When Lalu Prasad dismissed information technology with his ” yeh IT-yt kya hota hai” ridicule in the early 2000s, little could he imagine how the future would turn its back on Bihar.
The state’s IT prospects took a beating in the decade and half that followed Lalu’s derision. Infotech firms looking at the east gave Bihar a miss and opted to set up shop in Bengal and Odisha instead.
States such as Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and even neighbouring Jharkhand went far ahead in implementing IT in everyday life, especially in governance.
Jharkhand, carved out of Bihar in November 2000, turned out to be one of the best practitioners of e-governance in 2007-08 – the year the then Nitish Kumar government could only think of creating a separate department to focus on IT.