Land Reforms

Land record Modernisation in India


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much

Mains level : Paper 3- Hurdles in the creation of updated land record system

Updated land record system could help the landowner in many ways. However, there is a lack of an updated land record system in India. There are several factors responsible for it. The article highlights these factors.

Need for updated land record

  • For a significant section of the rural poor, land is both an asset and a source of livelihood.
  • With livelihoods affected, the importance of land ownership for access to formal loans as well as government relief programmes became even more evident.
  • But the relatively poor availability of clear and updated land titles remains a hurdle.
  • The government of India’s Digital India Land Records Modernisation Programme (DI-LRMP) scheme is the most recent effort in encouraging updating of land record.

Reasons for lack of updated land record data

The National Council of Applied Economic Research made a pioneering effort in this direction by launching NCAER Land Records and Services Index (N-LRSI) in 2020.

Following are the finding of NCAER about the poor state of land records.

  • The dismal state of land records is due to the failure of the Indian administration to evolve from British-era land policies.
  • In addition, land record regulations and policies vary widely across Indian states/union territories.
  • Though DI-LRMP provides a common framework for reporting the progress of land record management by states/UTs, the heterogeneous nature of regulations/guidelines for land record management in India makes the progress non-uniform.
  • One of the major roadblocks in ensuring continuous updation of land records is the lack of skilled manpower in land record departments in states.
  • Another dimension relates to the poor synergy across land record departments.
  • There is a lack of synergy between the revenue department as the custodian of textual records, the survey and settlement department managing the spatial records and the registration department, which is responsible for registering land transactions.
  • The swiftness of the process of updating ownership as the result of the registration of a transaction is commonly known as mutation.
  • The information obtained from all the state/UT sources in this regard revealed that no state/UT has the provision for online mutation on the same day as the registration.

Way forward

  • With poor inter-departmental synergy, aspiring for updated and accurate records will always be a distant goal and states/UTs should take necessary actions to have the appropriate systems in place.
  • The improved system of land records is likely to facilitate the efforts that some states/UTs are making to ease land transactions — like lowering stamp duties by the Maharashtra government.
  • Finally, these efforts are going to be instrumental for the health of India’s rural economy.

Consider the question “How an updated and functional land record system could help transform the rural economy? What are the hurdles in creating the updated land record system?”


The governments need to take measures to remove the hurdles in the creation of a robust land record system so as to help the landowners access institutional channels of credit.

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