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Incredible India: Facts & Case Studies

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Bihar/ Art & Culture 

Madhubani/ Mithila painting

  • It was in use in Mithila region for long time but discovered and known to world after 1935 earthquake through a British officer Archer.
  • The paintings were originally done on walls coated with mud and cow dung. These were traditionally done in Kohbar ghar or the nuptial chamber.
  • Originally the paintings depicted an assembly of symbolic images of the lotus plant, the bamboo grove, fishes, birds and snakes in union. These images represented fertility and proliferation of life.
  • The divine beings are positioned centrally in the frame while their consorts and floral motifs form the background. The human figures are mostly abstract and linear in form.
  • The coloring is of two styles – Kachni (hatching) and Bharni (shading.) Kachni uses delicate fine lines to fill the painting and not much color is used. Bharni (shading) uses solid colors to shade and fill the pictures. It uses black outlines filled with vibrant colors.
  • The art had been practiced among the upper castes. But now every one is involved because of it becoming famous after the govt's efforts in 1970s by India gandhi.
  • Famous place: Jitwarpur (a famous village) Madhubani, Darbhanga.


Bihar/ Art & Culture 

Manjusha/ Angika Art

  • Scroll painting (based on Folklore of Bihula- Bishari), practiced in Bhagalpur, Bihar.
  • Discovered and known to the world after 1935 Earthquake through British official Archer (along with Madhubani painting).
  • The Sanskrit word “Manjusa” means a box and Manjusas are temple shaped boxes, made of bamboo, Jute-Straw and Paper, inside which the devotees keep their ceremonial materials. These boxes are however illustrated with paintings that tell a tale.
  • This Art was practiced by only 2 families: Kumbhakar caste and Malakar caste.
  • The outline is first drawn and then filled in. Everything is drawn freehand. Pink, Green, Yellow are the three colours that are used in this Art.
  • All the characters and any human form are depicted in the form of English letter ‘X’ with limbs drawn with linear and uniform bold lines. For decoration, wavy lines are used. Five types of borders are used: Lehriya, Belpatra, Sarp ki ladi, Tribhuj and Mokha.

Fig: Painting of birth of Mansa from Shiva’s hair in Manjusha Art 

Bihar/ Art & Culture 


Bihar/ Art & Culture 

Tikuli Art


Bihar/ NGO, governance case study 

Mission Gunvatta

In April 2013, the Government of Bihar announced an innovative policy called 'Mission Gunvatta' to improve learning outcomes amongst students attending elementary government schools. 

The programme had two components. 
  1. The first focused on strengthening governance and school processes. 

  2. The second component was an effort to strengthen the pedagogy by re-grouping children in standards three to five according to their learning levels rather than age, and provide them with remedial education for two hours during the school day. This was complemented by a clearly defined target of achievement.

This was implemented on pilot basis in partnership with a prominent education NGO, Pratham.

These experiments were designed to build local administrative capacity to support schools from the bottom-up by investing in Cluster Resource Centre Coordinators (CRCC). 

[The post of CRCC was carved out in late 1990s to create a platform for schools and teachers to receive regular, continuous teaching support.]

Although launched with much fanfare, the programme was short lived.

The programme’s design and the possibility of success depended on the bottom- up approach. In which, CRCCs needed to spend substantive amount of time in schools, understanding classroom practices, identifying student learning levels and engaging with teachers. But they spend 10-20 % of their time inside classrooms, and rest of the time checking registers to collect data required by their superiors. 

This legalistic Culture ie., hierarchy and strict adherence to rules and procedures has created a work environment where they act as passive rule followers rather than active facilitator of learning in schools.

Recent works on organisational Culture and management practices suggest change in management practices such as greater discretion with robust feedback loops through platforms for regular interaction between peers and superiors. 

Bihar/ History

Historical places:

  1. Bodh Gaya: Gautama attained Enlightenment here
  2. Rajgir: Buddha taught the Perfection of Wisdom and subdued an angry elephant through his compassion.
  3. Vaishali: Buddha ordained the first female nuns and this is also the place where he received an offering of honey from a monkey.
  4. Sahasram, Barabar Caves: Minor Rock Edicts of Ashoka are here
  5. Lauriya-Araraj, Lauriya-Navandgarh: Major Pillar Edicts of Ashoka are here
  6. Takht Sri Patna Sahib: Birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh
  7. Nalanda University and Vikramshila University: 2 most important centers of learning in Ancient India
  8. Vajji: It covered the modern North Bihar. It is indicated to have been a republic.
  9. Magadha: It covered South-western Bihar
  10. Anga: It covered South-eastern Bihar
  11. Buxar: Place where the Battle of Buxar took place in 1764.

Bihar/ Cuisine

Litti Chokha: This needs no introduction. The texture of Litti along with the crunchy crust makes it a foodie’s delight. It consists of wheat and sattu with spices, kneaded into round spicy balls, dipped in ghee. Chokha is prepared by mashing boiled vegetables (most common being potatoes, brinjal, tomatoes), adding spices and chopped onion, garlic etc and served with Litti as a complimentary delicacy.

Chandrakala/ Pedakiya: It is very similar to Gujia. It is usually stuffed with sweetened khoya, coconut, cardamom powder and dry fruits in a crispy covering and dipped in sugar- syrup.

Khaja: It is believed to be of 2000 years old, very similar to the Baklava of Ottoman Empire. This unique dessert from Bihar is wafery in texture and yet melts in the mouth. Another variant is Belgrami, which is relatively less sweet and belongs from Udwantnagar, which falls between Arrah and Buxar.

Laung - Latika: It is a traditional dessert of Bihar. The pungent taste of the clove along with sugar-syrup melts in the mouth. This is a perfect treat for cold winters.

Dal Peetha: It is the Bihari way to make dumplings. This is covered with rice flour and stuffed with lentil paste, along with spices and pickle. Another variant is Dal-puri.

Thekua/ Khajuria: Most common snack of Bihar, made usually during Chhath Puja. This is made by deep frying the mixture of wheat flour and jaggery. If you have a Bihari friend, you must be knowing this.

MalpuaIt’s prepared by deep frying the batter which is a mixture of flour, milk, mashed bananas and sugar. These are also complimented with thick Rabdi.