Patna: President Pratibha Patil praised the Bihar government for its initiatives in spreading education and women welfare.

While inaugurating the state Legislative Council’s centenary celebrations in the state, President Patil said that the efforts of governments should enable even the weaker sections so that they can also enjoy the fruits of development.

"Bihar is one of the first states in the country to have given 50 per cent reservation to women in Panchayati Raj institutions. I congratulate the Bihar government for this," Patil said.

The President said she believed that education is essential for development and legislators should make such laws and plans which are development oriented.

"I am told that the state government is pursuing fast track measures to increase literacy in the state,” she mentioned.

Referring to the economic growth in Bihar, Patil said that the state government should step up efforts to bring growth in the industrial and agriculture sectors.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar urged the Centre to accord a special status to Bihar to fast track economic development in the state.

The state has been tagged among 'BIMARU' states due to lack of development activities here over the years and it was in this context that the state be accorded a special status to expedite development activities, he said.

“The Centre should consider the demand for special status to Bihar so that the state could develop itself and contribute to the development process in the country,” the chief minister said.