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NCAER releases India’s first Land Records and Services Index to energise land governance in India

27th February 2020

Research Report

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The Indian economy has slowed down dramatically over 2018 and 2019. Commentators have increasingly pointed out that the slowdown is a structural rather than a cyclical phenomenon. Attention to reform in the hitherto neglected areas will be critical for India to resume a high-growth journey. In this context, land (and labour) have been listed as the sectors deserving the highest priority. Lack of improvements in the ability to acquire and hold land, and use and transact in land and property, are major impediments inhibiting both investment and poverty reduction. India’s spectacular improvement on the overall index of Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) compiled by the World Bank, stands in marked contrast to the dismal showing with regard to the component of the index that relates to land (ease of registering property).

The National Council of Applied Economic Research, NCAER, released a new NCAER Land Records and Services Index (N-LRSI 2020), on Thursday, 27th February, 2020. The index assesses the extent of digitisation of land records and the quality of these land records in the States and UTs of India. Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, and Tamil Nadu emerged as the top States in the N-LRSI 2020.  It is an integral part of the NCAER Land Policy Initiative (NLPI) launched in 2019 with the aim of filling the gaps in economic research, policy analysis, and systematic data on land.  Access to land is a critical factor for economic growth and poverty reduction.  For government, industry, and citizens to be able to use this asset effectively and to minimise disputes, it is important to have access to reliable land and property records.  Over the years, different states have made significant progress in making their land records digitally available to citizens.  The N-LRSI aims to understand the extent of this progress and existing gaps and to identify measures to improve land records in each state.

NCAER is part of the Property Rights Research Consortium, a multi-institution research consortium supported by generous grants from the Omidyar Network India and focuses on building research and evidence on the rights to land, housing and other assets. 

To understand more about the purpose of the report, read the overview here.

To know more about the details of the report, read the full report here.

To understand how each state has performed, read the state fact-sheet here.