Punjab is a state in northwest India. The Indian state borders the Pakistani province of Punjab to the west, Jammu and Kashmir to the north, Himachal Pradesh to the northeast, Chandigarh to the east, Haryana to the south and southeast and Rajasthan to the southwest. The total area of the state is 50,362 square kilometres (19,445 square miles). The population is 24,289,296 (2000). Punjab's capital is Chandigarh, which is administered separately as a Union Territory since it is also the capital of neighbouring Haryana. Other major cities of Punjab include Mohali, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Patiala and Jalandhar.
The Indian Punjab historically forms a part of the larger Punjab region, which includes the Pakistani province of Punjab and the North-West Frontier Province, the Indian states of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, parts of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Chandigarh, which boasts the highest per capita income and Human Development Index in India.Indian Punjab was trifurcated in the year 1966 leading to the formation of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
Agriculture is the largest industry in Punjab, it is the largest single provider of wheat to India. Others major industries include the manufacture of scientific instruments, electrical goods, financial services, machine tools, textiles, sewing machines, sports goods, starch, tourism, fertilizers, bicycles, garments, and the processing of pine oil and sugar. Punjab is considered to have the best infrastructure in India , this includes road, rail, air and river transport links that are extensive throughout the region. Punjab also has the lowest poverty rate in India at 6.16% (1999-2000 figures), and has won the best state performance award, based on statistical data compiled by the Indian Government. According to the India State Hunger Index 2008, Punjab has the lowest level of hunger in India.