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The Bihar Story: resurrection of the state, inclusion and growth

India Observatory and International Growth Centre public lecture

Date: Monday 22 September 2014
Time: 6.30-8pm 
Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building
Speaker: Jitan Ram Manjhi
Discussants: Professor Robin Burgess, Dr Shaibal Gupta, Dr Ruth Kattumuri
Chair: Lord Bilimoria

In the not so distant past, the Indian state of Bihar was a byword for lawlessness, poverty, and absence of governance. Over the last decade or so, the state has demonstrated a remarkable turnaround and has consistently been amongst the fastest growing states in the country. The Chief Minister of Bihar, Shri Jitan Ram Manjhi, will talk about the process that has led to this transformation and what this means for the people of Bihar. Please note that the Chief Minister will be delivering his speech in Hindi. A simultaneous translation service will be available.

Shri Jitan Ram Manjhi, the Honourable Chief Minister of Bihar, was born on 6 October 1944 at Mahakar village in Gaya district of Bihar. His parents were farm labourers belonging to the Musahar caste, one of the most backward castes in India. Shri Manjhi grew up working in the fields, but strongly coveting education. He completed his studies till the 7th standard without any formal schooling, and simply by listening in on a tutor who was hired by the local landlord for his own children. From these humble beginnings, Shri Manjhi went on to graduate in History from Gaya College in 1966. Upon graduation, he started working as a clerk with the Posts and Telegraph Department of the Government, but quit in 1980 to actively pursue politics. His immense experience and long years of public service can be gauged from the fact that he has been elected as a Member of the Bihar Legislative Assembly six times. He has served as a Minister in various capacities under several Chief Ministers, and was most recently the Minister for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Welfare, before being elevated to the position of the Chief Minister of Bihar in May 2014. Shri Manjhi strongly advocates the eradication of socio-economic inequalities and lack of opportunities for India's depressed classes. He supports extensive socio-economic rights for women and gender equality. His hallmark is his profound insight on micro issues of governance, which critically influences his government’s policies at the macro level.

Robin Burgess is Director of the International Growth Centre and Professor of Economics at LSE.

Shaibal Gupta is the Founder Member Secretary of the Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) in Patna, Bihar, and is also the Country Co-Director of the International Growth Centre's India-Bihar Programme.

Ruth Kattumuri is Co-Director of the Asia Research Centre and India Observatory at LSE. 

Karan Bilimoria is a Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords.

This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For further details see IGC - Growth Week. For any queries email Emma Bakht e.y.bakht@lse.ac.uk or call 0203 486 2913.

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