What improvements were done by Todarmal / Akbar in the existing land revenue system created by Sher Shah Suri? Discuss their impact on peasants.

Published: February 6, 2016

The corrections done by Akbar in the earlier land revenue system of Sher Shah Suri can be mainly divided into three heads as follows:
Standardization of measurement of land
Akbar ordered a standardization of measurement unit and the so called Ilahi Gaj (29-32 inches) was made the definite unit of land measurement. This Ilahi Gaj was shorter than the Sikandari Gaj (approx 39 inches) used by Shershah. For land measurement (Paimaish), a rope called Tenab was used during Shershah Suri days. Since, this rope was subject to variation in its length due to seasonal dryness or humidity, Akbar ordered the Tenab to be made of pieces of Bamboo joined together with iron rings. This made sure that the length of Tenab varies little during different seasons of a year. A further change done by Akbar was to fix definite measurement to Bigha of land (3600 Illahi Gaj).
Ascertainment of produce per Bigha
Akbar took measures for ascertainment of the amount of produce per Bigha and the state’s share in it. Akbar followed the Shershah Suri system and to make a comparative estimate of the produce of lands and fixed different revenues for each of them. These four types of land were Polaj, Parati, Chachar and Banjar.
Fixation of state’s share in produce
The best lands viz. Polaj and Parauti were subdivided into three categories viz. good, middle and bad. Average produce of these three categories, called Mahsul was taken as a normal produce per Bigha. One third of this Mahsul (average produce) was fixed as state’s share.

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