Mizoram is one of the Seven Sister States listed as in North Eastern India, sharing borders with the states of Tripura, Assam, Manipur and with the neighboring countries of Bangladesh and Burma. Mizoram became the 23rd state of India on 20 February 1987. Its capital is Aizawl.
Mizoram is one of the fastest growing economies among the states of India with a per capita income of Rs 50,021. Mizoram had the second highest GSDP growth during the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-2012) in Northeast India at 11 percent exceeding the target of 7.8 percent which is also much higher than the national average of 7.9 percent. During the 10th Five Year Plan (2002-2007), the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) was expected to grow at around 5.3 per cent but grew at 5.7 per cent. The biggest contributors to GSDP growth are Agriculture, Public Administration and Construction work. Tertiary sector of service sector continued to have the contribution to the GSDP with its share hovering between 58 per cent and 60 per cent during the past half a decade.
Around 60 per cent of the population of the state depended on agriculture, the sector's contribution to the GSDP was only 19.84 per cent during the same period and that of the industry was 20.20 per cent. The Economic Survey indicated that 32 per cent of the cultivated area was under jhum and only 20 per cent of the demand for rice could be met within the state while a total of 14,28,600 tonnes of rice was lifted by the state government from outside. More than 70% of the total population is engaged in some form of agriculture. The age-old practice of Jhum is being discouraged by the state government with schemes like the New Land Use Policy a Policy to help farmers move away from the traditional slash-and-burn method of cultivation. Recently, Mizoram Government has entered into a new venture wherein Oil Palm and Jatropha cultivation, for biofuels is being promoted.
Mizoram is facing a number of difficulties in the advancement of industries. Lack of means of dependable surface transport and poor accessibility is one of the major drawbacks. Other problems faced by the state were the poor mineral resources, non-availability of good infrastructure and communication facilities, shortage of capital and lack of modern skills. A Software Technology Park is however being established in Mizoram University campus. A Steel Plant is also being established in Mizoram.
Mizoram has a mild climate, comfortable in summer 20 to 29 °C (68 to 84 °F) and never freezing during winter, with temperatures from 7 to 21 °C (45 to 70 °F). The region is influenced by monsoons, raining heavily from May to September with little rain in the dry (cold) season. The average state rainfall is 254 cm (100 in) per annum. In the capital Aizawl, rainfall is about 208 centimetres (82 in) and in Lunglei, another major center, about 350 centimetres (140 in)
Today Mizoram is second only to Kerala for literacy in India at 95%. There are several educational establishments under the umbrella of the Ministry of Education, including universities, colleges and other institutions. Within Mizoram University, there are 29 undergraduate colleges including 2 professional institutions affiliated with the university. The total enrollment in these institutions is approximately 5200 students. Other well known Institutes are National Institute of Technology Mizoram, ICFAI University, Mizoram, College of Veterinary Sciences & Animal Husbandry, Selesih, Aizawl, Mizoram and Regional Institute of Paramedical and Nursing Aizawl
Mizoram is considered by many as a beautiful place due to its dramatic landscape and pleasant climate. There have been many attempts to increase revenue through tourism but many potential tourists find the lack of amenities to be a hurdle. However, the State continues to promote itself and many projects have been initiated. The tourism ministry continues to maintain or upgrade its tourist lodges throughout the state. Foreign tourists are required to obtain an 'inner line permit' under the special permit before visiting.
The permit can be obtained from Indian missions abroad for a limited number of days or direct from Mizoram Government authorities within India. The state is rich in bird diversity, which has the potentiality to make it a major birding destination. For Mrs Hume's Pheasant Syrmaticus humiae, Mizoram is a stronghold. There is also a rare record of the Wild Water Buffalo from the state. There are several past records of the Sumatran rhinoceros from Mizoram, then Lushai Hills. The small population of wild elephants can be seen in Ngengpui and Dampa Sanctuaries.
Mizo traditional tunes are very soft and gentle, with locals claiming that they can be sung the whole night without the slightest fatigue. The guitar is a popular instrument and Mizos enjoy country style music. Within the church services are drums, commonly used and known locally as "khuang". The "Khuang" is made from wood and animal hide and are often beaten enough to instigate a trance like state with worshipers as they dance in a circular fashion.
Mizos enjoy singing and even without musical instruments, they enthusiastically sing together, clapping hands or by using other rhythmic methods. Informal instruments are called chhepchher. The early Mizos were close to nature and music is still an essential part of the cultural life. Whilst gospel music remains an integral part of Mizo culture, Western influence is evident from the contemporary music scene as young people experiment with rock, metal, rap, pop and hip-hop.
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