Chhattisgarh is a state in central India that was formed on November 1, 2000 out of 16 districts from the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is bordered by the states of Uttar Pradesh to the north, Odisha and Jharkhand to the east, Telangana to the south, and Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh to the west. Chhattisgarh is the tenth largest state by area and its capital is Raipur.
According to the 2011 census, Chhattisgarh has a population of 25.5 million people. Around three-fourths of the population (76.76%) lives in rural areas while the rest of the population (23.24%) lives in urban areas. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes constitute more than50% of the state’s population. The majority of the population practices Hinduism (93.25%) followed by Islam (2.02%). Other religions practiced in the state include Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism. The state has a sex ratio of 991 per 1000 males, which is above the national average of 940 females per 1000 males. In the rural areas, the sex ratio is 1001 per 1000 males whereas it is 956 per 1000 males in the urban areas. The average literacy rate in Chhattisgarh is 70.28%. Urban areas have a higher rate of literacy of 90.58% compared to a literacy rate of 66% in rural areas. The official language of Chhattisgarh and the most widely spoken is Hindi, followed by Chhattisgarhi.
While agriculture is one of the main activities, there are other key industries like mining, iron and steel, cement, power, IT and biotechnology that drive the economy of Chhattisgarh. In 2014-2015, Chhattisgarh had an annual gross state domestic product (GDSP) of Rs. 2.2 lakh crore and had a growth rate of 7%. Chhattisgarh is one of the few states in India that has surplus power and the Korba district in is known as the power capital of India. Chhattisgarh is rich in mineral resources and is the leading producer of coal, iron ore, bauxite, limestone and dolomite. Coal, iron ore and dolomite account for 22.6 %, 19.8 % and 36.5% of India’s production, respectively. Chhattisgarh is an attractive investment destination and has been acclaimed as one of the best fiscally managed states by the Reserve Bank of India. Furthermore, according to a study by the World Bank and KPMG, Chhattisgarh is ranked fourth among states in India with respect to the ease of doing business and implementation of reforms.
Chhattisgarh, like other states, has a Governor as the nominal head of the state and the Chief Minister (CM) as the head of the Chhattisgarh state legislature. The current Governor of Chhattisgarh is Balram Das Tandon and the current CM is Raman Singh. The Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly is a unicameral legislature that comprises of 90 Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs). The main political parties in Chhattisgarh are the BJP, Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). In the last state assembly elections held in 2013, BJP defeated Congress to win 49 seats out of 90, electing Raman Singh as the CM for the third time.
Sen, Ilina. (2014). Inside Chhattisgarh: A political memoir. Gurgaon: Penguin Books India.