Manipur (land of gems), engulfed by the lofty hills in the south-east corner of the North Eastern region, is stretched between 23.800 to 25.680 North latitude and 93.030 to 94.780 East longitude. It covers a total geographical area of 22,327 sq. km., which comprises 8.52 per cent of the total area of the North East and 0.67 per cent of Indian landmass. Of the total area about nine-tenths constitute the hills surrounding the remaining valley area. It is bounded on the north by the Naga Hills [Nagaland], on the East by Myanmar, on the South by the Chin Hills of Myanmar and the Lushai Hills of Mizoram and Cachar Hills of Assam on the west. It shares a 352 km. long international boundary with Myanmar. Manipur was upgraded from the status of a Union Territory and was made a full-fledged state on 21st January 1972.
Manipur is inhabited by three major ethnic groups - the Meiteis in the valley, the Nagas and the Kuki-Chin tribes in the hills. People are predominantly Mongoloid, and speak Tibeto-Burman languages. The Meitei language which is the mother-tongue of the Meitei people is the lingua-franca of the State. According to Census 2001, Manipur with a total population of 2,388,634 constitutes 0.23 per cent of the population of India and 6.12 per cent of North East. The State has a population density of 107 persons per square kilometre.
In Manipur, agriculture contributes a major share to the State Domestic Product and provides employment to about 57.38 percent of the total population. The State has a vast area of forest covering as much as 17.418 sq kms, which forms about 78 percent of the total geographical area of the State. The per capita net income (SDP) of the State based on a quick estimate at current prices is Rs. 11,370/- for 1999-2000 as against the All India average of Rs. 16,047/-. The average annual growth rate of the State Domestic Product is 10.52% in 1999-2000 as against 8.03% of the manufacturing sector. Manipur ranks 9th in the human resource development index and 21st in the poverty index in India. The literacy rate of Manipur is 68.87 percent, which is higher than the literacy rate of India (65.20 percent).





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