Orissa News

Odisha: An Introduction

Odisha MapThe land of the ancient “Odras” ; the land that  has a history consonant to history itself; the land that is the epicenter of the “Jagannath culture; the land that is reckoning at the doors of the world for its rightful share as the upcoming “Industrial Powerhouse of India” ; the land that is Odisha – Does it demand the crutches of words for introduction?

Even before culture thrived elsewhere in India; even before the tribes were fighting for land; even before Kingdoms came into force in the country, odisha was a fledgling territory with its own self-sustaining economy that grew mostly on agriculture and maritime trades. Odisha has ever since been remained aloof  from all the happenings in rest of  India and grew on the might of its own trading community that had business relations with far off Indonesia and Thailand.

The geographical positioning of the land itself is more or so responsible for providing the state with this unique opportunity. Abundant water sources are a natural corollary to its geographical position. Blessed with a long coast line of  around 450kms, the state sees Bay of Bengal on the east and has many ports in them. Paradeep, one of the largest port of the country is situated in the coastal waters of Odisha.  There are 11 other minor parts in these waters that give Odisha an absolute power to carry on trades with other countries. Similarly 6,70,017 ha of fresh water area and 4,17,537 ha of brackish water area make odisha  one of the best destination in India  in fish production with per capita availability of 8.35 Kg. annum.

In terms of mineral resources, Odisha is  one of the largest minerals bearing States in India and  has rich reserve of Bauxite, chrome, iron ore, coal and  manganese. In fact the state boasts of 16.92% of the total mineral reserves of the country. Mineral reserve of Orissa in respect of Chromite, Nickel ore, Graphite, Bauxite, Iron ore, Manganese and Coal is about 97.37%, 95.10%, 76.67%, 49.74%, 33.91%, 28.56% and 27.59% respectively of the total deposits in India.

Apart from this, the land is ideal for agriculture which in fact is one of the mainstay of the people of the state. The state produces crops like rice, jute, oilseeds, pulses, coconut and mesta.

Demographic Information

With 4.74% of India's landmass and home to 3.58% of the country's population, Odisha has 3 revenue divisions, 30 districts, 58 sub-divisions, 171 tahasils, 314 community development blocks, 6234 gram panchayats and 51,349 villages. Nearly 85% of its population live in the rural areas and mostly depend on agriculture and allied activities for their livelihood.The population of Odisha, which was 316.60 lakh in 1991, has increased to 4.1 crores in 2011 with the toral density being 269 persons per square kilometer. The literacy rate of the state is 74.6% and the sex ratio being 978 girls for 1000 boys.