Viewers' Voice


Bihar Election: Have Single Point Manifesto and Ensure Outcome

Indra R. Sharma


(Bihar Election Watch) Bihar has gone in election mode. Every political party and group will come out its manifesto, the list of their promises, plans and programmes to bring the heaven on this earth if elected. I wish for a change, it could be a single point manifesto by all the parties.

Can providing quality education in the next five years be made a single point manifesto for Bihar by all? And here is the way, it can be planned and achieved.

Let all the 243 MLAs get established at least one new model school (as defined by the central government) up to class XII or an ITI in their constituency and take the responsibility of its sustained operation. Can at least the educated voters demand and take a commitment from the candidates during their campaign? Each member of legislative council must also do the same in their constituencies. For those selected for the cabinet, the number may be higher.

1. The new state government will exert and get all the plans of the union government for setting up educational institutes executed fast by facilitating it without creating any trouble. For example, the union cabinet has already given its consent to open 1,728 residential schools (1,073 Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas for girls and 655 co-ed residential schools for homeless and street children) in backward areas at a cost of Rs 3,808 crore. A large number of them can come in Bihar’s quota because of its backwardness.

2. Prominent personalities of Bihar must assist the projects such as Chandrasekaran’s S41 realized: Chardrasekaran wants to build and run 6,000 state-of-the-art schools in rural India, about 10 each in 600 districts over the next 10 years. MB Verma, the former programme director for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) project, from Bihar signed on with the S4I project in Bihar. Can many more like Mr. Verma come up in to take this “tremendous challenge”?

3. The new government permits each SP and DM of the districts, each IAS officers of the rank of secretary and above of Bihar to take initiative to get set up one or more schools in rural Bihar as an additional task. With all the networking and relations, it will certainly be a doable philanthropic task. Let the officers get the institutes named after their parents as incentive. Bihar should not mind some leaks in the process.

4. Let every Principal of prominent affiliated colleges also take up any such initiative through public donation for expanding education. The faculty of the colleges can certainly adopt some five to ten rural schools for improving its management.

5. Each engineering college must strive for expanding its capacity and taking at least 5 ITIs under its wing.

6. All big temple trusts must take up the task of education as mandatory.

7. As it appears the central government very soon may make it mandatory for all companies to invest 2% of their net profit in corporate social responsibility (CSR). Taking the clues, why should not the new government of Bihar provide all sorts of incentive including providing government land for setting up educational institutes of all sorts to the willing industrial houses and business men?

Let the huge human resources of Bihar come out of Bihar fully educated, skilled, and employable for exploring the living in this big world. Is it not the single point manifesto that can take care of hundreds of promises and plans made in the manifestos by various political parties?

But as basic requirement, all the candidates must take a vow that they don’t believe keeping the people at large in dark, ignorant and uneducated so that their clan and kin keep on flourishing perpetually.
Will they?



The views expressed by the author are personal.



Apropos to Mr. Sharma’s welcome article “Bihar Election: Have Single Point Manifesto and Ensure Outcome” I am tempted to comment with due apology. As a retired teacher with wide practical knowledge and experience of teaching and academic information about science of education I can say since 1835 education has been a neglected subject in government agenda. In the pre-Mandal period only matriculates passed in any division were considered eligible for primary teachership whereas minimum qualification for lower division clerks in central services were first division matriculates.

In post-Mandal period reservation told upon education the worst. Now, the students suffer at the hands of capable teachers because of envy for their counter parts who are less capable in teaching and class control while getting equal salary and have better promotional prospects. Teachers selected from the reserve quota find teaching a strenuous task and most of them try to avoid classes. They further adopt foul practices to get upper hand. In such a situation, quality of education only remains a cherished dream of people like ours.

Opening of private schools, too, would be based on reservation as some leaders without any political vision have one readymade statement of getting more and more reservation for a particular caste or community. Caste based census will only inspire them to demand more reservation. Let us suppose all the schools as proposed by you have been opened. Six hundred schools will at an average need about 1, 50,000 quality teachers. It will be very difficult or almost impossible to get appointed so many quality teachers. Second, no institutions will ever be able to appoint fairly so many teachers. Third, some teachers supposedly very strong in their subject but it will also be difficult to train them properly.

These schools may have ideal infrastructure but they will be made corrupt by government officers. Thus, pessimistic approach may it appear, it is all pervading reality. To improve upon the situation, iron will power group of leaders, honest officers, sincere and dutiful teachers and guardians’ support will essentially be needed. Without improving the quality of primary education that supplies the raw material for further career one cannot expect optimum result at any stage of education.   

B P Mishra