Challenges ahead in Bihar
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s poll assertion that Bihar had to reach the next level of development was hardly an overstatement.
The incumbent Nitish Kumar may have achieved a semblance of law and order and basic connectivity in his three terms as Chief Minister but he faces enormous challenges ahead as Bihar counts among the worst-performing State even in comparison to the rest of the BIMARU provinces such as the neighbouring Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
Bihar’s gross state domestic product per capita is the lowest even among the bottom five low-ranking States.
Unemployment was a natural poll plank during the elections given that the Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) in Bihar is the lowest among the economically active 15+ group.
Apart from LFPR which denotes a withdrawal from the job market because of lack of opportunities, Bihar has the country’s second highest youth unemployment rate.
Lastly, amid the raging pandemic which could get worse after over crowding during the election rallies, Bihar has the worst health infrastructure in the country with the State healthcare expenditure being the lowest in the country.
In terms of availability of hospital beds, the yardstick for any State’s health infrastructure, Bihar ranks at the bottom after Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.