Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today urged the Centre that the birth anniversary of first President Dr Rajendra Prasad be observed as "Medha Diwas" (merit day) across the country.
"Prasad, who lived a simple life, was an epitome of merit. It is a well-known anecdote that once while evaluating his answer script, the examiner had remarked that examinee is better than examiner. We are therefore observing his birth anniversary on December 3 as Medha Diwas", Kumar said here.
"The decision to observe this day as Medha Diwas had been taken some time ago. From today we have begun this new tradition in Bihar. I would urge the Centre to consider doing so at the national level", the chief minister said.
"The day should be celebrated, across the country, by promoting merit and rewarding the meritorious. It should be done the way former President S Radhakrishnan's birth anniversary is observed as Teachers' Day across the country and Maulana Azad's birth anniversary is observed as Education Day in Bihar", he added.
The chief minister admitted that the state lagged behind in educational opportunities, "yet by virtue of their merit, students from Bihar have always made their mark in competitive exams at the national level".
Kumar also spoke about measures taken by his government to reduce drop-out rates and increase enrolment of girls in schools and noted with satisfaction "today more girls are seen at schools than boys".
"Our schemes like balika poshak yojana and cycle yojana have brought about a social transformation. Earlier, it was unthinkable for girls to ride a bicycle even in Patna. Now, girls can be seen going to schools on their bicycles, even in villages, in droves", he added.
As part of "Medha Divas" celebrations, the chief minister also gave away awards to students who had secured top ranks in Class 10 and Intermediate exams held this year.
He also rewarded District Magistrates who succeeded in preventing the use of unfair means in exams within their respective areas of jurisdiction.
The function was attended by Education Minister Krishnanandan Prasad Verma and Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh, among others.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)