Dr. Susmit Kumar, Ph.D.

During the 15 years (1990-2005) of misrule under Laloo Yadav’s Family, the development of Bihar nose-dived, mainly because of lack of law and order. During the same period, the Southern states like Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka became the information technology (IT) centers in India. Since 1990s, IT sector is the main driving force behind the economic growth in the country. Even after JD(U) and BJP combine won two consecutive general elections in the state (2005 and 2010), Bihar was not able to get any IT firm to open their branches to provide jobs, mainly because of threat of Laloo Yadav’s family coming to power again. Unless a business sees stability for next 25 to 30 years, it is not going invest in the state. For at least next 30 to 40 years, I do not see businesses investing in Bihar.


For the sake of development of Bihar, Bihar should give Bodh Gaya and its surroundings, say in 20 miles to 30 miles radius, to the Central government to manage it as Union Territory (UT) for say 99 years, with the following conditions:


1.     The proposed Bodh Gaya UT would be entirely governed and managed by the Central Govt.


2.     The Bihar Government would have no say in the governing of the Bodh Gaya UT. Only Union Territory Cadre of the All India Services like IAS and IPS, would be posted in the new UT to stop interference of state government.


3.     Bodh Gaya being the most important place for the Buddhism, countries like Japan and South Korea would be roped in for the management of the development of the new Union Territory.


4.     The proposed new Bodh Gaya UT would have potential to surpass even Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India. Foreign firms, especially from Japan, South Korea, China, US, Taiwan, Germany and Singapore, would open its development centers there.


5.     Some portion, say 30% to 40%, of yearly revenue from the Union Territory should go to Bihar’s exchequer for the development of Bihar.


6.     For first 15 or 20 years, there would not be election for the local administration. Yes parliamentary elections would be held for appropriate number of seats assigned to the new Bodh Gaya UT. Only after 15 to 20 years, i.e. once the new UT would be in final shape, elections would be held for the local administration.


7.     If Bihar government decides to create this proposed UT, there would be a ban on sale of land in the proposed area so that outsiders cannot make fortune by buying land at very low price and selling at very high price.


8.     There would be an unwritten rule that a certain percentage, say 50% to 60%, of unskilled and semi-skilled (like laborers, peons, and clerks), of workforce would be selected from Bihar. There would not be any such rule for skilled workforce.


The proposed Bodh Gaya UT would work as a fulcrum for the development of Bihar. Then Biharis would not have to travel faraway places like Delhi, Bombay and Gujarat to work as manual laborer. Within ten years of the creation of the UT, it would have a world class transportation system, like airport, metros and roads.

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