The Indian state suffers from a deep-rooted capacity problem that manifests in various ways depending on the field of government functioning. In the field of land, the problems in capacity manifest in slow processes, low enforcement, outdated laws, low state legibility, and a failure to protect property rights and deliver basic services to citizens. Technology is often viewed as a panacea for the problem of low state capacity. Government programmes have a concentrated focus on digitisation and have dedicated a large number of resources towards technology-based programmes and solutions to administration challenges. In this paper, we examine the current applications of technology in the field of land in India for administration and the delivery of citizen services. We examine what is working and what is not and question whether technology is leading to the desired outcomes. We explore path-breaking innovations in the field that might be applied in India and propose the first-principles framework for evaluating the application of technology in the field of land administration in India.
Technology in Land Administration, Brijkumar Aggarwal and Diya Uday, Chapter 5 in Technology and Analytics for Law and Justice from DAKSH Centre of Excellence for Law and Justice and IIT Delhi, published by OakBridge Publishing, October 2023, pages 99-122.