Nitishji! Congratulations, But..

It is heartening to hear and read that the exhaustive poll conducted across 19 states with over 14,000 samples covering a large section of rural India by CNN-IBN and Centre for Studies of Developing Societies (CSDS) found you as the most popular chief minister in the country. As the report goes on, ‘Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was Number 1 after being elected in November last year, and the honeymoon period continues for him – he is still at Number 1.’

There are some more good media reports. The Central Road Transport and Highway Minister T. R. Balu, on Friday, acknowledged that things had vastly improved in Bihar since the NDA government assumed power in the state; and there was no complaints of any disruption in the construction of roads due to road mafia.

And finally, we heard and read mentions of Bihar in the President’s Independence Day address right in the beginning. “In the agriculture and farming sector, more than doubling the productivity of Rice and Wheat in areas near RP Channel-5 in Bihar has been achieved through the TIFAC mission using innovative integrated farming and marketing methods. These results have spread to many areas through people’s efforts and are applicable to the whole of Bihar, Eastern Uttar Pradesh and other areas, which have similar agro-climatic conditions. These regions could be transformed into the granaries of India ”

However, I keep on looking for good news from Bihar with a microscope very day in a hope to some great happenings as the media gives from other states, I get disheartened. Perhaps, we shall have to wait for more time.

I am certain with persons like NK Singh in State’s Planning Commission the things to change soon. I have few suggestions. You can follow a little different but useful path.

Bihar has a huge human resource. Can we not ensure that all of them are skilled in one or the other trade? Can we not use the excellent masons, carpenters, electricians, and other technicians to train our children in the age group of 10-16 years if we can’t have 100% trade training for these boys through it is because of capacity constraints there? Can’t the government start a set of skill awards at paanchayats, blocks, and district levels for the artisans and for those who part with their skills with the younger population freely? Unlike other states, can’t Bihar lead the country by having a large number of high standard trade training schools with capacity that will be sufficient to take all the children of age between16-18 that wish to get into them? If necessary, educational pre-qualification must be relaxed for children of craftsmen’s community.

Can you not ask each of your DM to take initiative for an education hub in their district head quarters? They are smart and young enough to do this work all on their own. They can create a campus. They can contact industrial houses to have quality schools including some for specialized trade training. Some of the facilities such as playgrounds, conference hall, and laboratories can be common to cut down the cost. Can’t these DMs be the PMs of their districts as you once told them? Can’t they be kept to head the district for all the time you wish? Why can’t their performance be judged by some development parameters of their districts such as all the central projects of ‘Bharat Nirman’ or ‘Sarv Shiksha Aviyan’? Why can’t there be a strong competition between the DMs of districts for various achievements?

If agriculture sector is the strength of Bihar, why can’t the farmers be encouraged to go for ‘contract farming’ for established corporate if it cuts out the unscrupulous intermediaries? Let the farmers prosper.

Bihar must market the advantages of cheap labour to the investor. However, you are to ensure the employment flexibility. Investors are also scared of Bengal type trade unionism or maphia in industry. Can you isolate the investors from them? Why can’t Bihar focus on labour ecosystems that attract investment and in turn create jobs?

‘Business World’ has come out with ‘The TeamLease Labour Competitiveness Survey’. Unfortunately, Bihar ranks at the bottom. Very soon ‘India Today’ will publish the rankings of different states on varying development parameter. Will your ministers ensure improvements over the rankings?

You are fortunate to have access to all successful developmental projects. Your ministers and officers can follow them. But one thing is sure unless they are really ambitious, they can’t bring about a perceptible change in Bihar.

Can your government decide on 10 major projects that your government will like to be remembered for and that it is sure of completing in next 4 years so that we can gauge its performance?

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