UPSC CSE -SYLLABUS:GENERAL STUDIES-3-Land reforms in India.
SVAMITVA – Features & Land Titling
SVAMITVA Scheme is a Central Sector scheme launched on National Panchayat Day i.e 24th April 2020. The Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) is the Nodal Ministry for implementation of the scheme.
In the States, the Revenue Department / Land Records Department will be the Nodal Department and shall carry out the scheme with support of State Panchayati Raj Department. Survey of India shall work as the technology partner for implementation.
The scheme aims to provide an integrated property validation solution for rural India. The demarcation of rural abadi areas would be done using Drone Surveying technology. This would provide the ‘record of rights’ to village household owners possessing houses in inhabited rural areas in villages which, in turn, would enable them to use their property as a financial asset for taking loans and other financial benefits from Bank
The scheme seeks to achieve the following objectives: –
- To bring financial stability to the citizens in rural India by enabling them to use their property as a financial asset for taking loans and other financial benefits.
- Creation of accurate land records for rural planning.
- Determination of property tax, which would accrue to the GPs directly in States where it is devolved or else, add to the State exchequer.
- Creation of survey infrastructure and GIS maps that can be leveraged by any department for their use.
- To support in preparation of better-quality Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) by making use of GIS maps.
- To reduce property related disputes and legal cases.
Issues in land titling in India:
- Economist Hernando de Soto, nearly three decades ago, had estimated that 80% of the world is undercapitalised as a result of insecure property right; in 1997.
- $9.3 trillion ($15 trillion in today’s terms) was lying as dead capital in the developing and underdeveloped nations.
- In the late 1980s, the DC Wadhwa committee had pushed for titling based on the Torrens system in force in Australia, where the state provides compensation if a land title granted by it is successfully challenged.
- Despite the land record modernisation scheme—one of the first steps towards conclusive titling—starting in 1988, and being repurposed as National Land Records Modernization Programme (NLRMP) in 2008, full digitisation has not been achieved.
- The Digital IndiaLand Records Modernization Programme dashboard shows that land records in 90.1% of villages across the country have been digitised across the country.
- But, an analysis shows that only 61% of these villages have digitised mutation records.
- That means the remaining 39% records may have digitised land records, but these have not yet been updated.
- Besides, only 41% have a clear record of rights; maps have been linked in only 40% of the cases.
- Survey or resurvey work has been completed in a meagre 11% villages.
- As per the 2019-20 NCAER Land Records and Services Index, states that have implemented land reforms have done better on the digitisation of records, but lag in terms of quality of land records.
- Madhya Pradesh, which tops the table, scores 2.5 out of 5 in terms of updating ownership and 2 out of 5 for recording encumbrances (whether a property is free from legal and monetary liabilities or not).
- What is needed:
- A property card may help secure credit, but without clear titles, the large-scale tenancy that is envisioned to happen under the new farm reforms may not happen till the time the Centre rolls out a comprehensive land titling law.
- The first attempt was made in 2011, following recommendations of the Financial Services Committee in 2009, and then again in 2013.
- Some states have implemented their own laws.
- Rajasthan did this in 2016 for urban settlements, and Maharashtra announced a law in 2019.
- But if the Centre does not bring a comprehensive titling law, little will change on the ground.
- The government can set up fast-track land-dispute courts or can implement the Torrens model or follow through with the idea of title insurance under the RERA Act.
- NITI Aayog announced last year that it would be working on a model law, but enacting the law will be the onus of the Centre.
- Land reforms can’t be shelved any longer, especially given how land disputes (accounting for nearly two-thirds of all civil cases) choke the courts.
POSSIBLE UPSC MAINS EXAMINATION: