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Land Reforms to Land Titling
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Land Reforms to Land Titling
Emerging Paradigms of Land Governance in India

  • Pradeep Nayak - Civil Servant in the Odisha Administrative Service


December 2020 | 368 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd
In India, land policies have been undergoing a paradigm shift since the economic reforms of the early 1990s. Conclusive land titling or guaranteed title to land has emerged as an alternative policy option to the redistributive land reform agenda before economic liberalization, and marks a historic reorientation of land policy. Land Reforms to Land Titling: Emerging Paradigms of Land Governance in India studies this reorientation. 

Would the neoliberal policy of secure individual property rights in land address diverse land-related questions in India? Whose interests will a conclusive titling policy serve, given unequal land holdings? How are capitalist or market imperatives of efficiency and growth bypassing social concerns? This book addresses these and other important questions through an in-depth study of not only India’s land governance history but also the experiences of other developing countries. The book also talks about policy implications and will be an invaluable read for academics and policymakers alike.
 
Foreword by Nirmal Sengupta
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgements
 
Introduction
 
The Contemporary Discourse on Secure Property Rights in Land
 
Land Titling Experience in Developing Countries
 
Property Rights in Land in India: Continuities and Changes
 
Land Titling and the Emerging Political Economy of Land in India
 
Legal and Institutional Mechanisms for Land Titling
 
Land Market, Conclusive Title and Revisiting Land Reforms
 
Conclusion: Beyond Techno-Managerialism and Commodification of Land
 
Glossary
 
Bibliography
 
Index

This book undertakes a critical analysis of the transformation of presumptive nature of land records and ownership to a conclusive land title regime while focusing on its legal and institutional context along with its relevance to Indian realities. The book examines the impact of the concerted policy push under the National Land Records Modernization Programme on diverse land tenure system of the country by deploying a variety of primary sources to correlate it with the changing requirements of economic policy. Deploying a historically informed and politico-economy located frame, the book fills a vital gap on this subject matter and is a significant contribution in the field.

Amit Prakash
Professor Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

In this bold new book, a civil servant with years of experience in land governance painstakingly traces a land regime in transition. He goes past the headlines to place the shift from land reform to land titling within India’s changing politics and political economy. Concern for social justice and the poor is writ large in this impassioned account as Dr Nayak interrogates who wins and who is set to lose as India liberalizes and modernizes its land regime. When much of our land economy is being regulated and irregulated in a far from transparent manner, this book is an essential reading for scholars, policymakers and the alert public to understand the inner workings of India via a vital resource.

Nikita Sud
Associate Professor, Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford, UK

Treading a delicate path of expositing the political economy of India’s turn away from redistributive land reforms to achieving techno-managerial efficiency through land titling, Dr Nayak, like no one else thus far, has laid bare the trappings of neoliberal designs that undermine the pre-existing nature–society relationship of an intrinsically pluralistic people. Rich in insights, historicity and ability to decipher the fine print of the legalities in land titling, this masterly study would not only enrich our knowledge on the complex subject of land rights but would also set us thinking if the policy aims for social justice and has not fallen hostage to capital or hegemony.

Keshab Das
Professor, Gujarat Institute of Development Research, Ahmedabad, India

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