World power elite will attend Global Summit on Changing Bihar
The Nitish Kumar government is all set to host its second Global Summit on Changing Bihar in Patna from February 17-19. The Summit (organised by the Bihar Foundation and the Asian Development and Research Institute, Patna) will host over 800 delegates at the Maurya Hotel debating over issues related to boosting the economy, the culture and related areas of the state.
Satyajit Singh, PRO, Bihar Foundation, says that the summit will be inaugurated by the Nepal Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy CM Sushil Modi. “The reason we chose the Nepal PM to inaugurate an affair like is this is mainly because Nepal and Bihar have a history together, and share a border which is porous as well. On both sides, the people are also similar in their likes and dislikes,” he says, adding that they have also invited the king of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk, but he hasn’t confirmed attendance.
“Representatives of 12 countries are participating in this summit. This is the second such summit to be held in Bihar. The first one was held in 2007. Non-resident Indian Biharis as well as non-Biharis across sectors will be participating in this three-day affair. The intention of this summit is to reinstate the lost glory of Bihar,” he says.
All 14 chapters of the Bihar Foundation (the Bihar government run body whose patron is the Bihar chief minister himself) across the globe have been directed to get investors for the summit.
Ravi Shankar Srivastav, chairman, Mumbai chapter, says that 25 top business houses from Mumbai are attending the sessions as they are interested in opening their businesses in the state. Diplomats from countries such as Trinidad and Tobago and Mauritius too are expected. “Bihar in the past was at its prime and this summit is an attempt to bring back the state’s position as that of a progressive one. This is a perfect opportunity for the bureaucratic lobby along with the business class to come together on a single platform to come up with concrete solutions,” he says, adding that technology giant Infosys has expressed interest in setting up an IT park in Bihar.
A top bureaucrat from Bihar, on condition of anonymity, told this newspaper that summits like these need not transform into immediate investment. “Bihar has nothing to offer. After its partition (of states), all the natural resources of Bihar have shifted to Jharkhand. Plus Nitish Kumar is very image conscious and downplays his association with industrialists and businessmen for fear of getting a bad image. He is known to play to the gallery and has not risen over caste politics. A stark example of this is when he distributed ministries and party positions on caste lines.”
Among those who will attend the summit are former Japan Prime Minister Kan Nato, London School of Economics professors Lord Meghnad Desai and Lord Nicholas Stern, RBI governor D. Subbarao, Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, industrialist K.M. Birla and Planning Commission member Abhijit Sen.