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Past Issue • Apr-Jun 2012

The Amazing Transformation of Bihar

What were the factors behind the dramatic transformation of Bihar from a state with a dismal record in education, health, and law and order to a model of growth and governance? Professor Rajesh Chakrabarti traces the story of Bihar’s astonishing turnaround. This article is based on his forthcoming book, tentatively titled, “The Bihar Breakthrough: How a Troubled State Turned the Corner.”

The latest Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) estimates portray India’s GDP growing at 6.88% in 2011-12, a bit less than the 8.39% clocked in the previous year. But this growth figure hides considerable interstate variation. In 2010-11, the growth rates in state GDP ranged from a low of less than 4% in Nagaland to a high of almost 15% in Bihar. The range is almost as wide this year - from a low of 3.65% in Arunachal to a high of 13.13%, once again in Bihar. States increasingly matter more in the Indian polity and growth stor y, and it is in this varied landscape that the story of Bihar’s turnaround from a basket case to a case of almost model growth deserves a close look.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

  • Rajesh-Chakrabarti

    Rajesh Chakrabarti

    Clinical Associate Professor of Public Policy and Executive Director of the Bharti Institute of Public Policy at the Indian School of Business (ISB).
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