Pune, also called Poona, the official name until 1978, is the second largest city in the Indian state of Maharashtra, after Mumbai. With an estimated population of 6.4 million, it is the ninth most populous city in the country.
Pune is the cultural capital of the Maratha peoples. It was the seasonal capital of the Bombay Presidency and is now a popular tourist resort, offering cool weather, historic and religious monuments, museums, parks, hotels, and cultural attractions.
The city has a hot semi-arid climate bordering with tropical wet and dry with average temperatures ranging between 20 and 28 °C.
Data and Facts
- Etymology: Pune is derived from a word called Punya, which literally means the conflux of two rivers, as it is settled at the confluence of the Muthi and Mula rivers. As per few old records it was called Punaka Desha and later Punekavadi, Punevadi, Kasaba Pune.
- Savitribai Phule along with her associate Fatima Begum set up the first Indian girl’s school at Bhide-Wada in Pune in 1848.
- Pune has thousands of international students graduating every year therefore,it has gained the nickname of the Oxford of the East.
- Pune is said to be where badminton originated in India. As per records, the game was brought to the city by several British soldiers who were posted within Pune, then called Poona.
- Language: Marathi, Hindi, English
- Currency: Indian rupee (INR)
- Median age: 28.1 years
- Life expectancy: 69.1 years
- Religion: 78.9% Hinduism, 15.4% Islam, 2.4% Christianity
Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is the civic body responsible for local government. It comprises two branches, the executive branch headed by the Municipal Commissioner, an IAS officer appointed by the Government of Maharashtra, and an elected deliberative branch, the general body, headed by the Mayor of Pune.
Municipal elections are held every five years to elect councillors, commonly known as "corporators", who form the general body. The current general body of the PMC elected in February 2017 has 162 corporators representing 41 wards.
The role of the mayor is largely ceremonial as the real powers are vested in the Municipal Commissioner. It is elected from within the ranks of the council in a quinquennial election. The elections are conducted in all 76 regions in the city to elect corporators. The current mayor of the city is Murlidhar Mohol.
Pune has the eighth largest metropolitan economy and the sixth highest per capita income in the country. Since the 1950s, Pune has housed traditional industries and has seen some spectacular growth in recent years. The city is known for manufacturing, automobile, government & private sector, research institutes and information technology.
Pune has also emerged as a new hub for tech startups in India. NASSCOM, in association with MIDC, has started a co-working space for city based startups under its 10,000 startups initiative at Kharadi MIDC.
A sprawling complex of industrial suburbs has developed around the city. Large factories producing a wide variety of products are distributed along the roads radiating from Pune to Mumbai (Bombay), Ahmadnagar, Solapur, and Satara. The old city is largely residential and commercial.
Pune is also known as the “Motor city”. The Kirloskar Group came to Pune in 1945 when Kirloskar Brothers Ltd set up Kirloskar Oil Engines, India's largest diesel engine company, at Khadki. The group has several group companies in Pune including Kirloskar Pneumatics and Kirloskar Brothers Limited, one of India's largest manufacturers and exporters of pumps and the largest infrastructure pumping project contractor in Asia
Automotive companies such as Bajaj Auto, Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Mercedes Benz, Force Motors, Kinetic Motors, General Motors, Land Rover, Jaguar, Renault, Volkswagen, and Fiat have set up greenfield facilities near Pune.
Pune is well-connected to other cities by Indian and state highways. Compared to the rest of the country, the traffic congestion in this city is not an issue.
Public transport in Pune includes Pune Suburban Railway, bus services operated by PMPML and auto rickshaws. Online transport network companies such as Uber and Ola Cabs also provide rideshare and taxi services in the city. It also stands out that Pune Metro, a mass rapid transit system, is under construction and is expected to be operational by 2021.
The city is served by the Pune International Airport, an international Airport at Lohegaon, operated by the Airports Authority of India. It shares its runways with the neighbouring Indian Air Force base. In addition to domestic flights to all major Indian cities, the airport has international direct flights to Dubai. A new international airport has been proposed, due to the limited capacity of the existing airport.
Pune is emerging as a city that has an internationally acclaimed university, a young demographic population and a tech hub that is beginning to challenge the hegemony of Bangalore. The city is only 75 miles from the financial center of Mumbai, and, unusually for India, it has great transportation and nothing like the traffic problems of other Indian cities.
Fast emerging as an InfoTech hub, Pune has become a full-fledged business base for well-known software giants such as Wipro, Infosys, Satyam, Tata Technologies, TCS, Kanbay, Veritas, Cognizant, PCS, and Mahindra British Telecom.
India’s startup scene has evolved a great deal over the last two years, following the global trend in cloud, mobile and digital startups.
Some of the startups that are emerging and growing at a fast pace in the city:
- Foghorn Systems, listed in the Top 25 IoT startups to watch out for in 2019 by Forbes. Foghorn provides real-time analytics and machine learning support for industrial and commercial IoT operations.
- SnappyData, a High-Performance In-Memory Data Platform.
- Tarana Wireless, a fixed wireless access network solutions provider.
- AgroStar, a platform that provides technology and data-driven solutions for challenges faced by farmers in Rural India.
Social wellness and human resources
Healthcare in the area is provided by private and public facilities. There are three government hospitals: Sassoon Hospital, Budhrani and Dr Ambedkar Hospital. Some other private hospitals in the city are Ranka Hospital, Sahyadri or Jahangir Nursing Home.
The city is considered to be the cultural capital of Maharashtra. It is also known as the "Oxford of the East" due to the presence of several well-known educational institutions. The city has emerged as a major educational hub in recent decades, with nearly half of the total international students in the country studying in Pune.
Research institutes of information technology, education, management and training attract students and professionals from India and overseas.
Pune has over a hundred educational institutes and more than nine deemed universities apart from the Savitribai Phule Pune University which is the largest University in the country.
A number of Marathi-language newspapers from the British era continued publishing decades after independence. These included Kesari, Tarun Bharat, Prabhat and the politically neutral Sakal, which has remained the most popular Marathi daily. The most popular english newspapers are Times of India and Indian Express.
Museums in Pune include the Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, Mahatma Phule Industrial Museum, Deccan college museum of Maratha history, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Museum, Joshi's Museum of Miniature Railway and the Pune Tribal Museum.
Popular games and sports in Pune include athletics, cricket, basketball, badminton, field hockey, football, tennis, kabaddi, paragliding, kho-kho, rowing, and chess.
The Maharashtra cricket team, one of the three teams of the Maharashtra Cricket Association that compete in interstate matches and leagues such as the Ranji Trophy, is based in the city. Pune Warriors India.