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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. The efforts towards land reforms in India have been tardy and slow. Discuss the reasons for the poor progress of land reforms in India. (150 words)

    15 Jun, 2022 GS Paper 3 Economy


    • Briefly introduce land reforms in India and mention its various components
    • Discuss the reasons for the poor progress of land reforms
    • Conclude suitably by giving a way out


    Land reform measures have been introduced by India for attaining a rational land distribution pattern and viable farming structure. Land reforms involve measures of reforms necessary to raise agricultural productivity which includes reforms relating to fixation of rent on land, the abolition of intermediaries, credit and marketing arrangements, etc. Therefore it refers to the transfer of ownership from more powerful to less powerful. Components of land reforms in India are as follows:


    • Abolition of intermediaries
    • Tenancy reforms to regulate fair rent and provide security to tenure
    • Ceilings on holdings and distribution of surplus land among the landlords
    • Consolidation of holdings and prevention of their further fragmentation
    • Development of cooperative farming
    • Upgradation and digitization of land records
    • Objectives of the land reforms were progressive and directed towards the benefit of the farmers, however, the reforms have been tardy and slow due to following reasons:
      • Presence of multiplicity of intermediaries between the Government and cultivator.
      • Lack of adequate security of tenure, direction, determination policy instrument and lack of political will.
      • Fixation of high rent and lack of incentive.
      • Large scale fragmentation of landholdings and the impediments arising out of it towards the adoption of modern and scientific methods of cultivation.
      • Unequal distribution of land, and low productivity per hectare of land.
      • Increasing inequality between rich and poor as a result of a green revolution.
      • Absence of correct- up-dated land records and the lack of financial support.
    • Indian agriculture is in a stage of transition, from a predominantly semi-feudal oriented agriculture characterised by large-scale leasing and subsistence farming to commercialised agriculture or market-oriented farming. Looking at the importance of land reforms in the changing scenario of agriculture in India it is imperative to have Political commitment and the administrative preparedness including the improvement of the technical design of enactments and the provision of financial resources.
    • Breaking up the landlord-tenant nexus, effective implementation of ceiling legislation and distribution of surplus land by simplifying legal procedures can bring grassroots changes. Similarly, consolidation of holdings, tenancy regulation and updating of land records would widen the access of small and marginal landholders to improved technology and inputs and thereby directly lend to increase agricultural production.


    With Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement Act of 2013 and in 2015, the government proposed a few amendments to the law and introduced the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, which must be implemented to make land reforms revolutionary for the benefit of the framers.

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