Bhopal is the capital of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh and the administrative headquarters of Bhopal district and Bhopal division. The city was the capital of the former Bhopal State. Bhopal is known as the City of Lakes for its various natural as well as artificial lakes and is also one of the greenest cities in India Bhopal is the 16th largest city in India and 231st largest city in the world. A Y-class city, Bhopal houses various institutions and installations of national importance, including ISRO's Master Control Facility and BHEL. Bhopal is home to the most number of Institutes of National Importance in India, namely IISER, MANIT, NLIU, SPA and AIIMS, making it one of the greatest education hubs in the country.
The city attracted international attention in December 1984 after the Bhopal disaster, when a Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide manufacturing plant (owned by Dow Chemical Company) leaked a mixture of deadly gases, leading to one of the worst industrial disasters in the world's history. The Bhopal disaster continues to be a part of the socio-political debate and a logistical challenge for the people of Bhopal.