Panel Discussion and Masterclass at the Third India Land and Development Conference 2019
Panel Discussion on 'One Thousand Land Laws: Mapping the Maze of Land Regulation in India'
Tuesday, March 12, 2019, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Seminar Hall No 2, Kamladevi Complex, India International Centre, New Delhi
Chair: Dr T Haque, Former Chairman, Special Land Cell, NITI Aayog, Government of India
Presentation of Research:
Dr Namita Wahi, Director, CPR Land Rights Initiative
Mr Ankit Bhatia, Research Associate, CPR Land Rights Initiative
Ms Soumya Jha, Research Associate, CPR Land Rights Initiative
- Mr Raghav Chandra, (IAS (retd.)), Former Secretary, Government of India, President Society for Culture and Environment and Member of Steering Group for Centre for Tribal Research and Exploration, Ministry of Tribal Affairs
- Mr Ramesh Sharma, National Coordinator, Ekta Parishad
- Ms Arkaja Singh, Fellow, Centre for Policy Research
Masterclass on 'Mapping the Maze of Land Regulation in India'
Thursday, March 14, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Conference Room I, Annexe Building, India International Centre, New Delhi
Even after seventy years of becoming a republic, land remains the most important economic, social, and cultural resource for the vast majority of Indians. Variously regarded as a "bottleneck" in the process of economic development, land provides a measure of security, often not experienced with other economic resources like labour and capital. Unsurprisingly then, on ground conflict over land is the most pervasive and intractable of all conflicts in India, and legal disputes over land are the most important factor responsible for clogging cases in courts, both in terms of number and pendency of such cases. Such legal and extra legal conflict over land not only threatens India's economic development, but also its social and political stability. Conflicting laws cause legal disputes. Yet, the number and extent of land laws in India is anyone's guess, because there is no existing publicly available comprehensive database of land laws in India.
For the first time ever, the Land Rights Initiative team has created a database of over 1000 colonial and post colonial central and state laws for a geographically representative sample of eight states, namely, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Punjab, and Telangana. From land reforms to land acquisition, forest laws to laws applicable to Scheduled Areas, from laws promoting and regulating urban development to laws dealing with evacuee, enemy, ancestral and religious property, this vast legal apparatus governs the lives of ordinary citizens and their interactions with each other and the state.
The panel discussion will feature findings from an ongoing study at CPR Land Rights Initiative that tries to map the maze of existing legal regulation on land, with a view to streamlining existing laws, and comments on the presentation by a distinguished panel of commentators. In the Masterclass, CPR Land Rights Initiative team will talk about the process of creating a comprehensive database on "land laws", on a scale hitherto unprecedented, the many challenges faced and overcome in this process, and why this is only the first step in navigating the labyrinth of land regulation in India.