General Overview

izoram, the land of the Mizo tribe, is the southern most State in India’s Northeast. It is stretched between 92.15 degree to 93.29 degree East longitude and 21.58 degree to 24.35 degree North latitude. Spread over an area of 21087 square kilometers, Mizoram constitutes 8.042 per cent of the total landmass of the entire Northeast and 0.67 per cent of India as a whole. It shares its border with Myanmar in the east and south, and Bangladesh in the west, and Assam, Tripura and Manipur in the north. With Myanmar, Mizoram shares an international boundary of 404 kilometres and with Bangladesh it has a boundary of 318 kilometres.

Mizoram had been a district of Assam till 1972 when it became a Union Territory. With the implementation of the North-Eastern Reorganisation Act in 1972, Mizoram became a Union Territory on 21 January 1973 and following the signing of the memorandum of settlement between the Government of India and the Mizo National Front (MNF) in 1986, it became the 23rd State of the Indian Union on 20 February 1987.

Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram, is located 3715 feet above the sea level. For administrative purposes, the State is divided into eight districts, 22 Blocks and 23 sub-divisions. There are three Autonomous District Councils in the State, formed under the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.

The inhabitants of Mizoram are known by the generic name Mizo, which means people of the hills. The origin of the Mizos can be traced back to the great Mongoloid wave of migration from China who moved into India. Historically there has been a considerable concoction of different tribes in the State leading to three main sub-groups -Lushais, Pawis and Lakhers. According to Census 2001, Mizoram has a total population of 891058 with a density of 42 persons per square kilometre. It constitutes .09 per cent of the total population of India and 2.28 per cent of that of the Northeast. Majority of the population are Christians.

Mizo language has no script of its own. The Christian missionaries introduced the Roman script for the Mizo language and literacy in the State has grown rapidly. Mizoram has a high literacy rate of 88.49 per cent, the second highest in the country.

Mizoram is primarily an agricultural state. About 59.77 per cent of the total working population are engaged in cultivation and other agricultural activities. The main pattern of agriculture is jhum or shifting cultivation. Of the total 2.1 million hectares of estimated land, 630000 hectares of land is available for cultivation of horticulture crops. The per capita per capita Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) in 2004-05, is Rupees 30357. Mizoram ranks 7th in the human resource development index and 14th in the poverty index in India.

The entire Mizoram was a notified backward area and was categorised under ‘No Industry District’ in mid- 1970s. With the announcement of State Industrial Policy 1989, few modern small-scale industries have come up during the past decade. No major mineral deposits of economic importance have been located so far in the State. Consequently the State's economy revolves around agriculture and traditional industries.

Since the 1986 Peace Accord, Mizoram has been largely free from insurgent violence, although its has witnessed insurgency movements by the Reang and the Hmar tribes. Presence of the Chin population from Myanmar too has occasionally created societal problems.