IIHS Centre for Land Governance

The Centre for Land Governance at IIHS (CLG) engages with cutting-edge policy advisory, research, practice, training and capacity building, as well as interdisciplinary work around land governance and information systems in India. Located within the School of Governance at IIHS, the CLG uses interdisciplinary research and practice to explore ‘wicked’ problems and arrive at pathways to systemic solutions.

Strengths and Experience of the CLG@IIHS Team
  • National and multi-state assessment of Land Record Modernisation: Worked across eight states/ UTs till date; provided detailed assessment of the legal, institutional, and technological terrain across the urban-peri-urban-rural continuum.
  • Extensive experience across all levels of government: Multi-state and multi-stakeholder approach.
  • Significant institutional capacity, interdisciplinary approach and ability to cross-connect between sectors.
  • Notable publication record: Five volume set on Land Record Modernisation, multiple journal papers, Op-Eds, policy briefs.
  • Building an ecosystem around land governance: Stakeholder consultation, seminar series, media monitor to track news across the country.


Proposed IIHS Institution of Eminence (IOE)
The proposed IIHS Institution of Eminence (IOE) takes urbanisation as the core of a new knowledge paradigm for a new, interdisciplinary, 21st century university. Its structure is built around five interdisciplinary Schools (expanding to ten by 2025) that can institutionally break with the limitations of the one-department-one-discipline model to create new cultures of teaching, research and practice.

  • School of Systems and Infrastructure
  • School of Environment and Sustainability
  • School of Governance
  • School of Human Development
  • School of Economic Development


Cutting across these Schools are the proposed IIHS IOE’s four core Programmes:

  • Academics (including interdisciplinary Bachelor, Master and Doctoral Programmes)
  • Research
  • Practice
  • Capacity Building

Policy Advisory

  • Ease of Doing Business: In 2017-18, CLG@IIHS advised the Government of Delhi and the World Bank on ways to improve Delhi’s performance in ease of property registration, under Ease of Doing Business Rankings (EODB).
  • Land Management: CLG@IIHS provides policy assistance to the Administration of Union Territory (UT) of Chandigarh, on developing appropriate land management tools for urban expansion in the iconic planned capital of Punjab & Haryana. This was based on detailed site-specific analysis of parcels across relevant villages and peripheral unplanned areas.
  • Land Information Systems: CLG@IIHS advises the UT of Chandigarh on improving the management of land records in the peripheral villages around Chandigarh.
  • Surveying Technology: In 2018, the Settlement Commissioner and Director of Land Records of Maharashtra initiated a pilot project using drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) to survey land holdings in inhabited areas of villages. CLG@IIHS documented the experience of the pilot project, and provided policy recommendations to improve the process.
  • Forest Management: CLG@IIHS advised the World Bank and the Government of Himachal Pradesh on improving stakeholder engagement in participatory forest management in the state.



  • Multi-state interdisciplinary assessment: In 2014-15, IIHS conducted a multi-state assessment on the status of land systems and records modernisation in Gujarat, Karnataka, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar. A national legal-institutional assessment was also carried out. This is the first comprehensive assessment in India post-independence which focused on legal, institutional and technological aspects of land record administration across the rural, urban and peri-urban spectrum.
  • RERA: CLG@IIHS has emerged as a significant knowledge institution on the Real Estate Regulation and Development Act (RERA), 2016. It serves as a forum for multiple RERA Chairpersons to discuss regulatory issues and implementation challenges.
  • Property Registration: In 2016-17, IIHS conducted a well-received detailed assessment of the property registration system in Maharashtra. The assessment, led by the Settlement Commissioner and Director of Land Records, included a review of the surveying initiatives in the state as well as property records maintenance in urban areas, particularly apartment complexes.


Action Research

  • Forest Management: In 2018-19, CLG@IIHS undertook a stakeholder engagement exercise in forest management in Himachal Pradesh, conducting a series of ten focus group discussions in three districts in the Satluj catchment belt. CLG@IIHS also developed a Manual of Rights and Duties for various stakeholders’ engagement in forest management.
  • Land Assembly: IIHS has conducted extensive research on various methods of land assembly used in India. This includes earlier work on assessing the new Act for Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR), and more recent work on land pooling policies in many Indian states.


  • In order to build the capacity of young urban professionals, the CLG@IIHS team has prepared a two-week module on land governance which it teaches as part of the IIHS Urban Fellows Programme. More than 30 Fellows have taken this module in the last two years.



  • IIHS has conducted training and capacity building sessions for various officers from the Indian Administrative Service at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) in Mussoorie and at IIHS, Bengaluru. These sessions focus on urban land governance, and on the experience of various modernisation initiatives. The aim of these training programmes is to build a larger ecosystem around land governance, including a network of interested officers within the sector at varying levels and positions.


Stakeholder Engagement

  • CLG@IIHS has convened a number of significant dialogues between the Government of India and select state governments across multiple stakeholders, on a range of questions related to land systems reform.
  • It organises a monthly seminar series, as well as anchors the writing of Op-Eds and the compiling of a monthly newsletter on country-wide updates on land governance to build its engagement with the public.



  • IIHS has published a first of its kind five-volume set on Land Records Modernisation in India. This limited-edition publication is among the most comprehensive publications on the topic in India post-independence.
  • The CLG@IIHS team has published papers in various journals covering topics such as Land Acquisition (LARR) Legislation, Rajasthan Land Titling Act, Implementation of National Land Records Modernisation Programme (NLRMP), and Expansion of Urban jurisdictions. Team members have also written Op-Eds in various publications.
  • CLG@IIHS has released more than ten national and state-specific policy briefs on various aspects of land governance, which have been downloaded extensively from the IIHS publications platform – the Knowledge Gateway.


Land Records Modernisation: BiharBookAmlanjyoti Goswami, Deepika Jha, Kaye Lushington, Sahil Sasidharan, Sudeshna Mitra2017
Land Records Modernisation: HaryanaBookAmlanjyoti Goswami, Deepika Jha, Kaye Lushington, Sahil Sasidharan, Sudeshna Mitra2017
Land Records Modernisation: Himachal PradeshBookAmlanjyoti Goswami, Deepika Jha, Kaye Lushington, Sahil Sasidharan, Sudeshna Mitra2017
Land Records Modernisation: GujaratBookAmlanjyoti Goswami, Deepika Jha, Kaye Lushington, Sahil Sasidharan, Sudeshna Mitra2017
Land Records Modernisation in India: An Institutional, Legal & Policy ReviewBookAmlanjyoti Goswami, Deepika Jha, Kaye Lushington, Sahil Sasidharan, Sudeshna Mitra2017
Spatiality, Governance and Development Imaginations of SEZs in India.BookSudeshna Mitra2017

Policy briefs
Updating Land Records in Telangana Suggested Amendments to the Rythu Vari Bhu SurveyPolicy briefVarun Panickar2018
Property Mapping in Maharashtra Selecting a Suitable Survey TechnologyPolicy briefMukesh Yadav2018
Taking Property Registration Online: The iSARITA ModelPolicy briefDipankar Das2018
Improving Ease of Registration Scores for DelhiPolicy briefVarun Panickar2018
Real Estate Regulation: Ironing out Difficulties in Implementing the RERA Act, 2016Policy briefVarun Panickar2018
Land Records Modernisation: SummaryPolicy brief IIHS2015
Land Records Modernisation: Developing ProtocolsPolicy brief IIHS2015
Land Record Modernisation: ‘Good Practices’ & ‘Gaps’Policy brief IIHS2015
Land Records Modernisation: Urban and Peri-urban AreasPolicy brief IIHS2015
Land Records Modernisation: Technology TransitionsPolicy brief IIHS2015
Land Records Modernisation: Institutional InterfacesPolicy brief IIHS2015
Land Records Modernisation: Legal InsightsPolicy brief IIHS2015
Land Records Modernisation: State-Level ExperiencesPolicy brief IIHS2015

Land and Sustainable Development GoalsCommentaryAmlanjyoti Goswami, Deepika Jha, Sudeshna Mitra, Kaye Lushington2016

Select Papers
Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement: Law and PoliticsPaperAmlanjyoti Goswami17-Nov-11
Peri-urban Narratives of Land Value: From Investments to CompensationPaperSudeshna MitraJul-16
Instructive Instruments: Land Records Modernisation in Urban IndiaPaperSudeshna MitraJul-16
Your Title Is Not Ready YetPaperAmlanjyoti Goswami, Deepika JhaAug-16
Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Law, Politics and the Elusive Search for BalancePaperAmlanjyoti Goswami2016
Landlocked in Peri-urban Politics around Delhi’s Land PolicyPaperSahil Sasidharan2015
Land Records Modernization in IndiaPaperSudeshna Mitra, Deepika Jha2016