|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 B.C.). 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 B.C., 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 bound on the north by Orissa 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 foodgrain 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, casurina, bamboo, softwood, etc.
The Government decided to arrange crop loans to the farmer at concessional rates of interest from the kharif season (2008) under the ‘Pavala Vaddi’ (3% rate of interest) scheme and also increased the loan amount to farmers from Rs. 23,000 crores in 2007-08 to Rs. 26,000 crores in 2008-09 to achieve the goal of increasing food grain production. Under the Centre’s Rs. 60,000 crore loan waiver scheme. 77 lakh farmers of the State benefit to the tune of Rs. 12,000 crore. The prestigious ‘Jalayagnam’ project is designed by the Government to save the farmer from the vagaries of monsoons and provide assured irrigation facility to every acre of land. Farming in Andhra Pradesh today is so encouraging and remunerative that no farmer entertains farmers’ suicides.
Important irrigation schemes implemented in the State are Vamsadhara Project Stage-I, Godavari Delta System, Yeleru Reservoir Project, Krishna Delta System, Pennar Delta System, Pennar River Canal System, Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy Sagar Project, Tungabhadra Project high level canal Stage-I, Tungabhadra Project low level canal, Sriramsagar Stage-I, Nizamsagar Project, Nagarjuna Sagar Project and Rajolibanda Diversion scheme.
Andhra Pradesh 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 1,200 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 May’08 is 12,382 MW For massive capacity addition of 8860 MW, 17 new projects are programmed by APGENCO which are expected to complete within next five years.
Industry and Minerals
There are several major industries in operation around Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam. They manufacture machine tools, synthetic drugs, pharmaceuticals, heavy electrical machinery, fertilizers, electronic equipments, aeronautical parts, cement and cement products, chemicals, asbestos, glass and watches. 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 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 SEZs. AP has promoted 71 SEZs of which 52 have been notified by the Government of India with an investment potential of Rs. 35,000 crore and creation of employment for 25 lakh persons.
According to RBI Report of August 2007, Andhra Pradesh ranked second among States in the Country in attracting investments of Rs. 25,173 crore in 2006-07. The Confederation of Indian Industry lauded Andhra Pradesh as the Best Performing State in the manufacturing sector.
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 2007-08 I.T. exports crossed Rs. 26,000 crores.
The Government is making efforts to spread I.T. to Tier II cities like Warangal, Tirupathi, Kakinada, Vishakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Guntur and Kadapa. As a result, job opportunities in the I.T. sector in Tier II cities have improved. The IIT coming up in Medak district will become operational from the coming academic year. Further, the Government succeeded in persuading BITS Pilani to open a campus in Hyderabad which will become operational from the coming academic year.
The Government is according top priority to I.T. development by creating the requisite infrastructure and setting up of 3 Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Idupulapaya in Kadapa District, Nuzvid in Krishna District and Basara in Adilabad District) under Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies to turn out qualified personnel.
Roads: National Highways passing through Andhra Pradesh constitute 4,647 km. There are 63,863 km of state roads including 10,412 km of State highways and 1,24,142 km of Panchayati Raj roads in the State as on March 2008.
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 Hyderabad, Tirupathi and Visakhapatnam. International flights are operated from Hyderabad.
Ports: Visakhapatnam is a major port. There are minor ports in the State. Andhra Pradesh has emerged as the country’s no. 2 in the share of Cargo handling and its capacity has gone up.
Hussain Sagar Lake, Hyderabad
Charminar, Salarjung Museum, Golconda Fort in Hyderabad, Thousand Pillar Temple and Fort in Warangal, Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple at Yadagirigutta, Buddha Stupa at Nagarjunakonda and Nagarjuna Sagar, Sri Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala-Tirupathi, Sri Mallikarjunaswamy Temple at Srisailam, Kanaka Durga Temple at Vijayawada, Sri Satyanarayana Swamy Temple at Annavaram, Sri Varaha Narasimha Swamy Temple at Simhachalam, Sri Sita Rama Temple at Bhadrachalam, Araku Valley, Horsley Hills, Nelapattu, etc., are the major tourist attractions in Andhra Pradesh. Thirty-three life-size statues of eminent Telugu personalities of the State were erected on Tankbund of Hussainsagar lake in Hyderabad. A giant statue of Lord Buddha of a height of about 60 feet has been erected on the Gibraltar rock in the Hussainsagar lake, which separates Hyderabad and Secunderabad cities.
Source: India 2010 – A Reference Annual