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New Land Revenue Settlements

Mar 01, 2022

New Land Revenue Settlements

Let's have a look at New Land Revenue Settlements, one of the crucial topics of the Civil Services exam syllabus that you must study during the UPSC Preparation.

English East India Company had two major concerns–

  • Trade
  • Revenue
  • Revenue was needed for manifold purposes, such as bolstering the military, fighting wars, bringing new territories under control, keeping rivals away, to purchase trade goods. So revenue was of great importance for the company. The major source of revenue those days was land revenue. The land revenue policy emerged as a focused policy by the British. The sole purpose was to create a new framework for the land revenue to appropriate the maximum amount of land revenue. 
  • All the land revenue settlements the Britishers introduced can be classified into two categories–
    • Permanent settlement - It was the settlement under which the rate of land revenue was fixed in perpetuity. 
    • Temporary settlement - Under this settlement, the rate of land revenue was not fixed and it was subject to revision.


  • Ijardar refers to contractor and Ijardari was a contract system which was not a new settlement introduced by the British rather it was prevailing in the Pre-British period in the 18th century. 
  • Ijardari system was also known as revenue farming. Under this system, the contract was given to the highest bidder who collects the produces at a customary rate from the peasant and paid the bid amount to the company. It was initially for 5 years but from 1772 onwards it was made annual. 
  • The Ijardari system did not prove to be successful and the company realized that there was a need to shift to a new system because this system could not ensure regular/fixed revenue amount to the company.

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Zamindari Settlement

Zamindari was not a contract system, it was a settlement with Zamindars. Under this system, the Zamindars were made the owner of the land which fell under their Zamindari. The ownership right also incorporated the right to transfer, the right to divide and so on.

  • It was a 10 year settlement, every 10 years the rate to be followed by Zamindar in transferring land revenue to the company was to be revised.
  • This settlement did not remain as a 10 years settlement, after a few years it was made permanent in 1793.

Also read: Best Way to Prepare Economy for UPSC Prelims

Permanent Settlement

  • Zamindari settlement which was 10 years settlement made permanent and was known as a permanent settlement.
  • Around 19 percent of the total cultivable land of British India was under permanent settlement 

Ryotwari Settlement

  • Ryotwari settlement was first time experimented by Alexander Read. It was introduced in Madras and Bombay by Thomas Munro and M. Elphinstone respectively.
  • Around 52% of the total cultivable land was under this system.

Mahalwari Settlement

  • Mahal was a revenue unit during Mughal times and estate or village during British times. The ownership right was vested in the estate, it was a kind of community ownership.
  • The representative of the estate was responsible for the collection of revenue from the Estate and pay to the company. The rate was not fixed and it was subject to revision.

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