Karnataka is a state located in southern India, created in 1956 after the passing of the States Reorganization Act. It was originally known as the State of Mysore, before it was renamed to Karnataka in 1973. Karnataka is bordered by Goa to the northwest, Maharashtra to the north, Telangana to the northeast, Andhra Pradesh to the east, Tamil Nadu to the southeast, the Arabian Sea to the west, and Kerala to the southwest. Karnataka is the seventh largest Indian state geographically. The capital is Bengaluru (or Bangalore).


Hinduism is practiced by the majority of the population in Karnataka (84%), followed by Islam (12.92%). Other religions practiced in the state include Christianity, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism. According to the 2011 census, the literacy rate has seen an upward trend with around 75.35% of the population being literate. Male literacy stands at 82.47%, while female literacy is at 68.08%. Out of total population, less than 50% live in urban areas.


From 2014-15, the gross domestic product (GSDP) of Karnataka was around $115.9 billion. Between 2004-05 and 2014-15, the average GSDP was around 12.04%. Key industries in the state include biotech, aerospace, automobile, textiles, and engineering. Karnataka is a prominent IT hub, and is home to the fourth largest technology cluster in the world. One of the largest public sector employers in Karnataka is Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, responsible R&D activities for fighter aircrafts for the Indian Air Force. 


The governor, appointed for five years, is the constitutional head of the government of Karnataka and in turn appoints the chief minister and the council of ministers. The current governor is Vajubahi Vala and the chief minister is Siddaramaiah. The state legislature is bicameral and consists of the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council. The lower house is known as the Vidhana Sabha, and the upper house is the Vidhana Parishat.

During the 2013 elections, the Indian National Congress (INC) won majority of the seats in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly.

Suggested Readings:

Karnataka Government and Politics by Harish Ramaswamyand S.S. Patagundi

The Territories and States of India by Tara Boland-Crewe and David Lea