Bihar too can boom

Every day, without fail, I go to few websites related to Bihar at least once if not more times: patnadaily.com, bihartimes.com, and Bihar government websites to know about the news related to Bihar. Unfortunately, no national newspapers provide e-paper of its Patna edition. I do also glance through the list of approved projects on Bihar quite often that has kept on bulging, though it hardly provides the status of the projects. I requested CMO also to include a column for present status. But it has gone on deaf ears.

Unfortunately, to my dismay, the good news stories are very scarce. Either media is hell-bent on publishing only the hot stories of kidnappings, rapes, ghosts and witches from Bihar, or Bihar is not doing any thing publishable that brings hope and pleases the people of Bihar origin.

Lalu, Rabri and his party man Raghubansh Prasad Singh are very often in news as they keep on instigating Nitish Kumar. Many a times, Nitish gets into their trap. I feel bad after reading these stories in media, though I try to skip. Why should Nitish say ‘no’ to the center help, be it about road building, rural electrification, or other projects of Bharat Nirman or Sarv Siksha Aviyan? The task of the development of Bihar is enormous. It will require the full participation not only of the center and state government but also of all parties that are ruling or are in opposition. Rather this Yagya requires the participation of all the sane people of Bihar. They must give up some of the bad habits of asking “ka ashre hain” (What is your caste?) and about ‘oopari aamdani’ of any stranger or known persons. They will have to work hard even in Bihar as much as they do when they are working outside the state.

Nitish left for Mauritius even when Bihar is facing a bad flood. The visit was fixed long back, necessary and beneficial for Bihar. But Lalu’s men made an issue and shamefully blocked the road demanding the Chief Minister to postpone his trip. Can one feel happy about the incident? Bihar must not lose any opportunity to develop very close and mutually beneficial social, cultural, and economic relations with Mauritius at every level.

Nitish may be doing a fine job. Many in media are having good opinion about him. However, as I am a little more ambitious, I feel he is not aggressive enough.

I do hardly appreciate his rigidity about the SEZs. Why should he assume that every one else is a fool? I would have appreciated if he would have come out with some alternative innovative plan to create employment and wealth for the state and its people.

 It has been established by now that IT/ITeS such as BPO, LSO, KPO are the sectors that can provide employment and improve the prosperity level of the educated young men and women of any state. This is the only sector that can create the middle class and consumers in large number. Every state is doing its best to be IT-biased. Nitish would have certainly used the services of some expert for invigorating the sector in the state. Boys and girls from Bihar have been graduating from Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and manning many IT companies in those states and even abroad. Why can’t they do in Bihar itself?

Bihar must provide the human resources for the IT sector right in the state. Bihar needs to multiply the intake capacity of its engineering colleges and to add at least one engineering college in every district headquarters (48 in number). And then Bihar must ensure the infrastructure and work culture for the sector with no rangadari and dadas’ interference. Nitish has failed to appoint someone specially to work closely with the IT biggies to meet their requirements and to allure them to come to Patna, Gaya and Muzaffarpur.

 Bihar is also not doing sufficient to attract construction companies that surprisingly are providing employment to its people in other state where they migrate. If the construction companies and banks can be induced to come out with some right products, even rural Bihar can afford to have a boom in construction and in turn employment creation.

I am not against the migration of Bihari labour or youth to other states or even abroad, but I do believe that it’s state’s responsibility to train these men and women before they migrate so that they get better engagement wherever they get employed because of their better skill and training. Bihar must get manufacturers such as Maruti Udyog and Bajaj or Hero Honda to train drivers and motor mechanics and institutes such as NIIT and Apple that provide the facilities for computer education in big way.

While the work must go on for creating PURAs, Bihar must urbanise fast too. There must be a study to find out why the farmers are not changing from their traditional way of farming to the farming as commercial business as being done in other states; and ways to encourage the transformation. One clear way of urbanization will be to create some centers of excellence along the GQ and East-West Corrider passing through the state. If Kalyani, Siliguri, Durgapur, Kharagpur and Haldia in West Bengal can become the places most suitable for IT investments, why can’t the towns of Bihar get a similar investment? However, it requires inputs from some reputed consultants. Nitish must go for that. Nitish may be honest and hard working, but people wish to see activities all over the states that can provide confidence. One way will be to make each minister declare the ten projects that they wish to execute and monitor them getting it executed. In similar manner, each Panchayat must prepare a master plan of actions in numbers and report about its progress every quarter. Governance in the state may be for the political gains too, but even then, it needs some sound management practices to achieve the goal.

Another potential certainly lies in the farm produces where Bihar is fairly rich. The state must look at farm exports too as a way out to bring prosperity to the rural Bihar.

Unfortunately, while most of the prominent politicians of Bihar take so much pain in maintaining the common style of their beard, they don’t get together to solve the problems of the people by getting development projects successfully executed.

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