information age government

information age government - Distribution: LIMITED...

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Distribution: LIMITED E/ECA/DISD/CODI.3/30 6 May 2003 UNITED NATIONS ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL Original: English ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR AFRICA Third Meeting of the Committee on Development Information (CODI) Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 10 – 17 May 2003 Information Age Government: Success Stories of Online Land Records & Revenue Governance from India Executive Summary by Dr K M Baharul Islam 1 1 Chairman, State Rural Technology Promotion Council, Government of Assam, India Associate Professor of EFL, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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E/ECA/DISD/CODI.3/30 2 1. Background : The manual systems of maintaining land records in India are as diverse as the country itself. The traditional methods have been changing over the years in each state according to local practices and traditions. The procedure for recording transfer and ownership of lands, shares and inheritance is generally based on a particular Identity number for each plot of land. Revenue assessment and agricultural yield related data are also recorded against that specific identification number. Village revenue officers are entrusted with the maintenance of these records and updating these records every harvesting season and on transfer of ownership. However, such records are not updated for years and when the book that records the transactions is the only document with legal standing, the matter becomes worse for the persons involved in the ownership of the land. Several national development and planning polices repeatedly focused on land as an asset, which provides the primary and secondary needs of the people. As such for successful implementation developmental projects needed proper and correct land records. Emergence of computer as a cornerstone of quicker storing, processing and retrieving of information database initiated the government into computerisation of traditional land records. Decentralised planning and administration as envisaged in the 73 rd Amendment to the Constitution of India made it more necessary to collect timely and accurate data on land use for national planning process. 2. Legal Postulates E-governance entails that the citizens will be provided with a single place to retrieve information about government’s plans, programmes, projects, policies and legislation. Therefore a number of legislative measures by the union and state governments over the years prepared the ground for e- governance. A national Action Plan for Effective and Responsive Government was adopted at the Conference of Chief Ministers held on 24 th May 1997 in New Delhi. The action plan aims at making administration accountable and citizen-friendly, ensuring transparency and right to information and motivating the civil services. Based on the second aim as indicated above, several state governments in India have enacted Right
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