BIMARU is an acronym formed from the first letters of the names of the Indian states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. It was coined by Ashish Bose in the mid-1980s. BIMARU has a resemblance to a Hindi word "Bimar" which means sick. This was used to refer to the poor economic conditions within those states. Several studies, including those by the UN, showed that the performance of the BIMARU states were dragging down the GDP growth rate of India. During the period of 2008-2011, some of these states started to develop faster than some of the major states and the concept of BIMARU was being considered to be outdated. However in the recent years, this concept has reemerged due to faltering growth rates of the states.
In the mid 1980s, economic analyst Ashish Bose coined an acronym BIMARU, in a paper submitted to then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Several studies, including those by the UN, showed that the performance of the BIMARU states affected the GDP growth rate of India.
In recent times some of these states have seen real push in terms of economic growth. Although, some of these states have experienced high growth rates, they still lag other more progressive states. Bihar's GSDP grew by 80% over the period 2006-2007, which was higher than in the past 2 years and one of the highest recorded by the Government of India for that period. They have laid greater emphasis on education and learning by appointing more teachers and opening a software park. People from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh contribute significantly to ARMY, C.I.S.F, B.S.F, N.S.G, I.A.F and many other Para military forces because of their large young population in India. Recently these states are working for their improvement by developing infrastructures, IT-parks and giving a better invitation to the businessmen for investment. Also Madhya Pradesh enlisted at IInd position in U.N.O. GDP development ranking's with a record of 225%.
The BIMARU states have some of the highest fertility rates in India. In 2010, the total fertility rate was 3.9 for Bihar, 3.5 for Uttar Pradesh, 3.2 for Madhya Pradesh, and 3.1 for Rajasthan, compared to 2.5 for India as a whole. This leads to high population growth in these states than rest of India. 
The literacy rates in these states according to the 2011 census are Bihar 63.8%, Rajasthan 67.1%, Jharkhand 67.6%, Madhya Pradesh 70.6% and Uttar Pradesh 71.7% against a national average of 74.04%. While they trail the national average in the current literacy rate, they are registering very healthy growth rates in literacy comfortably outpacing states like Andhra Pradesh (67.7%) and Chhattisgarh (71%), which have comparable literacy levels (the exception being Rajasthan).
A recent survey by National University of Educational Planning and Administration (UNEPA) has determined that only 21% of all primary school teachers in Bihar and 12.8% in UP are Matriculates or lower. These figures compare favourably with other two developed states with Gujarat being the worst and Karnataka being the second worst.
Renowned educationists have asked for a complete overhaul of the educational system, particularly at the primary level.
The life expectancy in BIMARU states is lower than other Indian states. In fact, it is lower than the average life expectancy of India as a whole, implying that these states bring down the overall average as a whole.
Corruption remains one of the key factors reflecting poverty levels throughout the world and these states generally fare worse in the corruption indexes usually published.
It is one of the enigmas that in spite of the large representation in the parliament, these states could not get adequate resources for their development.
There has been no effort to involve the local population of these states in the planning process. Most of the decision makers of august bodies like planning commission are not from these states. No noteworthy public sector industry has its headquarters in these states. Coal is largely produced in these states. However, the HQ of Coal India Ltd is in West Bengal. This region is the biggest producer of steel. However, the HQ of Steel Authority of India is at Delhi. Banking industry was nationalized in the sixties. The banks which were based out of these states were merged with bigger entities which had their HQ elsewhere. Thus the decision makers, far removed from these states, are apathetic to the needs of the people from these states.
The Indian government's Freight Equalisation Scheme (FES) which sought to neutralize the geographical advantages of Bihar. A tonne of coal or steel in Dhanbad was sought to be priced the same as, say, in Kanyakumari, some 3,000 km away in Tamil Nadu. Sadly, FES was applied for only those items which gave advantage to Bihar, viz coal and steel; not, for example, the advantage that Chennai enjoyed due to being a port city. The scheme was in operation till the mid nineties. Another unfortunate example is the sugar policy. At the time of independence and well into the fifties, Bihar produced 25% of India's sugar. However, due to discriminatory policies and lack of research into the local sugar cane varieties, the sugar industry of Bihar and east Uttar Pradesh was brought to its knees. Today Bihar produces less than 2% of the sugar of India.
Another factor determining the BIMARU states' economic situation is the lack of investment in irrigation and flood control. In spite of the highest incidence of floods in this region, the investment to manage this has been rather meager. Even though the socialist era in India was known for large infrastructure projects, the most modern irrigation system of Bihar is the British built Son Command Canal System which was opened for use in the 1890s. This is in sharp contrast to projects like Bhakra Nangal Dam in Punjab.
Yet another factor is the lack of perspective in the planning exercise. For example, even though large portions of the national highway schemes: the Golden Quadrilateral and the East West corridor pass through the so-called BIMARU states, its alignment would not serve the population of these states. Let alone the main alignment, there is no provision even for by-passes to serve towns such as Ranchi, Patna, Dhanbad, Gaya or Jamshedpur.
Since 2005, Bihar is seeing a revival. Latest figures show that it is self-sufficient in food. The state recently fought to have the debilitating provisions of the central sugar policy revoked. The result is that 25 new sugar factories have been committed by private entrepreneurs in the state over the last year or so.
Since 2000, there has also been a change in the geographic composition of these states, with Bihar being bifurcated into Bihar and Jharkhand; Madhya Pradesh being bifurcated into Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh; and Uttar Pradesh being bifurcated into Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
- Cow Belt
- Standard of living in India
- States of India by size of economy
- Ministry of Rural Development (India)
- Rural Development Foundation, India
- Economy of India
- Indo-Gangetic Plain
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- Green Revolution in India
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- The Children of Ganga[permanent dead link]
- Deurbanisation of Bihar[permanent dead link]
- Centrally planned Inequality