Friday, 6 July 2007

Can We Set some Standards?
by Bibhuti BikramadityaSeoul, South KoreaMay 29, 2005

India is progressing. The liberalization policy adopted by the Indian government in 1991 (and then followed by almost all successive govt.), led to the sustainable economic growth and paved the fertile ground for all around development. This has now started showing visible presence in the global competitive market and in turn, affecting global economy to some extent. No second thought about this as I feel. Now India is the best destination for R&D center and called as knowledge power in the world and in the process of setting standards in many more fields.As India is Union of states and united territories, its development is measured on the performance of these states. If we go whole hog of the statistical figures, we find that some states performed fairly well and have set some standards and thereby got 'brand name' as rewards, whereas the performance of some states are pathetic, looks no signs of development because of reasons that varies from states to states. And it is a serious cause of concern for all Indian nationals. Bihar is one of the less performing (rather we can say no performing states) and failed in almost every sector after independence and in rewards, got all bad buzzwords like center of dirty politics, vandalism, illiterates, heinous crimes etc. I will not dig into the reasons behind this rather would like to explore some possibilities where we can improve ourselves. Before coming to Bihar, let us first discuss the contribution of other so-called developed and developing Indian states in strong nation building process In Northern part of India, Punjab and Haryana is brand name for agriculture, two-third of the food grains procured annually in the country come from these state, occupying only 2% of the total geographical region of India. Further over 95 per cent of the food grains that are moved interstate to feed deficit areas through the public distribution systems, are the stocks procured from this state.The foundations of the green revolution were thus laid and enabling infrastructures, technological and economic environment was rendered conducive for the interaction of elements of growth and productivity in the state. As a result, Punjab is the wealthiest state in India in terms of per capita income. Chandigarh is known for the first planned city in India, developed by French architect “ Le Corbusier”.The progress of UP is not bad. Because of center of the politics and politicians, particularly most of the prime ministers who served the country and did some thing for the state. Eastern Part of UP, attached to Delhi have good sign of development and govt. is also getting good revenue from Noida and Ghaziabad (software and hardware center in North India), Kanpur and Lucknow.Rajasthan is endowed with invincible forts, magnificent palace havelis, rich culture and heritage, beauty and natural resources and has become center of tourism, recurring huge money out of it. Jaipur is known as the Pink City of India.In western part of India, Maharashtra is assumed to be the best state and have shown development in almost all sectors. Co-operative movements in Maharashtra were successful. We can see the changes in lifestyle of the people living in Maharashtra. Around 70% of the Indian economy is based on this state. Because of the business mindset, co-operative attitude and fair mentality of the people, they earn a lot and flourished themselves. Mumbai’s second name has been termed as Business Capital of India, second Shanghai, India’s New York etc. In software industries, Pune can be placed at third position after Bangalore and Delhi-bound areas and is also known for center for learning. We can see plenty of good Engg., medical colleges, management, R&D houses and more than this good work environment and culture.Gujarat is also following the same path and is becoming fastest growing state in India because of the same mindset and hard labor. Oil industries, chemical industries, cotton industries in Ahmedabad and Surat played significant role in progress of the state.In addition to this, Animal Husbandry and Dairying have also played a vital role in the rural economy of Gujarat. In southern part of India, Karnataka has become cynosure for Industrial big wigs because of the fast growing software industries and R&D centers. The capital par excellence Bangalore, now a days is the first destination for the MNCs who want to grab the Indian market. Owing to this, Karnataka has reported a 52 percent jump in its total software exports at Rs 27,600 crore during 2004-05, exceeding its own projections between 30-35 per cent in fiscal 2005. The State has set a software export target of Rs 35,000 crore for the current fiscal, a growth of 26 per cent over last year, and expects to create an additional 50,000 jobs.Bangalore is becoming famous for India’s science and electronics city, more than this gradually becoming as the "Technological Capital" of India. It is the fastest growing city in Asia also. In Karnataka, Mangalore and even Mysore (having historical importance) are performing well in luring software companies to establish their centers. In Tamil Nadu, Chennai is also doing well and is having good mechanical industries and good infrastructure. We can see the remarkable changes in Andhra Pradesh, particularly after Naidu govt. Software and hardware industries are growing by leaps and bounds. The Hyderabad turned Cyberabad was the center of attraction during the visit of Bill Clinton to every citizen of India and America. In his speech at US senate, he appreciated laudable effort of then govt. for the remarkable changes even in the villages/panchayats of Andhra connected by Internet and multimedia facilities. Kerala is the best tourist spot and set standard in tourism. Moreover, Kerala is known as the most literate state in India.As a whole, Southern part of India have made their place safe in technologies right from software to hardware and electromechanical to real estates.In North Eastern part of India, West Bengal and Orissa are now picking up. The present government in West Bengal have taken some good decisions and started luring companies to establish their centers and In education sector, this year except IISC, Bangalore and JNU Delhi, two universities of West Bengal, namely Kolkata University, IIT, KGP have got world ranking of reputed institutions, according to a survey by a Chinese magazine.All above-mentioned states have contributed and are contributing in nation building process. But what about Bihar? Where are we? In which area we got a Brand Name?Answers are: We got brand name in hooliganism, bad politics, illiteracy, bad infrastructure etc. We only discuss things which we should not discuss. Instead of taking defensive stand, we must explore some possibilities where we can set some standards and can get good name. Let us look into it.a. Education sector:Bihar is a land of ‘genius brains’. No need to give any instances. In spite of all odds, excellent performance by Bihari students in public sector, from clerical job to high ranking Bank POs and administrative officials (UPSC) have paid attention to every Indians. In almost every state, around 50% govt high officials are from Bihar. Number of students qualifying for IIT JEE/CBSE (Medical)/IIMs are more than any other states. But the condition of education in Bihar is alarming. Almost all universities have become failed to provide good colleges, good education, good labs and infrastructure. The universities and colleges have become center for POLITICAL PUNDITS. Instead of paying attention to the classes/study, they are more involved in dirty politics’, unnecessary arson and violence. Teachers are not taking classes and in the same way students are not attending those classes, too. The whole education system in Bihar has stopped functioning. As a result, parents who have enough money, are sending their kids to study in other states for the better education but the parents who are not well to do are become helpless to help their children in shaping their career strong. In my view to improve the society and develop good culture, education system must be strong. State without education is like without breast-feeding mother. I do personally feel that we the educated people should come hand in hand and invest in this sector for the better future of the young generation. Instead of demanding only IIT In Bihar, we should give more focus on opening large no of Engg., Medical colleges, Professional degree colleges so as normal student can also get chance to get admission and to save the plight of the students to other states. Trusts, co-operative societies and NGOs can play significant role in this regard. This present govt. has taken some good decision like opening BIT Mesra branch at Patna, giving Patna University as Central University status (these two were long awaited decision) and Nowadays demand of IIT in Bihar and then many IIM type of B-schools are in the queue. That would certainly buttress for good work culture and environment. Brains are confused, helpless and scattered; the government must pay attention to that. Bihar can be an educational hub and can regain the past glory of Nalanda and Takshila, and then we can set examples for others again.b. Agriculture sector:Bihar is an agriculture state; most of the economy is based on these fertile lands but every year flood and rain create problems for the farmers. Farmers are also not utilizing the newest technologies because of unawareness and inactivity of the local government. Central Bihar, particularly Bhojpur, Magadh (Patna bound areas), Nawada, Biharsharif, Munger and North Bihar, particularly Begusarai, Samastipur, Rosera, Hajipur, parts of Muzaffarpur and Sitamarhi are having fertile land and producing paddy, wheat, sugar, Tambaku (Khaini) in large amount. The pity is that almost all parts of central Bihar are affected by class/caste war and Naxal activities. The farmers of this region have enough potential, they should get all necessary support from govt. If it happens, then substantial increase in crop production in a multitude of five to eight times is possible using a mix of technology option and optimum rainwater management practices on farming system approach. Agro-forestry, dry land horticulture, commercial fishery, captures fishery, dairy, poultry and other animal husbandry-based enterprises hold promises if adopted in an integrated watershed approach with people’s participation in a systematic way. In addition to this, This is to be noted that there are plenty of ponds in the villages of north Bihar particularly Darbhanga, Madhubani, Saharsa and enough possibility for the large scale production of "Makahna" and "Singhara" and fishes in these areas by ensuring proper management of its water bodies. In this way, the vast stretch of flood plain wetlands in Bihar can be turned into an agricultural gold mine, if it is managed effectively and put to appropriate use.c. Sugar Industries and fruits export:As I remember, Bihar was famous for sugar industries but most of them are in dilapidated condition because of the lack of support from the govt. and other malaise activities. The govt. must show eagerness to reopen these sugar industries again and thereby get good revenue out of it and can generate more employment for the youngsters. Bihar is the largest exporter of litchi. There are enough possibilities for the export of litchi, mango, guava in other countries. Export–Import company should be opened and it would be better if a Bihari industrialist come forward for opening such company.d. Tourism:Bihar is the land of Buddha, Mahavir, Guru Govind Singh, Sita (Mithila Nagari), Ashoka (Pataliputra, now Patna was capital of India in Gupta period). Bodh Gaya, which is the holy place for all the Buddhists and Hindu attracting tourists from countries like Japan, China, Korea, Sri Lanka, Myanmar etc. has become cynosure for heinous crime, caste and class war. This gives bad impression to the tourists. They don't want to enter into area where they are unsafe. Vaishali, Nalanda, Pawapuri, Patna are all tourist places because of their historical and religious importance. Sitamarhi is the birthplace for Sita, the goddess of pure womanhood. More tourists can be attracted by the govt. at this place but no attention at all by the government.We can explore possibilities in all above-mentioned areas and can set some standard. Though setting standard is slow and gradual process, it's not impossible. Once we set some standards, certainly we would get some "Brand Name" as rewards and then all negative buzzwords about Bihar will be thrown out of the this geographical region by a wind of change. In my view, first start doing good, set some standards and then automatically Bihar would get good name and fame as it happened in the case of other states.

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