Bihar


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When we speak of Bihar we are remembered of ancient India when Buddhism was evolving into what now is a universal religion. The Word "Bihar" has been coined from "Vihara" meaning Buddhist Monasteries. Bihar is surrounded by the states of Uttar Pradesh in the West, Jharkhand in the South, West Bengal in the East and Nepal in the North. Bihar was known as Magadha during ancient times and was a center of Education, culture and tradition. Bihar is a rich agricultural area, crossed by the Ganges River. Rainfall, frequently inadequate, is supplemented by irrigation, but the state is also subject to devastating flooding. Rice is grown where possible; corn, wheat, barley, sugarcane, tobacco, and oilseed are important crops.

Bihar State Basic Information

Capital Patna
Area 94,163 sq. km
Population 103,804,637
No. of District 38
Literacy Rate 61.80%
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar
Governer Shri Ram Nath Kovind
Sex Ratio 918
Language Hindi and Urdu
Date of Formation March 31, 1936
State Animal Gaur
State Bird House sparrow
State Flower Phanera variegata
State Tree Sacred fig
Official Website www.gov.bih.nic.in

History

Bihar, the ancient land of Buddha, has witnessed golden period of Indian history. Knowing the history of Bihar is to acquaint oneself with the rich Indian tradition, which goes back to the time when Bihar was Magadha. The capital of Magadha was known as Patliputra. As one of the greatest sages of the world, Buddha took birth and walked in its vicinities, the fact made Bihar worthy of experience. The same has been mentioned in the Vedas, puranas, and epics. Bihar has seen great kingdoms and has had a very learned past what with one of India's most ancient university, Nalanda, being located there and the great Buddha having attained knowledge at Bodh Gaya.

Geography

One of the most fertile lands in the world, the state is divided into two unequal half by the mighty Ganges river flowing from the west to the east -- north and south Bihar plains - and a variety of cereals, crops and horticulture are grown here in this subtropical region under the temperate zone. The state lays between 25o8' & 27o31' North Latitude and 83o20' & 88o17' East Longitude occupying an area of 94,163 sq. km. The average elevation of the state is 173 feet above the sea level.

On the north side of Bihar the country lies is Nepal, while on the other sides it shares its border with the state Jharkhand(south), West Bengal(east), and Uttar Pradesh(west. At the centre of the Indo-Gangetic plain, except the foothills of the Himalayas at the northwest, the state consists of a thick alluvial soil that is bolstered each year by the deposition of silt, clay and sand brought by streams and monsoon floods.

Culture

Bihar, The land of Buddhism and Jainism is rich in culture and tradition. Bihar art and culture owes its origins and continuity to its composite historical legacy. The predominant themes are from the myths and legends of Hinduism. The Hindu deities, Lord Rama and His consort, Seeta, and Lord Shiva and His consort, Parvati, form the main theme of folk paintings.

People in Bihar celebrate a whole range of festivals. These festivals are inherently linked with the lifestyle and culture of people of Bihar. Some important festivals celebrated are Chatth Puja, Sama-Chakeva, Ram Navami, Makar-Sankranti, Bihula, Madhushravani, Teej, Pitrapaksha Mela at Gaya, Sonepur Fair.

Tourism

Bihar has remained an underrated tourist destination in India. The history of Bihar is believed to have roots back to the breaking dawn of civilizations in India and then the state prospered as the sea of majestic empires like Magadh. It is also the state that gave two important religions - Buddhism an Jainism to the world. Bihar in course of year developed to a rich historic site with diverse culture and tradition. Today, what we witness is the flavoursome extracts of the legacy of differnt empires. And if we make ourselves a little more adjustable and oper to travelling, we may be able to explore an important gem from the Indian treasure chest.

Education

The proud Indian history of educational accomplishments and richness of innovation has always attracted students and education enthusiasts from round the world. During ancient times when India was a super powerful country under the leadership of Magadhan(Bihar) rulers, the capital of Indian education was also Bihar. Bihar had world's oldest University known as Nalanda University and Vikramshila University where students from all over the world used to come to study.

However, Bihar is lagged behind in higher education after Independence with state government over the decades unable to mobilize either funds or committed persons to build institutions of higher learning in this state. Indian government is designing foolproof education plans such as- 'Skill development initiatives and vocational training' and 'Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan' to bring Bihar among the top most literate and educationally advanced states of India.

According to a recent survey, The capital of Bihar, Patna has more schools than New Delhi. Patna has become an Educational hub for the Eastern India. It is an important center for preparation of exams like IIT, IAS, Engineering and Medical entrance. Using data from District Information System for Education (DISE), it is found that starting in 2006-2007 the enrolment rate at the primary level in Bihar – has been increasing and is now higher than the median of the 20 large states. However, the enrolment rate at the upper primary level is right at the bottom of the 20 major states in India with less than half of eligible children attending school.

Economy

Bihar is one of the fastest growing states in India. The economy of Bihar is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.4% during 2012-2017 i.e. the 12th Five-Year Plan. The economy of Bihar is largely service-oriented, but it also has a significant agricultural base. The state also has a small industrial sector. As of 2012, agriculture accounts for 22%, industry 5% and service 73% of the economy of the state for the period 2002-2007, average growth rate of Manufacturing in the state was 0.38%, against the national average of 7.8%. About 80 per cent of the state's population is employed in agriculture, which is much higher as compared to India's average. The main agricultural products produced in Bihar are: litchi, guava, mango, pineapple, brinjal, lady's finger, cauliflower, cabbage, rice, wheat, sugarcane etc. Though good soil and favourable climatic conditions favour agriculture, there are certain hurdles to leap over.

The GSDP stands at 368,337 Crores Rupees ($59.4 billion nominal GDP) as per 2013-2014. In January 2010, the Indian government's Central Statistics Organisation reported that in the five-year period between 2004 and 2005 and 2008-09, Bihar's GDP grew by 11.03%, which made Bihar the second fastest growing economy in India during that 5-year period, just behind Gujarat's growth of 11.05%. In actual terms, as of 2012-2013, Bihar state GDP is ranked 13 out of 28 states. Small scale industries contribute much to state's economic development. The total investment in this sector is Rs. 88.75 crore. IT sector is in its growth phase. Bihar got its first Techno Park in 2008 in Patna, which triggered a fast growth in this sector.

Governance

Bihar comprises of 32 administrative districts, which are further divided into sub-divisions. The head of government is the Chief Minister. The Bihar Assembly is elected by universal adult suffrage for a period of five years. The Chief Minister is assisted by a Council of Ministers that he nominates, the size of which is restricted. The maximum number of members in Bihar Legislative Assembly is 126 those are elected by the people of Bihar.

The head of the judiciary system of Bihar is Guwahati High Court that is situated in Guwahati. It was originally known as the High Court of Bihar and Nagaland, but renamed as Guwahati High Court in 1971 by the North East Areas.

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