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Amit Prakash and Rahul De


Only by broadening our perspective we can see how development' ... India: 'Land to the tiller' ... sown, identity of the tiller, loans taken against the land ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Amit Prakash and Rahul De

Importance of Development context in ICT for
Development projects A study of
computerization of land records in India
  • Amit Prakash and Rahul De
  • IIM Bangalore
  • Presented By
  • Ajanta Akhuly
  • Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences

  • In this paper we build a case for the importance
    of the development context in ICT4D projects.
    Only by broadening our perspective we can see how
    development is interpreted by different people
    and how technology fits in accordingly.
  • IT projects are not episodes disconnected from
    history, organizational and economic
    circumstances from which they emerge. Therefore,
    ICT4D projects should try to situate themselves
    within the development context from which they
    are derived and of which they become a part.
  • In the Bhoomi project the desired consequences
    were not met. The author argues that this
    happened because the development paradigm that
    was chosen dismissed a greater proportion of the

Choice of the Development Paradigm
  • Development as Economic Growth
  • Modernization Theory Developing countries need
    to emulate developed countries. Basis is Rostows
    (1984) five stages that lead to economic growth.
  • Dependency theory (By Prebish) Industrialized
    countrites in the center and developing countries
    in the periphery. Dependency theorists prescribed
    protectionist and import substitution model.
  • Neoliberal paradigm Get the prices right and
    let the market forces do their work. Achieved
    through structural reform, deregulation,
    liberalization and privatization.
  • But in the absence of perfect conditions for free
    market many intended beneficiaries of development
    programs will not be able to participate in the
    market and get left out.

  • Development as Capacity Building (Amartya Sen)
  • People are the centre of development.
  • Building capacities and creating societies where
    individual potential can be realized.
  • Poverty is a deprivation of basic capabilities
    rather than merely low income.
  • Highlights the importance of political freedoms,
    economic facilities, social opportunities,
    transparency guarantees and protective security
    that will lead to overall freedom.
  • Schumacher Development does not start with
    goods, it starts with people, their education,
    organization and discipline.
  • Therefore, distributional justice and individual
    capabilities are equally important as aggregative

Computerization of land records in India
  • Land Reforms in India Land to the tiller. To
    introduce advance technology and increase
    productivity land reforms was necessary. On
    12.5 of the land reforms had taken place. While
    in Taiwan it was 37, Japan 33 , South Korea
  • Computerization of land records (CLR) scheme CLR
    is a part of land reform.
  • Land records in India were not up to date since
  • Influential and powerful sections of the society
    used to manipulate land records.
  • From 1988-89 to 2003-04 GOI has released Rs 300
    crore (US 70 million)to be implemented in 582
    districts and 2400 talukas.
  • Bhoomi project of Karnataka is an acclaimed and
    publicized CLR project which can be replicated

Methodology of the study
  • Objective Explore how different meanings
    attributed to development influence the choice of
    technology solutions.
  • Case study method
  • Multiple methods of data collection.
  • Secondary data Govt reports, Bhoomi website,
    newspaper reports.
  • Primary data Structured and Unstructured
    interview of 120 land owning and landless
    farmers, kiosk operators, bureaucrats etc.

The Bhoomi Project of Karnataka
  • Project Features
  • 20 million land records.
  • Issue an RTC (Record of rights, tenancy and
  • RTC certifies the ownership of land, location,
    unique identity number, crops sown, identity of
    the tiller, loans taken against the land etc.
  • Ownership of land can be changed by mutation.
  • Bhoomi was supposed to replace the manual methods
    of issuing the RTC. Village accountants (VA )
    used to issue RTC, who were corrupt and harassed
  • In the Bhoomi system farmers have to travel to
    sub-district headquarter (taluk250 vilages, 177
    taluks in Karnataka).
  • Pay Rs 15 as fee, get print out with signature
    and hologram as verification.

  • The Design of the Project
  • The first (1991) and second (1996) attempt failed
    as they did not anticipate the size and scope of
    the project.
  • Farmers and institutions that use Bhoomis
    services were not consulted.
  • All manual RTCs were declared illegal.
  • Entire system was designed and implemented by
    senior officials of the Revenue Department.
    District, Taluk and village officials were
  • Initially Bhoomi was very actively resisted.
    Govt. officials resisted as it upset their
    existing ways of working and also because it was
    a new technology they were not familiar with.

  • Project Consequences
  • Bhoomi helped in the sale and transfer of
    agricultural land via the automated mutation
    system. Lesser chances of corrupt officials
    tampering with the data. In the Bangalore
    periphery region land mutations happened v fast.
  • 40 usage for RTC documents is to obtain bank
    loans. Yet secondary data shows no significant
    increase in rural credit in Karnataka.
  • The RTC document by itself did not help to get
    credits to small land owners. So anyways they
    went to moneylenders as it was instant and
    involves less paper work.
  • Landless farmers who did not have RTC
    certificates and cannot officially apply for
    formal credit were unaffected by Bhoomi. Their
    ability to access credits remained unaltered.

  • Some landless farmers they have an official chit
    called saguvali chit that states their right to
    farm on the land. This document is not a part of
    the Bhoomi database and so such farmers cannot
    check their status on the system.
  • The system allows farmers to verify the status of
    their property. This transparency and easy access
    of RTC is important for bigger land holders.
  • Bhoomi has computerized only 1 document out of
    many that are used for land administration.

  • It did bring about greater efficiency in the
    govt. service delivery.
  • Benefits only the land owning farmers and
    overlooks the landless.
  • Allows land sharks to target vulnerable farmers
    as it makes it easier to view and select records
    and also transfer property.
  • People have to travel beyond 20 km to get their
  • Bhoomi project adopts an essentially neoliberal
    view of technology. When technology projects are
    designed with this conception the substantial
    freedoms of marginalized sections are not on the
    top of their agenda. Caters to the interest of
    dominant global functionaries.
  • The desire for technical solutions to development
    problems should not take on a life of its own
    where we forget that development is about people
    and what they think and how they feel matters
    (Olukoshi, 2007).