eDhara – Land Records Management System (eDhara)
Revenue Department - Government of Gujarat

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Land records are extremely important since land is the primary source of sustenance for a majority of population. The importance of instant availability of land records is a significant activity in the process of maintenance and management of Land records by administration. Record of Rights (RoR) is maintained, updated and is needed by farmers for various purposes such as - for obtaining crop loans, hypothecation of land, getting electricity connection, subsidies etc. Land records are updated with crop data every season and this information is used for various analysis purposes. Second important process in the management and maintenance of the Land records is Mutation. Land records also form the basis to carry out mutations such as changes in ownership title due to inheritance, sale, acquisition, inheritance etc. The Government of Gujarat envisaged a computerised land record management system to put to use. The land records process for the state was completely manual before the implementation of eDhara system in 2004. Traditionally, Talati (Village level administrative staff) maintained this data in a manual register known as Village Form 6, 7/12 and 8A. He is the custodian of this data and carries out all changes when authorized by competent revenue officer (Circle Officer, Mamlatdar (Block Officer), Dy Mamlatdar (Dy Block Officer), etc.) who approves for changes in the land records. The primary challenges in the manual system of maintenance of Land records were: • Challenge for Administration: Land records are maintained for various purposes including levy and collection of various taxes and land revenue, and hence is a principal source of revenue for the states. The process of maintenance and updation of Records of Right (RoR) (village forms 6,7,12, and 8A) was completely manual and its maintenance was a time consuming activity for administration. • The manual system of record keeping had become cumbersome, opaque, and susceptible to manipulations and is difficult for the revenue administration to control and monitor the mutations in paper-based record keeping. • Issuance of Records of Right (RoR) documents to farmers and applicants was completely manual. • The storage, management, updations and retrieval of the land records data for responding to farmer application was a challenge in absence of digital means • Manual Mutation Process: The process of mutation was highly complex and time consuming process with manual notices, effecting the mutation changes at multiple places, transfer of right over land under different categories, etc. Transfer and changeover take place due to Sale, Inheritance, Heir, and Distribution etc. These changeovers are considered as mutations in records by way of updating the land records manually by Talati at the Village. • Post Mutation changes, when a change of ownership or transaction takes place, applicant files request for initiating the mandatory process known as mutation for effecting necessary changes in the ROR. This process was manual and time consuming requiring multiple human touch points and hassles to farmers. • This means system was 100% dependent on talathi (Village level staff) and was creating a monopoly and service dependency.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The primary objective of Computerisation of Land Record Project was to achieve Complete Computerisation of Land Records across the state. Elimination of Manual Records, computer controlled mutation process and self sustainability were the leading objectives of e-Dhara system. • A complete system consisting of (1) Issuance of computerized RoR from dedicated counter in Block office and (2) Receiving mutation application and processing it in online mode was envisaged to be in place immediately • The new system brought transformational change in the way land records maintained and administered. The system simplified the process of record keeping and also provided collateral benefits. • Receiving mutation request and processing it in online mode through computer which in turn update computerized RoR data needed a complete computerized Land Record Management System. • e-Dhara process is defined and re-engineered to reduce human touch points and facilitate a single window services to rural farmers and citizens through e-Dhara Kendra (e-DK at block level) and eGram Centres (at village level). • Mutations and their RoR implications are centred through-out a system designed workflow process making it reliable, tamper proof and also bringing in convenience in retrieval. Decision making regarding RoR is also decentralized. RoR are kept in computer, maintained by e-Dhara centre, but mutation order is passed at village through administrative decisions. • Bank/Co-operative Society/ Talati (Village Level administrative staff) / Representative can get RoR on behalf of owner/applicants. ROR and Mutation requests can be put anytime at e-Dhara Kendra. One set of RoR sale copy given to talati. Thus e-Dhara Kendra is an additional information outlet. • RoR available on payment of Rs. 5 per Survey Number or khata (account). • Application formats have been standardized as a part of re-engineering in eDhara process. Application formats are available at e-Dhara Kendra and at village talati office for new applications. Supporting annexure documents required as per mutation/ transaction type have also been standardized and mentioned on back-side of application format. • Acceptance of application is acknowledged through computerized receipt with a unique no. Receipt also shows pendency of supporting document. Applicants are communicated through SMS alerts for application acknowledgement, readiness of the RoR, etc. • E-Dhara system has resulted in huge saving of cost and time for farmers and no need to travel to district or block level. This has reduced travel and trips required to get a single RoR issued. Also freed applicants from bribery and malpractices in the Land management processes. Farmers do not need to get RoR at the cost of loss of its Day wages due to this transformation. • Complete system has been transformed through e-channel adopted for service delivery. Mutation entry number and mutation text are generated by computer. Mutation entry no. also is a track for applicant for future reference. Standardised notice generated by computer. • As per decision on mutation computer generates preview report about pattern of change in data as visualized in mutation order. Human intervention for data tempering is completely eliminated. This is a unique feature. • Relevant 3 important documents (Decision on mutation, office copy of notice bearing signatures of all relevant parties, Govt. Order-if any, preview report) are scanned as a part of mutation process. Biometric authentication is administered. • System allows changes in front-end RoR and RoR khata records of data as per mutation order only after important documents are scanned. • Single window citizen interface for all departments – e-DK centres and eGram centres provide land records services across the state recording millions of transactions per day.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
• The e-Dhara LRMS system is capable of carrying out online mutation based on the system logic and ensures the reflection of mutation process across the RoR documents in the system • A single solution is available across the state for delivery of Land records to farmers and citizens. The service delivery is ensured through 225 e-Dhara Kendra (e-DK centres) located in all 225 blocks in the state of Gujarat and 14,000 eGram (eGVG centres) located in 14000 villages of Gujarat. • The e-Dhara system has brought about analytical abilities in getting land details and its statistics, Tenure and Land use statistics, Online MIS, Irrigation details, standardization in the RoR issuance and Mutation process. • Post 2011, the e-Dhara system has been integrated with Stamp Duty application (Sub registrar Offices) and Property registration services software (GARVI). This brings complete end-to-end records transfer process online and also has enabled biometric authentication at every stage to avoid fraudulent practices. • After introduction of SMS intimation, the system became more transparent and keeps stakeholders and users informed. • Verification of seller through bio-metric authentication is also one of the innovative steps. • Putting records on INTERNET is a master stroke for land owners.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The project implemented in phases as below: Land Records being a mandatory system, the Computerized Management System becomes a comprehensive program of not only maintenance of data on a computer but also of systematic on-line updation of that data whenever a change in Record of Right is required. Thus the computerization is not a one-time job but requires a continuous effort and updation. It needs to be strictly monitored and ensured that any change when required to be carried out on ROR, is done on-line on the computer itself. “Start small and up-scale fast” was the centre strategy adopted for this project. Significant strategy was developed for implementation stages, methodology adoption, business processes realignment, activity modifications to suit the business needs and the features. Below are few strategic aspects adopted for conceptualizing, developing, implementing, maintaining the new system. 1. Conceptualization of the project Enormity of task was assessed, enabling factors were identified, project phasing was worked out, Data types were categorized as static data and dynamic data, geographical spread of implementation was considered, pilot mode and upscale phases were thought of with “Start small and up-scale fast” conception, division of labor based on core competence was worked out in the conceptualization of the project. 2. Technical Partner National Informatics Centre (NIC), Government of India (GOI) was the technical partner for the technical aspects of the project. NIC developed the ‘Bhulekh’ software for Computerised Land Record Management on-line System. 3. Guideline preparation and Data backlog completion Procedures, activities and briefs describing updation of manual records, process of data entry and its validation and verification, functionaries involved, activity programs were prepared at the state level. Data entry of 8,000 man months was completed at 25 district headquarters by data entry agencies selected by the District Collectors through tender process. 4. Pilot run Pilot for the statutory mutation process of the land record system was initiated in one block in on-line mode. Principal Secretary and SMC officials held series of visits and meetings with District/ block administration and meetings at block HQ officials, the operators and the development team of the NIC. After one month, on-line system was rolled-out to all the 14 blocks of the entire District. 5. Capacity Building • Block-level technical hand-holding • Specification of Role & Responsibilities/ Functional and Technical Training • Upkeep and maintenance of the hardware • Funds for running e-Dhara Kendras (Centres) • eDhara manual is available for all types of system users 6. Legal Frame work Free Copy Distribution The exercise included activities like bulk printing of free copy, verification of prints, and distribution of free copy, accepting objections thereof, conciliation of objection with manual record, carry out correction followed through a process. Closure of manual land record The key factor in introducing computerized RoR as the only legal record in force is stopping of the manual record. Legal status to computerized RoR Only computerized land records were notified legal and valid through a Government notification with effect from 15-08-2004. In 2010, Gujarat Land Revenue Code 1879 was amended. 7. State-wide roll-out : Physical/ Digital/ Human Infrastructure All necessary hardware were installed at all 225 blocks of the State. Necessary software products were installed and commissioned. Networking of LAN was supported by the Gujarat State Wide Area Network (GSWAN). ‘Bulekh’ Software was installed for on-line system.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
e-Dhara Land Records Management System is designed for complete transformation manual process for maintaining & updating land records across the state. Manual process was followed in pre implementation stage which was driven through physical issuance and monitoring while computerized process followed in post e-Dhara implementation which provides an insight into value addition done to involvement of stakeholders, bringing confidence of stakeholders in new system, improve quality of services provided to citizens. Stakeholders in this system can be listed as – (1) Khatedars – Land holders (2) Functionary at village level - Talati (3) Functionaries at Block administration (4) Head of Block Administration – Mamlatdar (5) Functionaries at Sub-division administration (6) Head of sub-division administration – Prant Officer (7) Functionaries in District level administration (8) Head of District level administration – District Collector (9) Functionaries and Apex administrators at State level administration (10) People at large (farmers, rural citizens, etc) Process of Involvement of the Stakeholders Involvement of the Stakeholders is key factor in introducing a new revenue system. It not only brings involvement of stakeholders, but also brings awareness about the new system, brings buoyancy, confidence, and ensure reliance on a new system. Revenue Department took the initiative of digitizing Land Records. It took mammoth efforts of 8000 manmonths to digitize 15 million land records across the State through District Administration, Block Administration and Village level functionary. Involvement of District/ Block/ Village level administration and Khatedars Data digitization was not an end to the problems faced with manual records. Activities undertaken involoves online validation of data at the time of data-entry, bulk printing of 4 types of verification prints of 15 million records, verification of prints with manual original record by multi-level revenue officials, corrections in computerised data as suggested during verification, display of computerized record for public observation at village, etc.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The eDhara Land Records Management System was an innovative step in the development of online service delivery model for the overall transformation of development and maintenance in the Land Records Domain. The process involved: Administrative Functions: • Approval for standardization of the application, processes and setting up the delivery channels. • Amount of Act for provision of legal sanctity to electronic documents and thereby stopping the paper-based RoR issuance. Manual RoR records issuance was stopped. • Administrative control over the system implementation and state-wide monitoring of every activity starting from digitization, verification, issuance, day-to-day monitoring and control from overall revenue administration. • In last quarter 2003, government declared it as mission to make land records computerized from 1st April 2004 • In 2006, RoR issuance started from village panchayats (e-Grams) for over 13685 villages Infrastructural and Technological provision: • Mutation software developed by NIC and implemented in each taluka and was maintained in distributed district level servers till 2010. The application was brought on to state level central server in 2011. Software development, training and support was provided by NIC • Special application (RoR@Village) designed and developed for request of RoR transformation to local block server and ready RoR availability to e-Grams to print • Used GSWAN and NIC SDC along block and village infrastructure. • Provision for opening 225 e-Dhara Kendra (e-DK centres) across 225 blocks of state was facilitated by Government with all physical infrastructures, Working staff, ICT requirements (computers and other necessary devices) and connectivity. • In 2006, eGram Vishwagram (eGVG) centres at village level were also taken onboard for provision of Land Records services along with their existing rural development department services. This was a major step in ramping up the reach of Governments’ Land records services to grass root level. • Initially GSWAN connectivity was about 2 Mbps available across the state which was upgraded to 10 Mbps in 2011. • In 2013, LR interface on intranet was provisioned to view land records for verification • Upfront training is a major element towards changing the mindset of all level functionaries and setting up of the new system. • The Data Entry operators, all Dy Mamlatdars & Circle Officers, Mamlatdars, and Talatis planned are thoroughly trained on e-Dhara Land Records Management System, before operationalization in a Block. • All-level functionaries given training on all or relevant topics viz. Correction Module, Mutation Module, Front Office Module, MIS reports, Scan Module, Crop Updation Module, Process flow, Roles-Responsibilities, System Maintenance, Hardware, Backup.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Improvement in Service Delivery for Land Records at reduced cost: eDhara proved to be effective in quality improvement in land records services delivery to citizens reducing bribery, hassles, and malpractices in the land domain. Cost of availing services has reduced drastically due to availability across ATVT JSK centres (at Block level), e-Dhara Kendra (e-DK) and also eGram Centres (Available at village level). The cost of services and travel has resulted in huge saving to citizens and poor farmers. Ease of Services and Access: The land record services are available to the citizen at minimal cost at their door-step allowing farmers / citizens an easy access to their records: Access to the records is hassle free with limited direct interaction across departments due to single window services. The facility of single window services is available across 14000 centres thereby reducing the travel time, cost and efforts of rural population in getting the RoR and mutations done. Manual process required multiple follow-up and hassles to the rural poor citizens which even used to cost them a wage loss for the day. Infuse transparency in providing the services to citizens: Transparency and accountability is a key challenge in maintaining and updation of the land records data. Online availability of the data has brought about the transformation in the land records database. The eDhara LRMS has helped making land records tamper proof. The data managed and maintained at SDC and is tamper proof with defined access control for any updation. Ease of administration in Land Records Function: Administration bodies can now rely on the ICT network through e-Dhara Kendra and eGram Centres for service delivery of land records. This relieves the revenue administration bodies across the block and village level for focusing on other administrative functions. This facilitates easy maintenance of Land records database through the application developed for provision of ROR and carrying out mutations online. Prompt updation of land records – Ontime updation of RoR and Mutation across the state land record systems. The project also facilitates 24*7 availability to end user (over the Internet which started in 2013). Project provides this facility to view the land record details online by selecting village and survey number. This web based facility has resulted to be highly beneficial to citizens.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Administrative and Monitoring Mechanism: A state level steering committee headed by the Principal Secretary of the Revenue Department was created. State Monitoring Cell (SMC) was created in Revenue Department. Monitoring and guidance was constantly provided to the block and district level administration through Video conferences using the GSWAN infrastructure. Technical issues were also addressed in this VCs. District level Implementation Committee, Block Implementation Committee, Block Core Group and Block e-Dhara staff consist the administrative and monitoring structure of the system. To monitor effective digitization: In order to ensure legitimacy of documents and proper indexing based on manual records, various steps were taken like online validation of data at the time of data-entry, bulk printing of 4 types of verification prints of 15 million records, verification of prints with manual original record by multi-level revenue officials, corrections in computerised data as suggested during verification, display of computerized record for public observation at village etc. need to be charted out and completed in time, else digitized data become obsolete before put to use. Pilot roll-out of application: The project pilot was done in Bhesan Block of Junagarh district in Gujarat. This was done to ensure the success of the solution and also recognize the probable challenges that could be faced for the state-wide implementation of the solution. Mock runs of operations prior to roll-out were conducted. Software and Application control: Every Software Module version was thoroughly tested for bugs/errors, and reported. Services were rolled-out only after the testing of delivered module and rectified version of Module. Monitoring and ongoing Operations: For the problem solving mechanism at every e-Dhara centre (225 centres), one register is stationed. Whenever some problem occurred during issuance of services or any other system problem, operator will take print scan and e-mail the same to SMC and also keep record in the mentioned Registered Backup and service continuity: Different intervals at which backup is required to be taken on different devices is designed to ensure utmost safety of computerized land records. Operational and Administrative Control: Various stakeholder functions are involved at various stages in ensuring the service continuity to the citizens. a. Nodal Officer is appointed at every e-Dhara Centre (225 Location) b. Prant level committees had been formed to monitor c. SMC established d. District Administration is involved. Training and Capacity Building: Training and capacity building was a continuous process involving Technical, Functional, Operational and Administrative sessions.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The implementation of the Land Records Management System was an overall transformation involving multiple stakeholders, ground level participation, regulatory changes, digitization efforts and buy-in from internal and external stakeholders. Below mentioned are the challenges faced by the District Administration during the implementation of eDhara LRMS project: • Data Digitization of all the traditional RoR and Mutation records for the complete State was a huge task. Provisioning the digitization facilities and getting the same completed by the cut-off date was a big milestone. • Ensuring the distributed servers had the data indexed, exchangeable and updated across the regions to the latest for the delivery to citizens. The timely updation of the RoR and Mutation was to be ensured in parallel with the huge data digitization activity carried out (over 9.8 million 7*12 and 5.4 million VF8A were digitized in short span of time across the 18000 villages) • The village level connectivity and e-literacy was a challenge back in 2011. This was overcome through upgradation of GSWAN link from 2 Mbps to 10 Mbps across e-DK and eGram centres in Gujarat. • Verification of the digitization activity and ensuring the data is up-to-date to the latest was a big challenge. This was overcome through 100% validation at village level by Talathi (Village level Administrative staff available at all 18000 Villages), Readout and notice banners at all villages for comparison between physical and digital records, 20% sample validation from District Magistrate and Sub-magistrate offices, Incorporating feedbacks and corrections raised through the verification process. • Bringing together the various data attributes during the digitization and standardization across the state level application was a huge challenge faced by the implementation team. Physical to digital conversion of millions of RoR forms (Village Forms 6, 7, 12, 8A) across 18000 villages was a challenging job.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
a. Improvement in service delivery: Reduction in service delivery time i.e. to speed up delivery of ROR without delays, harassment or bribery. The travel cost for the rural farmer has reduced multi-fold due to availability of the required RoR and mutation needs at village level with minimal time. In the manual process, the citizens had to face issues in getting timely services and delivery of the same was also a challenge for Administrative units as they had to rely on physical documentation. The single window service has enhanced government functions with minimal staff and maximum use of system based workflows. b. Standardization achieved in service delivery and ease of Administration: As all the services across the revenue for RoR and mutation have been carried out through a centralized system, administration has been able to achieve standardization and thereby operational control in service delivery mechanism. The administration is relieved of cumbersome management of physical land record documentation and tedious process of issuing RoR. c. Transparency and accountability: Online availability of the data has brought about the transformation in the land records database. The eDhara LRMS has helped making land records tamper proof. The data managed and maintained at SDC and is tamper proof with defined access control for any updation. d. Increased reach of revenue Administration through IT enablement: Government and administration has been able to extend its reach to rural population but in centralized manner to provide services of Land records to citizens. The increased reached has ensured acceptability and adoptability of the services by the citizens. e. Speed up delivery of RoR without delays: – Compared to the manual system, the service delivery has been very efficient due to centralized database management and synchronous access to the land records. Reliability and retrieval has improved due to online availability of Land records data. f. Help prevent harassment and bribery: The citizens are relieved of hassles and bribery involved in the release of land records services. This has led to complete transformation of revenue administration across the state from capital to village level in brining transparency in the services. g. Sharing of revenue data with other departments like Irrigation, Industrial Promotion Board, Agriculture etc. h. eDhara has helped administration performing better control over the complete end-to-end land records management. This has transformed the service delivery model leading to 0.2 Billion RoR transactions and over 10 million mutations since the inception of services. i. Huge eTransactions: 1. Monthly RoR (6, 7/12, 8A) print 4.0 million ( Rs.5 each) totaling to Rs.20 million 2. Year Jan 2013 Up to Nov 2013: Total RoR issued from e-Dhara: 38,648,762 & from e-Gram: 9,753,713 3. Total completed mutations after online : 9,773,609 4. Auto-Mutations as on today in 2013: 79,534 5. Auto Mutations in 2012: 95,229 6. Total SMS through system are 4,788,260(4.788 Mn in 2013) and were 2,016,109 (2.016 Mn in 2012)

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
e-Dhara LRMS was replacing an age old and long established manual system of processing the RoR and Mutation manually. E-Dhara system was designed taking into consideration the ease of functions for operations and also for the end users. The system designed is scalable, centrally manageable, extendable across the centres and reliable in terms of connectivity and performance. The services can be extended to the additional blocks and number of centers can be increased as per the requirement and citizen needs. The number of nodes for service delivery can be extended and this is visible from the incorporation of the eGram centres for the delivery of land record services to rural citizens. The Stamp Duty and Sub-registrar offices (over 150 SRO offices) have been integrated and brought under the shed of ‘eJamin’ system (which means ‘e-Land’). eJamin is an end-to-end integration of Stamp duty application, eGARVI (Sub Registration Office software) and eDhara LRMS under one roof. The system is under development stage for complete 43 kinds of mutation while one pilot mutation type (Agricultural Land) has already been rolled out under eJamin. This is a photo+biometric authentication based system. The e-Dhara Kendra Model is defined to provide self sustainability to the system wherein the Rs. 5 per copy of RoR application is charged to citizen. This brought about the revenue to the eDK centres which are operated under the district level administration. For eGram Centres, the ongoing Village Computer Entrepreneurship (VCE) model was followed with revenue sharing of 1:1:3 between Revenue Department: Village Gram panchayat (Village Administrative Unit): Village Computer Entrepreneur. This has provided financial sustainability to the overall system.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
• The project eDhara has delivered quality of services through e-enablement of Land records allowing easy access to farmers and facilitating ease of Maintenance for administration. e-management of land records proves to be very efficient in prompt updation of records and making them tamper proof. • eDhara Land Records Management system was conceptualized to manage land records through usage of IT system which has ensured 100% success in prompt issuance of RoR across 14000 counters and also has enabled system based online mutation of land records. • The complete automation can be said to have achieved if the system is self reliable for decision making. The RoR and Mutation processes are interlinked functions and brining maximum possible system effectiveness was possible if the system attributes are linked in efficient manner. This innovative system design was facilitated by National Informatics Centre (NIC) through a intelligent mapping designed to trigger the reflections of changes in RoR based on the mutation carried out for the selected piece of land. This leads to online mutation facility provisioned in software. • The key factor in introducing computerized RoR as the only legal record in force was stopping of the manual record. A preparatory exercise of free copy distribution for public verification prior to stopping of manually maintained land records at village level was taken-up. The exercise included activities like updating computerized data, first hand on-screen verification, bulk printing of free copy in computerized format, verification of prints with manual record by multi-level revenue officials, distribution of free copy, accepting objections thereof, conciliation of objections, carry out correction followed by process. 97% of the landholders have been given the free copy of the computerized RoRs. This exercise brought awareness about new system in end-user citizen and affirmation of data quality from end-user. • Innovative solutions designed can be beneficial to administration and end user both. The eDhara Application designed has been able to transform the application and process through ease of management and reliability of services being ensured. Administration no longer requires dealing with playing of huge land record papers and searching of the records. At the same time, transparency is being brought in system. • Ensuring accuracy with quick processing is possible with e-enablement within the department. E-Transformation enabled timeliness, courtesy, access and client-orientation in public service delivery. Process Components like time, understanding, logic, quality of updation and retrieval are system oriented in e-Dhara leading to quick decisions and efficient service delivery. So, Updation of computerized land records is timely, precise, logical and qualitative.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Revenue Department - Government of Gujarat
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   Anil Mukim
Title:   Principal Secretary, Revenue Department  
Telephone/ Fax:   +91-079-23252213/ +91-079-23252212
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   projectofficer-rev@gujarat.gov.in  
Address:   Block No. 11/5, Sachivalaya,
Postal Code:   382010
City:   Gandhinagar
State/Province:   Gujarat

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