- 1 About State
- 2 About Citizen
Carved from the erstwhile State of Assam, Meghalaya became a full-fledged State on January 21, 1972. The name means “the abode of clouds” in Sanskrit. The population of Meghalaya as of 2016 is estimated to be 3,211,474. The capital of Meghalaya is Shillong. During the British occupation of India, the British imperialist authorities nicknamed it the “Scotland of the East”. Meghalaya was previously part of Assam,
The limited archeology done in the hills of Meghalaya suggest human settlement since ancient times.People have lived here since neolithic era. Neolithic sites discovered so far are located in areas of high elevation such as in Khasi Hills, Garo Hills and neighboring states. Meghalaya was formed by carving out two districts from the state of Assam: the United Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills, and the Garo Hills on 21 January 1972. Before attaining full statehood, Meghalaya was given semi-autonomous status in 1970.
Meghalaya is one of the Seven Sister States of northeast India. The state of Meghalaya is mountainous, with stretches of valley and highland plateaus, and it is geologically rich. It consists mainly of Archean rock formations. These rock formations contain rich deposits of valuable minerals like coal, limestone, uranium and sillimanite.
The state has had 23 state governments since its inception in 1972, with a median life span of fewer than 18 months. Only three governments have survived more than three years. Political instability has affected the state’s economy in the past. Over recent years, there has been increasing political stability. The last state assembly elections were held in 2013, after a five-year government that was elected in 2008. The Meghalaya Legislative Assembly has 60 members at present. Meghalaya has two representatives in the Lok Sabha, one each from Shillong and Tura. It also has one representative in the Rajya Sabha.
Shillong is the capital of the state and also the biggest city in Meghalaya.East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hills, Ri Bhoi District, East Garo Hills, West Garo Hills and South Garo Hills are also some important districts of Meghalaya.
Tribal people make up the majority of Meghalaya’s population. The Khasis are the largest group, followed by the Garos then The Jaintias. These were among those known to the British as “hill tribes.” Other groups include the Koch, the Biates, the related Rajbongshi, the Boro, Hajong, Dimasa, Kuki, Lakhar, Karbi, Rabha and Nepali. The Christianity is the majority religion of Meghalaya. Meghalaya is one of three states in India to have a Christian majority. About 75% of the population practices Christianity, with Presbyterians, Baptist, and Catholics the more common denominations.
Meghalaya is predominantly an agrarian economy. Agriculture and allied activities engage nearly two-thirds of the total workforce 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 schools are run by the state government or by private organizations, including religious institutions. Instruction is only in English. Other Indian languages like Assamese, Bengali, Hindi, Garo, Khasi, Mizo, Nepali & Urdu are taught as optional subjects. The secondary schools are affiliated with the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the National Institute of Open School (NIOS) or the Meghalaya Board of School Education.
Meghalaya’s main ethnic communities, each having its own distinctive customs and cultural traditions are the Khasis (of Mon-Khmer ancestry), the Garos (of Tibeto-Burman origin) and the Jaintias said to be from South East Asia. The common trait binding all three communities is its matrilineal system in which the family lineage is taken from the mother’s side. The people of Meghalaya are known to be hospitable, cheerful and friendly.
Meghalaya is basically an agricultural state with about 80% of its population depending entirely on agriculture for their livelihood. 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 development of the Power Sector in the state of Meghalaya is presently moving in the right direction so that the availability of affordable, reliable and quality power is ensured to the people of the state in the near future. State Government believes in promoting private enterprises for the speedy economic development of the State. The Government also stands committed to ensuring the healthy growth of existing industries. For this purpose, Government will ensure an optimum number of industries by not permitting excess in any specific sector, thereby ensuring sustainability of the existing business.