(Sample Material) IAS PRE GS Online Coaching : India & World Geography - "States and Union Territories"

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Subject: India & World Geography

Topic: States and Union Territories

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Area : 2,75,069 sq km

Population : 8.32 crores as on 1.3.09

Capital : Hyderabad Principal

Languages : Telugu and Urdu


The earliest mention of the Andhras is said to be Aitereya Brahmana (2000BC). It indicates that the Andhras, originally an Aryan race living in north India migrated to south of the Vindhyas and later mixed with non-Aryans. Regular history of Andhra Desa, according to historians, begins with 236 BC, the year of Ashoka’s death. During the following centuries, Satavahanas, Sakas, Ikshvakus, Eastern Chalukyas, and Kakatiyas ruled the Telugu country. Other dynasties that ruled over the area in succession were the kingdoms of Vijayanagar and Qutub Shahi followed by Mir Qumruddin and his successors, known as the Nizams. Gradually, from the 17th century onwards, the British annexed territories of the Nizam and constituted the single province of Madras. After Independence, Telugu-speaking areas were separated from the composite Madras Presidency and a new Andhra State came into being on 1 October 1953. with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, there was a merger of Hyderabad State and Andhra State, and consequently Andhra Pradesh came into being on 1 November 1956.

Andhra Pradesh is historically called the Rice Bowl of India. The state has a larger river system which supplements the rainfall in the state. It is one of the few states in the country blessed with riverine geography. Andhra Pradesh is bounded on the north by Orissa and Chhattisgarh, on the west by Maharashtra and Karnataka, on the south by Tamil Nadu and on the east by the Bay of Bengal with a coastline of 974 km.


Agriculture is the main occupation of about 62 per cent of the people in Andhra Pradesh. Rice is a major food crop and staple food of the State contributing about 77 per cent of the food grain production. Other important crops are juwar, bajra, maize, ragi small millets, pulses, castor, tobacco, cotton and sugarcane. Forests cover 23 per cent of the State’s area. Important forest products are teak, eucalyptus, cashew, casurina, bamboo, softwood, etc.

The Government is working with a mission of “Sustainable Agriculture Production with minimum cost of cultivation, eventually encancing the return on income to the farmer. “ In the process of making the mission a reality, the Government is implementing schemes for the welfare of farmers like 9 hours free power supply, subsidized interest rate on crop loans, subsidized and quality agricultural inputs etc. Andhra Pradesh occupies the first position in respect of agricultural loans from commercial and cooperative banks. The debt waiver scheme of central government and the incentive scheme of the State Government have helped about one crore farmers in the state to the tune of Rs. 16,000 crore. The government of Andhra Pradesh is also keen on introducing cooperative farming to set up farm yields.


A total of 86 projects (44 Major+30 Medium+4 Flood Banks+8 Modernisation) have been taken up under alayagnam programme, with the aim of completing the ongoing and new projects in a record time to provide immediate irrigation to water starved areas on top priority by mobilizing funds fromall possible sources. Till now, 12 projects were completed and water released for 19 more projects creating partial irrigation potential and the remaining projects are programmed to be completed in a time bound and planned manner. Andhra Pradesh Government has been making huge budgetary allocations for the execution of irrigation projects and it is the first state to involve the farmers in the management of irrigation sources.


Important power projects in the State are : the Nagarjunasagar and Neelam Sanjiva Reddy Sagar (Srisailam Hydel Project), Upper Sileru, Lower Sileru, Tungabhadra Hydel projects and Nellore, Ramagundam, Kothagundam, Vijayawada and Middanur thermal power projects. The Srisailam Hydro Electric project (Right Bank) with an installed capacity o 770 MW and the Srisailam Left Bank HES capacity of 900 MW and the Nagarjunasagar complex with 960 MW are the principal source of hydel generation. Vijayawada Thermal Power station with an installed capacity of 1,260 MW and Kothagudem Thermal power station with an installed capacity of 1,220 MW and the main sources of thermal power generation. The 1,000 MW coal-based Simhadri Thermal Power station aims at supplying the entire energy generated to the State.

Installed capacity of the State as in June 2009 is 13,472.33 MW. The annual revenue from sale of power is Rs. 13,945 crore (including non-tariff income). Government is particularly committed to the welfare of farmers by way of enhancing free power from seven hours to nine hours to all agriculture consumers. Govt. also waived the power consumption arrears amounting to Rs. 1,259 crore relating agricultural consumers.

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