Monday, February 13, 2012

Bihar meet to offer a lesson to Nepal/ Bihar, once a laggard state, is changing fast in recent years

Bihar meet to offer a lesson to Nepal


NEW DELHI: Bihar, once a laggard state, is changing fast in recent years, thanks to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who brings new policies and programmes one after another for development.

The state will be in focus again next week as it is organising ‘Global Meet for a Resurgent Bihar’ in Patna from February 17-19 where Nepal’s PM Babu Ram Bhattarai will be the chief guest. The meet will draw about 1,000 participants, including economists.

Bihar has made strides in recent years, but its infrastructure is still weak and people excessively dependent on employment outside the state. Prof Alakh N Sharma, one of the event organisers, said Bihar’s recent strides will have positive impact on Nepal. “As Nepal and India have open border and share age-old ties, our destiny is interlinked. Bihar can be a bridge between Nepal and other South Asian nations.”

The summit aims to generate innovative ideas that can foster progress, define priorities and lay down a roadmap for development.

During Kumar’s tenure, the state’s income has grown by 250 per cent.

Between 2006 and 2010, Kumar-led government put 45,467 criminals behind the bars. The number of tourists rose from 94,000 in 2006 to 423,000 in 2009.

The state which built only 385 km of roads in 2004-05 saw 3,475 km roads in 2009-10. The state government reserved 50 per cent seats for women in local representative bodies. Its decision to provide free cycles to all the girls that enrol in Grade Nine has incredibly boosted girls’ in schools.

Kumar has been trying his best to strengthen the rule of law and good governance and build enough infrastructure, but Bihar is yet to join the league of top 10 Indian states that attract higher amount of private investment. His education policy has, for the first time, resulted in almost 100 per cent gross enrolment rate for children in the 6-14 age group, but he will have to do a lot to improve quality of education.

Kumar’s another challenge is to control Maoist insurgency. According to the UN, countries need to have 222 police officers for every 100,000 population to ensure better policing. However, India has just 125 officers on an average.

No comments: