- Bhoomi (Software)
Bhoomi is a project jointly funded by the Government of India and the Government of Karnataka to digitize the paper land records and create a software mechanism to control changes to the land registry. The project was designed to eliminate the long-standing problem of inefficiency and corruption in the maintenance of land records at dispersed and poorly supervised and audited block-level offices known as "taluka" offices in South India and "tehsildar" offices in North India.
The project was started in 2001 in by Rajeev Chawla, an
IIT Kanpurgraduate and Karnataka Indian Administrative Serviceofficer. Mr. Chawla was awarded the Prime Minister's Prize for Public Administration for 2005-06. In Karnataka, it is presently operated by a consortium that includes 3I Infotech, nLogue of the Madras IIT, and Comat.
Importance and need for land records
The collection of land revenue and the existence of the institutions of the State have been co-terminus. A historical analysis of ancient Indian policy suggests that tax on land played a pivotal part in the evolution and maintenance of the systems of governance.
Indian land records have historically included primary information about land presented in terms of its geological information like the shape, size, land forms, soils; economic information related to land use irrigation and crops; and the information pertaining to the legal rights, registration and taxation.
The rationale for maintenance of land records originates from the following issues: Land records form the basis for assignment and settlement of land titles. These records must stand the test of legal scrutiny. Land is a very precious source and the land Records system must safeguard the rights of the legal owner of the land.
As all type of data related to land is available in these land records, they are used for various planning and governance processes. The importance of land and land record in affecting people’s livelihood is an indisputable fact. Issues of land rights not only raise legal complexities but also have socio-economic dimensions.
Automating land records
The need for a sound and efficient land records information data base is beyond debate. The question is how is the State going to ensure the maintenance of an accurate and genuine land records system to further its policy objectives of land reforms, protection of legal rights over land and efficiency in maintenance and updation of these records. A potential answer is Bhoomi, one of the first attempts at digitizing land records in India.
* [http://www.revdept-01.kar.nic.in/ Government of Karnataka website on Bhoomi]
* [http://ia.rediff.com/money/2007/apr/10spec1.htm Rediff Article (10/4/2007) on Rajeev Chawla and Bhoomi]
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