President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on Tuesday outlined 10 missions to make Bihar a developed State by 2015. Addressing a joint session of the Legislature here, he presented his 70-page blueprint in the form of “Missions for Bihar’s Prosperity”.
It was more than an address. It was something of a crash course for the members. With visual depictions, he stressed that it was possible to put the State back on the rails and develop it so that the nation achieved its mission 2020.
Giving a power-point presentation in the assembly before MLAs and MLCs while addressing a special joint session of the state legislature on Tuesday, Kalam asked them: “What will you like to be remembered for? That you have done something for development of the state, obviously.”
He asked the state government to prepare a “global human resources cadre”. “Prepare two million youths of the state for high value employment in IT, BPO and allied sectors before 2010,” he said. Kalam presented his roadmap “Missions For Bihar’s Prosperity” promising that it would increase per capita income of the state from the existing Rs 6,300 to Rs 35,000 by 2010 and Rs one lakh by 2015.
At present, the number of people below poverty line is around 42 percent of the state’s population. It will come down to zero and the literacy rate, currently at 48 per cent, rise to 100 per cent,” he said laying emphasis on female literacy. Kalam’s roadmap for development of Bihar was apparently well researched as it fixed targets in the field of education, health, agriculture, infrastructure development and other areas.
It all sounded like the “10 Commandments”. “Bihar will be transformed into a dream developed state,” Kalam said adding that there would be no shortage of funds for development as it would get major allotments from Bharat Nirman programme and other central schemes. The first thrust area identified by him was agriculture and agro food processing. “Triple your food grain productivity,” he said stressing that Bihar had the potential of becoming the rice bowl of the country.
He laid stress on revival the sugar industry saying north Bihar is best suited for sugarcane production and suggested creation of sugar co-operatives for running sugar mills on the Maharashtra pattern. He also put emphasis on dairy development, food processing and horticulture. “This will lead to empowerment of 27 lakh farmers and a business of Rs 100,000 crore,” Kalam said.
Kalam said the second thrust area was education and entrepreneurship. “You have a lot to do in this field,” he remarked. I do not know how you have tolerated it for so long,” he said adding that the VCs had promised to put exam schedules and academic sessions back on track by 2007. “Higher education should lead to employment generation in the state instead of adding to the crowd of job-seekers,” the President said. “Bihar should aim for an IIT.”
Kalam called for establishment of Nalanda International University with international partnership at the cost of Rs 200 crore. “The focus of the university should be world peace and prosperity devoid of crime, terrorism and war,” he said. The other seven key areas identified by him included health care, flood and water mission, infrastructure development, tourism, creation of exclusive economic zones and strengthening e-governance in Bihar.
His objective was to raise the per capita income from Rs. 6,500 to Rs. 35,000 a year by 2010 and to Rs. 1 lakh by 2015 and to increase literacy from 45 to 75 per cent by the end of the decade and to 100 per cent in a decade. The emphasis should be on reducing the percentage of people below the poverty line from 42 to 20 by 2010 and to zero by 2015.