President Pranab Mukherjee has advised Bihar and Jharkhand to consider investing in education sector beyond what is done in “normal circumstances” as part of their development strategy.
The President said this while addressing an international conference, ‘Bihar and Jharkhand: Shared History to Shared Vision’. In his speech, the President made a case for human development as an alternative development strategy for disadvantaged regions.
“A logical requirement of this alternative development strategy will be prioritising investment on education beyond what would happen under normal circumstances. One may also note here that education does not mean economic advantage for the educated persons alone,” the President said.
It is possible for disadvantaged regions to change their comparative advantage from low-skill, labour-intensive goods and service to more skill intensive goods and services provided through deliberate human development, the President explained.
President Mukherjee said aspirations of the people in Bihar and Jharkhand are much higher than before as political mobilisation has brought the new section of people into power who were politically marginalised till recently.
“At this juncture, we only need to remember one important lesson of history, viz, the burden of history, howsoever heavy, can indeed be unloaded with right social mobilisation and political initiatives,” he said.
He added that the strategy has other important advantages as well, like empowerment of people and increased participation of people in development programmes and the political process.
Speaking at the conference organised by the Asian Development Research Institute, the President said that it must be realised that for “seriously disadvantaged” regions development strategy requires to unleash the productive forces of the economy and not just “unquestionably” follow the path of industrialisation as was done by countries or regions which had developed earlier.
The President called for considering Bangladesh as an example of development for the eastern states of Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
(With inputs from PTI)