The question “State the objectives and measures of land reforms in India. Discuss how land ceiling policy on landholding can be considered as an effective reform under economic criteria." was asked in the Mains 2023 GS Paper 3. Let us look at the model answer to this question.
Answer: Land reforms means redistribution of land from the rich to the poor as well as regulation of ownership, operation, leasing, sales, and inheritance of land.
Objectives of Land Reforms
- Social Justice: Eradicate feudalism, transfer land to the landless, and promote social and economic equality.
- Increased Agricultural Productivity: Allocate land for efficient farming to maximize its potential.
- Poverty Alleviation: Distribute land to the landless to improve their socioeconomic status and reduce rural poverty.
- Tenancy Reforms: Protect tenants' rights, ensure tenure security, establish fair rents, and prohibit unjust eviction.
- Land Holdings Consolidation: Prevent land fragmentation to enhance cultivation efficiency and agricultural productivity.
Measures of Land Reforms in India
- Intermediary Abolition: Abolished zamindari and feudal land tenure systems, granting land ownership to actual cultivators, eliminating exploitative intermediaries.
- Tenancy Reforms: Safeguarded tenants' rights, ensured tenure security, established fair rents, and prohibited arbitrary evictions.
- Land Ceiling Rules: Limited individual or family land ownership, redistributing surplus land to the landless and impoverished.
- Consolidation of Land Holdings: Reorganized fragmented land into continuous blocks, enhancing agricultural efficiency and output.
Land Ceiling Policy- Considering as an Effective Reform Under Economic Criteria
- Equitable Land Distribution: Limits property ownership, reducing wealth concentration, and promoting economic equality.
- Incentives for Modern Farming: Smaller landowners, benefiting from redistribution, invest in land, adopt modern techniques, and boost agricultural productivity.
- Efficient Land Use: Smaller landholders, reliant on their plots, manage them more efficiently, leading to better land use, crop rotation, and soil conservation.
- Poverty Reduction: Empowers landless and poor individuals with productive assets, reducing rural poverty.
- Rural Economic Development: Encourages economic activity in rural areas, creating jobs and improving living conditions, benefiting the overall economy.
Land ceiling and consolidation has been sporadic and patchy in India. Addressing administrative efficiency, property record accuracy, and preventing corruption and land grabbing is crucial to ensuring land ceiling regulations benefit intended beneficiaries. Nonetheless, these policies remain vital for India's economic and social justice, hinging on effective implementation and ongoing monitoring.