(IGP) GS Paper 1 – India & World Geography – “States & Union Territories”

Integrated Guidance Programme of General Studies for IAS
(Pre)

Subject – India & World Geography
Chapter : States & Union Territories

Arunachal Pradesh

History And Geography

  • Arunachal Pradesh became a full-fledged State on 20
    February 1987. Till 1972, it was known as the North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA).
    It gained the Union Territory status on 20 January 1972 and renamed as
    Arunachal Pradesh.

  • Administratively, the State is divided into sixteen
    districts. Capital of the State is Itanagar in Papum Para district. Itanagar
    is named after Ita fort meaning fort of bricks, built in 14th century AD.

  • Arunachal Pradesh finds mention in the literature of
    Kalika Purana and Mahabharata. This place is the Prabhu Mountaisn of the
    Puranas.

  • It was here that sage Pashuram atoned for his sin, sage
    Vyasa meditated King Bismaka founded his kingdom and Lord Krishna married
    his Consort Rukmini.

Agriculture And Horticulture

  • Agriculture is the mainstay of the people of Arunachal
    Pradesh and mainly depends on jhum cultivation. Encouragement is being given
    to the cultivation of cash crops like potatoes and horticulture crops like
    apples, oranges and pineapples.

Tourist Centres

  • Places of tourist interest are : Tawang, Dirang, Bomdila,
    Tipi, Itanagar Malinithan, Likabali, Pasighat, Along, Tezu, Miao, Roing,
    Daporijo Namdapha, Bhismaknagar, Parashuram Kund and Khonsa.

Assam

History And Geography

  • The word ‘Assam’ as interpreted by some scholars is
    derived from the Sanskrit word Asoma meaning peerless of unparalleled. But
    the widely accepted opinion of the academic circles today is that the term
    has come from the original name of the Ahoms, who ruled the land for about
    six hundred years prior to its annexation by the British. The races like
    Austric, Mongolian, Dravidian and Aryan that came to this land long ago have
    contributed to its composite culture. Thus Assam has a rich legacy of
    culture and civilization.

  • Assam was known as Pragyotisha or the place of eastern
    astronomy during the epic period and later named as Kamrupa. The earliest
    epigraphic reference to kingdom of Kamrupa is found in the Allahabad pillar
    inscription of king Samudragupta. Kamrupa is mentioned as a Pratyanta or
    frontier state outside the Gupta empire but with friendly and subordinate
    relation to it. Hiuen Tsang, the Chinese scholar pilgrim who visited Kamrupa
    in about 743 AD on an invitation of its monarch, Kumar Bhaskar Varman, left
    a record of–the kingdom he called Kamolupa.

  • Assam is the sentinel of north-east India and gateway to
    the North-Eastern States. The State is close to India’s international
    borders with Bangladesh and Bhutan.

  • Assam is surrounded by Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh on
    the north, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh on the east and Meghalaya,
    Tripura and Mizoram on the south.

Agriculture

  • Assam is an agricultural State. Agriculture occupies an
    important place in the economy of the State. The principal food crop is
    rice. The cash crops are jute, tea, cotton, oilseeds, sugarcane, potato,
    etc. Noteworthy horticulture items are orange, banana, pineapple, arecanut,
    coconut, guava, mango, jackfruit and citrus fruits. The State has an
    estimated 39.83 lakh hectare gross cropped area of which net area sown is
    about 27.24 lakh hectare.

Forests

  • Assam is known for her rich forest wealth which
    constitutes 26.22 per cent of the total forest area.

Industry

  • Of agriculture-based industries, tea occupies and
    important place. There are six industrial growth centres in the State and
    two such centres are being set up at Balipara and Matia. Presently four oil
    refineries have been working in the State including the one and Digboi.

  • Assam produced varieties of silk, Endi, Muga, Tassar,
    etc. Muga silk is produced only in Assam in the world.

Gujarat

History And Geography

  • The history of Gujarat goes back to 2000 BC. It is
    believed that Lord Krishna left Mathura to settle on the west coast of
    Saurashtra which later came to be known as Dwarka, the gateway. Later it saw
    various kingdoms : Mauryas, Guptas, Pratiharas and others. It was during the
    rule of Chalukyas (Solankis) that Gujarati witnessed progress and
    prosperity.

  • Before Independence, the present territories of Gujarat
    used to be in two parts – the British and the Princely territories. With the
    re-organisation of the States, the Union of the States of Saurshtra and the
    Union Teritory of Kachchh along with the former British Gujarat, beame a
    part of the biggest bilingual State of Bombay.

  • The present State of Gujarat came into being on 1 May
    1960. It is situated on the west coast of India. The state is bounded by the
    Arabian Sea on the west, Pakistan and Rajasthan in the north-east
    respectively, Madhya Pradesh in the south-east and Maharashtra in the south.

Agriculture

  • Gujarat is the main producer o cotton groundnut and
    tobacco in the country and provides inputs for important industries like
    textiles, oil and soap. Other important cash crops, are isabgol, paddy,
    wheat and bajra. Forest species available in Gujarat are sadad, haldariyo
    and manual bamboos.

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Jammu And Kashmir

History And Geography

  • According to the most popular legend that is also
    recorded in Rajtarangani and Nilmat Purana, two most authoritative books,
    Kashmir was once a large lake and it was Kashyap Rishi who drained off the
    water, making it a beautiful abode. But geologists have their own theory,
    which says that geographical changes made way for the outflow of water by
    subsidence of the mountain at Khadianayar, Baramulla and thus emerged the
    Valley of Kashmir, the paradise on earth. Ashoka introduced Buddhism to
    Kashmir in the 3rd century B.C. which was later strengthened by Kanishka.
    Huns got the control of the valley in the Kanishka.

  • The land of Jammu was divided into 22 hill
    principalities. Raja Maldev, one of the Dogra rulers, conquered many
    territories to consolidate his kingdom. Raja Ranjit Dev ruled over Jammu
    from 1733 to 1782. His successors were weak and thus Maharaja Ranjit Singh
    annexed the territory of Punjab. He later handed over Jammu-to Raja Gulab
    Singh, a scion of the old Dogra ruling family, who had grown powerful among
    Ranjit Singh’s governors and had annexed when Maharaja Hari Singh signed the
    Instrument of Accession in favour of the Indian Union on 26 October 1947.

  • Jammu and Kashmir State is situated between 32°15′ and
    37°-05′ north latitude and 72°-35′ and 83°-20′ longitude East.
    Geographically, the State can be divided into four zones. First, the
    mountainous and semi mountainous plain commonly known as Kandi belt, the
    second, hills including Shivalaik ranges, the third mountains of Kashmir
    Valley and Pir Panchal range and the fourth is Tibetan tract of Ladakh and
    Kargil. Geographically and culturally the state has three distinct
    regions-Jammu, Kashmit and Ladakh.

Agriculture

  • Agriculture constitutes an important sector of the state
    economy as around 70% of the population of J&K derive greater part of their
    income directly or indirectly from this sector. Economy of J&K continues to
    be predominantly agrarian as 49% of the total working–force with 42% as
    cultivators and 7% as agriculture labourers depend directly on agriculture
    for their livelihood. Apart from direct impact of agriculture growth on
    generation of rural employment and incomes, its significant secondary
    linkages with development of rural non-farm sectors are more crucial.

  • Horticulture : Jammu & Kashmir is well known for its
    horticulture produce both in India and abroad. The state offers good scope
    for cultivation of all types of horticulture crops covering a variety of
    temperate fruits like apple, pear, peach, plum, apricot, almonds, cherry and
    sub-tropical fruits like mango, guava, citrus, litchi etc. Apart from this,
    well-known spices like saffron and zeera are cultivated in some parts of the
    state. Horticulture is emerging as a fast growing sector in the state. Its
    importance is visualised by its contribution to the state’s economy which is
    estimated to be 7-8%. Almost 45% economic returns in agriculture sector is
    accounted for by horticulture produce. Five lakh familiars comprising 30
    lakh people are involved in horticulture trade.

Kerala

History And Geography

  • Kerala is in the extreme south-west of the Indian
    subcontinent. When independent India amalgamated smalls states together
    Travancore and Cochin states were integrated to from Travancore-Cochin State
    on 1st July 1949. However, Malabar remained under the Madras province. Under
    the State’s Re-organisation Act 1956 Travancore-Cochin state and Malabar
    were united to from Kerala state on 1 November 1956.

  • In between the high Western Ghats on the east and the
    Arabian sea on the west. The width of the state varies from 35 km to 120 km.
    According to the geographical features, the state can be divided into hills,
    valleys, midland plains and coastal belt 44 rivers (41 west flowing and 3
    east flowing) cut across Kerala with their innumerabla tributaries and
    branches. The backwaters from an attractive and economically valuable
    feature of Kerala.

Agriculture

  • Kerala has a substantial share in the four plantation
    crops of rubber, tea, coffee and cardamom. The four crops together occupy
    6.80 lakh ha, accounting for 32.15 per cent of the net cropped area in the
    state and 43 per cent of the area under these crops in the country. Kerala’s
    share in the national production of rubber is 91 per cent cardamom 75 per
    cent, coffee 22 per cent during the year 2008-09. Kerala’s share in the
    production of tea is 5 per cent during 2008-09.

  • The industrial sector in Kerala consists mainly of
    traditional industries and a few modern industries. Besides we now have new
    emerging areas like information Technology (IT) and IT Enabled Services (ITES)
    and bio-technology. Since the bulk of industrial workers in the state are
    employed in traditional industries like Coir, Cashew, Handlooms and Beedi
    and Cigar making, top priority has to be given to revive, modernise and
    strengthen them to face the increasingly competitive market conditions.

Tourism

  • Kerala the lush green strip of land on the south-west
    coast of India, lies snuggled between the vast Arabian Sea on its west and
    the Western Ghats in the east. This Tropical paradise with its spectacular
    and diverse natural attractions has long attracted holiday makers from acres
    the world. A 600 km long coastline stretching across 11 out of its fourteen
    districts, emerald backwaters, exotic wild life, beautiful waterfalls,
    historic monuments and misty hill stations have made it one of the most
    acclaimed States in the world.

Orissa

History And Geography

  • Orissa, the land of Oriyas, was known as Kaling in
    ancient days. In the third century BC (261 BC) Ashoka the Mauryan emperor,
    sent a powerful force to conquer Kalinga which offered stubbon resistance.
    Kaling was the subdued but the carnage which followed, sturck Ashoka with
    remorse. After the death of Ashoka, Kalinga regained its independence. In
    the second century BC, it become a powerfull country. In the fourth century
    AD, Samudragupta incaded, Orissa passed into obscurity. In the fourth
    century. In the fourth century AD, Samudragupta invaded Orissa which lay
    astride his path and overcame resistance offered by five of its kings. In
    610 AD, Orissa came under the sway of King Sasanka. After Sasank’s death,
    Harsha conquered Orissa.

  • Orissa was made into a separate province on 1 April 1936.
    After Independence, princely states in and around Orissa surrendered their
    sovereignty to the Government of India. By the States Merger–(Governor’s
    provinces) Order, 1949 the princely states of Orissa were completely merged
    with the state of Orissa in January 1949.

  • Orissa is situated in the north-eastern part of the
    Indian peninsula. It is bounded by the Bay of Bengal on the east, West
    Bengal on the north-east, Jharkhand on the north, Chhattisgarh on the west
    and Andhra Pradesh in the south. The state may be broadly divided into four
    geographical regions-the northern plateau, central river basin, eastern
    hills and castal plains.

Agriculture

  • Agriculture occupies a vital place in the economy to the
    State. It contributes 26 per cent of the net domestic product of the state.
    70 per cent of the total work force is directly or indirectly engaged in
    agriculture.

Ports

  • Paradeep is the only major port of the State. Gopalpur
    has been developed as an all-weather port. Besides, Government has
    identified 14 potential sites for development of ports in the State.
    Establishment of a mega port at Dharma is in progress.

Kerala

History And Geography

  • The early history of Sikkim starts in the 13th century
    with the signing of a blood-brotherhood treaty between the Lepcha Chief
    Thekong Tek and Tibetan prince Khye-Bumsa at Kabi Lungtsok in North Sikkim.
    This follows the historical visit of three revered Lamas to Yuksam in 1641
    in West Sikkim where they consecrated Phuntsog Namgyal, a sixth generation
    descendent of Khye-Humsa as the first Chogyal of Sikkim, thus heralding the
    beginning to the Namgyal dynasty in Sikkim. With the march of history,
    evernts in Sikkim saw the process of democratization and became and integral
    part of the Indian Union in 1975.

  • Sikkim is a small hilly state, bounced by vast streches
    of Tibetan Autonomous Region in the north, Kingdom of Bhutan in the east,
    Nepal in the west and state of West Bengal in the south. The State has a
    total area of 7,096 sq km and is stretched over 112 km from north to south
    and 64 km from east to west. It lies in the–North-Eastern Himalayas between
    27 degree 00’46” to 28 degree 07’48” North Latitude and 88 degree 00’58”
    to 88 degree 55’25” East Longitude.

  • The world’s third highest mountain, Khangchendzonga, is
    regarded as the guardian deity of Sikkim. Sikkim is one of the 18
    biodiversity hotspots in the world. More than 5000 species of angiosperms
    are found in the State, nearly one third of the total species of angiosperms
    are found in the country.

Agriculture

  • Agriculture is the mainstay of majority of the populace
    of Sikkim. The economy of the state is linked with agriculture that serves
    as the source of livelihood and economic security of more than 64% of the
    population. The total agriculture land holding in Sikkim is estimated to be
    109,000 Ha, i.e. around 15% of total geographical area.

  • Farming practice in Sikkim is intergrated in nature.
    Maize, rice, wheat, potato, large cardamom, ginger and orange are the
    principle crops. Sikkim has the largest area and highest production
    of-cardamom in India. Ginger, potato, orange and off-season vegetables are
    the cash crops of Sikkim.

Industry

  • Through Sikkim is a tiny Himalayan State, the Government
    and its people are very conscious about the environment and therefore have
    paid priority for setting up eco-friendly industries and the thrust areas
    are Agro-Horticulture and Floriculture based, Animal Husbandry and Dairy
    Development, Handloom & Handicrafts; Tourism, Precision Oriented high value
    low volume products, Hydel Power, Tea, Health, Education etc.

  • Sikkim is considered as one of the best destinations for
    investment in the entire North East due to prevailing peace and tranquility,
    political stability and rule of law in the State.

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