Mansabdari was a unique system devised by the Mughals in India.
The word mansab means a place or position.
The mansabdari system was the basis of civil and military administrations under the Mughals.
The system was formulated to streamline rank of the nobles, fix their salary and specify the number of cavalry to be maintained by them.
Under the mansab system ranks were expressed in numerical terms.
Later the rank of mansabdar came to be denoted by two numbers – Zat and-Sawar.
The Zat denoted personal rank of an official and the Sawar indicated the size of contingents maintained by the mansabdars.
Shahjahan introduced the month-scale in the, mansabdari system to compensate the gap between Jama (estimated income) and hasil (actual realisation).
The mansabdars were generally paid through revenue assignments Jagirs.
During the reign of Shahjahan the mansabdars were allowed to maintain 1/5 to 1/3 of the sanctioned strength of the Sawar rank without any accompanying reduction in their claim on the maintenance amount for the Sawar rank.
Aurangzeb continued with all these changes and created an additional rank called Mashrut (conditional).