According to Press Trust of India, at the conference which was organized by the Asian Development Research Institute, Pranab Mukherjee said that for "seriously disadvantaged" regions it is important to focus of development of productive forces rather than just blindly following the path industrialization as was the norm for countries or regions which developed earlier. He also said that worldwide experience shows that for specially disadvantaged regions human development can be an alternative development strategy.
Indicating to the developmental project of Bangladesh at the time when it was separated from Bengal in the year 1971, Mr. Mukherjee quoted, "It is possible for the disadvantaged regions to change their comparative advantage from low-skill, labour-intensive goods and services to more skill-intensive goods and services provider through deliberate human development".
"The growth performance of Bihar's economy has been steady over the past one decade, registering an annual growth rate at 10.5 per cent".
The President said that while Bihar still remained a largely agricultural state, Jharkhand was "slowly transforming itself into an economy with larger share of service sector".
The President further indicated that the aspirations of people in Jharkhand and Bihar have become higher than before since there has been a shift in political powers. The alternative development strategies can be successful only through investing in the education sector. "Human development could be indeed the alternative development strategy for the two states". "One may also note here that education does not mean economic advantage for the educated persons alone", he said.
The President also cited that there are many non-state actors that can play a significant role in the development if are willing to. The President said even non-state actors like the civil society can play an important role in development.
Praising Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, President Mukherjee said: "the State has been lucky in having astute political leaders who have taken the State on the path of development". Speaking on the occasion, Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind said, "The challenges of development in Bihar and Jharkhand are indeed enormous".