President Pratibha Patil inaugurated the year-long celebrations to mark the centenary of Bihar legislative council on Tuesday on the occasion of 'Bihar Divas', commemorating the carving of the separate Bihar province by the British rulers from the Bengal Presidency March 22, 1912.
In her address, the president said Bihar had made remarkable progress in several sectors including education, health and infrastructure in the last few years.
"People of Bihar should rise above caste and religion for its development," she said.
She also lauded the state government for its initiatives to empower women.
"Bihar was first state in the country to give 50% reservation to women in panchayats. It was a big step to empower women," she said.
Pratibha Patil also praised the state government for reservation to women in recruitment of school teachers.
She also released seven books highlighting the history of the council.
The president later felicitated five eldest legislators of the council - P.N. Sharma, Ram Narendra Singh, Indra Kumar, Ramesh Prasad Singh and Shiv Nandan Singh.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also attended the function.