Known as Pragjyotishpura (Land of eastern lights) in ancient times, and Kamrupa in medieval times, Assam is the anglicized name for the State that lies between 89.50 to 96.10 East longitude and 24.30 to 28.00 North latitude. Spread over an area of 78,438 square kilometers, Assam is the second largest State in the northeastern region. It represents 2.39 per cent of the Indian landmass and 29.92 percent of the Northeast. Seven Indian states and two foreign countries, Bhutan and Bangladesh surround it. The State is also strategically close to India's international borders with China and Myanmar. Assam is surrounded by highlands and plateaus on three sides except the western one where the Brahmaputra Valley merges with the Gangetic Plain. The long lines of hills and mountains divide Assam into two major valleys: the Brahmaputra and the Barak valley, which is also known as Surma valley.
According to the Census Report of 2001, Assam has a total population of 26,638,407. It constitutes 2.59 percent of the total population of India and 68.24 per cent of the entire North East. Ranked 14th in terms of total population in India, the State has a density of 340 persons per square kilometre. The literacy rate of Assam is 64.28 and it holds the 24th position in this regard among the Indian States. Assam ranks 26th in human resource development index and 21st in poverty index in India according the Human Development Report 2001.
The economy of Assam is overwhelmingly agricultural. Assam produces nearly half of the country's total Tea. According to the provisional population total of Census 2001, 52.65 per cent of the total workforce in the state (58.40 per cent in India) is engaged in agricultural and allied activities. Assam's per capita income at constant prices (1993-94) stands at Rs 6157 and at current prices, Rs 10198 in 2000-2001 (Quick Estimates).
Assam is very rich in natural resources. The abundant water resources in the State form the potential for irrigation and generation of hydroelectricity. Its forests too are the storehouses for quality timber. However, much of the natural resources still lie unused and explain the economic backwardness of the State.






Copyright © 2002 NEPORTAL.ORG
All rights reserved.
Web Masters