Earlier this week I had an opportunity to speak with one of Ashoka’s early fellows from India – Mr. Aromar Revi. Mr. Revi has spent over 20 years working on settlement rights, public housing, and institutional reform around the globe. Currently, he is leading the process to build a national university focused on how to transform the country (among other things).
We had an interesting discussion about property rights in India – below is the summary of our conversation:
Why are property rights and land reform important issues?
India is a country of over 1.25 billion people, and ran out of agrarian land 50 years ago. Over 50% of the population resides in urban areas, where there is little to no access to water. In rural areas, the most valuable asset is access to land. Unfortunately, while laws exist to manage these issues, they are outdated and do not speak to the pressures of modern life.
… almost 60 % of the population lives in informal settlements … this is not a marginal question, it’s a CENTRAL question.