|Area||2,75,069 sq. km|
|Principal Languages||Telugu and Urdu|
History and Geography
The earliest mention of the Andhras is said to be in Aitereya Brahmana (2000 BC). It indicates that the Andhras, originally an Aryan race living in north India migrated to south of the Vindhyas and later mixed with non-Aryans. Regular history of Andhra Desa, according to historians, begins with 236 BC, the year of Ashoka’s death. During the following centuries, Satavahanas, Sakas, Ikshvakus, Eastern Chalukyas, Kakatiyas ruled the Telugu country. Other dynasties that ruled over the area in succession were the kingdoms of Vijayanagar and Qutub Shahi followed by Mir Qumruddin and his successors, known as the Nizams. Gradually, from the 17th century onwards, the British annexed territories of the Nizam and constituted the single province of Madras. After Independence, Telugu-speaking areas were separated from the composite Madras Presidency and a new Andhra State came into being on 1 October 1953. With the passing of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, there was a merger of Hyderabad State and Andhra State, and consequently Andhra Pradesh came into being on 1 November 1956.
Andhra Pradesh is historically called the Rice Bowl of India. The State has a large river system which supplements the rainfall in the State. It is one of the few States in the country blessed with riverine geography.
Andhra Pradesh is bound on the north by Odisha and Chhattisgarh, on the west by Maharashtra and Karnataka, on the south by Tamil Nadu and on the east by the Bay of Bengal with a coastline of 974 km.
Agriculture is the main occupation of about 62 per cent of the people in Andhra Pradesh. Rice is a major food crop and staple food of the State contributing about 77 per cent of the food grain production. Other important crops are jowar, bajra, maize, ragi, small millets, pulses, castor, tobacco, cotton and sugarcane. Forests cover 23 per cent of the State’s area. Important forest products are teak, eucalyptus, cashew, casuarina, bamboo, softwood, etc. The production of food grains in the state for the first time since formation of the State is recorded at 204.04 lakh tonne in 2008-09 as against 198.17 lakh tonne in 2007-08.
The Government is working with a mission of “Sustainable Agriculture Production with minimum cost of cultivation, eventually enhancing the return on income to the farmer”. In the process of making the mission a reality, the Government is implementing schemes for the welfare of farmers like 9 hours free power supply, subsidized seed, subsidized interest rate on crop loans, subsidized and quality agricultural inputs etc., Andhra Pradesh occupies the first position in respect of agricultural loans from commercial and cooperative banks.
The debt waiver scheme of Central Government and the incentive scheme of the State Government have helped about one crore farmers in the state to the tune of Rs.16,000 crore. The Government of Andhra Pradesh is also keen on introducing cooperative farming to set up farm yields.
A total of 86 projects (44 Major+30 Medium+4 Flood Banks+8 Modernisation) have been taken up under Jalayagnam programme, with the aim of completing the ongoing and new projects in a record time to provide immediate irrigation to water starved areas on top priority by mobilizing funds from all possible sources. Till now, 12 projects were completed and water released for 19 more projects creating partial irrigation potential and the remaining projects are programmed to be completed in a time bound and planned manner, Andhra Pradesh Government has been making huge budgetary allocations for the execution of irrigation projects and it is the first state to involve the farmers in the management of irrigation sources.
Important power projects in the State are: the Nagarjunasagar and Neelam Sanjiva Reddy Sagar (Srisailam Hydel Project), Upper Sileru, Lower Sileru, Tungabhadra Hydel projects and Nellore, Ramagundam, Kothagudem, Vijayawada and Muddanur thermal power projects. The Srisailam Hydro Electric project (Right Bank) with an installed capacity of 770 MW and the Srisailam Left Bank HES capacity of 900 MW and the Nagarjunasagar complex with 960 MW are the principal sources of hydel generation. Vijayawada Thermal Power station with an installed capacity of 1,260 MW and Kothagudem Thermal Power station with an installed capacity of 1,220 MW are the main sources of thermal power generation. The 1,000 MW coal-based Simhadri Thermal Power station aims at supplying the entire energy generated to the State.
Installed capacity of the State as on June, 2009 is 13,472.33 MW. The annual revenue from sale of power is Rs.13,945 crore (including non-tariff income). Government is particularly committed to the welfare of farmers by way of enhancing free power from seven hours to nine hours to all agriculture consumers. Govt. also waived the power consumption arrears amounting to Rs.1,259 crore relating to agricultural consumers. During the year 2008-09, 81,036 new agricultural connections were released. 21 new projects are programmed by APGENCO, out of which, 2 projects Rayalaseema TPP State II and Dr. Narla Tata Rao TPS State II (VTPS Stage IV) are already functioning.
The Government of AP is extending various incentives for SSI& Tiny Sector and Large & Medium Scale Industries. The State Government has been promoting the manufacturing sector in a big way by providing concessions in power tariff, allotting land and relaxing labour laws in special Economic Zones (SEZs). AP has promoted 102 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) of which 64 have been notified by the Government of India. The state has recommended to Government of India for setting up of 59 IT/ ITES SEZs, with active private sector participation. As of now, 12 IT SEZs with 22 units are functioning and operational creating an employment of 15,000 of IT professionals.
Mines and Geology
Andhra Pradesh is well known globally for variety of rocks and minerals and is called Ratna Grabha. Andhra Pradesh has the largest deposits of quality chrysolite asbestos in the country. Other important minerals found in the state are copper ore, manganese, mica, coal and limestone. The Singareni Coal Mines supply coal to the entire South India. The mineral consumption is increasing due to promotion of various industries and manufacture of mineral based products. The state produces about 100 to 110 million tonnes of industrial minerals and 200 million cubic meters of stone and building material. AP stands first in Barytes and Limestone production in the country. The state stands first in value of minor mineral production and second in total value of mineral production in the country contributing about 9 to 10% to the country’s mineral value production. The mineral revenue is Rs.1,660.79 crore during 2008-09. The state stands first in Mineral Revenue among the important Mineral Producing states of the country.
Rs.2/-a kg rice scheme: To extend help to the poor and low-income groups the State Government has been implementing the Rs.2/- a Kg Rice supply scheme since April 7, 2008. Depending on the size of the family, each white cardholder gets 16 kg to 20 kg every month. This benefits 1.82 crore white cardholders. The Government is keen on implementing the scheme without any scope for irregularities.
The Government has introduced an innovative, unique, self financed housing scheme “Rajiv Swagruha” for the moderate income group in the state with an objective that every person with moderate income group in the state having no house of his/her own must have a house at affordable cost in the urban/municipal areas in the state. The houses/flats have to be made available to them at prices 25% less than the existing market rates on similar specifications. The construction of housing programme under Rajiv Swagruha is under progress. Schemes were prepared for construction of 85,961 houses/flats and bids were received for 61,793 units and bids were awarded for construction of 52,340 houses/flats.
Under Weaker Section Housing Program till the end of 31st March, 2009, 87,70,082 houses have been completed comprising 80,64,383 in rural areas and 7,05,699 in urban areas.
‘Rajiv Arogyasri’ is a unique health insurance scheme being implemented in Andhra Pradesh. The scheme enables the poor, suffering from chronic diseases, to undergo treatment costing upto Rs.2 lakh. All white cardholders can undergo treatment for about 942 diseases. Medical and surgical treatment is provided in 344 corporate, private and Govt hospitals free of cost to patients Aarogyasri scheme is unique in its applicability, since no other state/government agency has provided universal health coverage to the poor for major ailments. The choice of hospital for treatment is with the patient. The entire process from the time of conduct of health camps to the screening, testing, treatment, follow up and claim payment is made transparent through online web based processing to prevent any misuse and fraud. This system is motivating more and more Government hospitals to participate in the scheme and utilize the revenue earned to improve facilities to provide quality 1110 India 2010 medical care and thus bring reforms in tertiary medical care. Official from several status have visited the state and appreciated the scheme. Since inception of the scheme i.e., 1st April 2007 and as on 31st March 2009, 344 hospitals from Government and private sector have joined the network and organized 8785 health camps in rural areas wherein 15,99,520 patients have been screened and 2,43,529 surgeries/treatment conducted at a cost of Rs.781.35 crore. In addition, 3,65,763 patients were given medical consultation as outpatients free of cost.
Andhra Pradesh has been forging ahead in the sphere of Information Technology. It is ahead of other states in exploiting the opportunities to the hilt. The State Government has introduced many schemes to utilize the maximum number of skilled human resources in the I.T. Sector. During 2008-09, I.T. sector recorded an export growth rate of over 20% with exports turnover of Rs.31,800 crore. AP ranks 4th at National level in IT performance.
The Government is making efforts to spread IT to Tier II cities like Warangal, Tirupathi, Kakinada, Vishakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Guntur and Kadapa. As a result, job opportunities in the IT sector in Tier II cities have improved. The IIT, Hyderabad is part of the history making which started functioning from August 20, 2008. The Government of Andhra Pradesh established Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technology (RGUKT) in 2008 to cater to the educational needs of the meritorious rural youth of Andhra Pradesh, Three IIITs are established in Basara (Adilbad), Nuzividu (Krishna) and Rajiv Knowledge Valley (Kadapa) under RGUKT. A total of 6000 students will be admitted in 2009 academic year.
Roads: The total R&B road network in the State is 69,051 km as on 31.3.2009, of which, the National Highways passing through Andhra Pradesh constitute 4,648 km., the state Highways constitute 10,519 kms and Major District Roads constitute 32,170 km and rural roads 21,714 kms. The density with reference to R&B road network in the state is 0.23 kms per one sq. km. and 0.86 kms per 1000 persons.
Railways:Of the railways route covering 5,107 km in Andhra Pradesh, 4,633 km is broad-gauge, 437 km is metre-gauge and 37 km is narrow gauge.
Aviation: Important airports in the State are located at Shamshabad, Tirupathi and Visakhapatnam. International flights are operated from Shamshabad.
Ports: There is one major Port at Visakhapatnam under Government of India and 13 Non-Major Ports under State Government. Ports offer tremendous potential for development and for the growth of a wide spectrum of maritime activities such as international shipping, coastal shipping, ship repairs, fishing, captive ports for specific industries, all weather ports tourism and sports, etc. Minor Ports of Andhra Pradesh handled 26.88 million tones of cargo during 2009-10 and AP is the 2nd highest cargo handling state in India.