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Tags Current Affairs

Monsoon decided history of Indian subcontinent

Date: 23 December 2019 Tags: Historical Places


A recent study by researchers at Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT-KGP) has revealed that abrupt changes in the Indian monsoon in the last 900 years decided the course of human history in the subcontinent.



  • Abrupt changes in Indian summer monsoon strength during the last 900 years and their linkages to socio-economic conditions in the Indian subcontinent.

  • The study highlights that decline of Indian dynasties was linked to weak monsoon and reduced food production.

  • Deficient rainfall led to the collapse of the Mansabdari system, started by Mughal emperor Akbar, in the late 17th century. Similarly, drought interspersed with violent monsoon rains sounded the death knell for the Khmer empire of south-east Asia in the 15th century.

  • Several dynasties, such as the Sena in Bengal, Solanki in Gujarat in the mid-13th century and Paramara and Yadav in the early to mid-14th century, all of which flourished during abundant rainfall,  declined during the dry phases of Indian summer monsoon (ISM), suggesting role of the climate in the socio-political crisis.

  • The study highlights strong monsoon during Medieval Climate Anomaly and Current Warm Period and phases of weak and strong monsoon in Little Ice Age.

  • The study suggests that from the beginning of the 19 century, the changes in the ISM became more abrupt with a rise in atmospheric temperature that coincides with the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.

  • The scientists also  said that they were doing similar work extending their Palaeoclimatic study to 6000 years ago to see the impact of climate change on Indus Valley civilization and on population migrations.

Mansabdari system

  • Mansabdari System was a system introduced by Akbar for military administration and territorial commands (grant and revenue) to sustain parts of army.

  • The Mansabdari system was borrowed from the system followed in Mongolia. The Mughal officers whether Hindus or Muslims were granted territorial commands in return for the military service.

  • They had to bring in some fixed number of men-at-arms, horses and elephants to the field and were rated as per the numbers which was known as Zats. So they were called Mansabdars of 10, 20, 100, and 1000 and so on.

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