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Land Administration in Contemporary India and Colonial Relationship
Three major land tenure systems that originated during the British colonial rule in India still have major influence to contemporary land and revenue administration in India. Zamindari system which accounted nearly 57 percent of the area under land administration is the largest but most complex land tenure system. The ryotwari system which was implemented and enforced after the zamindari system covered the second largest land area; it was mostly prevalent in majority parts of southern India and the western Indian states. The mahalwari system was mostly practiced in the northwestern province but the area of operation was limited to about 5 percent. After India’s independence the first significant reform measure was the “land reforms” that brought significant change in agrarian relation. A large number of intermediaries were banned and removed, ceiling limit on land was imposed and tenurial security was partly or fully restored along with other social and welfare measures. But, the core structure and functions of land administration remained more or less same despite intervention of egovernance measures.Land administration remains bureaucratic and critical in its functions and activities. Therefore, it is difficult to assess common man’s convinience. Presumptive land titling and underregulated land use practice remain key feature in the contemporary land administration. Further, the existing land tenure system is a dominant class centric and power driven model of the social structure.