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Cool Bihari: February 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

Software Technology Park in Bihar

In the news for many a positive change, Bihar is set to add another feather to its cap in the form of its first software technology park (STP). Located in Patna, the park — 49th of its kind in the country — will have facilities to accommodate around ten small and medium level software firms.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar will inaugurate the park on Friday at a function which will also be attended by Union minister of state for communication and information technology Shakeel Ahmed.

A team of senior officials of the Software Technology Park of India (STPI), including director (east) P K Das and New Delhi-based senior director Omkar Rai reached Patna on Thursday to supervise the preparations for the inauguration.

Earlier the state had just one regulatory office of the STPI and software exported from Bihar were routed through the STP located in Bhubaneswar. This did not allow the state to take credit for its contribution in the software exports from the country.

“The park will have ready-to-use-facility for firms willing to set up their units in it,” S K Patnaik, office incharge of Patna STP, told TOI on Thursday. He said the park will offer facilities like computers, internet connection and uninterrupted power supply at a nominal rate.

The building of the park has already been completed and additional facilities would be in place within a month’s time. “Though this park can accommodate only small and medium level software firms, it can provide a launching pad to entrepreneurs for setting up larger firms,” Patnaik added.

He hoped the park would not face much problem as far as optimum utilisation of the facilities is concerned since Bihar has as many as 11 registered software export firms.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bihar welcomes one and all

Last few weeks Bihar saw some high profile visits by national and international dignataties. First Former President Abdul Kalam visited Nalanda to review the progress for the international University and he also addressed a talk on Bihar as a knowledge hub .
He said that Aryabhatt, a noted scientist from Bihar, was a source of inspiration for him. Not only is Bihar the land of Aryabhatt but also of Chandragupta Maurya, Mahavir and Gautam Buddha. He said that he felt proud to be here in the land of greats. He appeared very much impressed by what he said the beautiful land of Bihar.
After the ex-president it was the turn of the President of India’s day visit to the state.Pratibha Patil visited Bodh Gaya, Nalanda, Vaishali and Patna Saheb. Ms. Patil visited Gaya and she also went to Nalanda and saw the historical remains of the Nalanda University and Museum.

Ms. Patil visited the Maha Bodhi temple and said that Lord Buddha’s teachings were an inspiration to Mahatma Gandhi in his pursuance of ahimsa and peace and that these tenets were still relevant for mankind. She later inaugurated the cultural programme of 12 universities on the campus of Magadh University and called upon teachers to prepare their pupils for the challenges ahead. She also called upon the youth to maintain their unity and strength in making the country a power to reckon with.
Finally the state also welcomed another Son of Bihar when Mauritius Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam visited Bihar. Ramgoolam arrived on a three-day visit, his first to Bihar. Overcome by emotion as he landed, the Mauritius leader touched the ground after alighting from the aircraft and smeared some mud on his forehead.

The Mauritius prime minister spoke in Bhojpuri - a dialect of Hindi common in western Bihar - to say good evening and convey the good wishes of the people of Mauritius at a civic reception here Monday evening. He said that though his ancestors went to the Indian Ocean island nation from Bhojpur district, for him the entire Bihar was the birthplace. Ramgoolam's grandfather Mohit was among those taken by the British in 1871. Most of the workers then were from Bhojpur, Chapra, Gopalganj and East and West Champaran. About 60 percent of the 1.2 million population of Mauritius is of Indian origin.
These visits clearly shows the recognition of Bihar’s revival and acknowledgment of its contribution to humanity.As more and more people realize the potential and achievements of Bihar and Biharis we will see a visible change in the general perception about the state.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Tribute to Bihar

Photos by :Bhaskar,Chandan Singh,Ajit Chouhan and others.

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Bihar's new Brand Ambassador

What appeared to be a herculean task few years back is now translating into reality on ground. Bihar’s effort to revive its glory and pride is on fast track with all around development in the areas of education, scientific development ,industrial growth, private and public sector investment.

The Planning Commission recently approved a plan outlay of Rs.13,000 crore for Bihar for 2008-09, which includes additional Central assistance of Rs.100 crore for “projects of special importance” to the State. It was also agreed that on the basis of mid-year performance and absorptive capacities, an additional outlay of Rs.500 crore, in the special package of assistance based on performance, can be included in the Annual Plan for the year 2008-09, taking this to an effective plan size of Rs.13,500 crore.

Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia complimented the Bihar Government on the major initiatives taken towards administrative reforms, decentralisation and simplification of procedures, delegation of powers and also focused attention towards implementation of flagship programmes launched by the Central Government, which has lead to acceleration in plan expenditure.

The state is also getting favourable support from the private players and big business houses have shown great interest in promoting investments in Bihar. Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) president and telecom major Bharti chief Sunil Mittal and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar have identified agriculture and tourism as key sectors for private investment in the state.

"I can say that Bihar is the best place for agriculture and horticulture based industries, there is plenty of potential for investment in this sector," Mittal stated.Mittal, leading a high-powered CII delegation of Eastern India at an interactive session with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, added that investments in agriculture and horticulture could change the face of the state.He hinted that his group plans to make substantial investment in the food processing and agro-based industries as both have huge growth potential in the state.

"Bihar is a place waiting to happen and from now on I am going to work as the brand ambassador of the state to encourage other industrialists to come and invest in Bihar," Mittal said while describing the changes in Bihar as 'miraculous'

The education system in the state is also seeing marked changes in the prospects as more and more companies are visiting the campuses to hire fresh graduates.NIT Patna has been able to ensure more than 100 per cent placement for its students this year. Each student has been selected for more than one job. NIT director U C Ray said that as many as 26 pre-final year students have been selected for jobs by different multi-national companies. Last year, only 80 per cent students could be provided suitable jobs.

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