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GS 2 Government Policies & Interventions Issues Arising out of their Design & Implementation

In Context

  • By March 2024, India intends to have digitized 100 percent of its land records and the land registration process, in addition to providing a unique 14-digit alphanumeric identifier known as Bhu-Aadhaar.

ULPIN (Unique Land Parcel Identification Number)/ Bhu-Aadhaar:


  •  The Unique Land Parcel Identification Number system was developed by the Department of Land Resources (DoLR), the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the Department of Science and Technology, and the National Remote Sensing Centre.
  •  Digital India Land Record Modernisation Programme (DILRMP): • DILRMP, which combines the computerisation of land records, the fortification of revenue administration, and the modernisation of land records.
  • Once this is accomplished and the system is cleared up, each plot/parcel of land (both urban and rural) will be assigned a 14-digit alphanumeric ULPIN (Unique Land Parcel Identification Number), also known as Bhu-Aadhaar.

Key aspects:

Data mapping

  • Based on detailed surveys and geo-referenced cadastral maps, the Unique Land Parcel Identification Number (ULPIN) or Bhu-Aadhaar will contain the longitude and latitude coordinates of the land parcel.
  • It will encompass all rural and urban land holdings.

Language processing

  •  Currently, Records of Rights are maintained in local languages in each state and U.S. territory.The Digital India Land Records Modernisation Programme will also transliterate the Records of Rights into any of the 22 constitutionally recognized languages.


  • With the assistance of technology, handheld devices can secure latitude-longitude coordinates and combine land records with satellite imagery.
  • Computerization and strengthening revenue administration is the simpler aspect, and there are efficiencies as a result of a standard framework for registration and record of rights throughout the country, which addresses the multilingual issue.


  •  The Bhu-Aadhaar project has been implemented in 26 states, with the exception of Meghalaya, and is presently being implemented in the remaining states.The tradition of communal land ownership in Meghalaya has prevented the state from implementing the initiative.


Data on Land Disputes in India

• According to a few studies, the country’s economy suffers a loss of approximately 1,3 percent of its GDP when initiatives are halted due to litigation involving land disputes.

• 17 percent of all disputes heard by the Delhi High Court involve real property. The majority of litigation in these cases is between private parties.

• The Union government is the petitioner (or appellant) in only 2% of these cases, but is the respondent in more than 18% of cases.

• Landlord-tenant disputes are the most prevalent form of litigation, followed closely by land acquisition-related disputes.

• Contrary to expectations, a minor portion (13.6 percent) of immovable property litigation arises from and is related to property records.


Unified Nation wide ID

  • Prior to the computerisation of land records, different states assigned unique identifiers to land parcels using a variety of methodologies.
  • This made it difficult and cumbersome to extract essential information about farmers and their land.
  • Repeated land parcel numbers in each village made it difficult to establish farmer-land relationships in many instances.
  • A unique identifier will facilitate the sharing of land record information between departments, financial institutions, and all stakeholders.

Prevention of Land Fraud

  •  The number will prevent land fraud, particularly in rural India, where land records are antiquated and frequently contested.

Mitigating disputes pendency

  •  Once the digitization of land records and registration is complete, it is anticipated that the backlog of court cases involving land disputes will be significantly reduced.

Record for collateral

  • It will also assist farmers in using their land as collateral to obtain money from banks.


Issues with updating of land records

  • Cadastral maps digitized without latitude/longitude data are the norm. There may be concerns with elevation and projection.
  • The title record must accurately reflect ownership, with new registrations and mutations occurring automatically. With or without title insurance, this ensures ownership, and in the same way that Aadhaar captures biometric information, ULPIN captures every detail about the plot/parcel. Which is a difficult endeavor overall.

Difficulty in accomplishing target

  • Given the history and the complex nature of land laws, it is claimed that this process certainly cannot be accomplished by March 2024 (or even March 2026), both target dates.

Feasibility and sustainability

  • The implementation cost has raised concerns about the project’s viability and practicability, especially in light of the Department of Land Resources’ limited financial resources.

Way ahead:

Need of overall modernisation

  • Land/property issues are indeed significant as causes of litigation. However, the quantitative argument for modernizing land records should not be overstated in the absence of other changes (such as the multiplicity of land laws and rural/urban silos).
  • In a similar vein, the Economic Survey 2014-2015 monitored the stalling of initiatives and found that land acquisition is not as problematic as is commonly believed.

Setting an example

  •  There are areas where land titles and records are a mess, requiring a monumental effort to clear up. However, there are sections where titles and documents are pristine.These individuals can easily obtain their ULPIN, with the efficiency advantages serving as a demonstration effect to encourage others to join.

Definite potential

  • Despite the difficulties and controversies surrounding the Bhu Aadhaar initiative, it has the potential to significantly improve India’s land management system.

Daily Mains Question

[Q] Examine the issues surrounding Land disputes in India. What is the significance of the Bhu-Aadhaar initiative for India’s land management system?