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Abolition of Zamindari : This reform in 1950s abolished the zamindari system and acknowledged the ‘occupancy rights'(person to whom the land actually belongs)of peasants. However it failed to recognise the tiller’s rights.
Tenancy rights: This land reform afterwards observed the rights of tenants, ensuring them tenure, thereby incentive to produce more. This reform did not succeed for its failure to legally register tenants, except in Communist ruled states, where govt was proactive in registering them.eg: Operation Barga in Bengal.
India being an agricultural land could have reaped benefits rather reeling under agri-crisis had these reforms been implemented in leeter and spirit. Therefore govt should reorient from market led land reforms towards thses among which consolidation and cooperative farming are still viable and promising of showing results.
Land reforms(LRs) is a institutionalist strategy to transform relations between land and man.
Objectives of LRs:
Land reforms in India:
It can said that land reforms with strict implementation, political will and clear provisions are successful else loopholes are exploited by big landlords to continue the colonial era situation of exploitation.
Since Independence Land reforms have been a prime agenda for our policy makers. Initiatives such as
By the beginning of 1970’s when food insecurity was threatening the nation, new scientific innovation (HYV rice) and technology was adopted which brought in the first Green Revolution alongwith Various major Irrigation projects were undertaken.
Later we observe great significance was given to organic farming, Cooperative farming which can address problems faced by small landholders.
ICAR the apex autonomous body has played an important role in promoting agriculture research and new technology to enhance productivity..The LPG reforms has seen a increasing demand for food processing industry which has created high demand for various agri products by private parties thus contract farming has come into play in various parts of the country.
The advent of ITC has caused a great improvement in Indian agri sector.
Thereby with modernization of agricultural activities the nature of land reforms must be coherent. land reforms must be pro agriculture and pro farmer. With an ambitious plan to double the farmers income by 2022 adequate land must be made available for irrigation and cultivation purpose. Besides in the age of Rapid Urbanization and Industrialization Govt must make Holistic approach to protect agri land and interests of the farming community
Technological advancement in field of information dissemination, micro-irrigation, marketing, and storage & transportation etc have provided a unique opportunity to make, otherwise averse, farming an attractive employment esp for rural youth. Land reform change is required for following reasons :
The Digital India Land Records Modernization Programme utilizes technology to fasten the land recording. However, NITI ayog’s Model land lease law is yet to be adopted by states.
Thus, the window provided by technological advancement will not benefit farmers unless land reforms aim to infuse them by making land consolidation/leasing a possibility. Technology is an indispensable enabler but a holistic approach is required to realize the vision of doubling farmer’s income by 2022.
The land reforms policy must be in parallel with the current agricultural technologies as this will help in channelizing the focus on issue of land acquisition in a better way:
Bringing modernisation to the farmlands as a shared responsibility by the government and the corporate will not only lead to smooth transfer of farm land for non agro purposes but also increase productivity of farmers but also bring a balance in sustaining the prime source of their income which is through their lands.
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Technology has touched the agricultural practice in India. It has brought manyfold advantages to this country (e.g. Green revolution). Land being its basis has to stay in tandem with technological changes for maximum benefits.
Nature of land reforms:
Technology can be a bane or boon depending on its uses. Increasing reliance on it to solve agricultural shortcomings (less acreage) behoves an adaptable land policy. which must be farmers and environment friendly.
History of Land Reforms in India
Land reform for more equality
Land reforms is a topic of continuous debate among the policy makers. Post independence, intermediate rent collectors were abolished and land was redistributed, mostly in Kerala and West Bengal(through a land ceiling act) and through Bhoodan movement.
Land ceiling acts improved social equality as more tillers started owning land and reduced their dependance on landlords. Improvement in agricultural efficiency, though, is questionable because small farmers tend to have less capital. However, intensive farming through subsidised feritlisers and cropping throughout the year improved efficiency.
Today, the question of land reforms extends to consolidation too as land holdings became smaller and smaller through generations. Consolidation of holdings brings agricultural efficiency through economies of scale and mechanised farming. On the other hand, social equity might be compromised as it brings separation between landed and landless classes.
Hence, what is required is a combination of Land ceiling and consolidation so that both agricultural efficiency and social equity are realised. This might be achieved through cooperative farming(eg- Kolkhoz in Russia), Recent scheme called Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana which promotes organic farming in clusters of 50 acres is a progressive model.
Another aspect of land reform, Recent model contract farming law brings forth important aspects like tenancy security and formal contract agreements that even act as collateral for loans. This reforms in contract farming improves agricultural efficiency because of fixed terms of contract(security) and provides a sense of ownership of land for the tenant. Also, loans can be availed at bank rates. Social equity is ensured because there will be no scope for exploitation of tenant by landlord.
Hence, all the states need to put forth these reforms to increase efficiency and also ensure social equity.
Impact on Agricultural efficiency
Impact on Social equity
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