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Goa

Particulars Description
Area 3,702 sq. km
Population 14,57,723 *
Capital Panaji
Principal Languages Konkani(official Language)
Other Languages Marathi, Hindi, English, Kannada

History and Geography

Goa, known in the bygone days as Gomanchala, Gopakapattam, Gopakapuri, Govapuri, Gomantak, etc., abounds in a rich historical heritage. Early history of Goa is obscure. In the first century of the Christian era, Goa was a part of the Satavahana empire, followed by the Kadamba, the Rashtrakutas of Malkhed, the Chalukyas and the Silharas. The empire of the Yadavas by the end of the 14th century was displaced by the Khiljis of Delhi and thus Muslim rule came to Goa. After the discovery of the sea route to India by Vasco-da-Gama in 1498, many Portuguese expeditions came to India. In 1510, Alfonso de Albuquerque with the help of the emperor of Vijayanagar attacked and captured Goa. With the arrival of the Jesuit priest Francis Xavier in 1542 proselytisation began in Goa. However, the Portuguese continued to rule over the territory except for an interlude during the latter half of the 17th century when Shivaji conquered a few areas in and around Goa. Even after India's independence, Goa continued to be in the hands of the Portuguese. However, they could not fulfil the aspirations of the Goan people and ultimately on 19 December 1961, Goa was liberated and made a composite union territory with Daman and Diu. On 30 May 1987 Goa was conferred statehood and Daman and Diu was made a separate union territory.

Goa is situated on the western coast of the Indian Peninsula. On its north runs the Terekhol River which separates Goa from Maharashtra and on the south lies North Canara district of Karnataka. On the east lie the Western Ghats and on the west the Arabian Sea. Panaji, Margao, Vasco, Mapusa and Ponda are the main towns of Goa.

Goa is currently celebrating the Golden Jubilee of its liberation and 25 years of attainment of full-fledged Statehood.

Agriculture

The total cultivated area in Goa is 160320 hectares while the total production was 108333 tons. A total of 30,632 hectares area was cultivated under paddy during last kharif season. It is proposed to take up soil testing and soil mapping of Queperm and Sattari to know the soil fertility. Budgetary provision of Agricultural Development was enhanced from Rs.17 crores four years ago to Rs.70 crores. Several schemes have also been launched by the Government through Directorate of Agriculture to promote farming and attract youth towards this activity. Farmers can avail the benefit of up to 90 per cent on solar power battery fencing scheme. A subsidy of up to 90 per cent is also provided for construction of polyhouses and green houses. Similar subsidies are provided for drip irrigation and for construction if Biogas plants. In order to enhance the yield of sugarcane it is proposed to provide 90 per cent subsidy on Drip Irrigation. The Government has also taken steps to recognize the contribution from Biogas to contribution of progressive farmers to the State economy by awarding them three State level awards of Rs.2 lakh, Rs.1 lakh and Rs.50 thousand in the name of Krishi Ratna, Krishi Vihushan and Krishi Bhushan respectively. This initiative will undoubtedly encourage the farmers to adopt modern agriculture techniques and boos production in Goa. The government has spent an amount to the tune of Rs.12.5 crores on extending subsidy to several farmers.

Water Resources

Tillari Irrigation Project, an ambitious joint venture project under major and medium irrigation aimed at creating an irrigation potential of 21,056 hectares and 117.03 MCM of water for domestic and industrial use is expected to be completed in the financial year 2011-12. For better and efficient utilization of the potential so created, apart from the irrigation purpose it is proposed to supply to PWD. The Water Resources Department apart from supplying raw water for irrigation has also augmented with 25 MLD raw water from Chapora river at Sal and 10 MLD from Amthane tank. A total 6 Bandharas (small dams) have been built across Assonora river to augment raw water supply during the lean season. Opa Water Works has been augmented with a 50 MLD raw water fed from SIP canal to Kalay river. 35 MLD raw water is fed from Medei river at Gunjem to Khandepur river. A total 19 Bandharas have been built across Kalay and the Khandepar river to augment raw water during lean season.

Forest

As decided by the United Nations, the Goa Government is celebrating this year as International year of Forests. Goa has a good forest cover of 34 per cent against the national requirement of 33 per cent and nearly 62 per cent tree cover. During the year 6 lakh seedlings were planted and nearly one lakh seedings distributed to various institutions and industries to make tree planting a people's movement.

Social Welfare

It is proposed to provide a insurance cover through an insurance policy scheme to be called as 'Swaranjayanti Aarogya Bima' to the entire resident population of the State similar on the lines of Central Government's health insurance scheme for BPL families called as Rashtriya Bima Swasthya Yojana.

Industry

All schemes under the State Industrial Policy as well as the state Biotoch Policy will continue to be in force and will be used for further development. The setting up of Goa IT Knowledge Centre at Verma to provide incubation facilities in the IT sector is proposed. To provide encouragement to artisans of Goan handicrafts, it is proposed to develop Goa Haat-cum-shilpagram, new emporiums in Goa and outside Goa and develop e-portal for the of handicraft items across the globe. The Government also intends to set up a marketing centre for women Self Help Groups (SHGs) at Margao to provide forward and backward linkages.

Information and Publicity

The Department of Information and Publicity is a nodal agency for dissemination of information and policies and programmes of the Government. It implements the scheme such as interest on computer loan to journalists, financial assistance to indigent journalists, Patrakar Kritandnyata Nidhi Goa Journalists Welfare Scheme (pension scheme); Goa scheme of financial assistance for films, songs and drama services and others. The pension for journalists has been enhanced from Rs.2000 to Rs.4000 per month. It is also proposed to provide a well equipped Media Facilitation Centre at each Taluka headquarters. The Entertainment Society of Goa, a special vehicle has been established for organizing film related activities including organization of International Film Festival of India. A scheme to provide financial assistance to produce films is implemented through this special vehicle.

Art and Culture

The Government desires to give thrust on Library movement in Goa in order to make the libraries as information and knowledge centres. This year Goa is celebrating the brith centenary year of Bhausaheb Bandodkar, the first Chief Minister of Goa who was a man of vision. He had established many socio-cultural institutions and patronized them. Two of these include, Vivekanand Society, Panaji and Janata Vachanalaya, Mormugao. In appreciation of their contribution to the society and in honour of Bhausheb Bandodkar, it is proposed to provide a grant of Rs.5 lakh each. The government intends to document all forms of folk art, folk festivals, other cultural traditions and intangible heritage of Goa state, through audio-video documentation, for which adequate budgetary provision has been provided within the existing scheme of Directorate of Art and Culture.

Education

The Government has strong commitment to enhance IT literacy at school level itself, and to strengthen computer laboratories in all high and higher secondary schools in the state. The Education Department is in the process of strengthening the computer laboratories by providing an additional 10 computers, 2 printers and UPS, web camera and internet connectivity. The Scheme of School Computer Laboratories shall be taken on priority for implementation as mentioned above would replace the Cyberage (EDUNET) Scheme from 2010-11. The Government also intends to implement the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, a Central sector scheme in the State.

Health

New Rural medical dispensary was established at Keri-Sattari equipped with Pathology Lab, dental and ultrasound facilities. Goa became the first state in the country launch diabetic registry. The District hospital at Margao will cater to the health care needs of entire south Goa. New District Hospital as Mapusa has been completed. The new 170 bedded ID hospital at Ponda is nearing completion. Other new hospitals are at Sanqulim, Bicholim and Valpoi.

Transport

As on 31/12/2008 the total number of driving licenses issued in Goa is 4,40,152 and the total number of vehicles registered in Goa is 6,59,012.

Roads:Of the motorable roads, national highway constitutes 264 kms, state highways 279.4 kms and other roads MDR/RR/4501.18 kms.

Railways: Goa is linked with Mumbai, Mangalore and Thiruvananthapuram through the Konkan Railway, which has introduced several fast trains on these lines. Vasco da Gama is connected with Bengaluru and Belgaum on the South Central Railway, presently for goods traffic only.

Aviation: : Mumbai, Delhi, Thiruvananthapuram, Cochin, Chennai, Agati and Bengaluru are linked with Dabolim through regular Airlines services.

Ports: Mormugao is the major port in the State. Mormugao handles cargo vessels. Minor ports are located at Panaji, Tiracol, Chapora Betul and Talpona, out of which Panaji is the main operative port. One off-shore berth at Panaji has also been commissioned.

Health

The health care services in the state are made available to the people at their door steps. It is one of the best performing states in India in the matter of health and medical care. Under Mediclaim scheme financial assistance has been enhanced to Rs.8 lakh. Mobile health care vans and the unique 108 ambulance services have been introduced to cater to the health care needs of the people advanced emergency paramedics rooms have been established at Government run primary health centres to stabilise patients inflicted with major diseases.

Tourist Centres


Anjuna beach Goa

Basilica of Bom Jesus

Important tourist centres are Colva, Calangute, Vagator, Baga, Harmal, Anjuna and Miramar beaches; Basilica of Bom Jesus and Se Cathedral churches at Old Goa; Kavlem, Mardol, Mangeshi, Bandora temples; Aguada, Terekhol, Chapora and Cabo de Rama Forts; Dudhsagar and Harvalem waterfalls and Mayem lake resort. The state has rich wildlife sanctuaries, viz., Bondla, Cotigao, Molem and Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary at Chorao covering an area of 354 sq km.

* As per 2011 Census (Provisional Data)

Source: India Book 2012 - A Reference Annual