Education in Bihar

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Bihar has been a major centre of learning and home to the universities of Nalanda (one of the earliest universities of India dating back to the fifth century) and Vikramashila. That tradition of learning which had its origin from the time of Buddha or perhaps earlier, was lost during the medieval period when it is believed that marauding armies of the invaders destroyed these centres of learning.

Bihar saw a revival during the later part of the British rule when they established a University at Patna along with other centres of high learning, namely, Science College, Patna, Prince of Wales Medical College (Now Patna Medical College and Hospital), and Bihar Engineering College (Now National Institute of Technology, Patna). This early lead was lost in the post independence period when the politicians from Bihar lost out in the race of getting centres of education established in Bihar.

In the 1960s major educational reforms were implemented to streamline the education structure of state by the then education minister and educationist late Satender Narain Sinha;however the phenomenal changes were short-lived as the successive governments failed to implement it[clarification needed]

Modern Bihar has an inadequate educational infrastructure creating a huge mismatch between demand and supply. This problem is further compounded by increases in population. The craving for higher education among the general population of Bihar has led to a migration of the student community from the state. This has led to a "flooding" of students to seek educational opportunities in other states, such as New Delhi and Karnataka, even for graduation level college education. Researchers found out that 37.8% of Bihar's teachers could not be found during unannounced visits to schools, the worst teacher absence rate in India and one of the worst in the world.[1][2]

In spite of the meager investment on education in Bihar, compared to other poorer Indian states, the students have done well. National institutes of learning such as IIT, IIM and AIIMS, IISER, NISER have had a good representation from Bihar. A survey by Pratham[3] rated the absorption of their teaching by the Bihar children better than those in other states.

According to the government, out-of-school rate in the age group 6-14 was 6.3% in 2007, a big drop from 12.8 per cent in 2006.[4]


School girls returning home in Pashchim Champaran, Bihar.

From the British times, Bihar has had a system of district schools (called Zila schools), located at the headquarters of the older districts of Bihar. In addition, there were private and semi aided schools which were run and administered by local village communities. Several of them were known for their high quality education.

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the state government took over management of most privately run schools. This adversely affected school education in the state since the state government was ill equipped to manage the schools through its bureaucrats who were trained for law and order duties. Though the state accorded them government recognition, the standard started to fall. The state did not take over the schools run by the Christian missionaries and these schools provided a fillip to quality education in Bihar.

As in other states, the central government runs a number of Kendriya Vidyalayas (Central Schools) and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya for rural students. Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya started by the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi have been successful in providing quality education to the weaker sections of the society.

The number of private schools, including school-chains and Missionary Schools run by Christian Missionaries as well as Madrasas, or schools run by Muslim clerics, has increased in the post liberalisation era.

Most of the schools in Bihar are affiliated with the Bihar School Examination Board, while the Kendriya Vidyalay and a few other elite schools including the Christian Missionary Schools are affiliated to the ICSE and CBSE boards. A recent survey by National University of Educational Planning & Administration (NUEPA) has determined that only 21% of all primary school teachers in Bihar have completed the matriculation; or 10th standard.[5] However, Bihar Government has recently implemented a series of reforms in its Primary Education Sector which includes mandatory digitization of all state-run schools.[6]

In spite of the poor condition of schools in Bihar, students from there are performing satisfactorily with respect to other economically better off states of India .

Higher education[edit]

Patna has emerged as one of the major center of learning in India. Schools in Patna are either run by the state government or run by private trusts, organisations, missionaries. Government schools are affiliated with the Bihar School Examination Board and most private schools are affiliated with the ICSE, CBSE or NIOS boards. Some of the prominent old schools Patna like St. Joseph's Convent, St. Michael's High School, St. Xavier's School, were established by missionaries during the British Raj . Patna imparts education in fields like technology, medicine, management, law and fashion. Institutions of national repute have opened up in Patna increasing the opportunities in higher education in the state capital. Colleges such as Indian Institute of Technology Patna, Birla Institute of Technology, Patna and National Institute of Technology, Patna are the prominent engineering colleges in Patna. Other colleges include the newly opened National Institute of Fashion Technology Patna and medical schools such as Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna Medical College and Hospital and Nalanda Medical College and Hospital. Anugrah Narayan College and B N College are among the best known colleges for commerce and humanities besides for a range of PG courses.

After coming to power, the Nitish Kumar led government opened the Chanakya National Law University, a national law university and a B-school called Chandragupt Institute of Management. Both these institutes have attracted students from not just within Bihar but also students from far flung states. A N Sinha Institute of Social Sciences, Rajendra Memorial Research Institute, Bihar Research Institute are the research institutes in Patna. The Patna University, the first university in Bihar, was established in 1917, and is the 7th oldest university of the Indian subcontinent. Patna also houses one of India's world-renowned libraries, the Khuda Baksh Oriental Library and the Sinha Library, which is one of the largest in the region.

As on date, there are six engineering colleges for boys and one for girls in public sector and nine others in the private sector in Bihar. The overall annual intake of these technical institutes offering engineering education to students in Bihar is merely 4,559. The process to create infrastructure for three new engineering colleges—one each at Madhepura, Begusarai and Sitamarhi—has started.[7] Bihar government is also supposed to launch new medical college in Bihar.[8]


Patna has emerged as a major center for engineering and civil services coaching. The major private IIT-JEE coaching institutes have opened up their branches in Bihar and this has reduced the number of students who go to, for example, Kota and Delhi for engineering/medical coaching. Engineering colleges in Bihar at present are:[9][10][11][12]

Centre-funded Engg. Colleges[edit]

Govt. Engg. Colleges[edit]

Private Engg. Colleges[edit]

Other colleges[edit]

Other colleges in Bihar are:


  • National Child Development Centre (NCDC) Narsiha Aurangabad Bihar[14]


  1. ^ "Teacher Absence in India: A Snapshot" (PDF). World Bank. June 1, 2004. 
  2. ^ Basu, Kaushik (November 29, 2004). "Combating India's truant teachers". BBC. Retrieved January 3, 2010. 
  3. ^ Pratham .org | Pratham - A Network of Societal Missions to Achieve Universal Primary Education in India Archived June 14, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Bihar improves primary education score". iGovernment. 
  5. ^ Varma, Subodh (December 12, 2007). "Only 21% teachers in Bihar are Class X pass". The Times Of India. 
  6. ^ "73000 Primary Schools of Bihar to go Online". Biharprabha News. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  7. ^ "Shortage of engineering colleges in Bihar". Times of India. Retrieved 6 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "Bihar On medical college formation". Retrieved 2013-04-16. 
  9. ^ "Parents want wards to go for tech education outside Bihar". Times of India. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  10. ^ "7th engineering college of state to open in July". Times of India. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-03. Retrieved 2015-12-23. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "CM inaugurates new engineering college at Chhapra". The Times Of India. 26 December 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  14. ^ "Bihar plans to set up IRMB on the pattern of IRMA". Biharprabha News. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 

See also[edit]