GENERAL OVERVIEW

agaland or the land of the Nagas is located between 93.20 degree to 95.15 degree East longitude and 25.60 degree to 26.40 degree North latitude in the extreme northeastern end of India. It is bounded by Myanmar in the east, Assam in the west, Arunachal Pradesh and a part of Assam in the north and Manipur in the south. Nagaland shares a 258 kilometre long international border with Myanmar.

Nagaland is spread over a total area of 16579 square kilometers comprising 6.32 per cent of the whole of Northeast and 0.5 per cent of the total area of India. Nagaland became the 16th State of the Indian union on 1 December 1963. The state capital Kohima is located at 1444.12 metres above the sea level. The State is currently divided into 11 districts.

The people of Nagaland though commonly known as the Nagas, actually comprise 16 tribes (Konyak, Lotha, Phom, Pochury, Rengma, Sumi, Sangtam, Yimchungru, Zeliang) and many more sub-tribes belonging to the mongoloid stock. According to Census 2001, Nagaland has a total population of 1,988,636 and a density of 120 persons per square kilometre. It constitutes 0.19 per cent of the total population of India and 5.09 per cent of the entire Northeast.

The economy of the State is predominantly based on agriculture. The major land use pattern is slash and burn cultivation locally known as jhum. About 1,01,400 hectare of land is under jhum cultivation. 68.03 per cent of the working population pursue agriculture and other allied activities as their chief means of livelihood. The per capita Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) in 2004-05 is Rupees 26129. Nagaland ranks 11th in the human resource development index and 22nd in the poverty index in India. The rate of literacy of the State is 67.11 per cent.

According to an estimate in 2003, 52 per cent of the total land area of the State is under forests. Nagaland is rich with regard to its mineral wealth. The total deposit of limestone in the State is estimated at 1000 million tonnes. In addition, there are substantial reserves of marble and decorative stone reserves, petroleum and natural gas. But due to lack of modern industries, proper utilization of these resources has been rather restricted. The process of industrialisation in the State is in its infancy.

The six-decade long insurgency has been a major impediment for the development in the State. Insurgent violence has impacted on all sectors of governance and lives of the common people. Although the major outfits are under ceasefire with the government, effective peace is yet to return to the State. In addition, illegal migration of Bangladeshis is emerging as a potential area of future conflict in the State.