Gujarat

INTRODUCTION:

Gujarat is a state on the west coast created out of 17 northern districts of the former state Bombay. Consisting of 33 districts, it meets the Arabian sea to the west and Rajasthan and Pakistan to the north, Madhya Pradesh to the east and Maharashtra, Daman and Diu, and Nagar haveli to the south. The state capital is Gandhinagar, and the official state language is Gujarati.

DEMOGRAPHICS:

According to the 2011 Census, the population of Gujarat is 60,439,692, which makes up 4.99 percent of the country’s total population. The gender ratio (females per thousand males) is 919.

The literacy rate in the state is higher than India’s average, and stands at 78.03 percent. The Hindu community forms the religious majority, and the Muslim community forms the largest minority.

A greater share of Gujarat’s population is rural (34,694,609) rather than urban (25,745,083).

ECONOMY:

One of the most industrialized states of India, Gujarat’s GDP growth is faster than India’s average GDP growth, for which much credit is awarded to the current Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who was previously the Chief Minister of Gujarat. Gujarat’s current GSDP is $142.38 billion (Agricultural sector- 22.1 percent; Industrial sector- 34.2 percent; Service sector: 43.8 percent) and annual growth rate is 12.11 percent.

According to the Labor Bureau of the Union Ministry of Labor and Employment, Gujarat has the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 4.9 percent.

POLITICAL PARTIES

Currently, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) holds a majority in the state government, while the Indian National Congress (INC) forms the opposition. The current Chief Minister of the state is Anandiben Patel, and the Governor is Om Prakash Kohli. The next state election will be held in 2018.

After India became independent in 1947, the INC ruled the former state of Bombay (which included present-day Gujarat and Maharashtra). It governed Gujarat even after the state's creation in 1960. During and after India's State of Emergency of 1975-1977, public support for the Congress Party eroded, and in 1995, the INC lost to the BJP and Keshubhai Patel became the Chief Minister of the state. He was replaced by Narendra Modi in 2001, who served until he became the prime minister when the BJP won the 2014 general election.

FURTHER READING:

The Gujarat Model (The Economist)

Hard Faces (The Economist)

Image source: http://bit.ly/22skUoO