Himachal Pradesh, state of India, in the extreme northern part of the Asian subcontinent. It is bounded by the state of Jammu and Kashmir to the north, by the Tibet Autonomous Region of China to the east, and by the states of Uttarakhand to the southeast, Haryana to the south, and Punjab to the west. Himachal Pradesh occupies a region of scenic splendour in the western Himalayas, offering a multitextured display of lofty snow-clad mountains, deep gorges, thickly forested valleys, large lakes, terraced fields, and cascading streams. Indeed, the name of the state is a reference to its setting; Himachal means “snowy slopes” (Sanskrit: hima, “snow”; acal, “slopes”), and Pradesh means “state.”
Since the late 20th century, Himachal Pradesh has made great efforts to expand education. Consequently, there has been a remarkable rise in the number of primary, secondary, and postsecondary institutions and a corresponding increase in enrollment at all levels.Himachal Pradesh University, founded in 1970 in Shimla, was the state’s first institution of higher education; it now has dozens of affiliated or associated colleges. Other major tertiary institutions include a medical college in Shimla, an agricultural university in Palampur, an engineering college in Hamirpur, a university of horticulture and forestry near Solan, and a university of information technology, also in Solan district. In addition to its universities and colleges, Himachal Pradesh has some important research centres, most notably the Indian Institute of Advanced Study in Shimla and the Central Research Institute in Kasauli.