Topic: GS2 – Indian polity.
- The Bihar Cabinet, on Wednesday, approved a resolution urging the Central government to confer special category status upon the State.
- This move comes shortly after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar issued a warning of launching a protest if the demand is not met.
What is special category status and by Bihar is demanding it?
- Special Category Status (SCS) is a classification given by the Central government to certain states in India, entailing preferential treatment in the form of financial assistance, tax breaks, and other benefits.
Criteria for SCS:
- Historically, states with characteristics like hilly and difficult terrain, low population density, large tribal population, strategic location along borders, economic backwardness, and other specific criteria were granted SCS.
Benefits of SCS:
- States with SCS receive a higher share of central assistance grants, a lower share of their own resources for centrally sponsored schemes, and other financial incentives to promote development.
- Bihar, led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, has been advocating for the grant of Special Category Status to expedite its economic development.
- The demand is fueled by the state’s socio-economic challenges, and Kumar has emphasized that SCS would significantly boost Bihar’s growth.
Rationale Behind Demand:
- Bihar contends that the state faces unique challenges such as economic backwardness, high population density, and the need for additional support to overcome developmental hurdles.
- The special status is seen as crucial for addressing these challenges and accelerating the pace of growth in the state.
Threat of Movement:
- CM Nitish Kumar, expressing frustration over the prolonged wait for special status, has warned of launching a movement if the demand remains unfulfilled.
- The threat signifies the state’s determination to push for its socio-economic upliftment through enhanced central assistance.
- The demand for Special Category Status is not just an economic requirement but also carries political significance, reflecting the aspirations of the people and the state government’s commitment to development.