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Social Features of Bihar

What have been the triggers to change in rural Bihar in recent decades?

What have been the key social, economic and political dimensions of change? In particular, what changes have occurred in agricultural production and agrarian relations, in the pattern of growth, in the employment structure, in migration patterns and other aspects of social and economic behaviour, in the political environment and in the role of the State?

What have been the main structural obstacles to faster and more inclusive growth: social relationships and hierarchies, governance shortfalls, economic constraints such as credit, technological factors, skills and education, infrastructure development or other factors?

What has been the impact on people’s lives of specific policy interventions aimed at reducing poverty, improving capability and raising productivity? What is the best way to design such policies and to identify the beneficiaries?

The present summary of research findings cast light on some of these issues. This is only a first set of results while data collection is continuing. They are mainly based on data from village and household surveys carried out between November 2009 and February 2010. It

also draws on data collected in earlier years, which makes it possible to explore not only the patterns and relationships observed in 2009-10, but also the changes over three decades.  This study focuses on rural areas where almost 90 percent of bihar’s  population live.