Mizoram is a mountainous region, which became the 23rd state of the Indian Union in February 1987. It was one of the districts of Assam till 1972 when it became a Union Territory. After being annexed by the British in 1891, for the first few years, Lushai Hills in the north remained under Assam, while the southern half remained under Bengal. Both these parts were amalgamated in 1898 into one district called Lushai Hills District under the Chief Commissioner of Assam. With the implementation of the North-Eastern Reorganisation Act in 1972, Mizoram became a Union Territory and as a sequel to the signing of the historic memorandum of settlement between the Government of India and the Mizo National Front in 1986, it was granted statehood on 20 February, 1987. Sandwiched between Myanmar in the east and the south, and Bangladesh in the west, Mizoram occupies an area of great strategic importance in the north-eastern corner of India. Mizoram has great natural beauty and an endless variety of landscape. It is rich in fauna and flora. The origin of the word 'Mizo' is not known. The Mizos came under the influence of the British Missionaries in the 19th Century. Now most of the Mizos are Christians. Mizo language has no script of its own. The missionaries introduced the Roman script for the Mizo language and formal education. Literacy in the state has grown rapidly, and Mizoram literacy at 88.8 per cent today, is the second highest in the country.