|The Government of Bihar's Planning Commission Head, Mr.NK Singh in his focused Singapore visit tried to sell the dream and vision of Nalanda university as a revived seat of learning and also the vision of a 'Developed Bihar' to all the concerned enthusiasts-- foreigners as well as Bihari expats in Singapore--who want to see this dream come true.
In his series of interactions with different government and corporate organizations and registered Bihar-specific societies, Mr.Singh met BIJHAR, a registered society of expatriates from Bihar and Jharkhand to give a detailed idea of the present reality and vision for Bihar, which in ancient period reached the pinnacles of governance and learning with Nalanda University as its crowning glory.
Sharing a very objective view on the ground situation, Mr. Singh said that the law and order situation has improved in the state. Road construction projects worth Rs.18,000 crores are to be implemented in the next 3-4 years, some 700,000 posts for teachers are being created, thousands of police posts that were vacant earlier are being filled up, ex-army men have been called upon to train the new recruits in the police, BIT is opening a new branch in Patna and talks are underway for having Patna branches of IIT and MDI. Ratan Tata and Mahindra Group Chief, who visited Bihar earlier, are exploring avenues of new businesses in the state.
Max, a group known for state-of-the-art health services is going to set up such a hospital in Patna and this is highly significant in view of the fact that almost 50% of the total 1.58 million patient turnout in AIIMS Delhi is from Bihar. Mr.Singh added that there would also be an effort to get drugs manufacturers to Bihar as the state purchases drugs worth 2000 crores every year.
Electricity is one area where not much has been done, although it requires urgent action as the monthly power loss in the state is of over Rs.200 crores. "But our visions and plans are doable; one contributing factor is the decentralization of power and delegation of work to respective departments and field officers by the chief minister, Nitish Kumar, which was not the case with the earlier state government", said Mr. Singh on a positive note.
The highpoint of the meeting with BIJHAR was the proposed plan for 'Bihar Foundation' which would essentially be a Bihari Diaspora direct, chaired by the Deputy Chief Minister, Sushil Kumar Modi. Mr. Singh told the BIJHAR delegation that this Foundation which would hook up the Bihari Diaspora to the present Bihar context would be an institutional support to the social charities and other development programmes you are carrying out and propose to carry out, in the state. He humorously added that the Diaspora could use this Foundation as a Pressure Point for the government.
Mr Singh sharing his views
Last but not the least, inspired by President Abdul Kalam's interest in the revival of Nalanda university, the state government is seeking support and co-operation from the international consortium to this effect. As a measure in the same direction, the government is also making endeavors to get the old heritage of Nalanda University declared as UNESCO's National heritage Site, putting it in the same league as Bodh Gaya.
Citing example of Indus Valley Company from Silicon Valley, Mr. Singh suggested that BIJHAR could act as a pressure group for the social, cultural and economic development of Bihar and Jharkhand. Under some specific projects, BIJHAR could sponsor a school or a hospital or other development schemes in the remote rural areas of the states. BIJHAR could play a crucial role in promoting its native art forms like Madhubani paintings and artifacts from places of historical and religious significance.
He further suggested to expand Singapore-based BIJHAR to other countries in the region like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, etc so that the network grows in its reach and effect by having a bigger network.
BIJHAR delegation with Mr Singh
The BIJHAR delegation that met Mr.Singh for further enabling and streamlining development work in the Bihar and Jharkhand included Sanjeev Kumar Roy, Rajesh Anand, Prakash Hetamsaria, Sudeep Kumar, Devesh Sharma, Serbjeet Prasad, Abdhesh Prasad, Rajesh Verma, Saurabh Sinha, Prakash Kejriwal and Ritesh Kumar