RajaTodarMalTodar Mal belonged to a Khatri family of Uttar Pradesh. He joined the services of Emperor Akbar as an ordinary clerk. His rise to higher echelons of administration was very fast and in 1572 he was appointed “Diwan” of the Province of Gujarat. In recognition of his efficiency and brilliance, he was promoted to the post of “Wazir” and was one of the Navratna’s of Emperor Akbar’s Court.

Raja Todar Mal is credited with systematising the land revenue system. As “Wazir” he issued comprehensive orders covering almost all phases of Land revenue assessment and collection. He got the cultivable lands measured once and for all and area under cultivation was assigned after making enquiries at the time the crop was standing. Thus during his time, surveying was given a strong footing. He rationalised the land tax rates and even introduced the concept of compensation for crop damage.

Todar Mal was not only a brilliant Administrator but also a good soldier and a General. He had the sagacity and foresight to see the unifying effect of a common language for the entire administration. With this end in view, he made all the records in Persian language and compelled everyone who held the subordinate posts in villages and towns to adopt Persian as their language. What has immortalised Todar Mal was the revenue assessment and land survey system, which he evolved. Though the Mogul dynasty vanished, the system he introduced remained and was followed by both the Marathas and to a great extent by the Britishers.

He passed away in the year 1659.

Keeping in view of Raja Todar Mal’s contribution to the cause of land revenue and land survey and the sound base, which he laid for cadastral surveys, Indian National Cartographic Association has started organising these Memorial lecture series in his memory. The first lecture in the series was delivered in the year 1994 and has continued every year. The details of lecture series are furnished below:

11994Mapping and Cartography from Satellite - Challenges and Perspectives.Prof. U. R. Rao,Member,Space Commission,Govt, of India,Bangalore.
21995How far, Which way, What shape. Padma Bhushan Prof. Yash Pal, NationalResearchProfessor.
31996Role of Cartography in Nation BuildingShri T.N. Seshan, Retd. Chief Election Commissioner
41997Surveying and Mapping Technology -Padma Vibhushan Prof.
Cartography DivisionM. G. K. Menon
51998Cartography in action - Vision for the Emerging Knowledge based in IndiaShri Y. S. Rajan
61999Property Records at Goa Ante and Post Liberation : Comparative Study.Shri Manohar S. Usgaokar,Former Additional Solicitor, General of India.
72000Land Revenue Settlement, Revenue  Surveys and Genesis of Cartography in Northern India. Dr. R. S. Tolia, IAS,Principal Secretary and Commissioner of Forests and Rural Development,Govt. of Uttaranchal.
82001Land Information Society, E-Governance, E-Services, E-Education, E-Health, E-SurveillanceShri T.H. Chowdary
92002Convergence of Imagery, Information & MapsShri Kiran Karnik, President, NASSCOM
102003Cartography for Sustainable Development from Village level upwards.Lt. Gen (Retd) G.C. Agarwal Ex. Surveyor General of India
112004Cartographic Technology for Water, Land & Infrastructure Development. Shri G.N. Saha
122005Indian Prelude to British Cadastral and Revenue MapsShri B.Arunachalam
142007Applications of Geomatics in DisasterManagementProf. N. Vinod Chandra Menon Member, NDMA
152008Benefits of Space to the societyDr. G. Madhavan Nair, Chairman, ISRO & Secretary, DOS
162009An Agenda to Reform Agrarian relations for Equity & Efficiency in contemporary IndiaShri B.K. Sinha, DG, NIRD
172010Sea surface studies, monsoon and recent developments in Tsunami Warning SystemsDr. Shailesh Nayak, Secretary,MoES, Govt of India
182011The Future Of Historical CartographyDavid G. Dickason, Ph.D.The W.E. Upjohn Center for the Study of Geographical Change, College of Arts & Sciences, Western Michigan University
232016Modern Cartography according to the ICA: towards cartography 2.0Prof. László Zentai
262018Sh. Santanu Chowdhury, Director, NRSC, ISRO