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Land Classification under Land law in India

Classification of Land:

  1. Warkas Land: Warkas land refers to fallow or uncultivated land that is temporarily left idle for a specific period. The term "Warkas" essentially means fallow land. This category includes land that is not under active cultivation due to various reasons such as soil exhaustion, water scarcity, land consolidation, or traditional fallowing practices. Farmers may leave land fallow to allow it to regain fertility, control weeds, prevent soil erosion, or break pest and disease cycles. Fallowing also helps in soil conservation and moisture retention, especially in arid and semi-arid regions where water is scarce.
  2. Jirayat Land (Dry Crop): Jirayat land refers to dry cropland that relies primarily on rainfall for irrigation and agricultural activities. Dryland farming techniques are employed to manage water scarcity and maximize crop yields under rain-fed conditions. In Jirayat land, farmers typically cultivate drought-resistant crops such as millets, sorghum, pulses, oilseeds, cotton, and certain varieties of rice and wheat adapted to dryland conditions. These crops are selected for their ability to thrive with limited moisture and withstand erratic rainfall patterns.
  3. Bagayat or Irrigated Land: Bagayat or irrigated land refers to land that is supplied with water for agricultural purposes through artificial irrigation methods. This category includes land irrigated by surface water sources such as canals, rivers, lakes, and ponds, as well as groundwater sources accessed through wells, boreholes, or tube wells. Irrigated land offers several advantages over dryland farming, including higher crop yields, multiple cropping seasons, diversification of crops, reduced risk of crop failure, and enhanced agricultural productivity. Irrigation infrastructure enables farmers to cultivate water-intensive crops and vegetables throughout the year.
  4. Rice Land: Rice land specifically refers to areas where rice cultivation is the predominant agricultural activity. Rice occupies a significant portion of agricultural land, especially in regions with abundant water resources and favorable climatic conditions for paddy cultivation. Rice land is characterized by flooded or waterlogged fields where paddy rice is grown under submerged conditions. It requires continuous water supply throughout the growing season and intensive management practices such as land preparation, leveling, transplanting, weeding, and pest control.

Classification of Land Under Use:

  • Agricultural Land: Agricultural land is the foundation of food production and sustenance for human populations. It encompasses various types of land used for farming, cultivation, and related activities:
    1. Farming and Cultivation: Agricultural land is primarily utilized for growing crops such as grains, vegetables, fruits, pulses, oilseeds, and spices. Different regions have varying climatic conditions and soil types that influence the choice of crops grown.
    2. Animal Husbandry: In addition to crop cultivation, agricultural land may also be used for animal husbandry, including raising cattle, poultry, sheep, goats, pigs, and other livestock. This involves grazing, feeding, breeding, and managing livestock for meat, milk, wool, eggs, and other products.
    3. Horticulture: Certain agricultural lands are dedicated to horticultural activities such as cultivating flowers, ornamental plants, medicinal herbs, nursery crops, and specialty fruits. Horticulture contributes to landscape beautification, biodiversity conservation, and the production of high-value crops.
  • Non-Agricultural Land: Non-agricultural land encompasses diverse categories based on the nature of human activities and development:
    1. Industrial Land: Industrial land is designated for the establishment of manufacturing units, industrial parks, and logistics hubs. It includes areas for heavy industries, light industries, processing plants, warehouses, and distribution centers. Industrial land requires infrastructure support for utilities, transportation, and environmental management.
    2. Residential Land: Residential land is allocated for housing development and urban expansion. It includes land for single-family homes, multi-family dwellings, apartments, condominiums, townhouses, and mixed-use residential complexes. Residential land requires amenities such as roads, utilities, schools, parks, healthcare facilities, and recreational spaces.
    3. Commercial Land: Commercial land is reserved for commercial activities, retail establishments, office buildings, hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, and service industries. It includes shopping centers, business districts, commercial corridors, and tourism zones. Commercial land requires accessibility, visibility, parking facilities, and pedestrian infrastructure.
  • Others: Apart from agricultural and non-agricultural classifications, land may serve various other purposes:
    1. Educational Institutions: Land is allocated for schools, colleges, universities, research institutes, vocational training centers, and educational campuses. Educational institutions require space for classrooms, laboratories, libraries, sports facilities, and administrative offices.
    2. Religious Institutions: Land is designated for religious purposes, including temples, mosques, churches, synagogues, monasteries, and pilgrimage sites. Religious institutions serve spiritual, cultural, and social functions within communities.
    3. Public and Recreational Spaces: Land is reserved for parks, playgrounds, sports fields, botanical gardens, zoological parks, waterfronts, and green belts. These public spaces promote leisure, fitness, relaxation, and community interaction.
    4. Government Facilities: Land is allocated for government offices, administrative buildings, law enforcement agencies, courts, correctional facilities, and civic amenities. Government facilities provide essential services, governance, and infrastructure support.
    5. Infrastructure and Utilities: Land is dedicated to infrastructure development, including transportation networks, roads, highways, bridges, airports, railways, seaports, water supply systems, sewage treatment plants, and waste management facilities. Infrastructure projects facilitate mobility, connectivity, and economic growth.
    6. Conservation and Natural Areas: Land is preserved for environmental conservation, biodiversity protection, ecological restoration, wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, nature reserves, and green spaces. Conservation areas safeguard natural habitats, ecosystems, and endangered species.
    7. Miscellaneous Uses: Land may serve miscellaneous purposes such as vacant lots, brownfield sites, temporary installations, event venues, construction sites, landfills, and buffer zones. These areas undergo dynamic transformations based on changing needs, trends, and land-use policies.

Classification of Land as per the Cropping Pattern:

  1. Mono Cropping: Mono cropping refers to the practice of cultivating a single crop on the same piece of land year after year. This pattern is prevalent in areas with uniform agro-climatic conditions and where the soil, water, and other resources favor the growth of a particular crop.
    • Example: Paddy (Rice), Wheat and Sugarcane.
  2. Mixed Cropping: Mixed cropping involves growing two or more crop species simultaneously on the same piece of land within a single growing season. The selection of crops is based on their compatibility, nutrient requirements, growth habits, and complementary characteristics.
    • Examples: Maize and Legumes (pigeon pea or chickpea), Wheat and Mustard.
  3. Crop Rotation: Crop rotation involves the sequential cultivation of different crops on the same land in a planned sequence over several seasons or years. It helps improve soil fertility, reduce pest and disease pressure, manage weeds, and maintain crop productivity.
    • Examples: Rice-Wheat Rotation, Cotton-Wheat Rotation.
  4. Inter Cropping: Intercropping involves growing two or more crops simultaneously in the same field during the same growing season. The crops may have different growth habits, nutrient requirements, and root structures, allowing for efficient use of resources and space. Unlike mixed cropping, intercropping involves spatial and temporal arrangements that allow for efficient resource utilization and mutualistic interactions between crops.
    • Examples: Maize and Black Gram, Pearl Millet and Legumes.

Classification of Land Based on Holding

  • Marginal Holdings: Marginal holdings refer to land parcels that are small in size, typically 1 hectare or less. These holdings are prevalent among small and marginal farmers, landless agricultural laborers, and marginalized communities in rural areas. Marginal farmers often face challenges such as limited access to resources, inadequate infrastructure, and low agricultural productivity.
  • Small Holdings: Small holdings encompass land parcels ranging from 1 to 2 hectares in size. Small farmers constitute a significant proportion of the agricultural workforce in India and play a vital role in food production, rural livelihoods, and poverty alleviation efforts.
  • Semi-Medium Holdings: Semi-medium holdings comprise land parcels ranging from 2 to 4 hectares in size. Semi-medium farmers represent an intermediate category between smallholders and medium-scale farmers in terms of landholding size, agricultural intensification, and socio-economic status.
  • Medium Holdings: Medium holdings include land parcels ranging from 4 to 10 hectares in size. Medium-scale farmers play a critical role in commercial agriculture, agribusiness development, and rural transformation processes. They have larger land bases, greater capital investment capacity, and access to markets, technology, and government support programs.
  • Large Holdings: Large holdings comprise land parcels exceeding 10 hectares in size. Large-scale farmers, landlords, corporate entities, and institutional investors control significant land areas and agro-industrial complexes in India. Large holdings are associated with commercial agriculture, mechanization, agro-processing, and export-oriented supply chains.

Classification of Land Based on Ownership

  • Public Land: Public land refers to land owned and managed by government entities at the central, state, or local level for public purposes and common use.
  • Private Land: Private land refers to land owned and controlled by individuals, families, corporations, trusts, or other private entities for personal, commercial, or industrial purposes.
  • Communal Land: Communal land refers to land held and managed collectively by communities, tribes, indigenous groups, or social organizations based on customary laws, traditional practices, or statutory provisions.

Ownership of the Land

Ownership, also known as title, denotes the complete bundle of rights and interests a person has over a piece of land or property, like the right to sell, lease, mortgage, or gift the property. It includes the right to possess, use, enjoy, and dispose of the property as per the applicable laws. There are two types of Ownership:

  • Absolute Ownership: This refers to the highest form of ownership where the owner has full and unrestricted rights over the property. The owner can use, sell, lease, gift, or bequeath the property without any limitations, subject only to the laws and regulations in force.
  • Limited Ownership: Also known as qualified or restricted ownership, this type of ownership comes with certain limitations or conditions imposed by law or previous owners. For example, a person might own land subject to specific restrictions like agricultural use only, conservation easements, or mineral rights reservations.

Modes of Acquisition of Ownership

  • Original Ownership: Original acquisition refers to the acquisition of ownership in land by a person who did not previously have any ownership rights in that land. This mode of acquisition pertains to obtaining ownership rights through actual physical occupation and use of the land.
  • Extinctive Ownership: This mode involves the loss of ownership rights by the previous owner and the subsequent acquisition of those rights by another party due to the occurrence of certain events or circumstances. One common example is adverse possession, where someone gains ownership of land by openly occupying and using it for a statutory period without the permission of the original owner.
  • Accessory Ownership: This mode relates to the acquisition of ownership as a result of another legal transaction or right. For instance, when a person purchases land, they acquire ownership as an accessory to the contract of sale. Similarly, inheritance or bequest can also lead to accessory acquisition of land ownership.
  • Derivative Ownership: This mode involves the transfer of ownership rights from one person to another through a legal process. It includes modes such as sale, gift, exchange, lease, and mortgage. When ownership of land is transferred from one individual to another through a valid legal instrument or agreement, it constitutes derivative acquisition of ownership.

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