Can the new technologies such as blockchain be used for giving land titles to the poor? Discuss the potential of Blockchain towards better land governance and land reforms in India.

A blockchain is an online ledger that uses data structure to simplify transaction and allows users to manipulate the ledger in a secure way without the help of a third party.
Blockchain can be used for giving land titles to poor due to following factors

  • Blockchain will allow the government to maintain a public ledger of asset-ownership in a distributed fashion without requiring intermediaries.
  • Blockchain technology can be used to confer a unique cryptographic identifier to each land based on its geographic coordinates, ownership, and purpose of usage.

Advantages of using Blockchain technology in land governance and reforms

  • It is decentralized thus erroneous data can be corrected and stores data in a nearly incorruptible form thus data cannot be manipulated which is a risk even in storage of data in digital form
  • With a trustworthy asset ownership system, millions of people will move out of the anonymous mass of citizens and become individuals with property interests
  • People who use goods and services and don’t pay for them will be identified and charged interest penalties
  • Contract violations will be easily traced and legal infractions can be more easily prosecuted.
  • Blockchain has the potential to end large-scale property-related litigation due to lack of authentic data.
  • It will free the assets of the poorest Indians to create capital and enter the formal economy.
  • It will also ease land leasing in rural areas leading to effective land utilization.

Challenges:

  • Technology in itself is new and government may lack expertise in working with it.
  • Recognizing the present owners of the lands is a huge task in itself.
  • The Registration Act, 1908 that allows only ‘presumptive’ ownership also needs to be amended.

 Blockchain technology needs to be combined with other institutional and legal reforms, to clearly offer a feasible solution. 

Question for UPSC Mains:
Can the new technologies such as blockchain be used for giving land titles to the poor? Discuss the potential of Blockchain towards better land governance and land reforms in India. Live Mint | Live Mint

Published: October 24, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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