Bihar is one of the most densely populated states of India. Bihar (erstwhile Magadh) has been the seat of Indian culture, education and power since ancient times. In the times of Mauryan Empire with Ashoka (269 BC to 232 BC), the great as its ruler where Nalanda University was the major seat of all learning in ancient India. Bihar has remained a land of culture, education, historical events, and birth place of many people who are admired globally even today.

It was here in Bodhgaya, that Prince Gautama attained supreme knowledge to become Buddha, the enlightened one. The great religion of Buddhism was born here, and Bodhgaya is one of the most important and sacred Buddhist pilgrimage centers in the world. Apart from Lord Buddha, Lord Mahavira (the founder of Jainism), Guru Gobind Singh (The tenth and the last guru of the Sikhs), Dr. Rajendra Prasad (1st President of India) and many more were born here.

Nalanda, the world’s first seat of higher learning, a Monastic University which flourished from the 5th to the 11th century is in Bihar. The University had 9 million books and 2000 teachers to impart knowledge to 10,000 students from all over the Buddhist world. Lord Buddha himself taught here and Hieun Tsang, the 7th century Chinese traveler, was a student here.

Aryabhatta (476-550 A.D.) was born in Patliputra in Magadha, modern Patna in Bihar. His greatest contribution has to be ZERO. His other works include algebra, arithmetic, trigonometry, quadratic equations and the sine table. He went as far as to explain the eclipse of the moon and the sun, day and night, the contours of the earth, the length of the year exactly as 365 days. He even computed the circumference of the earth as 24835 miles which is close to modern day calculation of 24900 miles.

Bihar today is an extension of its historic self amalgamating smoothly into the modern technological world. Despite commercial pressures the state and its people have continued to pursue education and books with the same spirit. Therefore, it’s only in Bihar that an organization like Super 30 works. Super 30 provides training to 30 poor students, free of cost for IIT entrance exam every year (one of the toughest exams in the world) and they all qualify with a ranking in top 100 in all India out of 3.6 million students.

Bihar alone has 16 universities with more than 850 colleges.71832 (approx) schools, 17 Medical colleges, 12 Engineering Colleges, 27 Management Colleges, 10 Dental Colleges and 15 B.Ed Colleges.

Literature in Bihar

Bihar has produced a number of writers and scholars, including Mahamahopadhyaya Pandit Ram Avatar Sharma, R. K. Sinha, Raja Radhika Raman Singh, Shiva Pujan Sahay, Divakar Prasad Vidyarthy, Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar', Ram Briksh Benipuri, Phanishwar Nath 'Renu', Pandit Nalin Vilochan Sharma, Gopal Singh "Nepali", Baba Nagarjun, Mridula Sinha, and Pankaj Rag. Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan, the great writer and Buddhist scholar Hrishikesh Sulabh are the prominent writers of the new generation. The later is a short story writer, playwright and theatre critic. Arun Kamal and Aalok Dhanwa are the well-known poets. Different regional languages also have produced some prominent poets and authors. Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay is among the greatest writers in Bangla, resided for some time in Bihar. Of late, the latest Indian writer in English, Upamanyu Chatterjee also hails from Patna in Bihar. Devaki Nandan Khatri, who rose to fame at the beginning of the 20th century on account of his novels such as Chandrakanta and Chandrakanta Santati, was born in Muzaffarpur, Bihar. Vidyapati Thakur is the most renowned poet of Maithili (c. 14-15th century).

Interestingly, the first Indian author in English was a Bihari, Deen Mohammad. Among the contemporary writers in English Amitava Kumar, Tabish Khair and Sidhharth Chaoudhary are important names. Sidhharth Chaoudhary has been shortlisted for 2009 Man Asia Literary prize for his book Day Scholar. Bihar has a rich heritage of reading and writing habits. Because of this, there is a great desire and hunger for books among the general public. It is said that people here can forgo food for a day but not their daily dose of book reading. A fact brought out by the numerous personal libraries and the huge number of great writers, authors, poets and students. In fact wherever one goes in this world, one would certainly find students from Bihar out there. Be it Harvard, MIT, Oxford, Cambridge or IIM Ahmedabad.

 

Patna

According to The Financial Express reported on April 5th 2009, Patna is recording the highest per capita gross district domestic product in Bihar which better than the most of the metropolitan in India. Patna is 21st fastest growing city and urban areas in world and 5th fastest growing city in India. In June 2009, The World Bank ranked Patna as the second best city in India to start a business, after Delhi. Patna, being the state capital, with a growing middle income group households, has also emerged as a big and rapidly expanding consumer market, both for Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), as also for other consumer durable items.

Patna has attracted students from all over of the country, especially students from remote areas of Bihar and neighboring states. Students come to Patna to prepare well for competitive examinations such as IIT-JEE, IAS, Civil Services and entrance exam s for Medical & engineering, as well as higher education to take advantage of the facilities available in the city.


Patna has 5 universities with more than 150 colleges, 678 (approx) schools, 2 Medical colleges, 3 Engineering Colleges, 7 Management Colleges, 3 Dental Colleges and 4 B.Ed Colleges.