Historical background of the District Sonitpur
Sonitpur is one of the oldest districts of Northern parts of Assam with a rich cultural heritage and glorious past having a lot of historical monuments from the reign of the king of Ashur Bansha, which are scattered in every part of the district. The literal meaning of the name of the district Sonitpur as well as Tezpur is the city of blood. So far as the historical background of the district is concerned, there was a romantic legend of Usha, the daughter of a pious devotee of Lord Shiva, Banashura, and Anirudha, the grandson of Lord Krishna behind the name of the district. After knowing the incidence of love affairs and subsequently Gandharva Bibah took place in between Uaha and Anirudha, the father of Usha the kind Banasura became angry and he imprisoned Anirudha which ultimately led to the arrival of Lord Krishna in order to rescue his grandson. As a result, a fierce battle took place between King Banasura and Lord Krishna in which a number of people lost their lives and the entire place was drenched in human blood. From this incident, the name of the place became Sonitpur or Tezpur i.e. the city of blood.
Geographical Location of the District:
The Sonitpur is the second largest district of Assam after Karbi Anglong covering and area of 5324 sq. Km. Tezpur, the headquarters of the district is the seventh-largest city of the state. The district is situated on the North bank of the mighty river the Brahmaputra in between 260 14’ to 270 North Latitude and 920 16’ to 930 43’ East Latitude. The district is bounded by Lakhimpur district in the eastern side and Darrang district on the Western side. To the North of the district foothills of Arunachal Pradesh are situated. The mighty river Brahmaputra forms the Southern boundary of the district. The district is almost plain with some hilly areas in the northern part of the district.
Administrative Profile of the District:
The district Sonitpur was created by the Govt. of Assam on 14th July 1983 by bifurcating the Tezpur Sub-Division from the original Darrang District. Recently the Sonitpur district is again sub-divided into two parts – one is Sonitpur district and the other part is Biswanath district. Till now, this DIET is serving the old Sonitpur district. The old district Sonitpur has three Sub-Divisions namely Tezpur, Biswanath, and Gohpur of which Biswanath and Gohpur Sub-Division are under the newly created Biswanath district. The headquarters of the district Sonitpur i.e. Tezpur is located 198 KM (Via Nagaon) and 185 KM (Via Mongaldoi) away from the state capital. The entire Sonitpur district is divided into following administrative sub-units –
Administrative Structure of the Sonitpur District at a glance
- Nos. of Sub-Division – 3 (Three) Tezpur, Biswanath and Gohpur
- Nos. of Revenue Circle – 7
- Nos. of Community Development Block – 14
- Nos. of Mouza – 25
- Nos. of Zila Parishad Constituency – 32
- Nos. of Anchalik Panchayat – 14
- Nos. of Gram Panchayat – 159
- Nos. of Revenue Villages – 1952
- Nos. of Habitations – 5344
- Nos. of Elementary Education Block – 7
- Nos. of Block Resource Centre – 7
- Nos. of Cluster Resource Centre – 179
- Nos. of Assembly Constituency – 8
- Nos. of Municipality Board – 3
- Nos. of Town Committee – 2
- Nos. of Tea Garden – 95
Demographic Features of the District:
According to the 2011 census report, Sonitpur district is marked as the third most populous district of the state after old Nowgaon and Dhuburi. The total population of the district is 1924110 of which male and female populations are 983904 (about 51.13% of the total population of the district) and 940206 (48.80% to the total population of the district) respectively. The population of Sonitpur district constitutes 6.17% of the state’s total population with moderate population density i.e. 370 people per Sq.Km. and sex ratio of 956 nos. of female per 1000 male. The following table shows the decadal growth of the population of India, Assam and Sonitpur district from 2001 to 2011.
Decadal Growth of Population of India, Assam and Sonitpur District During 2001 – 2011:
|Country/State/ District||Population||Census year||Decadal Growth|
|India||Male||651277078 (51.73%)||623121843 (51.47%)||17.64%|
|Female||495738169 (48.27%)||587447730 (48.53%)|
|Assam||Male||13787799 (51.76%)||15939443 (51.08%)||17.07%|
|Female||12850608 (48.24%)||15266133 (48.92%)|
|Sonitpur||Male||871568 (51.83%)||983904 (51.13%)||15.55%|
|Female||809945 (48.17%)||940206 (48.85%)|
Educational Status of the District:
Regarding the educational status of the district, Sonitpur district is recognized as one of the advanced district of Assam. According to 2011 census, the total literacy rate of the district is 67.34% which is just 4.85% below the state’s total literacy percentage (72.19%) and 6.7% below the national average as per 2011 census, the male and female literacy rate of the district is 7365% and 60.73% respectively whereas in case of Assam it is 77.85% and 63.00% respectively. There is a considerable increase of male (6.41%) and female (8.3%) during the last decade. Most of the illiterate people are found among the socially, economically and educationally backward communities and areas such as tribal areas, Char areas and tea garden areas etc. The following table shows the sex wise comparative literacy rate of India, Assam and Sonitpur district as per 2011 census.
Various educational institutions of the district
For proper administration and better functioning of elementary education system the entire district is divided into seven elementary education blocks under seven Block Elementary Education Officer (one in each block) who control over a number of lower elementary and upper elementary schools, entrusted to each education block. There is one District Elementary Education Office at the District Elementary Education Office who is responsible for elementary schools of the district. The district is again sub-divided into two educational sub-division named as Tezpur and Biswanath Chariali under two Deputy Inspector of Schools (D.I.). Bedside there is one Inspector of School and Assistant Inspector of School who are responsible for all High School (Class VI to X) and Higher Secondary School (VI to XII) situated in the district. In addition to these, in each education block, there are number of School Inspectors who are serving as an administrative cum academic personnel. In spite of several efforts undertaken by the department of education, Govt. of Assam, though almost every part of the district is provided with universal access for primary education for achieving UEE, but still a consideration portion of the district is remaining un-served with minimum facilities of elementary education.
There are 2418 numbers of lower primary schools out of which 1939 numbers provincialized LP, 99 numbers Tea Garden LP and 380 nos. of venture LP schools established in the district which provide education to the students at the primary level.
Besides, the district has 58 nos. of provicialized Middle Vernacular (MV) schools, 172 nos. of provincialized ME and 172 nos. of recognized ME schools. Moreover, in Sonitpur district there are 90 nos. of composite schools and 8 nos. of ME Madrasa which are located in different parts of the district. In addition to these, the district has following education institution in various locations which fulfil the educational requirement of the district.
- Tezpur Central University, Tezpur
- College of Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) Tezpur and Biswanath Chariali
- College of Agriculture, Biswanath Chariali
- Industrial Training Institute (ITI), Tezpur and Behali
- District Institute of Education and Training
- Normal School, Sootea
- Colleges – 10 Nos.
|Sl.No.||Name of Block||L.P.||M.V.||M.E.||Composite|
|Prov.||New Prov.||TG||Venture||Total||Prov.||Prov.||New Prov.||TG||Venture||Total||Prov.||New Prov.||Recog.||Venture||Total|
Socio cultural background of the district
Sonitpur district is well known for its rich cultural identity. The entire district is a place of historical significance with a number of historical monuments scattered in every corner of the district. So Sonitpur is considered as the cultural capital of Assam and Assamese culture where stones tell stories while valleys sing song. The natural beauty of the district is unique. The district Sonitpur is an inhabitant of many people from different tribes, castes and religion. The migration of different ethnic groups into the district has created a unique panorama with the admixture of various culture and tradition among the different ethnic groups. The headquarters of the district, Tezpur is the birth place of a number well known personalities of different field such as Rupkonwar Jyotiprasad Agarwala, Kalaguru Bishnu Rabha and Nata Surya Phani Sarmah etc.
Sonitpur is recognized as one of the multilingual, multicultural and multiethnic district of Assam. The major ethnic groups living in this district are Bodo, Missing, Karbi, Deuri, Nepali, Tea Tribes and Rabha which have their unique socio-cultural characteristics with remarkable ethnicity. A considerable portion of the district’s total population is covered by Muslim Minority which are residing mainly in the Char area of the Brahmaputra river.
In respect of language though Assamese is the principal language in the district but in addition to this there are some other languages such as Bengali, Hindi, Bodo including some local dialects of certain communities used as a means of communication.
The economy of the district is predominantly agriculture based where approximately 80 90% population specially who are living in rural areas depends on agriculture and its allied services as their livelihood. Tough paddy is considered on the principal crop grown in the district, but in certain pockets, pulses, oilseeds, sugarcane, potato, vegetables, onion, garlic etc. are grown by people in a large scale. The most important economical feature of the district is dominated by the existence of Tea Garden which not only provides an ample employment opportunity of the locality. There are all total 95 nos. of small and big Tea Garden distributed in different corners of the entire district.