After the partition of India in
1947, the Punjab province of
British India was divided between India and Pakistan. The Indian Punjab was divided in 1966
with the formation of the new states of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh alongside
the current state of Punjab.
Punjab is the only Sikh majority state in India with Sikhs being close
to 60% of the total population of the state.
The word Punjab is a compound of the Persian words panj (five)
and āb(waters). Thus Panjāb roughly means "the land of five
rivers". The five rivers are
the Sutlej, Beas, Ravi, Chenab and Jehlum (also spelled Jhelum).
Traditionally, in English, there used to be a definite article before the name,
i.e. "The Punjab".The name is also sometimes spelled as
"Panjab". While the Greeks already referred to Punjab as Pentapotamia, an
inland delta of five converging rivers, the name Punjab was given to the
region by the Central Asian Turkic conquerors
of India, and popularised by
the Turco-Mongol Mughals.
Punjab's GDP is 3.17 lakh crore
.Punjab is one of the most fertile regions in India. The region is ideal for
wheat-growing. Rice, sugar cane,fruits and vegetables are also grown. Indian
Punjab is called the "Granary of India" or "India's
bread-basket".It produces 10.26% of India's cotton, 19.5% of India's
wheat, and 11% of India's rice. The Firozpur and Fazilka Districts are the
largest producers of wheat and rice in the state. In worldwide terms, Indian
Punjab produces 2% of the world's cotton, 2% of its wheat and 1% of its rice.The largest cultivated crop
is wheat. Other important crops are rice, cotton,sugarcane, pearl millet, maize, barley and fruit. Rice and wheat are doublecropped in Punjab with rice
stalks being burned off over millions of acres prior to the planting of wheat.
This widespread practice is polluting and wasteful. In Punjab the consumption
of fertiliser per hectare is 223.46 kg as compared to 90 kg
nationally. The state has been awarded the National Productivity Award for
agriculture extension services for ten years, from 1991–92 to 1998–99 and from
2001 to 2003–04. In recent years a drop in productivity has been observed,
mainly due to falling fertility of the soil. This is believed to be due to
excessive use of fertilisers and pesticides over the years. Another worry is
the rapidly falling water table on which almost 90% of the agriculture depends;
alarming drops have been witnessed in recent years. By some estimates,
groundwater is falling by a meter or more per year.
According to the India State Hunger Index, Punjab
has the lowest level of hunger in India
Public transport in Punjab is provided by
buses, auto rickshaws,
Indian railways and an international rail connection to Pakistan (Samjhauta Express). The state
has a large network of multimodal transportation systems.