New Country Portfolio on land issues in India launched by the Land Portal Foundation and India-based NRMC Center for Land Governance | Land Portal

Land governance disputes dominate civil and criminal cases in India


With more than 1.3 billion inhabitants, India is the world’s second most populous country, and is experiencing rapid urbanization that is transforming the country. Land governance in India is at a crossroads. With the juxtaposition of competing community land rights, an evolving post-colonial system and booming private sector investment, there is enormous competition for land. These issues are compounded by a lack of clarity on investment in common lands. While some states have taken measures to protect women’s land rights, women in India still struggle to gain access to and control over land, with a patriarchal system biased against them.

In India, infrastructure projects and investment zones account for almost half of all of land-related conflicts, with a majority of the cases involving government land acquisitions. Land Conflict Watch, which tracks and reports land conflicts in India, reports 385 conflicts affecting 5.62 million people and 1.8 million hectares of land as of July 1 2017.

This complex history and system of land governance in India in a drastically evolving environment increases the need to give clarity to the current and historical context and its implications, as well as trends and developments. In response, the Land Portal Foundation and with the NRMC Center for Land Governance of India are publishing a Country Portfolio on India, which brings together key land governance indicators, including demographic statistics from the World Bank, agriculture research spending and distribution of agricultural land holders from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Corruption Perception Index from Transparency International and ongoing projects from the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development Map of Donors, among other indicators. The portfolio also includes the latest news, blogs and events relating to land issues in India, and also presents key stakeholder organizations working on land issues in the country. Moreover, the portfolio provides direct access to more than 1280 publications related to land issues in India, from key sources, such as the FAO, Heinrich Boell Foundation, Land Alliance, the Land Journal, Resource Equity, the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), Ekta Parishad, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and many more.

The portfolio showcases a comprehensive narrative written by the NRMC Center on Land Governance on land governance issues in India. This narrative discusses India's land legislation and regulation, protection of ownership rights in various Indian states, land use changes, land record management systems, forest tenure, land investments, land conflicts, and women's land rights. On the India portfolio, users are also given access to a new full length report written by NRMC on these land governance issues affecting India.

Pranab Ranjan Choudhury, Vice President of the NRMC Center for Land Governance, said: "India presents a complex, plural and diverse land governance system, evolved and shaped by interplays of its history, culture, religion with the present economic and political aspirations. Encouraged by the Land Portal team, we make an attempt to present the Indian flavor of land governance through country narrative and other resources. We feel this easy and open access approach would make Indian land information more transparent before global audience contributing to more informed dialogues, decisions and better land governance."

Laura Meggiolaro, Coordinator of the Land Portal Foundation, said “We are pleased to share this Country Portfolio on India with the land governance community and beyond. We hope this provides insight into the land governance situation in India and contributes to improved land governance. We believe that transparent access to information will lead to better decision making and improved land policies, and this portfolio holds a wealth of information that would otherwise be very difficult for the public to obtain.”

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