The hill areas of the country especially the Himalayan and the Western Ghats Regions, were recognised as areas which required to be given special attention for restoration of ecological balance. In pursuance of the policy of accelerating the development of hill areas in the country and at the suggestion of the National Development Council (1972) the centrally sponsored Western Ghats Development Programme (WGDP) was introduced in 1974-75 for integrated developoment of Western Ghats Region. At the instance of Planning Commission, the Programme Evaluation Organisation and the Directorate of Economics and Statistics Maharashtra undertook a joint Evaluation study of WGDP in the state of Maharashtra to assess the performance, implementation and impact of the WGDP in the State.
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The Indus Valley civilization, one of the world's oldest, flourished during the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C. and extended into northwestern India. Aryan tribes from the northwest infiltrated the Indian subcontinent about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier Dravidian inhabitants created the classical Indian culture. The Maurya Empire of the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. - which reached its zenith under ASHOKA - united much of South Asia. The Golden Age ushered in by the Gupta dynasty (4th to 6th centuries A.D.) saw a flowering of Indian science, art, and culture.
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