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Leading a new pack of Biharis in the IAS

PATNA: "You can take the boy out of Bihar but you cannot take Bihar out of the boy," writer Amitava Kumar wrote back recently from Pennsylvania to The Times of India researching a story on Bihari achievers, many of them holding places of pride in the bureaucracy.

"In 10 years, either the DM or the SP, if not both, in each of the 500-odd districts in the country will be a Bihari," is how Shaibal Gupta, member-secretary of the Patna-based Asian Development Research Institute responded to a query.

Manish Kumar (29), standing 5th to be the highest-ranking Bihari in this year's civil services examination merit list, is the hot new reflection mirroring the views of the writer and the social scientist.

A plum job in the Big apple was his for the asking but he preferred the arduous and uncertain route to a life in babudom. Hailing from Parmanpur village near Jamdaha in Banka district, Manish, with Kendriya Vidyalaya moorings (10 years in Giridih and Plus 2 at Singrauli) and a graduation degree in humanities from Ewing Christian College in Allahabad, did his masters in management from IIM, Lucknow, and followed it with another MA in economics from Pune University while working with Cummins.

After a short stint with Eklavya Foundation, he was a manager with ICICI for three years, only to become a research fellow at the Bombay School of Economics. His PhD work: "A study of retrenchment in the corporate sector in Maharashtra". Was it the Pink slip syndrome which deterred him from taking up the cushy job offer in New York?

"90 per cent of my friends have gone abroad, most will not return," he told ToI from Mumbai on Saturday, adding, "Civil service is more varied and challenging."

"Manish juggled between management and public administration as one of his optional papers alternately to make it this year in his third attempt with economics and management," his guide at Sriram Institute in New Delhi said, adding, "He came across as one proud of his Bihari identity."

"My interviewers focused their questions on Bihar, asking me how I could contribute towards the change," Manish recalled, reiterating his conviction, "Development is the only agenda. Bihar has an innate capacity to rebound from crises."

Son of S K Thakur, a Coal India engineer, Manish's maternal roots lie in Madhubani. Not surprisingly, he is equally at home with Angika and Maithili, just as he is comfortable with Hindi and English. "I have given a preference for home cadre," Bihar's newest IAS topper said. When was the last time you heard all Biharis are running away from the state?


(Source: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2005-05-14/patna/27843452_1_manish-bihari-identity-shaibal-gupta)

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