Pune also called Poona, the official name until 1978),is the second largest city in the Indian state of Maharashtra, after Mumbai. It is the ninth most populous city in the country with an estimated population of 3.13 million.
Along with its Industrial Estate Pimpri Chinchwad and the three cantonment towns of Pune, Khadki and Dehu Road, Pune forms the urban core of the eponymous Pune Metropolitan Region (PMR).According to the 2011 census, the urban area has a combined population of 5.05 million while the population of the metropolitan region is estimated at 7.27 million. 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. Several colleges in Pune have student-exchange programmes with colleges in Europe. Pune is also an important centre for civil services training.