This article provides an overview of Maharashtra for those keen on exploring the possibility of living and working there. The information presented is gathered from open sources and is not exhaustive or meant to supplement or substitute legal and professional advice.
- Capital: Mumbai
- Geography: 36 districts
- Land area (2021): 308,000 sq km
- Population (2011 census): 112.4 million
- Head of government: Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray
- State (Official) language: Marathi
- Currency: Indian Rupee (Rs)
- Major cities: Mumbai, Nagpur, Nasik, Pune, Thane, Solapur, Kolhapur, Sangli, Aurangabad, Amravati and Ratnagiri
The state of Maharashtra is located in the western and central part of India. It has a coastline stretching 720 kilometres along the Arabian Sea and is naturally fortified by the Sahyadri and Satpuda mountain ranges. It is surrounded by Gujarat in the northwest, Madhya Pradesh in the north, Chhattisgarh to the east, Telangana to the southeast, Karnataka to the south and Goa to the southwest. It enjoys a tropical monsoon climate with dense and rich forests and is home to six prime tiger reserves and six national parks.
Maharashtra has seven domestic airports located in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Juhu and Nanded. It has four international airports in Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune and Aurangabad, with Mumbai International Airport being one of the busiest airports in India. The government has given administrative and financial approval for the construction of a new international airport in Pune under the State Budget 2021-2022. Maharashtra has two principal ports – Mumbai Port Trust and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust – as well as 48 minor ports.
According to the 2011 population census, Maharashtra has a population of 112.4 million, making it the second most populated state after Uttar Pradesh. It is the third-largest state in terms of land area. With 45.2 percent of its population living in towns, Maharashtra is highly urbanised. Maharashtra has a sex ratio of 929 females per thousand males and a literacy rate of 82.3 percent. The most commonly spoken language is Marathi, with other prominent spoken languages being Hindi, English and Konkani.
In 2019-2020, Maharashtra’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) was US$339.85 billion and accounted for 15.1 percent of India’s GDP, the highest among all states. During the same period, the tertiary sector contributed 60.68 percent to the state’s GSDP, with growth driven by trade, hotels, real estate, finance, insurance, transport, communications and other services. The secondary sector contributed 25.79 percent. The growth in the secondary sector was driven by growth in the manufacturing, construction, and electricity, gas and water supply industries. The primary sector contributed 13.54 percent to the GSDP in 2019-2020, with agriculture as the major contributor, followed by forestry and fishing.
Maharashtra has a well-developed social, physical and industrial infrastructure. The key industries in Maharashtra are pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, information technology (IT) and IT-enabled services, electronics, engineering, auto and auto components, oil and gas, food and agro processing, gems and jewellery, banking, services and insurance (BFSI), and textiles. It is India’s leading producer of sugarcane and cotton and accounts for approximately 35.1 percent of the country’s automobile output by value. It is also a key hub for captive business outsourcing industries. Mumbai, the state’s capital, is also the commercial capital of India and has evolved into a global financial hub with several global banking and financial service firms located there. Pune, the state’s cultural capital, has emerged as an educational hub.
Maharashtra offers a variety of tourist destinations from beaches, forts, caves, hill stations and wildlife sanctuaries to temples and shrines, adventure sports, as well as lakes and waterfalls. It boasts five UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves, Elephanta Caves, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) (previously Victoria Terminus) in Mumbai and the Western Ghats. Other popular tourist destinations include the Gateway of India, Aurangabad city, Koyana dam, Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, the Trimbakeshwar temple, and the Janjira Fort.
Singapore and Maharashtra
Singapore and the state of Maharashtra have formed a number of partnerships. In 2018, Enterprise Singapore and the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to plan and develop the Pune Metropolitan Region and develop its new airport. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Government of Maharashtra signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 2018 to co-develop educational programmes on FinTech and explore potential joint innovation projects on the application of key technologies such as digital and mobile payments, blockchain and big data. In September 2017, Maharashtra and Singapore signed an MoU to promote partnership in the development of ports and airports in the state.