ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Examining Bihar's Turnaround

The Challenge of Inclusive Development in Rural Bihar by Gerry Rodgers, Amrita Datta, Janine Rodgers, Sunil K Mishra and Alakh N Sharma (New Delhi: Institute for Human Development and Manak Publications), 2013; pp xx + 273, Rs 795.

It is frequently argued that interstate diversity in India surpasses the inter-country diversity in the European Union (EU). This economic, political and sociocultural diversity of India requires that state experiences are studied well for promoting state-level growth and development. Such studies would also help in emphasising the need for state-level autonomy in major areas of policymaking and the need for limiting the role of the centre in development policies and programme designing. This study on Bihar by the Institute for Human Development is led by two well-known economists, Gerry Rodgers and Alakh N Sharma. It is undoubtedly an important contribution to the growing literature on development-related issues in Indian states.

The recent growth experience of Bihar has attracted the attention of scholars and policymakers in and outside India. This is because after a long spell of stagnancy and backwardness the state has experienced a turnaround in its growth rate and significant improvement in law and order. This book, in a historical context, shows how this has happened and discusses the challenges that the state faces in moving towards sustainable development. It has the unique advantage of using panel data of studies conducted on Bihar in 1988, 1998-2000, and in 2009-10. This has helped in looking at the state’s development over the decades, which provides an opportunity to gain insights into the dynamics of the process.

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