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The New Bihar : Governance and Development

edited by Nicholas Stern and N. K. Singh, Harper Collins Publishers, 2013, 360 p, ISBN : 9789350296417, $45.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

The New Bihar : Governance and Development

During the 1990s, Bihar’s development failed to benefit from the acceleration in India’s economic growth and, in fact, slowed compared to the 1980s, principally because of a steep decline in the already low standards of governance Bihar’s fortunes of governance and economic performance changed dramatically after November 2005, when Nitish Kumar government came to power. Within a short time, major initiatives were launched in improving governance, infrastructure, education especially primary and for girl children, health and agriculture.

Significant improvements in law and order presumably induced and allowed a resurgence of economic activity in construction, trade and hotels/restaurants and this has boosted the states growth prospects. The road ahead is long and arduous. But the last six years have shown that rapid economic development is possible in Bihar. To maintain the momentum of growth, the recent improvements in governance have to be consolidated and strengthened.

Eminent economists like Amartya Sen, Kaushik Basu, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Meghnad Desai, Shankar Acharya, Arvind Virmanai, Govind Rao, Sudipto Mundle, Y.V. Reddy, Arvind Panagariya, M.S, Swaminathan and Yogender Alagh among others analyse the remarkable turnaround witnessed by Bihar. Tarun Das, Deepak Parekh, Lord Billimoria, K.V. Kamath and Isher Judge Ahluwalia speak of the opportunities and challenges for the state.

This is a must read for anyone interested in governance and development and about the Bihar Model of Development which can be replicated in other states of India.

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