Incredible as it may sound, but it is true that Bihar is now identified as the least corrupt state in India. This startling revelation came about in a book on corruption written by eminent economists Bibek Debroy and Laveesh Bhandari.
The indices that reflect the status of corruption showed that Nitish Kumar has roundly beaten his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi in this battle for the non-corrupt image. Bihar has registered a significant improvement over Gujarat and all other states when it comes to transparency, accountability and index of human development.
Bihar scores 0.88 in the figure of anti-corruption efforts, while Gujarat scored at 0.69 points, according to the book, Corruption in India: the DNA and the RNA (Konark Publishers), released on Thursday. The authors have based their analysis on official data -- from the National Crime Records Bureau.
How Nitish fights corruption: read Administrative reforms: Nitish rings in September revolution
Gujarat, which was always a front-runner as the least corrupt state, is placed number two position while Andhra Pradesh was relegated to number three. Bhandari and Debroy says they have collected and collated data from various sources to substantiate their findings. Given the image of Bihar, a basket case, the data in the book suggest that the image correction of the state had happen in the past six years of Nitish Kumar’s regime. Jharkhand which separated from Bihar not long ago, however, is ranked the second most corrupt state after West Bengal.
If the research carried out in the book is to be believed, the longevity of the regime has no bearing on the image of the government. For instance, states like Orissa and Chhattisgarh which have fairly long political stability are bracketed with the most corrupt states.