Jharkhand, state (2001 provisional pop. 26,909,428), 30,775 sq mi (79,714 sq km), E central India; created in 2000 from S Bihar, which now forms its northern border. Other bordering states are Chhattisgarh (W), West Bengal (E), and Odisha (Orissa; S). The capital is Ranchi. Part of the Chotanagpur plateau and a generally hilly region, Jharkhand rises to its greatest height (4,480 ft/1,365 m) in the Parasnath Hills of the east and has two major rivers, the Damodar and the Sawarnrekha. The state is a great source of India's mineral wealth with about a third of the nation's coal deposits as well as quantities of copper, mica, bauxite, quartz, chromite, dolomite, titanium, uranium, gold, and many others. Iron ore is found in the south and is processed at steelworks in Jamshedpur and Bokaro. In addition, the state has mines, factories, and large timber reserves from the forests that cover nearly 30% of its area. Its arable land produces various kinds of fruits and vegetables. Despite these resources, by the beginning of the 21st cent. the state was underdeveloped. The population is characterized by a large number of non-Hindu tribal peoples, many of them from the aboriginal Santal group. A movement advocating the separation of this culturally distinct region from the state of Bihar began in the early years of the 20th cent., recurred a number of times, peaked during the 1980s, and sparked violence in the 1990s.
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