(Last Updated on : 04/12/2012)
Andaman and Nicobar Islands, lying to the East of the Indian mainland, comprise an archipelago of 572 emeralds islands, islets and rocks. It comprises of two islands namely, the Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands. These islands separate the Andaman Sea to the East from the Indian Ocean
. They stretch over a length of more than 700 kilometres. From North to South there are 36 occupied islands beautifully covered with evergreen forests and hills. Port Blair is the capital of this union territory.
History of Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The history of Andaman and Nicobar Islands
can be traced from the period of British rule in India
. The name Andaman is believed to have come from "Handuman", which in Malay language means Lord Hanuman
. The name "Nicobar" in Malay language means land of the naked people. In the prehistoric times, the aboriginal tribes are believed to have inhabited the islands. During the 17th century, the islands provided a temporary maritime base for the ships of the Marathas. In the year 1789, the British inhabited the place. In 1950 Andaman and Nicobar Islands became a part of the Indian Union Territories
Geography of Andaman and Nicobar Islands
This Island is located in the Bay of Bengal
, 1255 km from Kolkata
and 1190 km from Chennai
. There are over 572 islands in the territory, of which 38 are permanently inhabited. The two important islets of the Nicobar islands are the Ritchie's Archipelago and Labyrinth Islands. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are separated by a channel. The islands reach maximum altitude at Saddle Peak, which is formed of limestone, sandstone and clay. Around 50,000 hectares of land here are under cultivation. The island experiences a tropical climate.
Demographics of Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The tribal inhabitants of Andaman and Nicobar Islands dwell in a scattered fashion, inhabiting several islands of this group. With a distinctive culture, language and habit, the aboriginals are still unattached from civilised society today. The total population of Anadaman and Nicobar Islands as per census of 2011 is 379944. The literacy rate among the male population is 86.27% and the female is 81.84% as per 2011 census.
Culture of Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Andaman and Nicobar Islands have a unique culture. The culture of Andaman and Nicobar Islands
has a harmonious blend of different religions, languages and ethnic groups. The island is known as Mini India. The capital, Port Blair has a cosmopolitan character. All important festivals are celebrated with equal enthusiasm by all religious groups. The major languages spoken are Nicobarese, English, Hindi
, Malayalam, Tamil
Education in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Andaman and Nicobar Islands state education has a very strong network of schools and centres of higher education. The education department of Andaman and Nicobar is devoted towards enhancing the education profile of the State.
The school education of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is the primary base of state education. It is highly subsidized and expensive. The department of education has left no stone unturned to draw the attention to the children towards the schools and thus enhance the literacy rate of the State. There are more than 200 primary schools comprising the Andaman and Nicobar Islands state education. There are a number of schools and colleges featured the state education of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Various Ashram schools have been established in the tribal areas to propagate education among the tribal people of the islands.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands State Education also has a great infrastructure for higher education among the people of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The colleges of Andaman and Nicobar were originally affiliated to the Rangoon University. However, the cessation of Burma from India brought about a change in the structure of state education at Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The colleges thereafter became affiliated to the University of Calcutta
. The higher education belonged to Andaman and Nicobar State Education includes two training institutes, two polytechnic colleges, a government B.Ed. College and a government college.
Administration in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The administration in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
is carved out by the British Government of India and now it is treated as Union Territory of India. In 1874, the British Government in India had placed the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in one administrative territory. At that time, it was headed by a Chief Commissioner. The Chief Commissioner had to rule the whole territory. He also plays the role as a Judicial Administrator. After the independence of India, Andaman and Nicobar Island is treated as Union territory of India. Lt General (Retd) Bhopinder Singh, PVSM, AVSM is the present Governor of Andaman and Nicobar islands.
Economy of Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Farming and fishing are the main sources of income here. Tourism is also another source of income for the state. There are also a number of small scale, village and handicrafts industry. There are shell and wood-based handicraft units. Medium sized industrial units are engaged in the production of polythene bags, PVC conduit pipes and fittings, paints, fibre glass and mini flour mills, soft drinks and beverages, etc. are also found here. Small scale industries and handicraft cottage industries are also engaged in bakery products, rice
milling, furniture making etc. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation have also developed in the field of tourism in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
, fisheries, industries and industrial financing.
Tourism in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Andaman and Nicobar Islands house several museums, emporiums and other places of interest. The beaches, however, remain the dominant factor in attracting tourists. Among the many places that may be visited here are Port Blair, the historic Cellular Jail
, Anthropological Museum, a Burmese temple at Phoenix Bay, the Ghol Ghar spice stores, and the Cottage Industries Emporium. Beaches here include Corbyn's Cove Beach
, Wandoor and Shirya Tapu at the southern tip of the island. Scuba Diving and snorkelling
are some of the popular adventure sports here.