One of the seven sister states of north-east India, sited in the foothills of the eastern Himalayas along the Brahmaputra and Barak river valleys, Assam (pop. 30 million) covers an area of 78,438 sq. km. Dispur is its admin capital while Guwahati its cultural, educational and business hub.
The land-locked state’s first English-medium school was established in Guwahati in 1934. Since then, education institutions have multiplied statewide to meet the demand for high-quality English-medium schooling from upwardly-mobile middle class parents. Among the state’s top-ranked schools are the Miles Bronson Residential School, Royal Global School, Guwahati and Assam Valley School, Balipara. Guwahati also hosts the campuses of the Indian Institute of Technology and Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
Globally famous for its high-quality teas and silk as much as for its one-horned rhinos and Asiatic elephants, Assam’s economy has a projected gross domestic product of Rs.3.74 lakh crore in 2019-20 with the state contributing more than half of India’s total tea production. It also has large reserves of petroleum and natural gas, and is rich in minerals such as coal, limestone, magnetic quartzite, kaolin, clay and feldspar.
The Assam-Arakan basin holds a quarter of the country’s oil reserves, and produces 12 percent of the country’s total petroleum output. Major agricultural crops are rice, rapeseed, mustard seed, jute, potato, sugarcane and turmeric. Moreover, the state hosts two UNESCO World Heritage sites — the Kaziranga National Park and Manas Wildlife Sanctuary.