Registration is a major public service delivered by the state government(s). Legal provisions of the country have made registration of certain documents and properties mandatory and registration of certain other documents optional. The Indian Registration Act, 1908 contains provisions regarding documents that are compulsorily registrable and also those that are exempted. According to the provisions of the Indian Registration Act, the act of registration gives legitimacy to bond, contract and conveyance, related especially to properties. In case any document that is compulsorily registrable is not registered, the same does not convey a legally valid title to the transferee. Moreover; such documents are not admitted as evidence of any transaction affecting the property referred to in the document.
In the year 2005, the government of Bihar decided to computerize all the registration offices in the state. The objective of the computerization project, known as System for Computerized Registration (SCORE), was to make the registration process simple, transparent and fast and to ensure that stamp duty, registration fees and all other fees are deposited directly in the bank by the concerned parties through challans and verify the same from the bank account online. Then, the registered deed would be delivered within 20 to 25 minutes that in the conventional manual system took 8 to 10 years in some instances. The pilot of the project was started in Muzaffarpur on 5th December 2005 in , Danapur and Hajipur districts of Bihar. On successful completion of the pilot, the project was upscaled to all the 121 registration offices of Bihar in a phased manner.
The major components of the SCORE project are it’s software, the implementing model known as the Hardware on Hire Basis (HOHB), establishment of societies at district and state level as implementing tools, and subsequent administrative reforms and statutory changes facilitating effective implementation.
Key organizations involved in designing and implementing the project are the Registration Department of the Government of Bihar and the National Informatics Centre (NIC). The NIC has designed the SCORE software and the Registration Department is responsible for the operationalization of the project. In 2011, the Department has established its own technical support wing known as the IT cell. The role of IT Cell was to develop, implement and fulfil all the technical requirements of the Registration department under the administrative direction of the Registration Department and technical guidance of the NIC. The IT Cell carried out the development of SCORE 3.0 and implemented the same in all the Registry Offices of Bihar. The rationale behind establishing the IT wing is to have a dedicated technical team for implementing the SCORE project, duly taking note of technical and human resources burden the project would otherwise exert on NIC.
SCORE has revolutionized service delivery in the Registration Department by increasing efficiency and transparency at work, generation of employment opportunities for local youth as well as revenue collection of the department. The self sustained and cost effective system of SCORE makes it independent of state budget and a model with excellent potential for replication.