Land Records Modernisation: Technology Transitions
The modernisation of land records, via new technology components, gained traction in India just before liberalisation in 1991. Strengthening of Revenue Administration and Updating of Land Records (SRA&ULR) in 1989-90 was the first pilot project for land record modernisation in India. The next programme was the Computerisation of Land Records (CoLR), launched as a pilot by the central government in 1988-89. The Digital India Land Records Modernisation Programme (formerly National Land Records Modernisation Programme (NLRMP)) combined the SRA &ULR and the CoLR programmes. DILRMP seeks ‘computerisation of all land records including mutations, digitisation of maps and integration of textual and spatial data, survey/resurvey and updating of all survey and settlement records including creation of original cadastral records wherever necessary, computerisation of registration and its integration with the land records maintenance system, development of core Geospatial Information System (GIS) and capacity building’. These initiatives are aimed to reduce delays, simplify procedures and improve administrative efficiency, thus improving overall access to records. This policy brief looks at the technological initiatives by four States which have developed their own focus based on their ground realities. It also discusses the broader challenges of traction, utilisation and implementation in different states, including operational challenges such as capacity issues, existing backlog, technology obsolescence, and data errors or mismatches.