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Uttarakhand, after bifurcation from Uttar Pradesh, was formed as the 27th state of India on 9th November 2000. It is divided into two broad regions - .Garhwal and Kumaon. The state has 13 districts, 49 sub-divisions, 95 development blocks, 15,638 villages and 86 urban settlements. Uttarakhand is primarily a mountainous state, as the plains constitute only about 10% of its total geographical area. Out of thirteen districts, only Haridwar, Udham Singh Nagar and some parts of Dehradun and Nainital districts are in the plains. The state is part of the central Himalayas and most of the northern area comprises of high ranges and glaciers and the lower reaches are covered by dense forests.
Rich in natural beauty, the state is on the priority list of tourists, with Mussoorie, Almora, Ranikhet and Nainital among the most frequented places in the country. This state is also uniquely positioned for religious tourism as two sacred rivers i.e Ganga and Yamuna emanate from glaciers in the state. Haridwar, Rishikesh, Badrinath and Kedarnath are among the holiest places for pilgrimage for Hindus.
The economy of Uttarakhand is predominantly agrarian as 78 % of its population is dependent on agriculture for livelihood. Land holdings are small and fragmented and irrigation facilities limited, especially in hilly areas, hence, contribution of agriculture is marginal in creating livelihood options. In spite of higher growth after formation of the new state, regional imbalances and lack of employment opportunities, especially in hill districts, continue to plague the social and economic fabric of the state.
Enablers, Drivers & Constraints to Growth
A few major enablers, drivers and also constraints to growth surfaced during the envisioning process and are listed below:
Enablers & Drivers
� High literacy rate
� Potential for hydropower generation
� Potential for adventure, rural and religious tourism
� Rich cultural heritage
� Rich source of biodiversity
� Presence of centres of excellence like IIT Roorkee, GBPUAT, FRI etc. and excellent network of schools in Dehradun and Nainital
� Enabling policies for industrial development and attracting investment
� Harmonious and peaceful social and industrial environment.
High unemployment and low per capita l income �
Absence of avenues for employment and livelihood options �
Migration of men from hills to other states for employment
Poor infrastructure �
Scattered population- over 80% villages have a population <500 �
Inter district variations in terms of access to health and other services, economic development and income �
Drudgery of women in hill districts