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Taking Information Technology To The Heart Of India (18 Mar 2005)
The Karnataka government launched bhoomi to create a service to computerize land records and make them available to the people. Bhoomi is a self-sustainable e-governance project for the computerized delivery of 20 million rural land records to 6.7 million farmers through 177 Government owned Kiosks in the Indian state of Karnataka, which has eliminated red tape and corruption in the issue of land title records, and is fast becoming the backbone for credible IT-enabled Government services for the rural population. Rural land records are central conduits to delivering better IT-enabled services to citizens because they contain multiple data elements: ownership, tenancy, loans, nature of title, irrigation details, crops grown etc. These records were hitherto maintained manually by 9,000 village officials who often extracted a price for issuing copies. Under the Bhoomi ("Land") dispensation, computerized kiosks offer farmers two critical services (currently): procurement of land records and requesting changes to land title. With 20 million records legally maintained now only in the digital format, Bhoomi has brought the power of IT to dispel the insecurities of the farmers in 27,000 villages. To ensure authenticity of data management, a Biometric Finger Authentication system has been used for the first time in an e-governance project in India. To make the project self-sustaining and expandable, Bhoomi levies user charges.
Article URL: http://www.acm.org/ubiquity/views/v6i9_Kumar.html

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