India’s policy commission or the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) is considering recommending Uttar Pradesh’s (UP) ‘digital land’ model to other states for better digital record keeping and analysis.
Through the digital model, UP Revenue Board allocates a unique code to each plot or land in all the 100,000-plus revenue villages in the state. These unique codes, similar to the Aadhaar number given to an Indian citizen, not only speed up the process of land sorting and analysis, but also support faster resolution of land disputes and court cases.
The department of land resources under the Ministry of Rural Development has already put together a technical planning committee to examine UP’s digital model and prepare by-laws for circulation among the different states for replication.
The technical steering group includes the Board of Revenue chairpersons of UP, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, and the chief secretary of Himachal Pradesh.
The members of the group had arrived in the state capital to study the model in detail and talk to senior officials earlier this week.
According to the Board’s chairman, after a recent presentation given by the Board on the digital model, NITI Aayog is considering recommending it to other states. So that the best practices in land management could be adopted across the country and there is some uniformity in this regard.
NITI Aayog has asked the Board to prepare and circulate a detailed report among all the states for the replication, adoption, and incorporation of the model in their existing systems.
In 2018, the UP Board of Revenue was awarded the National Award for e-governance for its digital land record innovation. It was feted for creating digitised land records across the state, which could be checked online as well.
The Board’s chairman also said that land is a state subject and the government cannot make laws about it. Furthermore, there are so many variations with regards to land records and every state has its unique set of problems and issues. Yet, the system of digitised land records can easily be incorporated with their existing systems for faster processing, sorting and analysis.
So far, UP has integrated digital land records with court cases, the public distribution system (PDS), and in the agriculture department.
With the click of a button, government officials can generate a list of, for example, the number of water bodies or fodder land in UP. They could also generate the list of agricultural land based on the size of land holdings.
The chairman said that the system was recently used for determining the beneficiaries under the flagship Prime Minister Modi’s Kisan scheme, which had entitled small and marginal farmers with a yearly pay out of IN ₹6,000 (approximately US $85).
The Ministry of Agriculture recently said that under the Kisan scheme, around 31 million small farmers have so far received the first tranche of IN ₹2,000 (approximately US $28). Also, 21 million lower-income citizens have got the second instalment of about IN ₹10,500 crores (approximately US $1.54 billion) to the exchequer.