SixFreedoms-1Accounting-1.1LandRecords
1.1 Land Records
A village should have a complete record of the land holdings in the village updated to within a week of the last changes made in the tahsildar’s office, preferably computerized. It should be available for inspection at any time and accessible to all members of the village community.
Relevance:         It has been found that when knowledge about land ownership is hidden away in the books in the tahsildar’s offices,... it gives great scope for cheating and fraud. A lot of litigation can be avoided if there is clarity on who owns what, and there is no reason why the people of a village should not know who owns which piece of land. A great burden will be lifted off the social life of the village if this transparency can be realized in villages.
Detailed Rationale:         Through this, the village body is aware as to in what manner the land is changing hands. ... With the community being aware of this, disputes can be anticipated, and necessary preventive measures can be taken by the village community. Eventually, in an India that has risen to second freedom, every village will have a nyay panchayat (grassroots-level court). In such a situation, the presence of these land records will go a long way in solving disputes instead of relying on the extra-village judicial mechanisms. Even in the present situation, arbitration processes can be legally initiated; such records will be a great help. Even in the case when such disputes are taken out of the bounds of the village, the higher authorities in the executive and judiciary will have direct evidence from the village and find it easier to arrive at decisions on the advice of the village representatives.

It is a known fact that a huge percentage of cases now pending in the courts are based on land disputes. Further, there is also evidence that this is one of the prime reasons for crime in the villages. Once people are ensnared in the courts on land issues, it is a journey of ego clashes, heartburn, misery and impoverishment. A great burden will be lifted off the backs of village dwellers if they are not subjected to this, and it can be achieved by stimulating compromises at the grassroots level through credible arbitration processes. For such a system of arbitration to exist, it is important to ensure transparency in land records.
Success Stories and Action:
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There are no rules against maintaining such records at present, but it would be worthwhile if such a requirement is codified in the statutes so that there is harmonious transfer of data between the tahsildar and the village. There was a first successful computerization, through the inititiative of the collector, of land records in a district in Karnataka, and there is an example of a village called Dhamoli in Vidarbha, Maharashtra where the villagers maintain land records (contact person, farmer leader: Nalkhande). A marriage of these two ideas can help in transformation.
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SIX FREEDOMS
1Accounting

1.1 Land records

1.2 Taxes

1.3 Scheme list

1.4 census
2Economy

2.1 Adapt / integrate

2.2 Employment

2.3 Financial

2.4 Technological

2.5 Resource economy
3Culture

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3.3 Traditions

3.4 Arts

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5Government

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5.4 Integration
6Vision

6.1 Environmental

6.2 Developmental

6.3 Contributory
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