Correct Option: A
Despotism is a form of government in which a single entity rules with absolute power. However, in enlightened absolutism (also known as benevolent despotism), absolute monarchs used their authority to institute a number of reforms in the political systems and societies of their countries. During Ashoka’s reign, the Mauryan Empire was indeed the first attempt in India to secure administrative centralization on an extended scale. Within its framework it united a number of people and tribes. Tha nature of the Mauryan government was enlightened despotism. The centralized monarchy became a paternal despotism under the able guidance of Ashoka.