Advisory for Nitish Kumar

I wish Nitish Kumar were through with the troubles arising out of his recent cabinet reshuffle. All the dust of mistrust must have settled. I feel the lack of his constant communication with his ministers, be one from his own party or from the BJP, caused the trouble. As a good head of the state, he must keep the ministers fully busy on 3-5 mutually agreed important projects of their department to stop their minds to work as devils’ workshop. Once a minister, the person becomes an executive and he must perform. And there is no other way but hard work with much more engagement for getting the development moving on fast track. As a boss, the CM today must facilitate his minister to achieve the agreed development targets rather than taking all decisions himself. With the amount of work necessary in every field of development, how could the minister get time for political bickering?

As it appears, most of the projects that I come to know from media report are all getting located in and around Patna. This is not good for the overall development of the state. Nitish Kumar and his ministers must agree to develop anything between 6-10 towns covering broadly all the regions of Bihar that can be the showcases of the state. My list includes Gaya, Sasaram, Siwan, Motihari, Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Darbhanga, Madhepura, Katihar, Bhagalpur, and Barauni. All these towns must have a master plan to be developed as urban hub for the region. These towns must have expressways connecting them, must have an university as education and knowledge hub, and an airport for fast connectivity, if not an SEZ that I don’t why Nitish opposes.

As I understand, Lalu has initiated a plan to build and operate locomotive plants at Marora as well as Madhepura. I presume Lalu is serious about the project and will see it through by using his political power at the center. He must also make it difficult for his successor to drop it, as it usually happens. If a rightly planned project as reported in media comes up, the whole region gets an economic boost because of the many vendors opening shops. Nitish Kumar government must facilitate and do all it can to get the projects expedited.

I am excited about some other projects that have taken root in the state that the state must encourage. If the model is emulated and expanded, it will bring prosperity to the area.

·Manoj Sinha and Charles Ransler, from Darden School of Business of Virginia University have started two pilot rice husk generators that are providing power to about 10,000 rural Indians with Gyanesh Pandey, an engineer to oversee the projects here in India. The business plan of Husk Power Systems plans to put the miniature power plants in hundreds more villages within a few years.

·Another project started by ITC’s rural initiative of its factory in Munger has a great potential. As in 2005, the four agribusiness centers cover 2,000 farmers. 500 women are involved in micro-enterprises and 1,000 households are provided with low cost health care. 1,500 children (age 3-14 years) are also accessing remedial education, libraries & computer-aided learning. ITC has a plan to increase the indicatives to cover the whole district by 2010. Nitish government must facilitate ITC and even other enterprises as well as NGOs to get the model expanded to other districts. I wish ITC could set up some trade schools in the region. Thee state must invite ITC to set up e- Choupal and Choupal Sagar along the Expressways running in the state.

·Another exemplary enterprise, Drishtee Development and Communications Limited, a private group, has started the Saurath BPOs under the name of Quiver Info-services Limited to generate employment among rural youngsters. It provides a model that is becoming popular in the BPO sector because of its inherent economy. BPOs can easily move rural and provide engagement.

Many more initiatives by genuinely interested local and outsiders will be required to transform Bihar’s poverty to prosperity. Will the government take up some big projects for the flood prevention and water conservation to boost the agricultural productivity and production of the state?

Let Bihar be not only known for the innovations in kidnapping business and institution such as Goonda Bank, but be known for innovations in unique development models too.

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