Rana Administration

Introduction to Rana Administration

Rana Administration was a Unique Sui-Generis Administrative System of Nepal that handled all aspects of the Administration of a Politically Organized Nation. The Administration was hierarchical in Nature and consisted of Central, Provincial, and Local Administrative Bodies and Positions as well. Administration, Civil Service, and Judicial Services were intermixed and dispensed by the Same Administrative Position.

Administrative Positions

King

King during the Rana Regime wasn’t actually Powerful. They were celebratory without much Political Power. Only Three Kings ruled Nepal during the Rana Regime. They are:

  1. King Surendra
  2. King Prithvi
  3. King Tribhuvan

Prime Minister

Rana Prime Ministers were the True Source of Power during the Rana Regime from 1846 A.D. to 1950 A.D. They had absolute Control over the Military, Judiciary, Foreign affairs, Defence, and every other aspect of the Central Administration. The Important Decisions of Nepal was all taken by the Rana Prime Minister.

Commander-In-Chief

The Commander in Chief was the second most powerful administrative position during the Rana Regime in Nepal. Typically held by individuals next in line to become Prime Ministers, they served as temporary Prime Ministers in the absence of the incumbent. Additionally, they acted as a military leader during times of war, oversaw civil administration, and had the authority to punish offenders. The extent of their power depended on the Prime Minister’s trust.

Jangi Lath

Jangi Lath, meaning “Chief of the Army,” was the Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth most Powerful Administrative Position during the Rana Regime in Nepal. There were four Jangi Laths, each representing a specific region. They held authority over the defense department, responsible for mobilizing and protecting the nation. Additionally, they appointed and promoted military officers, rewarded soldiers for their bravery, managed military affairs, and headed important civil departments. Jangi Lath’s role encompassed both military and civil responsibilities, making them influential figures in the Rana period.

Hajuriya General

Hajuriya General served as the personal assistant to the Prime Minister. They were responsible for managing the Prime Minister’s daily affairs, maintaining the Prime Minister’s schedule, and handling correspondence. Additionally, they oversaw the Department of Foreign Affairs, ensuring effective communication with the British Government. Hajuriya General played a crucial role in maintaining peace and security in the Kathmandu Valley and commanded the police force. The post held considerable power and was held by influential individuals such as Gehendra Shumsher, Mohan Shumsher, and Bahadur Shumsher.

Bada Hakim

Bada Hakim, the powerful district governor during the Rana Regime, had significant authority and responsibilities. They maintained law and order, controlled the army and militia, managed security officers, and ensured the security of prison food. Revenue collection and coordination with the central government were also part of their duties. Bada Hakim reported district issues to the Prime Minister and played a vital role in the administration of the district.

Gaunda

Gaunda was a high-ranking official responsible for managing multiple districts in the hilly regions of Nepal. They oversaw district administrations, maintained law and order, and coordinated with local bodies for revenue collection. Gaunda played a significant role in implementing government policies and programs, ensuring the safety of the region, and collecting taxes and revenues. They represented the central administration and dealt with transportation and geographical challenges. Gaunda’s authority did not interfere with the Bada Hakims of the districts, allowing them to carry out their responsibilities effectively.

Mirmunsi

Mirmunsi, an official of the Foreign Affairs Department during the Rana Period in Nepal, played a crucial role in diplomatic matters. They were responsible for translating foreign diplomatic letters, interpreting languages such as Chinese, English, and Persian, and crafting diplomatic messages. Additionally, they managed the distribution of passports and facilitated the exchange of gifts. Their significance diminished with the rise of the Shumsher family,

Administrative Tribunals

Khadga Nissan Adda

Khadga Nissan Adda, the official office of the Prime Minister during the Rana regime in Nepal, held supreme authority over the nation. Its main function was to authenticate important documents with the Khadga Nissan seal, ensuring their credibility and preventing forgery. The Adda also managed the revenue, and authority of officials, and created an organized government structure.

Bintipatra Niksari Adda

Bintipatra Niksari Adda, established in 1907 AD, served as the chief judicial body of Nepal’s Rana Regime. It ensured the administration of justice by addressing petitions and complaints promptly. The adda acted as the highest court of review, considering witnesses’ opinions and evidence. It also established the Appeal Niksari Adda for handling appeals against court decisions and the Chitthi Niksari Adda for settling ordinary letters.

Muluki Bandobasta Adda

Muluki Bandobasta Adda was the chief administrative office in Nepal, responsible for managing supplies, resources, and efficient administrative practices. It served as the central administration of civil servants, with enhanced jurisdiction and authority. The office oversaw peace, security, revenue collection, and general administration. It comprised important branches such as Ain Sawal Office for legal matters, Muluki Adda Purji Office for written instructions, Report Niksari Office for preparing reports, Maskewari Office for monitoring districts, Madhes Bandobasta Office for property management, Nepal Pahad Bandobasta Office for cargo transport, and Rakam Bandobasta Office for managing contracts and leases.

Munsi Khana

Munsi Khana, the official foreign ministry of Nepal, was established by Prithvi Narayan Shah. Its diplomats, including lawyers, mirmunsi, and the commander-in-chief, managed foreign relations, trade, and diplomatic missions with Lhasa Tibet, and India, particularly the British. The office issued passports, resolved border disputes, implemented foreign policies, managed foreign visits, and facilitated necessary correspondence abroad.

Kumari Chowk

Kumari Chowk, an office of fiscal administration in Nepal, conducted fiscal reviews and monitored income and expenditure. It had jurisdiction over other offices and could report any financial irregularities to the Prime Minister. The office ensured financial discipline, managed government officials, and encouraged accountability. It operated under a centralized administration system, ensuring adherence to rules and regulations. The introduction of the Kumari Chowk New Arrangement in 1923 further enhanced its management and allowed for recommendations of punishment for fiscal irregularities.

Kausi Tosakhana

Kausi Tosakhana, the treasury of Nepal during the Rana Regime, managed expenses and distributed salaries to government officials. It operated under the jurisdiction of Khajanchi, the officer responsible for royal and national finances. The office ensured fiscal transparency through record-keeping and had subordinates like Subba and Khardar. Functions included salary distribution, reporting for auditing, budget allocation for departments, and overseeing expenses of the Royal and Rana palaces.

Muluki Khana

Muluki Khana, a vital office of Nepal’s fiscal administration during the Rana period, focused on nationwide revenue collection. It reported directly to the Prime Minister and provided revenue to the Prime Minister, his family, or authorized Ranas. As an extension of Khadga Nissan Adda, it obtained authority for revenue collection. Land and agricultural production constituted the primary revenue sources. Muluki Khana ensured financial accountability, managed national crisis funds, and issued Khadga Nissan Sanad for controlled expenditure.

Hajiri Goshwara

Hajiri Goshwara, an administrative office of Nepal’s Civil Administration, was established by Bir Shumsher to oversee civil and military servants. It maintained records of employees, including their sector and relevant information. The office recorded working hours and days, managed employee leave, issued gate passes, prepared for festivals, monitored appearance and conduct, and managed employee salaries.

Sadar Daftarkhana

Sadar Daftarkhana, established during the Rana regime in Nepal, managed land and issued ownership certificates. It classified land into categories and provided it as wages to soldiers and civil servants. The office maintained records of land ownership, boundaries, and transactions. Land classification ensured efficient use and taxation. Providing land as wages offered economic stability. Sadar Daftarkhana played a crucial role in managing land, preventing disputes, and ensuring proper land management in Nepal.

Police Goshwara

Police Goshwara was established in the Kathmandu Valley to ensure peace and security during a time of opposition to British colonialism. Its primary function was to maintain law and order by enforcing the law, investigating and preventing crime, and ensuring public safety. The Goshwara carried out patrols, set up checkpoints, and conducted raids in areas with criminal activity and opposition to the Rana Regime. They issued passports, advised on safety measures, and protected both the people and the Ranas.

Jail Khana

Jail Khana served as the official detention center and prison in Nepal during the Rana Regime. Its main functions were the rehabilitation of prisoners, sentencing and release, and punishment. Prisoners were put to work on various projects, providing them with job training. The prison ensured that prisoners served their sentences and carried out punishments, including exile from the Kathmandu Valley, corporal punishment, and even the death penalty.

Daudaha

Daudaha served as a mobile tribunal during the Rana Regime in Nepal, traveling throughout the country to maintain law and order. It consisted of two types: regular surveys and special tribunals for emergencies. The procedure involved planning, traveling, gathering and recording complaints, and conducting investigations for justice. Daudaha had various functions, including administration, law enforcement, revenue collection, disaster management, and intelligence gathering.

Conclusion

In Conclusion, Rana Administration was a Unique Practice in Nepal but lacked management and Systematization. It prioritized Civil Administration and Centralization over Decentralization and Judicial Services to the General Public.

Citation

Pokhrel, A. (2023). Rana Administration – Itihasaa. Encyclopedia of Nepali History. https://itihasaa.com/ranas/rana-administration/