About Bihar

A Treasure of Cultural, Historic Heritage and a Land of Opportunities

Bihar is a state in eastern India. It is the 12th largest state in terms of geographical size at 38,202 sq/miles (98,940 km2) and 3rd largest by population. Almost 58% of Biharis are below the age of 25, which is the highest proportion in India.
 

Bihar lies mid-way between West Bengal in the east and Uttar Pradesh in the west. It is bounded by the country of Nepal to the north and by the state of Jharkhand to the south. The Bihar plain is divided into two parts by the river Ganges which flows through the middle from west to east. Bihar has notified forest area of 6,764.14 km2, which is 6.8% of its geographical area. Hindi and Urdu are the official languages of the state, while the majority of the people speak Angika, Bhojpuri, Magadhi, Maithili and Bajjika.
 

Ancient Bihar (which consisted of Anga, Videha/Mithila, Magadha and Vajji/Vrijji) was a centre of power, learning and culture in primeval and classical India. From Magadha arose one of India's first and greatest kingdoms, the Mauryan Empire, as well as one of the world's most widely adhered to religions, Buddhism. Magadha empires, notably under the Maurya and Gupta dynasties, unified large parts of South Asia under a central rule. Its capital Patna, earlier known as Pataliputra, was an important centre of Indian civilization. Nalanda and Vikramshila were centres of learning, established in the 5th and 8th century respectively in Bihar. These are counted amongst the oldest and truly international universities, where people from all over the world came to study. Bihar also has the distinction of giving the world its first democracy through Lichchivi (now Vaishali) during ancient era.
 

Today, Bihar lags behind the other Indian states in human, economic and development front. Economists and social scientists claim that this is a direct result of the skewed policies of the central government, such as the Freight Equalization Policy, its apathy towards Bihar, lack of Bihari Sub-Nationalism (resulting in no spokesperson for the state), and the Permanent Settlement of 1793 by the British East India Company. The current state government has however made significant strides in improving governance.
 

The improved governance has led to an economic revival in the state through increased investment in infrastructure, better health care facilities, greater emphasis on education, and a diminution in crime and corruption. Indian and global business and economic leaders feel that Bihar now has good opportunity to sustain its growth and thus they are showing interest in investing in the state.
 

A recent New York Times article talks about the vastly improved law and order situation in the state and the phenomenal economic growth shown over the course of last 5 years. Another BBC article titled "Where 'backward' Bihar leads India" talked about how the state has made strides in the areas of women empowerment, judicial reforms, tax reforms, and public safety. Between 2004 and 2011, the inflow of foreign tourists saw a near 25 fold rise from 38,118 to 9,72,487. In 2011, Bihar was identified as the "least corrupt state" in a study by economists Bibek Debroy and Laveesh Bhandari.
 

Bihar is now country's fastest growing state followed by Delhi and Pondicherry for the year 2011–12. The state has reported a growth of 13.1% for the year 2011–12 while it was 14.8% for the previous year. This has been possible due to the joint efforts of the people of Bihar and the administration’s good governance and policies.
 

It is well known that agriculture is the state’s strength and the government is also encouraging the sector. The present government has constituted a separate “Agriculture Cabinet”, the first of its kind in India. This cabinet is responsible for planning, investment and execution in the agriculture sector to boost up the production of grains and value added products. The main crops and produce (Grains, Fruits & Vegetables all together) of the state are as follows-

Rice, Wheat, Maize (10%), Gram, Moong, Mustard, Makhana (85%), Sugarcane, Honey (13%), Mango (13%), Guava, Litchi (71%), Pineapple, Potato, Brinjal, Cauliflower, Bhindi, Cabbage (Vegetable all together 9%), Dairy products (5023 Coperative societies with 2.54 lacks members established by COMPFED), Fishery and Jute etc. (% shows out of all India production)
 

Bihar cannot afford to neglect industries, both in large scale and SME sectors. The State Government has introduced the “Single Window Act” for speedy implementation of industrial projects in the state, This provides single point clearances to promoters and ensures early commercial production of projects. The State Government has also constituted the State Investment Promotion Board (SIPB) under the aegis of Industry Department. During the last 7 years, SIPB has approved 838 industrial projects till August 2012, with the proposed investment of INR 2,98,000 crore and an employment potential of around 2 lakh personnel.

 

Following are the thrust Areas declared by the Bihar Government, which the entrepreneur can pursue..

 

  1. Food Processing
  2. Agricultural based Industries
  3. Tourism related Industries
  4. Super Specialty Hospital
  5. Higher / Technical Educational Institutes
  6. Information Technology based Industries
  7. Electronic Hardware Industries
  8. Textile Industries
  9. Energy / Non-Conventional Energy

 

For further information on government subsidies, assistance & schemes please go through the following links:

 

  1. Salient Features of Bihar Industrial Policy 2011
  2. Bihar Industrial Incentive Policy 2011
  3. IT-Policy, Bihar 2011
  4. Infrastructure Development Authority
  5. Udyog Mitra

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