Bihar State of Governance 2020 rankings show significant gains on the back of impressive performance in education, agriculture, water and police & safety sectors. The state has posted consistent improvement in its ranking in our annual SKOCH State of Governance research. It climbed to 11th position in 2020 from 17th position in the previous year, making a significant jump of six position in the overall ranking. Bihar was placed at 20th position in 2018 ranking.
Bihar registered gains in four sectoral rankings. Firstly, it acquired the top spot in education sector. The state was placed at the third position in the education sector ranking in 2019. The state has also improved its standing in agriculture, water and police & safety sector. In the agriculture sector ranking Bihar acquired fifth position. The state also acquired sixth position in water and 11th position in police & safety sectoral ranking.
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Education Thrives in Bihar State of Governance 2020
Bihar topped the education sector ranking with two high performing projects. In the education sector sectoral ranking Bihar is followed by Punjab at the second spot and Chandigarh Union Territory at the third. Though in the terms of the number of projects Punjab was ahead on the basis of weightage of the project Bihar emerged topper. The total number of selected projects from Punjab in the education category stood at five, while from Bihar it was two.
Bihar Agricultural University, Sabour, has introduced an innovative capacity building and training programme for farmers and rural youth.
The university has rolled out several ICT-enabled innovative agriculture extension approaches in order to reach out to the farming community on a real-time basis. The major approaches developed and adopted by the university include:
1. Digital Chaupal: Real Time Farmers-Scientist Interface through Video-Conferencing
2. Kisan Gyan Rath: Taking Technology To Farmers Door Step
3. Community Radio Station
4. Digital Storytelling and its dissemination through Social media
5. Videos through SD cards: An approach to tackle internet issues
6. Dissemination of timely information through SMS/Voice messages
Millions of farmers have benefited because of the initiative of the university. It has helped farmers in getting easy access to agricultural information and adopt right technologies for enhancing farm productivity.
Bihar Agricultural University, Sabour, has also introduced an innovative initiative targeted at ensuring nutritional security of women and children in rural areas. The initiative called ‘Apni Kyari Apni Thali‘ is an innovative initiative towards building a strong linkage between existing Krishi Vigyan Kendras and Aanganwadi centres through ICDS to roll out an integrated strategy to address malnutrition among the rural woman and children.
The principal behind the model has three pronged strategies including creation of awareness through CRS among rural population, to diversify the dietary habits through establishment of nutri-gardens and also to include mushroom as important dietary component by creation of village level production hubs.
It has helped overcome nutritional deficiency of protein and micronutrients through diversification of food and creation of awareness among children, pregnant and lactating woman in rural areas. To achieve the ultimate goal of alleviating malnutrition the following objectives have been formulated. Firstly, raising the impact of nutrition education package on malnutrition among rural women and children through Community Radio Station (CRS). Secondly, diversification of food intake among rural women and children through establishment of nutri-garden under AWCs. And finally, ensuring quality nutrition among malnourished children and mothers through mushroom enriched food in their diets.
Impactful Water Projects for Bihar State of Governance 2020
Bihar secured sixth position in water sectoral ranking. Two projects from Bihar were studied in this category. Gujarat topped the water sectoral ranking with three projects, out of which two were in highly impactful category.
Water Resources Department of Bihar has launched an innovative initiative for the purpose of restoring the irrigation potential of Chausa Pump Canal scheme. Commissioned in 1986, Chausa Pump Canal has a designed irrigation potential of 4,400 hectares. But the project had lost its irrigation potential because of poor performance of the intake system. This scheme lifts Ganga water and delivers in the command area through open canals. Occasional siltation and destructions during flood disturbed the intake system and it was difficult to provide irrigation as per demand. Therefore, a pump house with permanent intake well was constructed in the bed of Ganga River which is free from the problem of siltation and occasional destructions caused by the flood. Since then, the canal is providing irrigation to 7,342 hectares of land in the area annually.
Another noteworthy project taken up by Water Resources Department of Bihar is ‘Dhadhar Diversion Scheme (DDS)’ which aims to provide irrigation to 6900 hectares of agricultural land in Gaya district of Bihar. It covers four blocks Fatehpur, Wazirganj, Tankuppa and Mohra. This area is mostly dependent on rainfall for cultivation. The project is almost complete and it is set to make paradigm shift in the regional economy. The scheme includes a Barrage, Head Regulator as well as a canal of about 25 kms with distribution system.
Agriculture Gets Ranked for Bihar State of Governance 2020
Bihar secured fifth position in agriculture sectoral ranking this year. The team studied one project from the state in agriculture category. This is a step up compared to 2019, when in Agriculture category, no project was submitted for assessment by Bihar.
The agricultural sector is chiefly concerned with enhancing farmers’ incomes. With this in mind, the Directorate of Horticulture, Government of Bihar and Department of Posts, launched a joint initiative called ‘Baag se Ghar Tak’. As a result of this project, farmers can deliver Shahi litchi and Zardalu mango directly from the orchards to consumers. In the first year customers in Patna, Muzaffarpur and Bhagalpur were covered. This initiative aims to provide a common platform to the farmers and consumers so that the farmers get appropriate returns for their produce and the consumers can get best quality products.
While Bihar registered significant gains in some sectors and overall ranking, the performance in several sectors were not up to the mark of previous year. For instance, in Power & Energy sector Bihar made the second spot in 2019. During 2020 no noteworthy project came up from Bihar in this category. Similarly, there was complete disappointment in Municipal Sanitation category as well. The state which was placed at the seventh spot in 2019 could not submit any noteworthy project in Municipal Sanitation category during 2020.
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In Transport category Bihar slipped to eighth position in 2020 from the fourth position in 2019. The state also slipped in district administration category. During 2019 Bihar was placed at the fifth position in the District Administration sectoral ranking. However, Bihar has slipped to the seventh position in 2020.
However, majority of the good governance initiatives in Bihar came from the District Administration in line with the national trend. Total 15 noteworthy projects were selected from Bihar in the District Administration category. And out of these three projects were in the impactful category while two projects were in highly impactful category.
Innovation Defines District Administration In Bihar State Of Governance 2020
District Administration Khagaria took several innovative measures to effectively deal with the challenges arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite featuring in the Lancets List of 20 most vulnerable districts in India for Covid Pandemic owing to reasons like socio-economic vulnerability, demographic vulnerability, vulnerability due to housing and hygiene, vulnerability due to lack of healthcare and epidemiological vulnerability, Khagaria has been able to contain Covid to a much greater extent.
Patna district administration also took several innovative measures to contain the spread of Covid pandemic. Firstly, a dedicated contact tracing cell set up in the district administration played a crucial role in tracing and containing the spread of the virus. To make public grievance redressal system more effective and efficient, District Magistrate also set up virtual public grievance redressal system using call centers, dashboard/website and e-platforms/social media platforms. Additionally, the Administration launched 24×7 tele-consultation initiative for general public through a centralized call center with the help of doctors from Health department to address non-Covid (health) related concerns along with Covid, where over 7,000 Covid related public grievances/health concerns were redressed by the health department.
For handling of grievance related to migrant labour, inter-state movement of students, social distancing measures during lockdown and essential commodities, the District Magistrate set up 24×7 dedicated control room by deputing empowered group of officers to focus the grievances and timely redressal.
While several noteworthy projects came up from Bihar during the year. These projects helped the state improve its standing in the overall ranking as well as several sectoral ranking. However, in several categories no project was submitted for assessment. The categories in which there was no noteworthy project submitted for assessment include, Health, Disaster Management, Ease of Doing Business, e-Governance, Finance and Revenue and Food & Civil Supplies as well as Governance (General Administration), Infrastructure, Irrigation, Labour and Municipal Governance. The sectors of Rural Development, Skill Development, Social Justice & Social Security, Tourism & Culture, Urban Development and Women & Child Development are also assessed under the same umbrella. High ranking states such as Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu have good number of projects from these sectors. The overall ranking of Bihar can improve significantly if projects are submitted for assessment in these sectors.