Land of a Billion – S.2 Ep. 1: Digital Land Records: How Can it Help The Common Man and Where Does India Stand?

Digital Land Records: How Can it Help The Common Man and Where Does India Stand?

Tune in to the first episode of Land of a Billion, Season 2!

Land is one of the most important financial assets for Indians, and yet also one of the most disputed. Many of us have experienced the frustration over not being able to access reliable and accurate ownership records or maps of the land we own or wish to buy.

Digitisation has been increasingly seen as the solution to improving land records and services in India, as it eliminates redundant labour and human error while simplifying the task of updating records, and also makes it more accessible for the people. The Government of India has been working towards this since the late 1980s, however, the progress on digitisation is yet to meet the mark.

In order to measure this progress and identify the areas where states were performing poorly on digitisation, the National Centre for Applied Economic Research (NCAER), under the Property Rights Research Consortium, formulated a framework called the NCAER-Land Records and Services Index (N-LRSI) in 2019 to gauge the extent of these schemes and rank states and analyse their progress. NCAER has so far published two editions of this Index.

In this episode, we explore various questions and dilemmas around the digitization process in a state and also explore how the N-LRSI pushes states to do better. Listen to the following questions at respective timestamps:

02.29:  What exactly do we mean when we say digitization of land records and what does that process entail?
04.52:  How do we measure each state’s performance of digitization?
07.44:  What are the different components of the Index?
12.38: What historical challenges with land records maintenance in the country are we attempting to solve through digitization?
21.50: Do you notice any patterns in states that do well or don’t do well on land records digitization initiatives?
27.30: Are there any components of the N-LRSI which would be specifically useful for a landowner?
33.10: What do you believe are some of the core challenges that India needs to focus on to secure land rights for a billion?

We speak with Deepak Sanan, a former civil servant and an advisor for projects on land governance, water and sanitation at NCAER and Vivek Kumar Singh, the Additional Chief Secretary, Revenue and Land Reforms in the government of Bihar.

Tune in to know more!

What Should You Expect From This Podcast Series?

‘Land of a Billion’ brings you expert conversations about the most contentious of the holy roti-kapda-makaan trinity – the makaan over our heads, and the larger ecosystem that governs it. From administrative tussles to understanding the conflicts on ground, catch these episodes every alternate Friday for a rundown on the latest charcha around land and property rights in India. In case you missed it, you can also catch up on Season 1 of this series here.

Hosted by Bhargavi Zaveri, a researcher interested in land and access to finance, Land of a Billion is a fortnightly podcast series produced in association with the Property Rights Research Consortium.

Don’t forget to catch the next episode, where we’ll speak to Leah Verghese, Research Manager at DAKSH, to understand why land acquisition is a slow and heavily disputed process in India.