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Telangana makes Aadhaar, caste data mandatory for land records updation

Aadhaar, surveillance
Credit: Trisha Jalan

The Telangana government has mandated the submission of Aadhaar and caste details for updating non-agricultural property records, as part of a massive land records updation exercise. The state government has asked all non-agricultural property owners to submit such details, with plans to move all property ownership data to a new "Dharani" portal, which it expects to launch on Vijaya Dashami (October 25). The Aadhaar and caste mandate was reported first by the Times of India and The New Indian Express. Earlier in September, Telangana reformed its Revenue Act, effectively abolishing the village revenue officers (VRO) — the lowest rung of the then land records system — from land-related duties in an attempt to address corruption. Instead, land records would be managed digitally and hence transparently, the government had said. All land registration is presently frozen in the state, and will only be resumed once the Dharani portal is launched later this month. The government has asked all gram panchayats and urban local bodies, including the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, in the state to update non-agricultural property details by uploading them into the Dharani portal. Ground level staff that have hit the streets are using a dedicated application called TS NPB (Non-Agricultural Property Book) to collect the details. What data is being collected? Property owners are being asked for a number of sensitive details, without which the updation process seems impossible, as evident from a user manual created for officials using the TS NPB app. From the application's user manual, Aadhaar…

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