Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Bihar inventor of lantern projector awaits govt nod even after 66 years

Photographer Manoranjan Ghosh's wait for a patent from the Government of Bihar for his invention-a lantern projector-continues even after 66 years. Though the inventor has died, his family's hope remains alive.

The 'Lantern Projector' was made with the objective of it being used to spread awareness and education in rural areas, and was invented in 1940. .

According to Ghosh's son, Rajat Ghosh, a sculptor by profession, it was his deceased father's long cherished dream to help in spreading education in the remote areas of the Bihar, and this motivated him to invent a "poor man's projector".

"This 'Lantern Projector' was invented for the purpose of promoting and propagating various education programmes such as children's education, women's education and others in remote villages where electricity was not available, says Rajat.

Apart from Gujarat, Madras, Calcutta and other States, the projector became famous in Germany too," Ghosh adds. "If the projector and the literature slides with some modifications and are used at places that are without electricity, it could prove to be very beneficial," says Rajat.

Besides creating slides of rare pictures of the Indian freedom struggle, Manoranjan Ghosh had a collection of slides with analytical descriptions of literature, art and many other subjects.

Bihar Chronicle- A New Begining


Today on the dawn of 2007, we realise that Bihar is Changing. In last couple of days we had have couple of good new. i.e.

- Resurrection of Nalanda University

- Starting the Road Project in Patna

- Proposal for Setting up NIFT campus in BIHAR

- National Highways Developement - Phase III giving bihar nearly 900 KMS of
highways connection all major cities in BIHAR

- Proposal for setting up an IIT in BIHAR

- Global meeting in JAN for a Resurgent BIHAR

and many more like this.

In such an environment in which the wind of chages are blowing from all direction it it imperative to give my BIHAR something new from my side. This feeling prompted me to launc this blog. The objective is to give plateform to all the good news which are not covered or reported elsewhere are covered on this Blog.

I invite BIHARI people all across the globe to come join this plateform and contribute in thier own unique way to give BIHAR a voice.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Now US students come calling to hear Lalu

The Great Railway Turnaround Story seems to have become a fable, and its author an international management guru.

Having shared the tale of how he pulled back the Indian Railways from impending doom into a likely Rs 2,000 crore profit for this year with IIM-Ahmedabad students, Lalu Prasad Yadav is now polishing his phrases to deliver it to an American audience.

A group of 137 students, 100 from Harvard and the rest from Wharton, is coming here for a December 27 lecture by Yadav. The minister will spell out the finer points of the turnaround story in a day-long interaction at Rail Bhawan.

Insiders say the session has been in the works for quite some time, with Yadav keen on selling his success story internationally to counter the skepticism about his achievements within the country.

It will not be Yadav’s first interview with the American campus on this issue.

He has played host to professors from Harvard, Wharton, Boston University and American Defence Institute over the past couple of months, taking them to different parts of the country to show the Indian rail network and explaining to them the basics of what he did to the ailing national network, ministry sources said.

Now the jester-turned-pundit wants to ensure a visit by the US students to add to the sizeable bunch of brownie points he has already earned.

The professors, say the sources, were also keen to examine the genuineness of the claims made by the Indian Railways. “Initially, they were also a bit skeptical. They wanted to see for themselves whether the turnaround was only limited to government files in Rail Bhawan or extended to the rest of the country,” said one official.

“Once they travelled on the network, they shed many of their concerns and found the Railways a fit case to be studied by their students.”

Yadav’s lieutenants are preparing all the statistical support, but which language will he speak? Not known for his English, Yadav is reportedly brushing up whatever he has of it on him to be able to take direct questions from the young audience.

Yadav’s address, said sources, will mainly dwell on how the Railways has been restored its health without increasing fares or downsizing of staff.

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Bihar, N-E, TN to be thrust areas in highway Phase III, Govt OK on way

Seemingly central government is addressing and Bihar is going to be
benefitted by this infrastructure initiative in a great way.


Several good news on the horizon about Bihar after usual stereotype.
If good news kept on flowing this, they would sweep away the
stereotype and make them eat their words. Amen.

Cheers and regards for now and hope to be back with more soon..

New Delhi, December 20: The Government is set to clear the entire Phase Three of the National Highway Development Programme (NHDP III) where seven new road projects are to be included for Bihar, taking the length of roads in the state under NHDP III from 113 km to 890 km.

A sizeable portion or around 10 per cent of the total length under NHDP III would be for the North-East states, covering Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. This fits into UPA plans to improve connectivity in states along the China border.

In all, the Government is going to increase the length of roads under NHDP III to 11,530 km — the Cabinet has already given its nod for 6,139 km. In fact, Bihar will have the largest increase in the total length under this programme — up by 777 km.

The Cabinet was to okay this proposal at its meeting tomorrow but it is being rescheduled, possibly for next week, as Road Transport Minister T R Baalu will not be able to attend the meeting tomorrow.

The NHDP III basically envisages connecting important state capitals and cities of economic and tourist importance that are otherwise not covered under the Golden Quadrilateral and the North-South East-West corridor projects.

While work has already started on some of the NHDP III projects (under NHDP III A), the Cabinet approval will be for the entire programme.

Under the approval sought for NHDP III, seven projects would be added for Bihar and five new projects, totalling a length of 613 km, for Assam.

J&K will have one new 101 km project connecting Srinagar-Baramula-Uri.

Tamil Nadu, which already has approval for ten projects totalling 1,146 km under NHDP III, will now have a total of 13 projects, totalling 1,455 km under this programme — the largest for any state.

IITs to come up in Bihar, Andhra and Rajasthan

JAIPUR: With the Union human resource development ministry approval, the path has been cleared for the setting up of three more Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) — in Rajasthan, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh. At present there are seven IITs in the country — in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kharagpur, Kanpur, Roorkee, Chennai and Guwahati.

Vasudeo Devnani, minister of state for education, Rajasthan has been demanding the opening of an IIT for sometime now, as students from the state qualify in large number in IIT-JEE entrance and the state has produced number of toppers in the examination.

Rajasthan government is yet to decide where the IIT would be located, as the state government will have to make available 500 to 600 acres of land for setting up the institute. The chances are that it would be set up either in Jaipur or Kota.

Earlier, the state government had proposed that Kota Engineering College run by the state government be converted into an IIT, as all the necessary infrastructure was available there.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

NIFT Comes to Patna

After a branch of BIT, Mesra, and a National Law Institute, Bihar is getting ready for a centre of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT). After the Centre's proposal for a branch of NIFT in Patna, the union textile ministry has sought 10 acres of land and a sum of Rs 29 crore from the Bihar government. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar readily agreed to the Centre's decision and the state government has earmarked 10 acres of prime land in the Mithapur agricultural farm for the project.

Informing members of the Bihar Legislative Council, the chief minister said he had conveyed the decision to the Union textile minister and urged him to start work for the project at the earliest. The NIFT centre is coming up in the area earmarked recently by the Nitish Kumar government as a new institutional area.

Besides, the newly-opened Chanakya National Law University (giving a five-year integrated degree course in Law), the state government proposes to set up other institutions of repute like NIFT and a branch of the Indian Institute of Management in the area. During his recent visit to IIM, Ahmedabad, the Bihar CM had proposed that a branch of the IIM be set up in Patna as well.

NIFT Comes to Patna

After a branch of BIT, Mesra, and a National Law Institute, Bihar is getting ready for a centre of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT). After the Centre's proposal for a branch of NIFT in Patna, the union textile ministry has sought 10 acres of land and a sum of Rs 29 crore from the Bihar government. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar readily agreed to the Centre's decision and the state government has earmarked 10 acres of prime land in the Mithapur agricultural farm for the project.

Informing members of the Bihar Legislative Council, the chief minister said he had conveyed the decision to the Union textile minister and urged him to start work for the project at the earliest. The NIFT centre is coming up in the area earmarked recently by the Nitish Kumar government as a new institutional area.

Besides, the newly-opened Chanakya National Law University (giving a five-year integrated degree course in Law), the state government proposes to set up other institutions of repute like NIFT and a branch of the Indian Institute of Management in the area. During his recent visit to IIM, Ahmedabad, the Bihar CM had proposed that a branch of the IIM be set up in Patna as well.

Nitish has big plans for ‘resurgent’ Bihar

The ruling NDA headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has geared up for a total facelift of Patna in connection with the proposed first ever global conclave on “resurgent Bihar”.

The conclave in the state capital between January 19 and 21 will follow Prabashi Bharatiya Sanmelan scheduled to be held in Delhi in the first week of January.

Mr Ajay Kumar, CEO, Bihar Times, along with the Institute of Human Development, Delhi, is acting as a facilitator to bring prospective investors across the world and the Bihar Government on a common platform in connection with the conclave.

Talking to the media here, Mr Ajay Kumar said the government had planned to go for an aggressive campaign to strongly position Bihar as the most happening state of the country in the years to come.

Deputy Chief Minister and the Chairman of the steering committee for the conclave Sushil Modi claimed that with the growing acknowledgement of the positive changes in Bihar in past one year from different quarters, the state was poised to emerge as a developed state in next 10 year.

Mr Modi informed that about 500 delegates, including those from US, UK, Europe and West Asia, as well as from other parts of the country, were expected to attend the conclave which would deliberate on various parameters of development.

The conclave was also expected to come out with an agenda to guide the government in adopting the right path to bring back Bihar on tracks.

The Chief Minister, however, has already ruled out the possibility of considering any special economic zone (SEZ) for Bihar.

Patna parties late as safety returns to Bihar

Once a metaphor for lawlessness and urban decline, Bihar's capital Patna is fast becoming a happening city, thanks to a much-improved governance coupled with a booming economy.

A visit to the city - where a new government came to power last year - helps change the erstwhile perception about the safety of its people. With an improved law and order situation, women are now seen venturing out alone, driving cars and even taking children to favourite evening hangouts - all unimaginable until a couple of years ago.

"Earlier, we were so petrified that in spite of being financially well-off, we couldn't enjoy our lives. But now things have changed. We have started living a normal life. There is a marked improvement in law and order," Anjani, a housewife with two children, told IANS.

"New restaurants like Yo China, Moti Mahal and Roti have come up. The government is also making efforts to provide entertainment to the public," she added.

Added Sanjeev Sinha, who owns a chain of hotels in Bihar and Jharkhand: "We have two restaurants and three bars in Patna. Though we didn't have any problems during (former chief minister) Lalu Prasad Yadav's regime but business has certainly improved in last one year. Now more and more families visit us. They come to eateries as well as the bars. And people are more relaxed now."

He added that the government was planning to extend the closing time for bars beyond 10 p.m.

After living in fear for decades, the city is finally getting back to normalcy. In fact, travelling into the interiors of the state has now become less risky. Crime rates in villages have also declined.

"'Don't worry madam, you are safe,' cab driver Mansoor assured us while we were on our way to Patna from Amawan (a small village about 110 km from here)," said Krishna Shandilya who was travelling with her sister and daughter.

He stopped the car at Bakhtiyarpur, once one of the most crime-infested places in the region for the evening tea.

The city's business community is also reaping benefits of the current positive trend.

The purchasing power of consumers has gone up significantly. "There was a 43 percent growth in the sales of Maruti cars in 2006. We have sold the highest number of cars in eastern zone this year," said Rakesh Prasad Singh, owner of a Maruti showroom in the city.

Ever since the new government came to power last year, the fear factor has started evaporating and people feel more relaxed now, he added.

Talking about the significant changes, Singh said: "One of the most significant changes seen in the last one year is the city's business community fearlessly investing in new projects. Earlier, people dreaded showing off their wealth."

Apart from the mushrooming of new shopping malls and an increase in cars plying on roads, what has come as a relief is that people have started enjoying their lives.

"Patna is like any other city. I don't understand why people fear so much. We also go out with friends and freak out," retorted Priya, a student of the Patna Women's College.

However, youngsters feel the city should have more entertainment spots. Also, they want a better public transport facility.

Another growing demand among the citizens is that the state government needs to create job opportunities on a large scale.

But at the same time, the city is plagued by some serious infrastructure problems, which need to be remedied immediately.

People, however, hope that the city will soon prosper and, like many Indian cities of its size, become a favourite investment destination for non-resident Indians (NRIs).

Nalanda as an innovation hub

Interdisciplinary interaction could work the magic to re-establish an age-old academic institution


Talk of the renaissance of Nalanda is gathering momentum. Plans for the university have been discussed at high-level meetings between China and India, India and Japan, and most recently at a multi-country interaction in Singapore which had President Abdul Kalam participating via teleconference, sharing his views and vision for the Nalanda of tomorrow. The university would have been on the agenda of the postponed Pan Asia Summit at Cebu.
The debate went truly ‘international’ last week when Nalanda and its potential became the centerpiece of a lengthy New York Times and International Herald Tribune editorial by the former Dean of the Yale School of Management Jeffrey Garten. Concrete actions for the university’s rebirth are also underway. The government of Bihar has a bill under consideration that provides for governance by an international body. Land is being acquired, and resources raised.

But what is the modern reincarnation of Nalanda? Agreement on this vision is an essential first step for the strategy to build an institution that attracts the right group of scholars, students, advisors, and others as well as fosters research.

Discussion has centered so far on the re-birth of the university’s Buddhist heritage. I have discussed this in an earlier piece as well. To reiterate my main point: Buddhism, as understood today, is as much a philosophy and a way of life as a religion. It takes many forms across countries, and is known for its non-exclusionary, peaceful, integrative ideals. An open, non-discriminatory university is very much in line with this tradition.

The university’s history as a crossroads of science and humanities is equally significant: Nalanda was the hub of a knowledge network that we have yet to recreate for the modern era. The old divisions were by geography. Nalanda overcame distance by bringing together a physical community of thousands of researchers and students from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia, and Turkey among other countries, according to Wikipedia. Its campus, an architectural masterpiece, was one of the first to have dormitories—fostering a community spirit.

Dormitories and a physical presence are no longer enough. The new divisions in knowledge are by academic discipline, economic opportunity, and culture. Geography is no longer such a significant factor.

The new Nalanda must be interdisciplinary, as also an innovation hub that explicitly engages academics, industry and policymakers and encourages them to put minds together on research programmes directed by questions from NGOs, social groups and policymakers. Garten’s editorial emphasized the importance of Nalanda as a center of academic excellence. But an innovation hub is more than a university or training facility. We must go beyond conventional definitions of excellence (publications and so on).

This is a unique historical opportunity to make a greenfield investment in a new kind of academic-industry-society cluster to promote innovation for smart growth, problem-driven research, and a holistic approach to development questions. How can this be achieved? Basically, it requires creating a funding structure and a communications infrastructure to encourage interdisciplinary research and knowledge sharing across academic and social divides. And so, even before the physical site is ready. We must encourage people to begin research projects, develop applications for their academic findings, and think about pressing social problems.

The first step would be to create a Nalanda Board, composed of internationally diverse academics and policymakers, as well as social and corporate leaders. This board would determine the goals and priorities, identify opportunities for collaborative work on broad social problems such energy security, environmental sustainability, international peace, poverty reduction, lessening of inequality and other pressing development issues, and interface with donors and sponsors.

Several mechanisms could then be added to this core governing body. First, a virtual clearing house for problems and solutions that would serve as the point of contact for policymakers, NGOs, companies and so on. This group could then identify the appropriate resources in the participating countries’ academic systems. This would solve an important information asymmetry that hinders collaboration today.

Second, a network of centres that takes advantage of existing research capacity around the world and directs it toward specific goals. Member institutions would provide information about their faculty and other available resources to a central place to facilitate joint research projects. Ongoing collaborative projects could be brought in here.

Both of these mechanisms would encourage a wide set of specific projects, driven by individuals, and directed by dispersed knowledge. The community—the eventual goal—will emerge from these projects. Existing innovation hubs such as the Silicon Valley cluster, the San Diego UCSD–biotech–IT cluster, the North Carolina “research triangle”, to name a few existing clusters, grew organically. The Nalanda project would be a way to jumpstart something similar.

Nalanda conjures nostalgia about a golden period in Indian history. To make this relevant for contemporary challenges, we must think beyond the past, out of the box, looking to the future. We must incubate an innovation hub.

Bihar catches UN fancy

PATNA: The United Nations has included Bihar in its select list of seven Indian states where it plans to introduce a slew of welfare and developmental programmes during its four-year plan. A total of 200 districts across the seven states will be benefited under the scheme.

UN Resident Coordinator Dr Maxine Olson told TOI on Saturday that the UN System in India was in the process of formulating its next UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for the programme cycle 2008-12. "The mission of this four-year plan is to promote social, economic and political inclusion of the most disadvantaged, particularly women and girls," said Olson, who is also the UNDP Resident Representative in India.

She further said that the UNDAF programme has been harmonised substantially in terms of its time frame with India’s 11th Five-Year Plan (2007-12). Olson was here in connection with a programme of the Bihar Legislative Forum on HIV/AIDS held in the assembly annexe on Saturday.

The programmes to be taken up in Bihar in close collaboration with the state government include quality education, coordinated HIV/AIDS and STD response through awareness, capacity building of Panchayati Raj institutions and environmental management, she said.

Olson said the districts will be shortlisted later and in consultation with the state government, the magnitude of the programme and its range would be decided.

Olson said, "The United Nations shares a very valuable relationship with Bihar and has been working in partnership with the state government on various developmental issues."

She disclosed that the UNDAF has spent around three million dollars on its schemes in Bihar in the last five years.

Friday, December 01, 2006

A New Magazine Bhojpuri World Launched

Mumbai: A new Hindi Glossy Magazine titled BHOJPURI WORLD launched with the auspicious hands of the Bhojpuri doyen's i.e. Kumkumji veteran actress of Hindi Films & also Mother India fame & the first leading lady of Bhojpuri cinema (first bhojpuri film Ganga Maiyya Tohe Pihari Chadhaido) & Surendra Pal renowned actor & Bhojpuri personality on 18th Nov, 2006 in Bandra, Mumbai.

Surendra Pal, Kumkum & Vinod Gupta launching BHOJPURI WORLD

On the occasion, Kumkumji said that this is the first ever Bhojpuri Magazine of is kind, in fact in the last 45-years of Bhojpuri history no such interesting magazine has been come out that can present not only the true picture of Bhojpuri films & culture but also the Bhojpuri customs & traditions. She also said that the bhojpuri people and the bhojpuri film industry must be grateful to the publisher for establishing such a quality magazine.

Surendra Pal, Kumkum, Vinod Gupta, Sajjad Khan, Hadi Abrar, Zahid Abrar & Nirav Gandhi at the launch of BHOJPURI WORLD

Renowned actor Surendra Pal appreciating the initiative taken by Vinod Gupta, said on the informal launch event that this magazine will truly bridge the gap between the Bhojpurians spread over the country & abroad.

Nirav Publications' BHOJPURI WORLD is published & edited by Vinod Gupta who was in headlines in early of this year for starting the first ever BHOJPURI FILM AWARDS. He recognized and appreciated the efforts done by Nathubhai Gandhi, Ishwarpal Singh, SP Yadav, Rajnikant Kataria and Jayant Printery for achieving a quality product, because eventually quality product is all about what matters the most in any business.

Truly honest and hard worker Vinod Gupta, editor of the magazine whose ideal & idol is Lal Bahadur Shastri, told on the occasion that He basically belongs to the Bhojpuri Mati, Culture and Life, therefore Publishing of this magazine BHOJPURI WORLD is like His old dream come true.

Apart form Kumkumji, Surendra Pal & Vinod Gupta who attended the brief launch ceremony also were Sajjad Khan, Hadi Abrar, Zahid Abrar, Nirav Gandhi, SP Yadav, Ishwar Pal Singh among other Common Bhojpurians.