BIMARU States

The BIMARU states are four northern Indian states: Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. BIMARU is an acronym formed from the first letters of the names of the states. It was coined by Ashish Bose in the mid-1980s. BIMARU has a resemblance to a Hindi word “Bimar” which means sick.

UP and Bihar are two of the original BIMARU states that are still backward and have not progressed vis-a-vis other states. Some of the reasons for this are:
    1. Administrative: The two states are large in size and at times have become administratively unwieldy. There have been proposals to further divide UP although they have not materialized.
    2. Poor state of social indicators, like: Literacy rate ranking (among 35 states and UTs) – Bihar: 35th, UP: 29th. – Maternal mortality rate (all-India average – 178 per 100,000 live births) – Bihar: 219, UP: 292. – Fertility rate (all-India figure -2.4) – Bihar: 3.5, UP: 3.3.
    3. Geographical: Both the states have international borders which are not impermeable. There is a lot of movement of people, arms, drugs which further creates law and order problems in the states.
    4. Historical: Historically Bihar and Central and Eastern UP have not seen a major green revolution which brought prosperity to North Indian states. Schemes like BGREI have been started and are expected to show results in years to come.
    5. Political: Some regard the continuous confrontation between government at the centre and states as a reason for poor developmental status of two states.
    6. Corruption and nepotism.
Positive developments:
    1. UP and Bihar have well controlled the natural calamities i.e.. Famines, Floods and Droughts through scientific techniques. In Pre-Independence period many famines and flood took place and presently none happens.
    2. They have utilized the multiple cropping pattern which hardly any state of India can match.
    3. Due to the external factors like weather and area the productivity is less otherwise if seen in controlling this much huge population there effort is commendable.
    4. Panchayati Raj has been a success till date.
The solution to the problem involves taking following steps:
    1. Human Resource Development: The two states share poor literacy levels and health status of its residents. Governments at centre and state must work in close cooperation with local governments and administration to implement schemes in spheres of education, health and skill development.
    2. Tourism: Bihar has a lot of potential for spiritual tourism whereas UP can be developed as a site of eco-tourism. Tourism brings in employment for the local people and additionally forex for nation.
    3. Investment: As has the case been in Gujarat, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, investment summits on similar lines to encourage private investment in these areas can help generate income, employment and infrastructure.
    4. Infrastructure: Public investment is much needed for infrastructural development. There is a lot of untapped potential for roadways, railways and inland waterways. NW-1 on Ganga river has not been used to the optimum.
All these suggestions if followed zealously can bring a major change in the developmental status of these states and truly bring forth the spirit of inclusive growth.
It is said that of the original Bimaru states, only Bihar and UP have remained impervious to positive developmental changes. Critically examine why and suggest what needs to be done to develop them. (200 Words)