Land and Sustainable Development Goals
This commentary focusses on land as an explicit and implicit parameter within the Sustainable Development Goal framework, which marks an expansion in its scope from the Millennium Development Goals. It traces the underlying structural issues with respect to land management and governance in urban India, including land reform, land records and the role of government institutions in enabling access to land as an essential resource in urban India. While providing a historical overview of land reforms and land records in post-Independence India, it highlights the factors that have traditionally hindered adequate rights and equal access to land, including caste and gender. It also examines the question of improving access to land, including affordability, security of tenure and equitable land rights. Viewing the SDG targets as an opportunity to realign the objectives and scope of land policy in the country, it recommends the framing of country and state level action plans, while focussing on the importance of comprehensive land records.