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.
- 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.
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