Land management system in India - Past, present and future
Vinay Thakur, Ganesh Khadanga, D.S Venkatesh,Dr D.R Shukla
Land Records Information Systems Division
National Informatics Centre, New Delhi
Telephone: 4364874, 4361133 Ext-4381
Land is the habitat of man and its wide use is crucial for the economic, social, and environmental advancement of all countries. Although it is part of man's natural heritage, access to land is controlled by ownership patterns. Land is partitioned for administrative and economic purposes, and it is used and transformed in a myriad ways. Population growth, technological and social hazards, and environmental degradation have all to be taken into greater account today by policy makers, resource planners, and administrators who make decisions about the land. They need more detailed land information than has been traditionally available. Although the printed map is still useful, computerized systems offer improved ways of acquiring, storing, processing and retrieving such information.
More recently, the need for thoughtful and careful stewardship of the land, together with the more intensive use and management of its resources, has emerged as a matter of major global concern. This has led to a re-evaluation both of the need for information about the land and of the strategies and programmes that may provide it. Increasingly it has been recognised that policy makers, planners, land administrators, and individual citizens all have a need for information about the land make significant use of spatial data on a day to day basis. Accurate knowledge of natural resources and accurate description and record of such knowledge are the essential prerequisite to their rational use and conservation. Land information is prime requisite for making decisions related to land investment, development and management. Information reduces uncertainty by helping to identify and analyse problems. Strategies to overcome them may then be prepared and implemented. The value of the information and the effectiveness of the decision making process are directly related to the quality of the information and the manner in which it is made available.
This paper deals with all the aspects of land records information maintenance system and technologies which have been used presently for record keeping along with the latest technology which may be used by the country for effective use of the IT in land management. It also explains the enhanced version of the age-old system traditional system developed by Raja Todar Mal (Akbar Regime) and followed in the Northern part of the country. A brief description of the British system of land records followed the Southern part the country is also described.
During the last decade NIC-MRD has started computerization of land records of the country by storing the records in simple file based database. This process was further enhanced by processing these records through a RDBMs like ORACLE, DB2, SQL Server. Multilingual support was the essential feature in these record-keeping systems. During the new millennium the data keeping process was further enhanced to Maps with the support of GIS. In this paper the utilization of the web based GIS for production of the records of right along with the graphical details in a map through Internet is also explained.
An information system may be formally defined as a combination of human and technical resources, together with a set of organizing procedures that produces information in support of some managerial requirement. Data are raw collection of facts. Data relating to land may be acquired and held in alphanumeric form (for example books), or graphically (for example, as maps or aerial photographs), or digitally (for example, using electronic methods). To become information, the raw data must be processed so that it can be understood by a decision maker. A land information system gives support to land management by providing information about the land, the resources upon it and the improvements made to it.
Land information system may be designed to serve one primary function or they may be multifunctional for supporting strategic planning. The focus is on determining organizational objectives and on the resources employed to achieve them. Some provide for management control and are concerned with the effective use of resources so as to accomplish an organizationís objectives. Others are designed for operational control so that specific tasks can be carried out effectively and efficiently. Each requirement dictates a special set of information criteria and hence a special type of information system. Some of the most important of these systems relate to land parcels. Many of the land information systems are being developed around the land parcel as the basic spatial unit.
Land Information management
Land information needs to be carefully managed to maximize its potential benefits. Over the last two decades, new capabilities for data collection and processing, together with expanding requirements of users, have directed attention to the need for improved land information management strategies. Such strategies are concerned with the effective organization of resources in order to achieve a set of objectives. These objectives may include improvements to the coverage, content, compatibility, and reliability of information of access to it, and the possibility of integrating it with other data. The ultimate goal is to meet the needs of users more efficiently, effectively and equitably.
The cadastre is often the principal source of information about ownership rights in land. Even when compiled for fiscal purposes, the record of payment of tax may constitute evidence of ownership of land. The basic unit of the cadastral record is the land parcel which is known as a plot. Although plots may be subdivided into smaller units or amalgamated with adjoining parcels into larger ones, the land which they cover remains unchanged. The need to record the details of land parcels within a cadastre stems from a need for better administration of land. Land is the ultimate resource from which all wealth comes. Improvement in the management of land are essential for the betterment of both rural and urban poor. The inadequacy of land information poses serious constraints on what can be done. Without the knowledge of who owns the land, development cannot take place. In consequence, emphasis in many development programmes is now being placed on ensuring that rights in land are identified, recognized by the state and recorded in some suitable form. The whole of this process is referred to as cadastre.