[Answered] Discuss various land reforms in India? How they lead to agricultural efficiency and social equity?

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Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Land reforms in India. How it led to agricultural efficiency and social equity?
Conclusion. Way forward.

Land reforms refers to a wide variety of specific programmes and measures to bring about more effective control and use of land for the benefit of the community as a whole. The main objective of the land reforms is to do away with the existing inequalities in the system of landholding and to increase the agricultural productivity. The Five Year Plans aimed to remove the impediments for increase in agricultural production and elimination of exploitation and social injustice within the agrarian system so as to achieve equality and providing opportunities for all sections of the rural society.

The reforms can be majorly grouped into two categories:

  1. Institutional reforms: Institutional reforms started soon after independence and continued till the early 1960s. It included:
    • Abolition of intermediaries like zamindars, jagirdars, etc. All states passed the laws to abolish intermediaries, with varying provisions for resumption for self-cultivation.
    • All laws provided heritable rights to the tenants.
    • Tenancy reforms involving providing security of tenure to the tenants, decrease in rents and conferment of ownership rights to tenants.
    • Ceilings on size of landholdings.
    • Redistribution of land led to Land consolidation.
    • Co-operative movement and community development programmes.
  2. Digitisation reforms: It begin around the mid or late 1960s and saw the gradual ushering in of the so-called Green Revolution and has been seen as the phase of technological reforms. It is marked by:
    • Digitisation of land records.
    • Making land records available to all, to contain/check property frauds in the late 1980s.
    • The Digital India Land Records Modernisation Programme (DILRMP) was launched by the government of India in 2008 to computerise all land records.

Land reforms: Impact on agricultural efficiency and social equity:

  1. Agricultural Efficiency:
    • Abolition of zamindari led to land being with the tiller who with better realisation of land, inputs and focus increased agricultural productivity.
    • Land consolidation stopped fragmentation, gave the marginal farmers access to credit resources, mechanisation and led to cooperative farming in many areas.
    • Tenancy reforms gave the security of tenure to the farmers and stopped forceful eviction, tenant had equal rights on the land which led him to plan better for farm seasons and led to better cropping patterns across the country.
    • The reforms also coincided with the Green revolution across the country led to manifold increase in productivity.
    • Land ceiling acts across states led to redistribution of surplus land due to which many landless got land and were able to involve themselves in sustainable agricultural practices which increased land productivity.
  • Social Equity:
    • Land Reforms led to redistribution of Land from rich to poor. In an agrarian economy like India with massive inequalities of wealth and income, great scarcity and an unequal distribution of land land reforms has led to social equity.
    • It led to remove rural poverty by removing intermediaries and tyrants devolving land to farmers.
    • Tenancy reforms and abolition of zamindari system ended social oppression of the depressed classes and led to increase in stature of the erstwhile tenants leading to a more egalitarian society.

The purpose of land reform is to help weaker section of society and do justice in land distribution. Government land policies are implemented to make more rational use of the scarce land resources by affecting conditions of holdings, imposing ceilings and grounds on holdings so that cultivation can be done in the most economical manner.

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