Arunachal Pradesh

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Arunachal Pradesh
State
Arunachal Pradesh Seal.svg
Seal
IN-AR.svg
Coordinates (Itanagar): 27°04′N 93°22′E / 27.06°N 93.37°E / 27.06; 93.37Coordinates: 27°04′N 93°22′E / 27.06°N 93.37°E / 27.06; 93.37
Country  India
Established 20 February 1987[1]
Capital Itanagar
Largest city Itanagar
Districts 20
Government
 • Body Government of Arunachal Pradesh
 • Governor Padmanabha Acharya
 • Chief Minister Pema Khandu[2](BJP)[3]
 • Legislature Unicameral (60 seats)
 • Parliamentary constituency Rajya Sabha 1
Lok Sabha 2
 • High Court Guwahati High Court – Itanagar Bench
Area
 • Total 83,743 km2 (32,333 sq mi)
Area rank 15th
Population (2011)
 • Total 1,382,611
 • Rank 27th
 • Density 17/km2 (43/sq mi)
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
ISO 3166 code IN-AR
HDI Increase 0.617 (medium)
HDI rank 18th (2005)
Literacy 66.95%
Official language English[4]
Website arunachalpradesh.nic.in
State symbols of Arunachal Pradesh
Animal Mithun[5][6][7]
Bird Hornbill[5][6][7]
Flower Foxtail orchid[5][6][7]
Tree Hollong[8][9]

Arunachal Pradesh /ˌɑːrəˌnɑːəl prəˈdɛʃ/ is one of the twenty-nine states of India. Located in northeast India, it holds the most north-eastern position among the states in the north-east region of India. Arunachal Pradesh borders the states of Assam and Nagaland to the south, and shares international borders with Bhutan in the west, Myanmar in the east and Tibet in the north. Itanagar is the capital of the state. Arunachal Pradesh has territorial disputes with both the PRC and ROC due to its cultural, ethnic and geographic proximity to Tibet.

A major part of the state, formerly called the North-East Frontier Agency, is disputed by China as the legality of the Simla Accord is not recognized by it. China claims most of the state as South Tibet. The state is seen to have major potential for hydropower development.[10]

Arunachal Pradesh, whose name means Land of the Dawn-Lit Mountains[11] in Sanskrit, is also known as the Orchid State of India or the Paradise of the Botanists. Geographically, it is the largest among the North-east Indian states commonly known as the Seven Sister States. As in other parts of Northeast India, the people native to the state trace their origins to the Tibeto-Burman people. In recent times, large number of migrants from various parts of India and other lands have built extensive economic and cultural ties with the state's population.

No reliable population count of the migrant population exists, and the percentage estimating the total actual population accordingly, vary. Arunachal Pradesh has the highest number of regional languages in the Indian subcontinent,[12] enriched with diverse culture and traditions.

History[edit]

Prehistory[edit]

Neolithic tools found in Arunachal Pradesh indicate that people have been living in the Himalayan region for at least eleven thousand years. The earliest inhabitants of Bhutan and adjoining Himalayan areas of South Asia were the people from Indus Valley Civilisation, whose history predates the onset of Bronze Age in South Asia around 3300BC before the coming of other ethnic groups from Tibet and South China some 2,000 years ago.

Early history[edit]

The history of pre-modern Arunachal Pradesh is unclear. Oral histories possessed to this day by many Arunachali tribes of Tibeto-Burman stock are much richer and point unambiguously to a northern origin in modern-day Tibet. Again corroboration remains difficult. From the point of view of material culture it is clear that most indigenous Arunachali groups align with Burma-area hill tribals, a fact that could either be explainable in terms of a northern Burmese origin or from westward cultural diffusion.

According to the Arunachal Pradesh government, the Hindu texts Kalika Purana and Mahabharata mention the region as the Prabhu Mountains of the Puranas, and where sage Parashuram washed away sins, the sage Vyasa meditated, King Bhishmaka founded his kingdom, and Lord Krishna married his consort Rukmini.[13]

Recorded history from an outside perspective only became available in the Ahom and Sutiya chronicles. The Monpa and Sherdukpen do keep historical records of the existence of local chiefdoms in the northwest as well. Northwestern parts of this area came under the control of the Monpa kingdom of Monyul, which flourished between 500 B.C. and 600 A.D. This region then came under the loose control of Tibet and Bhutan, especially in the Northern areas. The remaining parts of the state, especially those bordering Myanmar, were under the control of the Sutiya Kings until the Ahom-Sutiya battle in the 16th century. The Ahoms held the areas until the annexation of India by the British in 1858. However, most Arunachali tribes remained in practice largely autonomous up until Indian independence and the formalisation of indigenous administration in 1947.

Recent excavations of ruins of Hindu temples such as the 14th century Malinithan at the foot of the Siang hills in West Siang were built during the Sutiya reign. Another notable heritage site, Bhismaknagar, has led to suggestions that the Idu (Mishmi) had an advanced culture and administration in prehistoric times. Again, however, no evidence directly associates Bhismaknagar with this or any other known culture but the Sutiya rulers held the areas around Bhismaknagar from the 12th to 16th century. The third heritage site, the 400-year-old Tawang Monastery in the extreme north-west of the state, provides some historical evidence of the Buddhist tribal people. The sixth Dalai Lama Tsangyang Gyatso was born in Tawang.[14]

Drawing of McMahon line[edit]

British map published in 1909 showing the Indo-Tibetan traditional border (eastern section, top right)
British map published in 1922 shows an Indo-Bhutan-Tibetan border different from the 1909 map.

In 1913–1914 representatives of China, Tibet and Britain met in India ending with the Simla Accord.[15] However, the Chinese representatives refused the territory negotiation. This treaty's objective was to define the borders between Inner and Outer Tibet as well as between Outer Tibet and British India. British administrator, Sir Henry McMahon, drew up the 550 miles (890 km) McMahon Line as the border between British India and Outer Tibet during the Simla Conference. The Tibetan and British representatives at the conference agreed to the line, and Tawang and other Tibetan areas ceded to the British Empire, given the condition that China must accept the Simla Convention, since the British were not able to get an acceptance form China, Tibetans considered the MacMahon line invalid. [16] The Chinese representative refused to accept the agreement and walked out.[citation needed]

The Tibetan and British governments went ahead with the Simla Agreement and declared that the benefits of other articles of this treaty would not be bestowed on China as long as it stays out of the purview.[17] The Chinese position was that Tibet was not independent from China: Tibet could not have independently signed treaties, and per the Anglo-Chinese (1906) and Anglo-Russian (1907) conventions, any such agreement was invalid without Chinese assent.[18] The British also seemed to agree that the agreement was not binding, and the MacMahon line was never drawn on British maps of the period.[16]

However, with the collapse of Chinese power in Tibet, the line had no serious challenges as Tibet had signed the convention. Therefore, it was forgotten to the extent that no new maps were published until 1935.[citation needed] In 1935, a Deputy Secretary in the Foreign Department Olaf Caroe "discovered" that McMahon Line was not drawn on official maps. The Survey of India published a map showing the McMahon Line as the official boundary in 1937.[19]

In 1938, the British finally published the Simla Convention as a bilateral accord two decades after the Simla Conference; in 1938 the Survey of India published a detailed map showing Tawang as part of North-East Frontier Agency. In 1944 Britain established administrations in the area from Dirang Dzong in the west to Walong in the east. Tibet altered its position on the McMahon Line in late 1947 when the Tibetan government wrote a note presented to the newly independent Indian Ministry of External Affairs laying claims to Tawang south of the McMahon Line.[20]

The situation developed further as India became independent in 1947 and the People's Republic of China (PRC) was established in 1949. In November 1950, with the PRC poised to take over Tibet by force, India unilaterally declared that the McMahon Line is the boundary — and, in 1951, forced the last remnants of Tibetan administration out of the Tawang area.[21][22] The McMahon Line was considered invalid by both Tibetans and Chinese government. [16] Journalist Sudha Ramachandran argued that China claims Tawang on behalf of Tibetans and Tibetans are not claiming Tawang to be Tibetan territory.[23]

Prior to 1959, the Dalai Lama refused to recognize India's sovereignty over South Tibet of China including Tawang. In 2003, the Dalai Lama said that "Arunachal Pradesh was actually part of Tibet". In January 2007, he said that in 1914, both the Tibetan government and Britain recognized the McMahon Line. [24]In 2008, he said that "Arunchal Pradesh was a part of India under the agreement signed by Tibetan and British representatives". [25] According to the Dalai Lama, "In 1962 during the India-China war, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) already occupied all these areas (Arunachal Pradesh) but they announced a unilateral ceasefire and withdrew, accepting the current international boundary".[26]

Sino-Indian War[edit]

Main article: Sino-Indian War

The NEFA (North-East Frontier Agency) was created in 1954. The issue was quiet for nearly a decade, a period of cordial Sino-Indian relations, but the re-emergence of the issue was a major cause of the Sino-Indian War of 1962. The cause of the escalation into war is still disputed by both Chinese and Indian sources. During the war in 1962, the PRC captured most area of Arunachal Pradesh. However, China soon declared victory, withdrew back to the McMahon Line and returned Indian prisoners of war in 1963 primarily because of international pressure. The war resulted in the termination of barter trade with Tibet, although in 2007 the state government has shown signs to resume barter trade with Tibet.[27]

Tawang[edit]

Tawang Monastery (Tibetan Buddhist)

In recent years, China has occasionally made statements in conjunction with its claims on Tawang. India has rebutted these claims by the Chinese government and the Indian Prime Minister has informed the Chinese government that Tawang is an integral part of India. India reiterated this to the Chinese prime minister when the two prime ministers met in Thailand in October 2009. It was reported that during 2016, the Chinese Army had briefly invaded Arunachal Pradesh. This was refuted by the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju.[28] Later, in April 2017, a publicized visit to Tawang by the Dalai Lama (and an earlier visit by the US ambassador to India) was strongly objected to by China and is thought to have strained Indo-China relations.[29] China has previously also objected to the Dalai Lama's visits to the area.[30]

Current name[edit]

NEFA was renamed as Arunachal Pradesh by Late Sri Bibhabasu Das Shastri, then the director of research, on 20 January 1972 and it became a Union Territory. Arunachal Pradesh became a state on 20 February 1987.

More recently, Arunachal Pradesh has come to face threats from certain insurgent groups, notably the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), who are believed to have base camps in the districts of Changlang and Tirap.[31] There are occasional reports of these groups harassing local people and extorting protection money.[32]

Especially along the Tibetan border, the Indian army has a considerable presence due to concerns about Chinese intentions in the region. Special permits called Inner Line Permits (ILP) are required to enter Arunachal Pradesh through any of its checkgates on the border with Assam.

2000-[edit]

Arunachal Pradesh went through a political crisis between April 2015 and December 2016. The Indian National Congress Chief Minister Nabam Tuki replaced Jarbom Gamlin as the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh on 1 November 2011 and continued till January 2016. After a political crisis in 2016, the President's rule was imposed ending his tenure as the chief minister. In February 2016, Kalikho Pul became the Chief Minister when 14 disqualified MLAs were reinstated by the Supreme Court. On 13 July 2016, the Supreme Court quashed the Arunachal Pradesh Governor J.P. Rajkhowa’s order to advance the Assembly session from 14 January 2016 to 16 December 2015, which resulted in President's rule in Arunachal Pradesh. As a result, Tuki restored as the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh on 13 July 2016. But hours before proving majority, he resigned as the Chief Minister on 16 July 2016. He was succeeded by Pema Khandu as the INC Chief Minister but later joined PPA in September 2016 along with majority MLAs. He further joined BJP in December 2016 along with majority MLAs.

Geography[edit]

A kettle lake at Se La just as we enter Tawang district.
A view from Bhalukpong, a small town by the southern reaches of the Himalayas.

Arunachal Pradesh is located between 26.28° N and 29.30° N latitude and 91.20° E and 97.30° E longitude and has an area of 83,743 km2 The topography rapidly rises to 7000 m at its highest peak. Kangto, Nyegi Kangsang, the main Gorichen peak and the Eastern Gorichen peak are some of the highest peaks in this region of the Himalayas. Numerous river valleys dissect the precipitous terrain of Arunachal. Some of the major river valleys (from West to East) are the Kameng, Subansiri, Siyom, Siang (Dihang), Dri, Dibang, Lohit and Noa-Dihing rivers. Mountains till the Siang river are classified under the Eastern Himalayas mountain range. Between the Siang river and the Noa-Dihing river is classified as the Mishmi hills that may be part of the Hengduan Shan, but the true extents of these mountains is unclear. South of the Noa-Dihing in Tirap and Longding districts, the mountains are part of the Patkai Range. The rivers are fed by immense abundance of forest cover that absorb moisture and transfer it to subsurface flows. Summer melt water from snow caps also contribute to the volume of water.

Climate[edit]

The climate of Arunachal Pradesh varies with elevation. The low altitude 100 – 1500 m) have a Humid subtropical climate. High altitude and Very high altitude areas (3500 – 5500 m) have a subtropical highland climate and alpine climate. Arunachal Pradesh receives 2,000 to 5,000 millimetres (79 to 197 in) of rainfall annually,[33] 70 - 80% obtained between May and October.

Biodiversity[edit]

In the year 2000 Arunachal Pradesh was covered with 63,093 km2 of tree cover [34] (77% of its land area). Arunachal's forests account for one-third of habitat area within the Himalayan biodiversity hot-spot.[35] In 2013, 31,273 km2 of Arunachal's forests were identified as part of a vast area of continuous forests (65,730 km2, including forests in Myanmar, China and Bhutan) known as Intact Forest Landscapes.[36] It harbors over 5000 plants, about 85 terrestrial mammals, over 500 birds and a large number of butterflies, insects and reptiles.[37] At the lowest elevations, essentially at Arunachal Pradesh's border with Assam, are Brahmaputra Valley semi-evergreen forests. Much of the state, including the Himalayan foothills and the Patkai hills, are home to Eastern Himalayan broadleaf forests. Toward the northern border with Tibet, with increasing elevation, come a mixture of Eastern and Northeastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests followed by Eastern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows and ultimately rock and ice on the highest peaks. It supports a large number of medicinal plants and within Ziro valley of Lower Subansiri district 158 medicinal plants are being used by its inhabitants.[38] The mountain slopes and hills are covered with alpine, temperate, and subtropical forests of dwarf rhododendron, oak, pine, maple and fir.[39]

Districts[edit]

Arunachal Pradesh districts

Arunachal Pradesh is divided into twenty districts, each administered by a district collector. The districts are:

Major Towns[edit]

Below are the major towns in Arunachal Pradesh.

Municipal Councils[edit]

Municipal Boards[edit]

Notified Towns[edit]

Economy[edit]

The chart below displays the trend of the gross state domestic product of Arunachal Pradesh at market prices by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation with figures in billions of Indian Rupees.[citation needed]

Year Gross Domestic Product (Billion INR)
1980 1.070
1985 2.690
1990 5.080
1995 11.840
2000 17.830
2005 31.880
2010 65.210
2014 155.880

Arunachal Pradesh's gross state domestic product was estimated at US$706 million at current prices in 2004 and US$1.75 billion at current prices in 2012. Agriculture primarily drives the economy. Jhum, the local term used for shifting cultivation is being widely practised among the tribal groups, though owing to the gradual growth of other sources of income in the recent years, it is not being practised as prominently as it was earlier. Arunachal Pradesh has close to 61,000 square kilometres of forests, and forest products are the next most significant sector of the economy. Among the crops grown here are rice, maize, millet, wheat, pulses, sugarcane, ginger, and oilseeds. Arunachal is also ideal for horticulture and fruit orchards. Its major industries are rice mills, fruit preservation and processing units, and handloom handicrafts. Sawmills and plywood trades are prohibited under law.[40] There are many saw mills in AP.[41]

Arunachal Pradesh accounts for a large percentage share of India's untapped hydroelectric potential. In 2008, the government of Arunachal Pradesh signed numerous memorandum of understanding with various companies planning some 42 hydroelectric schemes that will produce electricity in excess of 27,000 MW.[42] Construction of the Upper Siang Hydroelectric Project, which is expected to generate between 10,000 and 12,000 MW, began in April 2009.[43]

Tourism[edit]

Birsa Munda Waterfall
Mehao Lake

The state, on account of its unrivalled aesthetics and diverse cultural heritage possesses a great tourism potential.[44] Popular tourist attractions include Tawang (a town with a Buddhist monastery) at 3000 m elevation, Ziro (which holds cultural festivals),Yomcha (limestone caves called 'tapen uru'), the Namdapha tiger project in Changlang district and Sela lake near Bomdila with its bamboo bridges overhanging the river. Religious places of interest include Malinithan in Lekhabali, Rukhmininagar near Roing (the place as per the popular Hindu mythology, Rukmini, Lord Krishna's wife, said to have lived), and Parshuram Kund in Lohit district as Puranas is the lake where sage Parshuram washed away his sins,[45] The Ganga lake(Gyaker sinyi or Gekar Sinyi)and various other tourist hot spots.

The state provides abundant scope for angling, boating, rafting, trekking and hiking. Rafting and trekking are common activities. Some suggested routes for travel or trekking are

  • Tezpur–Tipi–Bomdila-Tawang-se la pass
  • Tinsukia–Tezu-Parasuramkund
  • Margherita–Miao-Namdapha
  • Itanagar–Ziro-Daporijo–Along (or Aalo)-pandighat.
  • Aalo – Yomcha (52 km)

Over the years, the Jawaharlal Nehru Museum, Itanagar has become an important tourist destination in the state capital.[46][47]

The Golden Pagoda Monastery at Namsai is another tourist attraction.[48]

The state is rich in wildlife and has a number of wildlife sanctuaries and national parks with rare animals, birds and plants. Perhaps the highest diversity of mammals in India is in Arunachal Pradesh (200+ species).[49] The diversity of birds is also very high, 700+ and is second only to Assam.[50]

Demographics[edit]

Nishi Men in traditional dress

Arunachal Pradesh can be roughly divided into a set of semi-distinct cultural spheres, on the basis of tribal identity, language, religion and material culture: the Tibetic area bordering Bhutan in the west, the Tani area in the centre of the state, the Mishmi area to the east of the Tani area, the Tai/Singpho/Tangsa area bordering Myanmar, and the "Naga" area to the south, which also borders Myanmar. In between there are transition zones, such as the Aka/Hruso/Miji/Sherdukpen area, which provides a "buffer" of sorts between the Tibetic Buddhist tribes and the animist Tani hill tribes. In addition, there are isolated peoples scattered throughout the state, such as the Sulung.

Within each of these cultural spheres, one finds populations of related tribes speaking related languages and sharing similar traditions. In the Tibetic area, one finds large numbers of Monpa tribespeople, with several subtribes speaking closely related but mutually incomprehensible languages, and also large numbers of Tibetan refugees. Within the Tani area, major tribes include the Nyishi, which many people have recently come to apply to encompass the derogatory words; like dafla & Hills Miri. Apatani also live among the Nyishi, but are distinct. In the centre, one finds predominantly Galo people, with the major sub-groups of Karka, Lodu, Bogum, Lare and Pugo among others, extending to the Ramo and Pailibo areas (which are close in many ways to Galo). In the east, one finds the Adi with many subtribes including Padam, Pasi, Minyong and Bokar, among others. Milang, while also falling within the general "Adi" sphere, are in many ways quite distinct. Moving east, the Idu, Miju and Digaru make up the "Mishmi" cultural-linguistic area, which may or may not form a coherent historical grouping.

Moving southeast, the Tai Khamti are linguistically distinct from their neighbours and culturally distinct from the majority of other Arunachalese tribes. They follow the Theravada∞ sect of Buddhism. They also exhibit considerable convergence with the Singpho and Tangsa tribes of the same area, all of which are also found in Burma. Besides, the Nocte and Wancho exhibit cultural and possibly also linguistic affinities to the tribes of Nagaland, which they border.

Buddhism is practised by 13% of the population. Shown here is a statue of the Buddha in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh.

Literacy has risen in official figures to 66.95% in 2011 from 54.74% in 2001. The literate population is said to number 789,943. The number of literate males is 454,532 (73.69%) and the number of literate females is 335,411 (59.57%).[52]

Religion[edit]

Circle frame.svg

Religion in State (2011)[53]

  Christianity (30.26%)
  Hinduism (29.04%)
  Donyi-Polo (26.2%)
  Tibetan Buddhism (11.76%)
  Islam (1.9%)
  Other (0.84%)

An uncertain but relatively large percentage of Arunachal's population are nature worshippers (indigenous religions), and follow their own distinct traditional institutions like the Nyedar Namlo by the Nyishi, the Rangfrah by the Tangsa & Nocte, Medar Melo by the Apatani, the Kargu Gamgi by the Galo and Donyi-Polo Dere by the Adi under the umbrella of the indigenous religion the Donyi-Polo. A small number of Arunachali people have traditionally identified as Hindus, although the number may grow as animist traditions are merged with Hindu traditions. Tibetan Buddhism predominates in the districts of Tawang, West Kameng, and isolated regions adjacent to Tibet. Theravada Buddhism is practised by groups living near the Burmese border. Around 30% of the population are followers of the Christian faith.[54]

According to the 2011 Indian Census, the religions of Arunachal Pradesh break down as follows:[55]

  • Christian: 418,732 (30.26%)
  • Hindu: 401,876 (29.04%)
  • Others (mostly Donyi-Polo): 362,553 (26.2%)
  • Buddhist: 162,815 (11.76%)
  • Muslim: 27,045 (1.9%)
  • Sikh: 1,865 (0.1%)
  • Jain: 216 (<0.1%)

As per 2001 census, out of the 705,158 tribals living in Arunachal, 333,102 are Animist (47.24%), 186,617 are Christian (26.46%), 92,577 are Hindu (13.13%), and 82,634 are Buddhist (11.72%).

Out of the 101 recognised tribes, 37 have an animist majority (Nyishi, Adi Gallong, Tagin, Adi Minyong, Adi, Apatani.etc.), 23 have a Christian majority (Wancho, Mossang Tangsa, Bori, Lisu or Yobin.etc.), 15 have a Hindu majority (Mishmi, Mishing/Miri, Deori, Aka, Longchang Tangsa.etc.) and 17 have a Buddhist majority (chakma,Monpa, Khampti, Tawang Monpa, Momba, Singpho, Sherdukpen.etc.). The remaining eight tribes are multi-faith, i.e., they do not have a dominant religion (Nocte, Tangsa, Naga.etc.).[56]

Languages[edit]

Circle frame.svg

Languages of Arunachal Pradesh in 2001[57][58][59]

  Nyishi (18.94%)
  Adi (17.57%)
  Bengali (8.8%)
  Nepali (8.5%)
  Hindi (7.3%)
  Assamese (4.6%)
  Monpa (5.1%)
  Wancho (4.3%)
  Tangsa (3.1%)
  Mishmi (3.1%)
  Mishing (3.0%)
  Nocte (2.9%)
  Other (11.5%)

Modern-day Arunachal Pradesh is one of the linguistically richest and most diverse regions in all of Asia, being home to at least 30 and possibly as many as 50 distinct languages in addition to innumerable dialects and subdialects thereof. Boundaries between languages very often correlate with tribal divisions—for example, Apatani and Nyishi are tribally and linguistically distinct—but shifts in tribal identity and alignment over time have also ensured that a certain amount of complication enters into the picture—for example, Galo is and has seemingly always been linguistically distinct from Adi, whereas the earlier tribal alignment of Galo with Adi (i.e., "Adi Gallong") has only recently been essentially dissolved.

The vast majority of languages indigenous to modern-day Arunachal Pradesh belong to the Paleao-Mongoloid with Tibeto-Burman groups of language family. The majority of these in turn belong to a single branch of Tibeto-Burman, namely Abo-Tani language. Almost all Tani languages are indigenous to central Arunachal Pradesh, including (moving from west to east) speak Tani language viz., the Nyishi, the Apatani, the Tagin, the Galo, the Bokar, the Adi, the Padam, the Pasi, and the Minyong. The Tani language is noticeably characterised by an overall relative uniformity, suggesting relatively recent origin and dispersal within their present-day area of concentration. Most of the Tani languages are mutually intelligible with at least one other Tani language, meaning that the area constitutes a dialect chain, as was once found in much of Europe; only Apatani and Milang stand out as relatively unusual in the Tani context. Tani languages are among the better-studied languages of the region.

To the east of the Tani area lie three virtually undescribed and highly endangered languages of the "Mishmi" group of Tibeto-Burman, Idu, Digaru and Miju. A number of speakers of these languages are also found in Tibet. The relationships of these languages, both amongst one another and to other area languages, are as yet uncertain. Further south, one finds the Singpho (Kachin) language, which is primarily spoken by large populations in Myanmar, and the Nocte and Wancho languages, which show affiliations to certain Naga languages spoken to the south in modern-day Nagaland.

To the west and north of the Tani area are found at least one and possibly as many as four Bodic languages, including Dakpa and Tshangla; within modern-day India, these languages go by the cognate but, in usage, distinct designations Monpa and Memba. Most speakers of these languages or closely related Bodic languages are found in neighbouring Bhutan and Tibet, and Monpa and Memba populations remain closely adjacent to these border regions.

Between the Bodic and Tani areas lie a large number of almost completely undescribed and unclassified languages, which, speculatively considered Tibeto-Burman, exhibit many unique structural and lexical properties that probably reflect both a long history in the region and a complex history of language contact with neighbouring populations. Among them are Sherdukpen, Bugun, Aka/Hruso, Koro, Miji, Bangru and Puroik/Sulung. The high linguistic significance these languages is belied by the extreme paucity of documentation and description of them, even in view of their highly endangered status. Puroik, in particular, is perhaps one of the most culturally and linguistically unique and significant populations in all of Asia from proto-historical and anthropological-linguistic perspectives, and yet virtually no information of any real reliability regarding their culture or language can be found in print.

Finally, other then the Bodic and Tani language there is also certain migratory languages which are largely spoken by migratory and central Government employees who are serving in the state in different departments and institutions in modern-day Arunachal Pradesh. They are classified as Non-Tribal as per the provisions of the Constitution of India.

Outside of Tibeto-Burman, one finds in Arunachal Pradesh a single representative of the Tai languages language family, spoken by the tribe like the Khampti and Singpho which is closely affiliated to the Shan language of the Myanmar. Seemingly, Khampti is a recent arrival in Arunachal Pradesh whose presence dates from 18th and/or early 19th-century migrations from northern Burma. In addition to these non-Indo-European languages, the Indo-European languages Assamese, Bengali, English, Nepali and especially Hindi are making strong inroads into Arunachal Pradesh. Primarily as a result of the primary education system—in which classes are generally taught by Hindi-speaking immigrant teachers from Bihar and other Hindi-speaking parts of northern India—a large and growing section of the population now speaks a semi-creolized variety of Hindi as its mother tongue. Despite, or perhaps because of, the linguistic diversity of the region, English is the only official language recognised in the state.

The speakers of major languages of the state according to the 2001 census are Nyishi (208,337), Adi (193,379), Bengali (97,149), Nepali (94,919), Hindi (81,186), Monpa (55,428), Assamese (51,551), Wancho (48,544), Tangsa (34,231), Mishmi (33,522), Mishing (33,381), Nocte (32,591), and Others (64,711).[60][61]

Transport[edit]

Air[edit]

Itanagar Airport, a Greenfield project serving Itanagar is being planned at Holongi at a cost of Rs. 6.50 billion.[62] The existing state owned Daporijo Airport, Ziro Airport, Along Airport, Tezu Airport and Pasighat Airport are small and are not in operation. The government has proposed to operationalise these airports.[63] Before the state was connected by roads, these airstrips were originally used for the transportation of food.

Roads[edit]

Road Tinsukia to Parashuram Kund in Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh has two highways: the 336 km National Highway 52, completed in 1998, which connects Jonai with Dirak,[64] and another highway, which connects Tezpur in Assam with Tawang. Arunachal Pradesh State Transport Services (or APSTS) is the state-owned road transport corporation. APSTS is running daily bus servicess from Itanagar to most district headquarters including Tezpur, Guwahati in Assam and Shillong in Meghalaya as well as Dimapur in Nagaland.[65][66][67][68] As of 2007, every village has been connected by road thanks to funding provided by the central government. Every small town has its own bus station and daily bus services are available. All places are connected to Assam, which has increased trading activity. An additional National Highway is being constructed following the Stillwell Ledo Road, which connects Ledo in Assam to Jairampur in Arunachal. Work on the ambitious 2,400 km two-lane Trans-Arunachal Highway Project announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 31 January 2008 on his maiden visit to the state, was scheduled to be completed by 2015–16 but now due to political and social reasons it may take another decade.

In 2014, two major highways were proposed to be built in the state: East-West Industrial Corridor Highway, Arunachal Pradesh in the lower foot hills of the state and 2,000-kilometre-long (1,200 mi) Mago-Thingbu to Vijaynagar Arunachal Pradesh Frontier Highway along the McMahon Line,[69][70][71][72] alignment map of which can be seen here [73] and here.[74][75]

Railway[edit]

Arunachal Pradesh got its first railway line in late 2013 with the opening of the new link line from Harmuti on the main Rangpara North-Murkongselak railway line to Naharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh. The construction of the 33 kilometre 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge railway line was completed in 2012, and the link became operational after the gauge conversion of the main line under Project Unigauge. The state capital Itanagar was added to the Indian railway map on 12 April 2014 via the newly built 20 kilometre Harmuti-Naharlagun railway line, when a train from Dekargaon in Assam reached Naharlagun railway station, 10 kilometres from the centre of Itanagar, a total distance of 181 kilometres.[76][77]

On 20 February 2015 the first through train was run from New Delhi to Naharlagun, flagged off from the capital by the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi. India plans to eventually extend the railway to Tawang, near the border with China.[78]

Education[edit]

NERIST academic block
St Claret College Ziro

The state government is expanding the relatively underdeveloped education system with the assistance of NGOs like Vivekananda Kendra, leading to a sharp improvement in the state's literacy rate. The main universities are the Rajiv Gandhi University (formerly known as Arunachal University), under which comes the VENERABLE UKTARA BETHANY COLLEGE, established in the year 2014 in the district of Manmow, by the Bethany Educational Society (Mangalore), presently under administration by Sister Teresa Martis B.S. and some other missionaries of the "Sisters of the Congregation of the Little Flower of Bethany", Indira Gandhi Technological and Medical Sciences University and Himalayan University[79] as well, together with nine affiliated Government Colleges as well as four private colleges. The first college, Jawaharlal Nehru College, Pasighat, was established in 1964. The First Technical University is Established in 2014 namely North East Frontier Technical University (NEFTU). In Aalo, West Siang District by The Automobile Society India, New Delhi. There is also a deemed university, the North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology as well as the National Institute of Technology, Arunachal Pradesh, established on 18 August 2010, is located in Yupia (headquarter of Itanagar).[80] NERIST plays an important role in technical and management higher education. The directorate of technical education conducts examinations yearly so that students who qualify can continue on to higher studies in other states.

There are also trust institutes like Pali Vidyapith run by Buddhists. They teach Pali and Khamti scripts in addition to typical education subjects. Khamti is the only tribe in Arunachal Pradesh that has its own script. Libraries of scriptures are in a number of places in Lohit district, the largest one being in Chowkham.

The state has two polytechnic institutes: Rajiv Gandhi Government Polytechnic in Itanagar established in 2002 and Tomi Polytechnic College in Basar established in 2006. There is one law college called Arunachal Law Academy at Itanagar. The College of Horticulture and Forestry is affiliated to the Central Agricultural University, Imphal.

State symbols[edit]

State Bird State Flower State Animal State Tree Ref
Hornbill Foxtail Orchid Mithun Hollong [81][82]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Government
General information