News Wrap


Other than government jobs there are no other jobs available in Bihar. Central grant and share of the divisible pool of central government taxes together account for 75% of Bihar's total revenue, the highest among the major states. Bihar's own tax and non-tax revenue revenues can barely meet event a quarter of the state's expenditure. Bihar is still dependent on agriculture, with more than 75% of the population deriving sustenance from it meager share of 18.7% in the state income, making agriculture extremely unproductive and unremunerative. The state has the lowest participation rate of 40% among 15 plus age group, as against the national average of 50%, while it supplies labour to other industrialized states of India. The youth unemployment rate in Bihar is 31%, for the 1-29 age groups, compared to the national average of 17%. Nearly a quarter of Bihar's youth, have never completed schooling, and hence lack any employable skill. Bihar's share of college going student is a mere 5%, which is amongst the lowest in India, partly because they the state either for job, or for higher education. Of the 38 districts in Bihar, 13 districts are among the most backward 117 districts in India, identified by NITI Aayog in 2017, on the basis of poverty, poor health, education and basic infrastructure deficit. Effective April 2016, prohibition has deprived the state of its excise and ales revenue from alcohol amounting to Rs 4500 crore. During the run up to the November 2020 state Assembly election the Election Commission had seized liquor worth Rs 25 crore. In the distribution of seat during elections, each political party gives more seats to their caste vote banks.

Indian security force personnel are being regularly killed by Pakistani troops. Along the Line of Control (LoC), Gurez to Uri sectors, of Jammu and Kashmir Pakistani rangers use mortars and other weapons and deliberately target civilian areas. Indian troops just  retaliate  strongly causing casualties and substantial damages to Pakistan's several ammunition dumps, and Pakistan army troops. In truth the situation in Ladakh sector is not that volatile despite recent face-off along LAC - the Line of Actual Control between India and China.

Heated debates are on about who won and who lost in Ladakh at the end of the current conflict. It is currently the 'in-thing' to be strategically oriented, to be able to drop names of landmarks such as Depsang, Fingers 4 and 8, and Pangong Tso and provide expert opinion on the fate of the 10-month- long eyeball-to-eye ball engagement, which almost brought India and China to the brink of war.

Unlike India-Pakistan relations India-China relations are far too complex. They have a huge breadth of sub-complexities which are not easily comprehensible, starting from the fact that the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China is neither delineated nor demarcated, while the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan exists as a proper separation line on maps and on the ground.

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Vol. 53, No. 37, Mar 14 - 20, 2021