Progressive Bihar - Finally the sleeping giant is waking up

Progressive Bihar - Finally the sleeping giant is waking up
Progressive Bihar - Come support it's growth path.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The right things to do

We all know that a major reason for Bihar remaining one of the most backward states in India and for a long time choosing leaders who did not care about the people's development, is the amount of illiteracy in the state.

While the efforts of any state government which tries to develop the economy of a state bears does show results, these results can be compounded by having more and more educated people.

Thus the Bihar government's announcement today to start 16,500 primary schools in 2009 is a welcome announcement. The aim is to start a primary school in each village which has a population of over 300. This will definitely give all children equal access to schools and an opportunity to improve their lifestyles. Even if half of the announced schools are functional by this year end, it would be of significant benefit for the people of Bihar.

More details about this announcement made by the HRD minister Hari Narayan Singh can be found in this article titled Govt to open 16,500 schools this year


Another interesting article published in the Times of India today read Rs 15 Cr for city's parks. Urban development minister Bhola Singh on Wednesday informed Bihar legislative council that 24 parks of Patna would be developed and beautified. This will have two advantages
1. People in Patna city will have better parks to visit and for their children to see
2. It is a welcome change from the point of view of tourism.

Thus, these are right steps being taken. I can see that the current government has the strategy that would lead Bihar towards development. What is important now is the execution of these projects. The faster the projects are executed the better. The quality of execution of these projects are also important. All these facilities must be made world class such that they serve the country for a long time to come.

Bihar growth statistics - Economic Survey 2008-09

Mr. Sushil Kumar Modi, Dy. Chief Minister for Bihar has tabled results of a growth survey. The results indicate the following

Growth Rates
construction - 21.53%
communications - 16.01%
trade, hotels and restaurants - 12.03%
Agriculture - 1.38%

The Net State Domestic Product (NSDP) growth rate is estimated to be 5.57% which is lower than the national average of 6-7 %. However as per the Dy. CM this figure is 5.57% is higher than the average growth Bihar has seen of 3-4%.

As per the survey Bihar stands 28th in the crime chart of the nation.

Industrial front:
No of proposals approved - 164
No of proposals already implemented - 15
No of proposals ready for production - 1

49 proposals worth 23,000 crores are in advanced stages of implementation.

These and some more statistics have been presented today and more details can be read in the Times of India article "Bihar witnesses impressive growth in three sectors"

I would love to know the methodology of this survey, who were the participants etc as knowing that would give me more confidence about the report.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Knowledge about entrepreneurial opportunities in Bihar - Important!!!

Friends - Make an impact.

One of the things that I realized is that we have hundreds and thousands of people from different places in Bihar scattered around the world who would have immense knowledge about various places of Bihar. This collective knowledge can be a very useful source for people (Biharis and non Biharis) who might be interested in investing in Bihar.

For example, Litchi is a specialty fruit that grows mostly in China and in Bihar. If some people take up entrepreneurial ventures and are willing to invest in organized cultivation of Litchis and some marketing efforts in other states of India, Bihar could easily become a a dependable supplier of the highest quality Litchis to all over India and subsequently abroad too.

Or for example Bihar has an abundant supply of limestone which can be converted into some interesting business ventures.

While the Bihar government is doing what it can, we can also help.

Many of us cannot contribute to the growth of Bihar financially by bringing in investments, but we all can still contribute and make a much bigger impact by bringing in ideas and suggestions. These ideas and suggestions can be very useful in attracting investments and we all individuals will have made a substantial contribution to the growth and success of Bihar.

Hence this is what I am suggesting and asking all the people of Bihar who are interested in its growth : Start putting in ideas about how and what investment can be made in Bihar and where in Bihar, that can be successful and beneficial.

Thus I would request you to provide your ideas as comments to this blog article. This way everyone who needs information can access it from here and there can be a central repository for ideas and thoughts. I have put together a simple template here.

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Template for submitting your ideas.
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1. Location (Place/Area/Town/Village) :




2. Possible Investment Opportunities :






3. Possible challenges :




4. Ways to reach the place :

(Rail, road, flight, waterway, etc connection information)



5. Reason for believing this would be a good investment opportunity :





6. Reference document / source (Optional but important) :
(Any article / document / information that is already available on this can be referenced here)




7. Remarks (Any other thoughts - optional) :





8. Courtsey (Optional - Idea presented by and any other information about the individual giving the ideas, like name, etc):




*******************

End of Template

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If you know of any similar work already done, do let me know and I will reference it in my blog too. If you have any suggestions regarding the template, please do send them, they are most welcome.


If someone does not want to post her/his message here then they can email it to me and I will post it. But I would rather suggest that everyone posts it directly here. I am hoping that there will be a lot of inputs coming from everyone and if that is the case, I will consolidate the inputs into some sort of a document here for "Investing in Bihar"


I am confident that all of us are here because we want to support the growth in Bihar and hence urge you to take out this little time to contribute in the development of Bihar.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Seven Wonders of Bihar and Jharkhand - Shortlisted by people on NDTV's online poll.

This is an absolutely lovely video of the seven wonders of Bihar and Jharkhand selected by people in a poll over NDTV in the beginning of 2009. While Bihar and Jharkhand have many more tourism attractions, these 7 were people's choice of the wonders in Bihar.

The ones selected in Bihar are
  1. Nalanda University
  2. Mahabodhi Temple
  3. Sher Shah Mausoleum
  4. Barabar Caves
  5. Kesariya Stupa
  6. Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Public
  7. Maluti
True to it being the centre of power in historical India, Bihar has a richness of tradition and boasts of some of the first's signs of progress, knowledge and lifestyles. Details on each of these places and the video provided below are courtsey of the NDTV website.



Nalanda University:

Located 55 miles from Patna in Bihar. The monasteries are built in old Kushan architectural style, in a row of cells around a courtyard.It was the Buddhist center of learning from 427 to 1197 CE partly under the Pala Empire.It is believed that Buddha visited Nalanda during his last tour through Magadha, and it was there that Sariputta uttered his lion`s roar, affirming his faith in the Buddha.University of Nalanda was established in 450 CE under the patronage of the Gupta emperors, notably Kumara Gupta.Nava Nalanda Mahavihara is devoted to the study and research in Pali Literature and Buddhism.

Nalanda was the largest residential centre of learning in the world with a 9 storied library.


Mahabodhi Temple:

Located in Bodhgaya in Gaya District of Bihar. Constructed of brick, the temple is surrounded on all four sides by stone railings, about two metres high. The railings reveal two distinct types, both in style as well as the materials used. Buddhist Emperor Asoka visited Bodh Gaya with the intention of establishing a monastery and shrine. As part of the temple he built, the diamond throne (called the Vajrasana), attempting to mark the exact spot of the Buddha`s enlightenment, was established. It is one of the oldest brick structures to have survived in eastern India.

Mahabodhi Temple is the place where Buddha attained enlightenment.



Sher Shah Mausoleum:

Loacted in Sasarm, in Bihar, Sher Shah Sur Mausoleum is an example of Indo-pathan architecture. It appears perfectly symmetrical but its base has a slight deviation at the cardinal points. It is built on a large square terrace; the corners support the octagonal pavilions with small kiosks between them. The three-storied mausoleum rises to a height of 45.7 m and was originally planned to be a typical island tomb with no access to the mainland.

Built during the 16th century, it reflects the lifestyle of the 16th century Afghans.


Barabar Caves:


Located 18 km north of Gaya in the Jehanabad District of Bihar. Consists of four caves including Lomas Rishi, Sudama, Karan Chopar (Nigoha-kubhaor Banyan Tree Cave) and Vishva Zopari.
The caves fall under three categories, Nagarjuniya caves, Pandava caves and cottage - shaped hut caves. They are carved out of huge granite rocks, and two of them are in the form of a plain rectangular outer hall. Each cave carries Buddhist inscriptions and houses. These caves look as if they are cut with a laser. Used by ascetics from the Ajivika sect, these caves were founded by Makkhali Gosala. Were an influence to future South Asian rock-cut architecture.

Oldest surviving rock-cut caves in India from the Mauryan period (322 – 185 BC).


Kesariya Stupa:

Located in Kesariya, about 55 km from Vaishali, in East Champaran District. Is a terraced circular Buddhist stupa of bricks laid in a very thin layer of mud, mortar and capped by a large cylindrical drum of solid brick work. Consists of five huge terraces, each enshrining life size images of Lord Buddha and 104 feet high. A giant manadala can be seen at the top. Life size images of Buddha found within the cells of the stupa representing Buddha’s various postures. It commemorates the spot where Buddha rested on his final journey to Kushinagar from Vaishali.


It is considered the biggest Buddhist stupa in the world.



Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Public Library:

Located close to the banks of the Ganges, in Patna. . Though founded earlier, it was opened for public in 1891 by Bahadur Khuda Bakhsh with 4,000 manuscripts. It is a repository of about 21000 Oriental manuscripts and 2.5 lakh printed books. Has a rare collection of Persian and Arabic manuscript and paintings during Rajput and Mughal rule in India.


The Khuda Baksh Oriental Library is one of the oldest libraries in India.



Maluti
:

Located near Shikaripara in Dumka District of Jharkhand. Built in Shikara style, which contains two rooms with a verandah. It is made of burnt bricks and lime mortars and items such as terracotta plates are used to decorate them. Most of the temples belong to the late medieval age. Majority of these temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva, & the rest to gods and goddesses such as Vishnu and Durga.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Bihar's journey into wilderness (and the way out of it)

I was reading some interesting articles on Bihar and some of them clearly caught my attention. While reading these articles it hits me that most state actors (i.e. people in the state government) and national actors (i.e. people in the central government) knew the extreme condition of Bihar even 5 years back. Many acknowledged that Bihar was the poorest state in India, had the highest poverty levels of 40%, there was no growth , most of the over 50 public sector units were either not working or sick and illiteracy stood at over 50%. However to create a central goverment, the UPA took the help of parties like RJD and thus had to turn a blind eye to the plundering of Bihar over many years.

One will argue that only when the central government is stable can it take up initiatives to improve a particular region of the country. However the bigger challenge the centre will cite is the response to central initiatives by state governments. Thus multiple successive central governments could not change Bihar, not even initiate any activities that could take Bihar on the way to progress and prosperity and this was evident during the central rules of both UPA and NDA. And no use talking about the state government which ruled Bihar for 15 years only to systematically drive the state into the ground.

But as with many revolutions, people will one day rebel against atrocities and overthrow the rulers and the same happened in Bihar too. Notwithstanding the severe effect of caste politics in Bihar and the caste cards played by political parties, the people of Bihar got together and voted for a change in the November 2005 state elections. People came above caste politics to support the formation of a new government, full of hope for a better Bihar. Even then most people were skeptic about the possibility of turning around Bihar by the new government. This skepticism is clearly visible in an article published on 30th November 2005 by " K. P. S. Gill" in the Pioneer called "Restoration of Bihar's fortunes". K P S Gill has not minced his words when he has described the situation in Bihar and his skepticism towards the possibility of a change in Bihar.

To quote verbatim from that article "For a decade and a half in Bihar, however, Lalu had been able to escape public ire by the shameless fraud of his slogan of 'social justice', and the cynical manipulation of caste and communal sentiments, to the exclusion of any measure of acceptable governance, political probity, and personal integrity. Indeed, Lalu has played the caste and communal puppeteer so brazenly that he has, on occasion, explicitly rejected development and governance as potential electoral issues, and has systematically driven his State into the ground. "

And Mr. Gill's skepticism has been shown from this statement of his "A frisson of hope is sweeping across Bihar today, but a measure of caution is necessary. The administration in the State has been so completely subverted, its restoration will be a Herculean task. Worse, it is not clear whether the State's new leadership really has the vision or capacity to engineer a strategy of revival - it is sobering to recall that both Nitish Kumar and his deputy, Sushil Kumar, trace their political roots to Jai Prakash Narain's disastrous 'total revolution', as did Lalu, and there remains the danger of a lapse into half-baked and populist ideologies of confused socialism."

Mr. K. P. S. Gill ends the article with " If we have a stake in India, we have an equal stake in Bihar's future." which is so very true for everyone in India.

The state government in the last 3 years has proven a lot of skeptics wrong, including Mr. K.P.S. Gill. It has shown that good governance can be brought in, even in the worst of conditions if we have a will to do so. I agree that there is a lot that is remaining to be done but the beginning has been made. It is for people like us to make sure that this beginning is not lost to the charms of the very people, who ruled the state mercilessly for 15 years, by getting eye washed by small contributions that they are making today. It is because of what the current state government has achieved that many leaders from RJD, LJP and Congress have started contributing a little to the development of Bihar to project that they care about the people of Bihar. However we should not get hoodwinked by these petty politicians and give them the mandate at the current stage in Bihar.

The growth mechanism in Bihar has not reached a self-sustaining stage and will get disrupted if we do not give the current ruling party / parties in Bihar the mandate to continuing the splash of change that they are bringing to Bihar. Once the change in Bihar (improvement of law and order, development of infrastructure, strengthening of education, inflow of investments, etc) becomes self sustaining, then we will not have to bother about which party is ruling Bihar. But till then we should not get moved by statements and actions of those very people who destroyed Bihar for over 15 years.

Most of us who will read this post understand the above statement of mine, but there would be many people living in Bihar who might not. It is in our interest to educate all the people we come in touch with to continue providing the mandate to the current ruling coalition in Bihar (even strenghtening Nitesh's party would be good idea) because this is the man who has shown a ray of hope to Bihar and it is upto us to see how we make the best use of it. As Mr Gill had said, we have an equal stake in Bihar's future.

I am posting the link to Mr. K. P. S. Gill's article on my side bar on the right side for those who want to read it as there is a lot of information of value in that article.

Thus this and some other articles that I have come across motivated me to write this up. I will post some other similar reviews in the coming days about the other interesting articles that caught my eye.

PS: For those of you who might think that I am making a political statement, I just want to add that I am not. I just want Bihar to progress and I just want people in Bihar to develop. And I strongly believe that the team led by Nitish Kumar that started the change, is the best team to take the change through to the desired success. I just want that all the Biharis in the world can proudly and shamelessly stand anywhere and in any groups of people and say that "I belong to Bihar"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Self Employment opportunities for Agricultural Graduates in Bihar

Bihar's biggest advantage today is vast tracts of agriculturally fertile land and Bihar can accelerate its speed of growth and prosperity by investing more into agricultural businesses. Realizing this potential the government is putting focus and emphasis on agriculture and this can be evidenced from the first set of training provided for agriculture schemes available with the government.

In this series the government has decided to give a loan of Rs. 5 lakhs to each agriculture graduate without margin or security requirement for setting up agriclinics and agribusiness centres.

This is a central government initiative under the Agriclinic & Agribusiness Centre Scheme, sponsored by the Central government to tackle unemployment among these graduates. It is a good opportunity for unemployed graduates to not only get work but create work for other people around them.

This is a good scheme and everyone of us should inform people we might know who need such opportunities. If each one of us informs atleast 2 people about this scheme and ask each person to inform another 2 people, we can soon have a snow ball effect and a lot of unemployed graduates would soon become owners of their one ventures. Hence please do inform more and more people about it.

Further details can be read in the Times of India article Graduates to be given loan for setting up agriclinics dated 18 Feb 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Should caste politics come in the way of Bihar's Development

I read this article in Times of India three times between yesterday and today trying to make out how caste politics plays an important role in Bihar. Again and again the thought and fear about casteism playing a role in abruptly dismantling Bihar's growth and development has been worrying me. Thus I have decided to pen my thoughts down.

The caste system is strongly prevalent in Bihar with it playing a major role in Bihar's Politics. Major elections have been won and lost on the basis of caste votes. Political parties play the caste games at the times of elections to sway the votes in their favor. With illiteracy so high in Bihar and 40% people living under poverty (it is fair to assume that majority of these 40% are illiterate), voters can easily be swayed by charasmatic speaches of leaders who may or may not work for the progress in education, infrastructure, social awareness and equality, etc.

Some articles which caught my eye are Money, caste used to sway Bihar MLAs (older article dated18 Apr 2005, by Dipak Mishra) and Development on everyone's agenda (current article dated 16 Feb 2009, by Dipak Mishra)

This article shows how the people can be influenced not to support leaders who are working for the progress of Bihar. Can we afford this kind of politics to continue?

How do we then educate the people in Bihar against this daunting task so that the progress path does not get derailed? I am not in Bihar and I don't know if anything is being done about this by people, but sure would love to know. Has anyone got any idea whats happening in this front?

I definitely do not want Bihar to go back to the path of negative development, increased crime, delayed justice, no security for people, etc. I am worried because the people are not educated enough to take the right decisions in getting the right candidates to power who would work for the development of the state.

While the efforts of the current state government in developing the state has finally convinced the stalwarts of RJD and LJP to atleast start talking about development, I am not sure if the principles of development have got indoctrined into them. For all practical reasons I have not seen any of them ever focus for the development of the state while incharge of state government and machinery.

All I want is the development and progress of Bihar accelarates further. I would like to know if some work is going on for social awareness and uplifting of people which would ensure development continues happening in Bihar.

I am open to thoughts and suggestions on what can be done to contribute to the growth of Bihar

US Intelligence article talks about India

“Annual Threat Assessment of the Intelligence Community for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence”

This is the title of the report released by Dennis C. Blair, Director of National Intelligence, USA on the 12th February 2009.

I find this article really relevant as the hegemonic US today is openly acknowledging the growth of India. USA acknowledges that even though today it is the only centre of power, by 2025 the world will have 3 centres of power and considers India to be one of the three major economic centre of influence and power in the world. This was an interesting acknowledgement which came out in a report in November 2008. The report was prepared by the DNI for the President elect to appraise him of the possible future. I have the report somewhere and if anyone wants to read it, I can email it to you.

However the above report that I am talking about was released 3 days back has said some important things about India. To quote from the document

Rising Asia
As the terrorism and proliferation threats persist across the “arc of instability,” East and South Asia are poised to become the long-term power center of the world. China and India are restoring the positions they held in the eighteenth century when China produced approximately 30 percent and India 15 percent of the world’s wealth. These two countries are likely to surpass the GDP of all other economies except the United States and Japan by 2025, although the current financial crisis may somewhat slow the momentum.”


Indian Pragmatism
Like China, India’s expanding economy will lead New Delhi to pursue new trade partners, gain access to vital energy markets, and generate the other resources required to sustain rapid economic growth. To sustain rapid growth, Indian governments also must maintain the political support for economic reforms needed to drive the expanding economy.

On the global stage, Indian leaders will continue to follow an independent course characterized by economic and political pragmatism. New Delhi will not automatically support or oppose positions favored by the United States or any other major power.”


As we can see from the above, There is going to be a significant role that India will play in the global economy and I would love if Bihar played an important part in this growth. The all round focus that the state government in Bihar has today, gives me a lot of hope that Bihar will play a dominant role. With untapped resources and a lot of places which can be developed like Bangalore Hyderabad and other places, Bihar has a very strong role to play in India’s growth. It is up to us to guide more and more investments into Bihar so that Bihar can develop. To do this we want the government in Bihar to continue the efforts in improving infrastructure and Bihar as a whole. So I will support any government that is working for the development of Bihar and ignore those who do not have the well being of the people of Bihar in their mind.

I have provided the link for the report on my blog http://progressivebihar.blogspot.com and home page http://sites.google.com/site/progressivebihar/Home/usa---annual-threat-assessment---2009 for anyone who wants the report.

If anyone wants the US report from November 2008, olease let me know and I will post that too on my blog.

Thanks
Prashant

Friday, February 13, 2009

27.9% of new trains for Bihar - Interim Railway Budget 2009

The new trains (12 of the 43 introduced this budget), will definitely add to the comfort of the people of Bihar and will add to the growth initiatives taken up by the present government in Bihar.

More trains means better connectivity from the state. It's ironical that Bihar has got 27.9% of the trains in the last budget of the current central government whereas Bihar had not got a single train when our Railway minister Mr. Lallu Prasad Yadav had presented his first railway budget as part of the present central government, in 2004-05.

I am happy to see that overtime Mr. Lallu Prasad Yadav has also started thinking about the progress of Bihar and has started contributing to it too. If I have my say, I hope that Mr. Lallu Yadav gets to become the railway minister again in the new government that will be elected at the centre this year. Atleast he was able to start thinking for the people of Bihar after being in the railway ministry for just one year. After all it took him just his 2nd railway budget (of 2005-06)to realize that he can do something for Bihar from the centre and he ended up introducing two new trains from Bihar. It just took one year for him in the Railways Ministry to start thinking atleast something for Bihar but in 15 years of his rule in Bihar he never was able to think for any development of Bihar. (This shows that the central government is more suited for Mr. Lallu Prasad Yadav and not the state government)

So I vote that Mr. Lallu Prasad Yadav continue being involved in Central politics as he atleast does something for Bihar from there and leave the state level politics in Bihar to the state government currently in place. This would mean a joint development of Bihar both from within the state and from the Centre.

I hope Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan is also seeing what the other 2 are contributing for the state and starts doing something for Bihar too. After all he is also a powerfull minister in the current central cabinet and will be a powerfull minister in the central cabinet in the next ministry too, no matter who comes to power at the centre.

There are more details about how many trains were started, etc, in the last 5 years, in the following article from times of India

12 of 43 new trains for Bihar

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

BSRCC and BSUIDC (Vehicles for infrastructure development in Bihar)

Bihar State Road Construction Corporation (BSRCC) and Bihar State Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (BSUIDC):

These are the two names of corporations being setup in Bihar for development of Infrastructure, that were announced by the Bihar cabinet, in their first ever meet in a village (Barbhigha village in Begusarai) . While such corporations exist in other states of India from a very long time, the earlier governments in Bihar never focussed on developing infrastructure in the state and thus such vital organizations did not exist in Bihar. It remains to be seen how successful these organizations are but then its the right step in the right direction.

Similarly some other very growth oriented decisions taken were
1. Secondary Schools: All government secondary schools would now be upgraded to Plus Two. (I think this is a very important decision as this will increase the literacy and education levels for Bihar. This will create talents which can compete nationally and internationally, in turn improving the social structure of Bihar. Kudos to the Bihar government for taking this step. This shows that they are focussed on Bihar's progress and growth and taking necessary steps in key areas to improve Bihar in all areas)

2. Degree colleges: Besides, in 39 sub-divisions, where there are no constituent degree colleges, such colleges would be opened (Again ties up with my comments above. Many intelligent candidates and other candidates in general who could not get a better education because of non-availability of degree colleges in their local area and who came from poor family backgrounds, will now be able to look forward to a better education and get better success in life).

3. Unaided schools: Another decision was regarding financial assistance to unaided schools. Under a new formula, such help would be based on the number of students passing Class X from such schools. The schools would be given Rs 3,000 per successful student. (Step in the right direction)

4. Panchayat Sarkar Bhawans: The government has decided to construct 65 Panchayat Sarkar Bhawans, with each of them costing Rs 45.5 lakh, and will spend Rs 30.5 crore in the first phase during which such buildings will be constructed in Naxal-affected areas. (The government is also focussing in areas which have become naxal affected due to non-availability of means of livelyhood for many people. This will definitely increase employment and start the improvements for the people in these areas. At the sametime these Panchayat Sarkar Bhawans could possibly mature into village centres for economic growth)

Finally Begusarai also gained today as Begusarai town will be converted into a municipal corporation, thus bringing growth to this city and therefore the people in and around Begusarai town.

All are positive steps in the right direction and I feel very happy when I read such steps taken for the progress and development of Bihar.

More details about these developments can be found in the below articles from the Times of India website.

Important decisions taken today by Bihar cabinet :

Meeting in rural Barbigha in Begusarai, possibly the 1st of its kind in India:

please note: BSRCC and BSUIDC are nomenclatures put by me for ease of reference. It is not clear if Bihar government will also use such nomenclatures as there has been no mention about it and these are only my assumptions.

India's own Grand Canyon - Tutla (Tutala) in Bihar

If the people responsible for its development can get it right, India will start boasting of its own Grand canyon as Tutla, barely 18 Km away from Sasaram in Rohtas district. Tutla will be developed as a major eco and adventure tourism site of international importance. Resembling the grand canyon, Tutla is spread over approximated 240 square kilometers.

The vertical cliff like rock formation and the natural cutting by weather gives it a close resemblance to the famous Grand Canyon of US. Tutla is located on the border of Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and surrounded by mountain ranges from three sides.

Tutla has a waterfall which falls from a height of more than 210 meters (approx 700 feet) into a small lake which gives it a picturesque look. "The waterfall is surrounded by high rising mountains which have red coloured stones giving it a magnificent look. Adjacent to the mountain, flows the river Sone which could be seen in a panorama from top of the hill.

Compare this with the height of the Niagara Falls which is just about 176 feet (approx 54 meters) due to rocks at the base. ( actual fall is just 70 feet)

Tutla is also in close proximity to Rohtasgarh fort, Sher Shah Suri's mausoleum and Mundeshwari all of which could be utilised as a nearby excursion area.

The link for this news article with further details is available at

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Patna/Tutla_to_be_raised_as_adventure_site/articleshow/4102398.cms

Read all about the Grand Canyon at
http://www.nps.gov/grca/

Read about the Niagara falls if you want to at
http://www.niagarafallslive.com/Facts_about_Niagara_Falls.htm

India's Economics - Advance Estimates of National Income - 2009

I have posted the link for the report released by the Central Statistical Organization on my blog just below the Bihar Progress Report 2008 for those of you who are interested in reading and learning more about it

This reports talks about the per capita income, projected GDP growth, etc http://progressivebihar.blogspot.com/

Per Capita Income surprise

Updated:
I was a bit surprised on the per capita information for Bihar and decided to do some research. I did find some relevant information on Rediff.

Quoting verbatim from the article "According to the State Directorate of Economics and Statistics, per capita income at current prices for Bihar was Rs 9702 for the year 2006-07, while Delhi was at the top with Rs 66,728, the data submitted by State Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation G K Vasan said replying to a question in the Lok Sabha."


The article can be found at http://www.rediff.com/money/2008/oct/23bihar.htm

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One interesting piece of information is that Bihar’s per capita income is only Rs. 300 as per the whereas the national average in India has crossed Rs. 24,295 (Adjusted for inflation, etc). This shows the kind of disparity that multiple governments in Bihar have created. This also shows how much more work has to be done in Bihar before it can even come to parity with the country’s average.

I hope the developments happening in Bihar pick up more pace and Bihar is able to catch up and grow into a prosperous state. Let us all support the people who support the development and progress of Bihar.

I am attaching the article which describes the per capita information of India.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Indias_per_capita_income_doubled_in_last_7_years/articleshow/4053216.cms

The article about Bihar’s per capita income being Rs. 300
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Patna/NGEs_strike_called_off_after_HC_order/articleshow/4102703.cms

The per capita income of India in real terms (at 1999-2000 prices) during 2008-09 is likely to attain a level of Rs. 25,661

The statistics for the country can also be found on the Central Statistical Organization.

NGEs' strike called off after HC order

The strike that had paralyzed the government functioning across the state of Bihar for the last 34 days has been called off. The high court has intervened and set deadlines for discussions between the trade unions and the Bihar government.

 

Thus it was done subtly and well. Neither did the Bihar government have to dismiss anyone nor get embarrassed by backing off from their stand. At the same time the trade unions get to talk and negotiate with the state government.

 

More details on the times news article

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Patna/NGEs_strike_called_off_after_HC_order/articleshow/4102703.cms

 

 

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Court seeks start of construction for medical institute in Patna

Patna High Court asks the Central government to expidite the construction of the Jaiprakash Narayan AIIMS hospital in Patna by Jun 2009.

More details at

http://www.freshnews.in/court-seeks-start-of-construction-for-medical-institute-in-patna-121874

Friday, February 6, 2009

Center's Tourism focus in Bihar

The central government of India is now started focusing more on improving tourism in Bihar. Talks are on for starting a luxury train on the likes of the Palace on Wheels in the Buddhist circuit in Bihar. Similarly talks are on for developing the Tutala Waterfalls in Rohtas district into a major tourism attraction.

News courtesy – Times of India. More details at

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Patna/Centre_mulls_luxury_trains_in_Buddhist_circuit/articleshow/4083990.cms

Tourism comes to Bihar

The central government is now putting more focus on improving tourism in Bihar. The government is now toying with the idea to introduce luxury trains in the Buddhist circuit in Bihar on the pattern of the prestigious


News courtesy - Times of India. More details at

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Patna/Centre_mulls_luxury_trains_in_Buddhist_circuit/articleshow/4083990.cms

New Multipurpose cultural complex in Patna

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Patna/Bihar_soon_to_have_multi-purpose_cultural_complex/articleshow/4083955.cms

Bihar will have a new multipurpose cultural complex in the lines of New Delhi's Mandi house.

News courtesy - Times of India. Details on the link above

Bihar soon to have multi-purpose cultural complex

Bihar will soon have a state of the art multipurpose cultural complex in the heart of Patna on the patterns of New Delhi's Mandi house.

Source - Times of India

For more details please read

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Patna/Bihar_soon_to_have_multi-purpose_cultural_complex/articleshow/4083955.cms

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

RJD and Congress ridicule Nitish Kumar's "Politician of the year award"

I am all for critically reviewing the performance of Nitish Kumar's Government which would work as a watchdog providing more thrust and momentum to development in Bihar.

However, the reasons given by RJD and Congress for ridiculing the award bestowed upon Nitish Kumar by CNN-IBN seemed very unreasonable to me. Instead of providing tangible proof against the award given to Nitish Kumar, the RJD and congress appear to be giving some flimsy reasons. The article can be found at

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Patna/Bestowal_of_award_on_Nitish_ridiculed/articleshow/4072315.cms

It is but obvious that a state neglected for more than 15 years cannot be completely turned around in 3 years time. Nor are the Chief Minister or his contingent of people are so equipped to be able to address all the problems so quickly.

There are many reasons why I feel that the situation in Bihar is improving. The few things that I can recall from the top of my mind are listed below.

1. Investment flow into Bihar between 2000 to 2005 was a paltry 26 crores (In the same period some states have received investments which were multifold). In 3 years time , Nov 2005 - Nov 2008, Bihar has got 1000 crores of investment (more than 300 crores came in the 3rd quarter of 2008). This is significant proof that confidence in the Bihar government and governance is improving.

2. Prior government did not even use the entire funds allocated for development within the state. The investment of funds in development has increased multifold as can be seen in the 2008 report.

3. Whereas in Jan 2006, the average number of patients visiting the primary care hospitals was just 39 a month, this has improved to about 4000 patients per month. This shows improvement in common people's confidence.

4. 80,000 teachers were appointed. More are in the process of being appointed. The prior government never bothered to improve the quality of education in Bihar. Atleast the current government understands the importance and has recruited so many teachers and is improving infrastructure.

5. At the end of 2005, there were 24 lakhs students who were not even going to Primary school. This number has reduced to about 10 lakhs.

6. Crime rate figures show a drop as indicated in the attached document.

Thus I would be happy to see the various people disputing these growth figures rather than ridiculing a person's efforts.

Bihar Progress Report 2008 (English Version)

Hello Everone,
The english version of the Bihar progress report 2008 can be downloaded from this page.

Bihar Progress report 2008 (English Version)

For the convenience of everyone (especially people who do not have a stable connectivity), I have split the file into 3 parts. The 3 parts can also be directly downloaded by clicking here


Please download all the 3 parts.

Since the full report is about 13 MB, I am still trying to find out a way to post it.

If you do face problems downloading it, please let me know and I will email it to you

Thanks
Prashant

http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=a64a817d6dd9a531d1014a7a667fa2b4e04e75f6e8ebb871

Monday, February 2, 2009

Entrepreneurship in Bihar

With the change in the policies of the Bihar government and focus on development, the entrepreneurship culture in Bihar is also picking up.

This was nicely highlighted in an article on India published on the 18th of December 2008 in the international newspaper The economist. Here is the link of that Article.

http://www.economist.com/business/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12814618&CFID=40198368&CFTOKEN=84414647

As Bihar progresses and the climate for investment is improving, we urge all people who could contribute to the progress or Bihar to contribute by way of investing in Bihar. These investments will contribute to the further development of Bihar.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Prompt response from Bihar Government

Dear Friends,
I had put a request to receive the official Report Card 2008 of the Bihar government yesterday (sunday India time). I had infact followed up with an email asking for the report card in English. I was pleasantly surprised when the next day (monday, India time) I received replies to both my emails and got the english version of the report card too. This definitely talks about the positive change that is happening in Bihar.

I want to appreciate the quick response from Mr. Somesh of the NIC Bihar State Centre, Patna. I am posting his response so that everyone can see the positive change that is coming to Bihar. I have also request Somesh to post this english version of the report on the official Bihar government website, if possible. In the meantime I will post the english version of the report on this blog too.



Thanks
Prashant (प्रशांत)
----------------------------------------------------------
From: somesh@bih.nic.in [mailto:somesh@bih.nic.in]
Sent: Sunday, February 01, 2009 10:01 PM
To: prashant
Subject: Re: Feedback related to bihar web-site.
Dear Prashant ji,
The Hindi version of the report card is available on the State Govt. website at http://gov.bih.nic.in within the section titled as Bihar Magazine. You can find this link on the left-hand side column titled - Site Index. I will try to locate an English version of the same, if possible. I do not know whether it was released in English as well or not!

Somesh.
NIC Bihar State Centre, Patna.

----- Original Message -----
From: nicbrsc@gmail.com
To: somesh.bsu@nic.in
Sent: Sunday, February 01, 2009 4:15 PM
Subject: Feedback related to bihar web-site.

Name: Prashant

Myself: A Bihari

Message: Hi, I was trying to search for the progress report card released by Chief Minister Mr. Nitish Kumar on the 25th Nov 2008. IS a soft copy of the report available and can i see it?

Thanks
Prashant

बिहार प्रोग्रेस रिपोर्ट २००८

दोस्तोंन मैंने बिहार सरकार के ओफ्फिसिअल वेबसाइट पे रिपोर्ट कार्ड २००८ के लिए ईमेल डाला था सन्डे दोपहर में। और अगले दिन सुबह याने ११:३० बजे इंडिया टाइम पे मुझे ये रिपोर्ट भेजा गया है। यह देख कर मुझे बड़ी खुशी हुई की ये वेबसाइट पे रेकुएस्ट छोड़ने से कितने जल्दी रेस्पोंसे आया गया। इससे प्रतीत होता है की कितना प्रोग्रेस हुआ है।

मई सोमेश को धन्यवाद् देना चाहता हूँ जिन्होंने ये रिपोर्ट मुझे भेजा है। ना ही ये रिपोर्ट हिन्दी में बल्कि इंग्लिश रूपांतर भी भेजा है मुझे। मैं उनका ईमेल नीचे पोस्ट कर रहा हूँ।

बिहार सही माइनों में प्रगति कर रहा है।

प्रशांत
----------------------------------------------------------
From: somesh@bih.nic.in [mailto:somesh@bih.nic.in]
Sent: Sunday, February 01, 2009 10:01 PM
To: prashant
Subject: Re: Feedback related to bihar web-site.

Dear Prashant ji,

The Hindi version of the report card is available on the State Govt. website at http://gov.bih.nic.in within the section titled as Bihar Magazine. You can find this link on the left-hand side column titled - Site Index. I will try to locate an English version of the same, if possible. I do not know whether it was released in English as well or not!

Somesh.
NIC Bihar State Centre, Patna.
----- Original Message -----
From: nicbrsc@gmail.com
To: somesh.bsu@nic.in
Sent: Sunday, February 01, 2009 4:15 PM
Subject: Feedback related to bihar web-site.

Name: Prashant
Myself: A Bihari
Message:
Hi, I was trying to search for the progress report card released by Chief Minister Mr. Nitish Kumar on the 25th Nov 2008. IS a soft copy of the report available and can i see it?
Thanks
Prashant

Reply received to the email sent to Mr. Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar

From: nicbrsc@gmail.com
Sent: Sunday, February 01, 2009 3:57 AM
To: Prashant
Cc: cms-secy-bih@nic.in

Subject: Acknowledgement Mail - Grievance Cell

Name : Prashant
Address: http://progressivebihar.blogspot.com/


Dear Sir,
I received your Suggestion/Grievance through e-mail. The same is being processed on priority basis. On behalf of the Chief Minister of Bihar, I thank you for showing interest in developmental affairs of the state.


With Regards,

Sachchidanand Sinha
Dy. Secretary
C.M.Secretariat, Bihar, Patna.
Phone No. (0612)-2222793.

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