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Digital India: ET Explainer: Land records digitisation to aid effective policy making



The government’s move to digitise land records is set to transform the country’s age-old land management system. This initiative, under the ‘Digital India’ programme, involves conversion of paper-based records into electronic formats.

So for, more than 94% of rights records and state-specific registration offices have already been digitised under the ‘Digital India Land Records Modernization Programme’, and officials said complete digitalisation will be achieved soon.

With several states making good progress on this front, the shift promises to streamline administrative processes, reduce disputes, curb land-linked illegal activities, and bolster investor confidence.

Digitisation of land records and key components
The digitisation of land records involves a series of interconnected components. This includes the digitisation of existing paper records through data entry and scanning processes. Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping is then employed to spatially represent land parcels, creating a comprehensive and accurate overview.

The establishment of a centralised database ensures the systematic storage and retrieval of digitised land records. Finally, online accessibility through web portals ensures that stakeholders can easily retrieve and verify land-related information.

Significance and benefits
Digitisation of land records holds immense significance, as it has the potential to enhance transparency in land-related transactions, reduce property ownership disputes and make land management efficient. The benefits extend to improved governance, quicker retrieval of information, reduced corruption, and increased accessibility to land-related data. This, in turn, contributes to the establishment of a robust and reliable land tenure system.Government efforts
The government has been proactive in promoting digitisation of land records. Initiatives such as the National Land Records Modernisation Programme and the Digital India Land Records Modernisation Programme have been pivotal in driving this process. These initiatives provide financial and technological support to the states, encouraging the adoption and implementation of digital land management systems.Issues and challenges
Despite the progress made, several challenges persist. Legacy data issues, stakeholders’ resistance to change, infrastructure gaps in certain regions, and legal and procedural complexities pose hurdles to achieving seamless digitisation. Addressing these challenges requires a concerted effort to ensure a smooth transition to digital land records.

Impact on the investment scenario
Digitisation of land records is expected to be a game-changer for the Indian real estate sector. Enhanced transparency and reliability of information reduce the risks associated with investments. Investors gain confidence in the system’s ability to provide accurate and up-to-date data, facilitating smoother transactions. This, in turn, attracts domestic and global investments into the real estate market, contributing to its growth.

Role in policy making
Digital land records will play a key role in the government’s impactful policymaking. The availability of accurate, real-time data will empower the government to make evidence-based decisions related to land use planning, infrastructure development and urbanisation policies. This, in turn, is expected to foster overall economic growth and development by aligning policies with actual land-related scenarios.

The digitisation of land records in India represents a transformative initiative with profound implications. Beyond modernising the land management system, it contributes significantly to transparent governance, facilitates efficient investment scenarios in the real estate sector, and leads to informed policy-making at the governmental level. As the digitisation process advances, its positive impact on land management and related sectors is expected to become increasingly evident.



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