Meghalaya is a state in northeast India. The name means “the abode of clouds” in Sanskrit. The population of Meghalaya as of 2016 is estimated to be 3,211,474. Meghalaya covers an area of approximately 22,430 square kilometers, with a length to breadth ratio of about 3:1.
The state is bounded to the south by the Bangladeshi divisions of Mymensingh and Sylhet, to the west by the Bangladeshi division of Rangpur, and to the east by India’s State of Assam. The capital of Meghalaya is Shillong. During the British occupation of India, the British imperialist authorities nicknamed it the “Scotland of the East”.
Meghalaya has predominantly an agrarian economy with a significant commercial forestry industry. The important crops are potatoes, rice, maize, pineapples, bananas, papayas, spices, etc. The service sector is made up of real estate and insurance companies.
Meghalaya is predominantly an agrarian economy. Agriculture and allied activities engage nearly two-thirds of the total work force in Meghalaya. However, the contribution of this sector to the State’s NSDP is only about one-third. Agriculture in the state is characterized by low productivity and unsustainable farm practices. Despite the large percentage of population engaged in agriculture, the state imports food from other Indian states.
Infrastructural constraints have also prevented the economy of the state from creating high income jobs at a pace commensurate with that of the rest of India.
Meghalaya is basically an agricultural state with about 80% of its population depending entirely on agriculture for their livelihood. Nearly 10% of the geographical area of Meghalaya is under cultivation. Agriculture in the state is characterised by limited use of modern techniques, low yields and low productivity. As a result, despite the vast majority of the population being engaged in agriculture, the contribution of agricultural production to the state’s GDP is low, and most of the population engaged in agriculture remain poor.
Meghalaya has a rich base of natural resources. These include minerals such as coal, limestone, sillimanite, Kaolin and granite among others. Meghalaya has a large forest cover, rich biodiversity and numerous water bodies. The low level of industrialization and the relatively poor infrastructure base acts as an impediment to the exploitation of these natural resources in the interest of the state’s economy.
Meghalaya has a literacy rate of 62.56 as per the 2001 census and is the 27th most literate state in India. This increased to 75.5 in 2011. As of 2006, the state had 5851 primary schools, 1759 middle schools, and 655 higher secondary schools respectively. In 2008, 518,000 students were enrolled in its primary schools, and 232,000 in upper primary schools. The state monitors its school for quality, access, infrastructure and teachers training.
Institution for higher studies like Indian Institute of Management, the University of Technology and Management which is in Shillong is the first Indian university to introduce cloud computing engineering as a field of study, in collaboration with IBM and the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies. Shillong is one of the top ranked management institutes in the country.
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