Rajasthan has come out ahead of many other states in terms of development and is no longer considered BIMARU, economist and recently appointed Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog, Arvind Panagariya, has said.

“The term ‘BIMARU’ is a fictitious term to be used for Rajasthan. In real perspective there is nothing like BIMARU here. There are several States which lag behind Rajasthan in terms of development and in the years to come it will be ahead of even West Bengal in terms of its GDP,” Panagriya said at the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival here.

The acronym BIMARU comprises the first letters of four states— Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.

It was coined by demographer and economic analyst Ashish Bose in the mid-1980s as the word resembled the Hindi word “Bimar” which means sick. This was used to describe the poor economic conditions in the four backward states. Later, Odisha was included in the list resulting in BIMAROU.

In the session titled “Rajasthan: Out of Bimaru” Panagariya was in conversation with economist Bibek Debroy who joined as full time member of Niti Aayog earlier this week, author and columnist Malvika Singh and journalists Om Thanvi and Ashok Malik.

The panelists deliberated upon how Rajasthan is seeking local strategies for transparency, equity and growth at a time when economists are debating Gujarat and other models.

“The government of Rajasthan led by CM Vasundhara Raje took new initiatives and carried out such reforms which were only debated earlier but her government dared to initiate labour reforms. At the end of the day, employment and growth are important.

“Manufacturing contributes ten per cent in GDP in Rajasthan and the state is now progressing in this sector,” Panagariya said.

Author and columnist Malvika Singh appreciated the state government for pushing skill development and focusing on human resources.

“It is not necessary that people learn new skills because they can get employment with traditional skills too. This is being used well in Rajasthan fastening the pace of the state’s development,” she said.