipal committee of 30 members to look after the affairs of this city. These concepts of urban planning remain relevant in contemporary India’s growing cities, where sustainable infrastructure and modern amenities are essential.

The Maurya Empire practised decentralized governance, allowing local authorities to handle regional affairs effectively. Present India’s federal structure and devolution of powers to states follow a similar model to address regional needs and diversity.

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