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Chandigarh

Chandigarh, also called City Beautiful, is a city in India that serves as the capital of two states, Punjab and Haryana, and is a union territory of India.

Known internationally for its architecture and urban planning, Chandigarh is home to numerous architectural projects of Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Matthew Nowicki, and Albert Mayer. The city boasts a high standard of living with the highest per capita income in the country and tops the list of Indian States and Union Territories with a Human Development Index of 0.674.

History

After the partition of British India into the two nations of India and Pakistan in 1947, the region of Punjab was also split between India and Pakistan. The Indian state of Punjab required a new capital city to replace Lahore, which became part of Pakistan during the partition. After several plans to make additions to existing cities were found to be infeasible for various reasons, the decision to construct a new and planned city was undertaken. The city derives its name from Chandi Mandir, a temple of goddess Chandi, located in nearby Panchkula District of Haryana. The word Chandigarh literally means "the fort of Chandi".

Of all the new town schemes in independent India, the Chandigarh project quickly assumed prime significance, because of the city's strategic location as well as Jawaharlal Nehru's (the first Prime Minister of independent India) personal interest in it. Commissioned by Nehru to reflect the new nation's modern, progressive outlook, Nehru famously proclaimed Chandigarh to be "unfettered by the traditions of the past, a symbol of the nation's faith in the future." Several buildings and layouts in Chandigarh were designed by the Swiss-born French architect and planner, Le Corbusier in the 1950s. Le Corbusier was in fact the second architect of the city, after the initial master plan was prepared by the American architect-planner Albert Mayer who was working with the Polish-born architect Matthew Nowicki. It was only after Nowicki's untimely death in 1950 that Le Corbusier was pulled into the project.

On 1 November 1966, the newly-formed Indian state of Haryana was carved out of the eastern portion of the Punjab, in order to create Haryana as a majority Hindi speaking state, while the western portion of Punjab retained a mostly Punjabi-speaking majority and remained as the current day Punjab. However, the city of Chandigarh was on the border, and was thus created into a union territory to serve as capital of both these states. Chandigarh was due to be transferred to Punjab in 1986, in accordance with an agreement signed in August 1985 by Rajiv Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India at that time, with Sant Harchand Singh Longowal of the Akali Dal. This was to be accompanied by the creation of a new capital for Haryana, but the transfer has been delayed pending an agreement on which parts of the Hindi speaking areas of Abohar and Fazilka, currently part of Firozpur District of Punjab, should be transferred to Haryana in exchange

Economy

The government is a major employer in Chandigarh with three governments having their base here. A significant percentage of Chandigarh’s population therefore consists of people who are either working for one of these governments or have retired from government service. For this reason, Chandigarh is often called a “Pensioner's Paradise”. There are about 15 medium to large industrial including two in the Public sector. In addition Chandigarh has over 2500 units are registered under small scale sector. The important industries are paper manufacturing, basic metals and alloys and machinery. Other industries are relating to food products, sanitary ware, auto parts, machine tools, pharmaceuticals and electrical appliances. Yet, with a Per Capita Income of Rs. 67,370, Chandigarh is the richest city in India. Chandigarh's gross state domestic product for 2004 is estimated at $2.2 billion in current prices.

Chandigarh has a well developed market and banking infrastructure. Nearly all the major banks in the country have registered their presence in Chandigarh. Most banks with a pan India presence have their zonal/regional offices present in Chandigarh. In fact Bank square in Sector 17 in Chandigarh has a large presence of such offices all in one section of the commercial sector. Three major trade promotion organizations have their offices in Chandigarh. These are: Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, (FICCI) the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( PHDCCI) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) which has its regional headquarters at Sector 31, Chandigarh.

This is a list of top NSE-indexed conglomerates with corporate offices in Chandigarh. Figures are given in millions of Indian Rupees for year ending March 2007.

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