President tells Bihar & Jharkhand to increase investment in education sector

Addressing an International Conference this Friday, President Pranab Mukherjee suggested the Jharkhand and Bihar Government to follow the Bangladesh developmental model for human capital development. He said that the two states must invest in their education sector more than they are investing at present. This must be a part of the future strategy as quoted by the President.

He appreciated both the state governments for presenting a steady growth in the education sector. The present annual growth rate of the education sector in the two states is 10.5%. Bihar is already an established education center whereas Jharkhand has shown significant improvements and has developed as a prime economy wherein the major share is dedicated to the service sector.

The ‘Bihar and Jharkhand: Shared History to Shared Vision’ conference was being celebrated as a part of the silver jubilee celebrations of Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI). The president while addressing the conference said, “Bihar and Jharkhand are at a crossroads and one wonders which path they would tread in near future to meet the aspirations of their own people. And these aspirations are now much higher than before, thanks to the recent political mobilization in the region which has brought into power a new section of the people who were politically marginalized till recently. I request the policy makers to unleash productive forces of the economy and not just unquestionably follow a path of industrialization. The human development could be indeed the alternative development strategy for the two states.”

Indicating to the developmental project of Bangladesh at the time when it was separated from Bengal in the year 1971, Mr. Mukherjee quoted, “It is possible for the disadvantaged regions to change their comparative advantage from low-skill, labour-intensive goods and services to more skill-intensive goods and services provider through deliberate human development.”

“One of the main components of the alternative development strategy can be to prioritize investment in education sector. However, education does not only mean an economic advantage for the educated persons. It has some other important advantages as well; it empowers people and also promotes their participation in both development programs and the political process,” he added further.

The President also cited that there are many non-state actors that can play a significant role in the development if are willing to. “In most of the developing nations, which attained their independence in the middle of the previous century, the institution of the state is considered to be very pervading with very limited space for non-state actors. However, the state can do many things, but not everything. Non-state factors do play an important role in development,” Mukherjee said.

Ram Nath Kovind, the Governor of Bihar, also addressed the conference and stated his thoughts as, “The challenges of development in Bihar and Jharkhand are indeed enormous. It is the joint responsibility of the Centre and the state governments to meet this challenge squarely. But the government efforts need to be supported by extensive research on both social and economic issues for bringing about the desired change.”

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