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Republic of India
भारत गणराज्य*
Bhārat Gaṇarājya
File:Flag of File:Emblem of
Flag National Emblem
Motto"Satyameva Jayate" (Sanskrit)
सत्यमेव जयते  (Devanāgarī)
"Truth Alone Triumphs"[1]
AnthemJana Gana Mana
Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people
[2]
National Song[4]
Vande Mataram
I bow to thee, Mother
[3]
         
CapitalNew Delhi
) 28°34′N 77°12′E / 28.567°N 77.2°E / 28.567; 77.2
                    
Largest city Mumbai
Official languages
Constitutionally recognised
languages
Demonym Indian
         
Government Federal republic
Parliamentary democracy[8]
 -  President Pratibha Patil
 -  Vice-President of India Hamid Ansari
 -  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
 -  Chief Justice K. G. Balakrishnan
Legislature Sansad
 -  Upper House Rajya Sabha
 -  Lower House Lok Sabha
Independence from United Kingdom 
 -  Declared 15 August 1947 
 -  Republic 26 January 1950 
Area
 -  Total 3,287,240 km2 (7th)
1,269,210 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 9.56
Population
 -  2008 estimate 1,147,995,904[9] (2nd)
 -  2001 census 1,028,610,328[10] 
 -  Density 349/km2 (32nd)
904/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $3.288 trillion[11] 
 -  Per capita $2,762[11] 
GDP (nominal) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $1.209 trillion[11] 
 -  Per capita $1,016[11] 
Gini (2004) 36.8[12] 
HDI (2008) 0.609 (medium) (132)
Currency Indian rupee (₨) (INR)
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
 -  Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+5:30)
Drives on the left
Internet TLD .in
Calling code 91

India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: भारत गणराज्य Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages), is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the west, and the Bay of Bengal on the east, India has a coastline of 7,517 kilometres (4,700 mi).[14] It is bordered by Pakistan to the west;[15] People's Republic of China (PRC), Nepal, and Bhutan to the north; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Indonesia in the Indian Ocean.

Home to the Indus Valley Civilisation and a region of historic trade routes and vast empires, the Indian subcontinent was identified with its commercial and cultural wealth for much of its long history.[16] Four major religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism originated there, while Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam arrived in the first millennium CE and shaped the region's diverse culture. Gradually annexed by the British East India Company from the early eighteenth century and colonised by the United Kingdom from the mid-nineteenth century, India became an independent nation in 1947 after a struggle for independence that was marked by widespread nonviolent resistance.

India is a republic consisting of 28 states and seven union territories with a parliamentary system of democracy. It has the world's twelfth largest economy at market exchange rates and the fourth largest in purchasing power. Economic reforms since 1991 have transformed it into one of the fastest growing economies;[17] however, it still suffers from high levels of poverty,[18] illiteracy, and malnutrition. A pluralistic, multilingual, and multiethnic society, India is also home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats.

Contents

Etymology

The name India (pronounced /ˈɪndiə/) is derived from Indus, which is derived from the Old Persian word Hindu, from Sanskrit Sindhu, the historic local appellation for the Indus River.[19] The ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi (Ινδοί), the people of the Indus.[20] The Constitution of India and common usage in various Indian languages also recognise Bharat (pronounced [bʰɑrət̪] ( listen)) as an official name of equal status.[21] Hindustan ( /hin̪d̪ust̪ɑːn/ ), which is the Persian word for “Land of the Hindus” and historically referred to northern India, is also occasionally used as a synonym for all of India.[22]

History

Stone Age rock shelters with paintings at the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh are the earliest known traces of human life in India. The first known permanent settlements appeared over 9,000 years ago and gradually developed into the Indus Valley Civilisation,[23] dating back to 3300 BCE in western India. It was followed by the Vedic period, which laid the foundations of Hinduism and other cultural aspects of early Indian society, and ended in the 500s BCE. From around 550 BCE, many independent kingdoms and republics known as the Mahajanapadas were established across the country.[24]

in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, sixth century]]

In the third century BCE, most of South Asia was united into the Maurya Empire by Chandragupta Maurya and flourished under Ashoka the Great.[25] From the third century CE, the Gupta dynasty oversaw the period referred to as ancient "India's Golden Age."[26][27] Empires in Southern India included those of the Chalukyas, the Cholas and the Vijayanagara Empire. Science, engineering, art, literature, astronomy, and philosophy flourished under the patronage of these kings.

Following invasions from Central Asia between the 10th and 12th centuries, much of North India came under the rule of the Delhi Sultanate and later the Mughal Empire. Under the rule of Akbar the Great, India enjoyed much cultural and economic progress as well as religious harmony.[28][29] Mughal emperors gradually expanded their empires to cover large parts of the subcontinent. However, in North-Eastern India, the dominant power was the Ahom kingdom of Assam, among the few kingdoms to have resisted Mughal subjugation. The first major threat to Mughal imperial power came from a Hindu Rajput king Maha Rana Pratap of Mewar in the 14th century and later from a Hindu state known as the Maratha confederacy, that dominated much of India in the mid-18th century.[30]

From the 16th century, European powers such as Portugal, the Netherlands, France, and the United Kingdom established trading posts and later took advantage of internal conflicts to establish colonies in the country. By 1856, most of India was under the control of the British East India Company.[31] A year later, a nationwide insurrection of rebelling military units and kingdoms, known as India's First War of Independence or the Sepoy Mutiny, seriously challenged the Company's control but eventually failed. As a result of the instability, India was brought under the direct rule of the British Crown.

(right) with Jawaharlal Nehru, 1937. Nehru would go on to become India's first prime minister in 1947.]]

In the 20th century, a nationwide struggle for independence was launched by the Indian National Congress and other political organisations. Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi led millions of people in national campaigns of non-violent civil disobedience.[32] On 15 August 1947, India gained independence from British rule, but at the same time Muslim-majority areas were partitioned to form a separate state of Pakistan.[33] On 26 January 1950, India became a republic and a new constitution came into effect.[9]

Since independence, India has faced challenges from religious violence, casteism, naxalism, terrorism and regional separatist insurgencies, especially in Jammu and Kashmir and Northeast India. Since the 1990s terrorist attacks have affected many Indian cities. India has unresolved territorial disputes with P. R. China, which in 1962 escalated into the Sino-Indian War; and with Pakistan, which resulted in wars in 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999. India is a founding member of the United Nations (as British India) and the Non-Aligned Movement. In 1974, India conducted an underground nuclear test[34] and five more tests in 1998, making India a nuclear state.[34] Beginning in 1991, significant economic reforms[35] have transformed India into one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, increasing its global clout.[17]

Government

Template:Country data India National Symbols of India[36]
Flag Tricolour
Emblem Sarnath Lion Capital
Anthem Jana Gana Mana
Song Vande Mataram
Animal Royal Bengal Tiger
Bird Indian Peafowl
Flower Lotus
Tree Banyan
Fruit Mango
Sport Field hockey
Calendar Saka

The Constitution of India, the longest and the most exhaustive constitution of any independent nation in the world, came into force on 26 January, 1950.[37] The preamble of the constitution defines India as a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic.[38] India has a bicameral parliament operating under a Westminster-style parliamentary system. Its form of government was traditionally described as being 'quasi-federal' with a strong centre and weaker states,[39] but it has grown increasingly federal since the late 1990s as a result of political, economic and social changes.[40]

The President of India is the head of state[41] elected indirectly by an electoral college[42] for a five-year term.[43][44] The Prime Minister is the head of government and exercises most executive powers.[41] Appointed by the President,[45] the Prime Minister is by convention supported by the party or political alliance holding the majority of seats in the lower house of Parliament.[41] The executive branch consists of the President, Vice-President, and the Council of Ministers (the Cabinet being its executive committee) headed by the Prime Minister. Any minister holding a portfolio must be a member of either house of parliament. In the Indian parliamentary system, the executive is subordinate to the legislature, with the Prime Minister and his Council being directly responsible to the lower house of the Parliament.[46]

The Legislature of India is the bicameral Parliament, which consists of the upper house called the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and the lower house called the Lok Sabha (House of People).[47] The Rajya Sabha, a permanent body, has 245 members serving staggered six year terms.[48] Most are elected indirectly by the state and territorial legislatures in proportion to the state's population.[48] 543 of the Lok Sabha's 545 members are directly elected by popular vote to represent individual constituencies for five year terms.[48] The other two members are nominated by the President from the Anglo-Indian community if the President is of the opinion that the community is not adequately represented.[48]

India has a unitary three-tier judiciary, consisting of the Supreme Court, headed by the Chief Justice of India, twenty-one High Courts, and a large number of trial courts.[49] The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over cases involving fundamental rights and over disputes between states and the Centre, and appellate jurisdiction over the High Courts.[50] It is judicially independent,[49] and has the power to declare the law and to strike down Union or State laws which contravene the Constitution.[51] The role as the ultimate interpreter of the Constitution is one of the most important functions of the Supreme Court.[52]

Administrative divisions

India consists of twenty-eight states and seven Union Territories.[53] All states, and the two union territories of Puducherry and the National Capital Territory of Delhi, have elected legislatures and governments patterned on the Westminster model. The other five union territories are directly ruled by the Centre through appointed administrators. In 1956, under the States Reorganisation Act, states were formed on a linguistic basis.[54] Since then, this structure has remained largely unchanged. Each state or union territory is further divided into administrative districts.[55] The districts in turn are further divided into tehsils and eventually into villages.

Administrative divisions of India, including 28 states and 7 union territories.

States:

  1. Andhra Pradesh
  2. Arunachal Pradesh
  3. Assam
  4. Bihar
  5. Chhattisgarh
  6. Goa
  7. Gujarat
  1. Haryana
  2. Himachal Pradesh
  3. Jammu and Kashmir
  4. Jharkhand
  5. Karnataka
  6. Kerala
  7. Madhya Pradesh
  1. Maharashtra
  2. Manipur
  3. Meghalaya
  4. Mizoram
  5. Nagaland
  6. Orissa
  7. Punjab
  1. Rajasthan
  2. Sikkim
  3. Tamil Nadu
  4. Tripura
  5. Uttar Pradesh
  6. Uttarakhand
  7. West Bengal

Union Territories:

  1. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
  2. Chandigarh
  3. Dadra and Nagar Haveli
  4. Daman and Diu
  5. Lakshadweep
  6. National Capital Territory of Delhi
  7. Puducherry

Politics

, in New Delhi, houses key government offices.]]

India is the most populous democracy in the world.[56][57] For most of the years since independence, the federal government has been led by the Indian National Congress (INC).[53] Politics in the states have been dominated by several national parties including the INC, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) and various regional parties. From 1950 to 1990, barring two brief periods, the INC enjoyed a parliamentary majority. The INC was out of power between 1977 and 1980, when the Janata Party won the election owing to public discontent with the state of emergency declared by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. In 1989, a Janata Dal-led National Front coalition in alliance with the Left Front coalition won the elections but managed to stay in power for only two years.[58] As the 1991 elections gave no political party a majority, the INC formed a minority government under Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao and was able to complete its five-year term.[59]

The years 1996–1998 were a period of turmoil in the federal government with several short-lived alliances holding sway. The BJP formed a government briefly in 1996, followed by the United Front coalition that excluded both the BJP and the INC. In 1998, the BJP formed the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) with several other parties and became the first non-Congress government to complete a full five-year term.[60] In the 2004 Indian elections, the INC won the largest number of Lok Sabha seats and formed a government with a coalition called the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), supported by various Left-leaning parties and members opposed to the BJP. The UPA again came into power in the 2009 general election; however, the representation of the Left leaning parties within the coalition has significantly reduced.[61]

Foreign relations and military

is the Indian Air Force's prime air superiority fighter and an enhanced version of Su-27.[62]]]

Since its independence in 1947, India has maintained cordial relationships with most nations. It took a leading role in the 1950s by advocating the independence of European colonies in Africa and Asia.[63] India was involved in two brief military interventions in neighboring countries – Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka and Operation Cactus in Maldives. India is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement.[64] After the Sino-Indian War and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, India's relationship with the Soviet Union warmed and continued to remain so until the end of the Cold War. India has fought two wars with Pakistan over the Kashmir dispute. A third war between India and Pakistan in 1971 resulted in the creation of Bangladesh (then East Pakistan).[65] Additional skirmishes have taken place between the two nations over the Siachen Glacier. In 1999, India and Pakistan fought an undeclared war over Kargil.

share an extensive economic, defence and technological relationship.[66] Shown here is PM Manmohan Singh with President Dmitry Medvedev at the 34th G8 Summit.]]

In recent years, India has played an influential role in the SAARC, and the WTO.[67] India has provided as many as 55,000 Indian military and police personnel to serve in thirty-five UN peace keeping operations across four continents.[68] Despite criticism and military sanctions, India has consistently refused to sign the CTBT and the NPT, preferring instead to maintain sovereignty over its nuclear program. Recent overtures by the Indian government have strengthened relations with the United States, China and Pakistan. In the economic sphere, India has close relationships with other developing nations in South America, Asia and Africa.

India maintains the third-largest military force in the world, which consists of the Indian Army, Navy, Air Force[9] and auxiliary forces such as the Paramilitary Forces, the Coast Guard, and the Strategic Forces Command. The President of India is the supreme commander of the Indian Armed Forces. India maintains close defence cooperation with Russia, Israel and France, who are the chief suppliers of arms. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) oversees indigenous development of sophisticated arms and military equipment, including ballistic missiles, fighter aircraft and main battle tanks, to reduce India's dependence on foreign imports. India became a nuclear power in 1974 after conducting an initial nuclear test, Operation Smiling Buddha and further underground testing in 1998. India maintains a "no first use" nuclear policy.[69] On 10 October, 2008 Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement was signed, prior to which India received IAEA and NSG waivers, ending restrictions on nuclear technology commerce with which India became de facto sixth nuclear power in world.[70]

Geography


India, the major portion of the Indian subcontinent, sits atop the Indian tectonic plate, a minor plate within the Indo-Australian Plate.[71]

India's defining geological processes commenced seventy-five million years ago, when the Indian subcontinent, then part of the southern supercontinent Gondwana, began a northeastwards drift—lasting fifty million years—across the then unformed Indian Ocean.[71] The subcontinent's subsequent collision with the Eurasian Plate and subduction under it, gave rise to the Himalayas, the planet's highest mountains, which now abut India in the north and the north-east.[71] In the former seabed immediately south of the emerging Himalayas, plate movement created a vast trough, which, having gradually been filled with river-borne sediment,[72] now forms the Indo-Gangetic Plain.[73] To the west of this plain, and cut off from it by the Aravalli Range, lies the Thar Desert.[74] The original Indian plate now survives as peninsular India, the oldest and geologically most stable part of India, and extending as far north as the Satpura and Vindhya ranges in central India. These parallel ranges run from the Arabian Sea coast in Gujarat in the west to the coal-rich Chota Nagpur Plateau in Jharkhand in the east.[75] To their south, the remaining peninsular landmass, the Deccan Plateau, is flanked on the left and right by the coastal ranges, Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats respectively;[76] the plateau contains the oldest rock formations in India, some over one billion years old. Constituted in such fashion, India lies to the north of the equator between 6°44' and 35°30' north latitude[77] and 68°7' and 97°25' east longitude.[78]

India's coast is 7,517 kilometres (4,700 mi) long; of this distance, 5,423 kilometres (3,400 mi) belong to peninsular India, and 2,094 kilometres (1,300 mi) to the Andaman, Nicobar, and Lakshadweep Islands.[14] According to the Indian naval hydrographic charts, the mainland coast consists of the following: 43% sandy beaches, 11% rocky coast including cliffs, and 46% mudflats or marshy coast.[14]

on the Himalayas]]

Major Himalayan-origin rivers that substantially flow through India include the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, both of which drain into the Bay of Bengal.[79] Important tributaries of the Ganges include the Yamuna and the Kosi, whose extremely low gradient causes disastrous floods every year. Major peninsular rivers whose steeper gradients prevent their waters from flooding include the Godavari, the Mahanadi, the Kaveri, and the Krishna, which also drain into the Bay of Bengal;[80] and the Narmada and the Tapti, which drain into the Arabian Sea.[81] Among notable coastal features of India are the marshy Rann of Kutch in western India, and the alluvial Sundarbans delta, which India shares with Bangladesh.[82] India has two archipelagos: the Lakshadweep, coral atolls off India's south-western coast; and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a volcanic chain in the Andaman Sea.[83]

India's climate is strongly influenced by the Himalayas and the Thar Desert, both of which drive the monsoons.[84] The Himalayas prevent cold Central Asian katabatic winds from blowing in, keeping the bulk of the Indian subcontinent warmer than most locations at similar latitudes.[85][86] The Thar Desert plays a crucial role in attracting the moisture-laden southwest summer monsoon winds that, between June and October, provide the majority of India's rainfall.[84] Four major climatic groupings predominate in India: tropical wet, tropical dry, subtropical humid, and montane.[87]

Flora and fauna

File:Ratufa indica.jpg
Indian giant squirrels inhabit the forests of the Western Ghats.

India, which lies within the Indomalaya ecozone, displays significant biodiversity. One of eighteen megadiverse countries, it is home to 7.6% of all mammalian, 12.6% of all avian, 6.2% of all reptilian, 4.4% of all amphibian, 11.7% of all fish, and 6.0% of all flowering plant species.[88] Many ecoregions, such as the shola forests, exhibit extremely high rates of endemism; overall, 33% of Indian plant species are endemic.[89][90] India's forest cover ranges from the tropical rainforest of the Andaman Islands, Western Ghats, and North-East India to the coniferous forest of the Himalaya. Between these extremes lie the sal-dominated moist deciduous forest of eastern India; the teak-dominated dry deciduous forest of central and southern India; and the babul-dominated thorn forest of the central Deccan and western Gangetic plain.[91] Important Indian trees include the medicinal neem, widely used in rural Indian herbal remedies. The pipal fig tree, shown on the seals of Mohenjo-daro, shaded Gautama Buddha as he sought enlightenment.

Many Indian species are descendants of taxa originating in Gondwana, to which India originally belonged. Peninsular India's subsequent movement towards, and collision with, the Laurasian landmass set off a mass exchange of species. However, volcanism and climatic changes 20 million years ago caused the extinction of many endemic Indian forms.[92] Soon thereafter, mammals entered India from Asia through two zoogeographical passes on either side of the emerging Himalaya.[91] Consequently, among Indian species, only 12.6% of mammals and 4.5% of birds are endemic, contrasting with 45.8% of reptiles and 55.8% of amphibians.[88] Notable endemics are the Nilgiri leaf monkey and the brown and carmine Beddome's toad of the Western Ghats. India contains 172, or 2.9%, of IUCN-designated threatened species.[93] These include the Asiatic Lion, the Bengal Tiger, and the Indian white-rumped vulture, which suffered a near-extinction from ingesting the carrion of diclofenac-treated cattle.

In recent decades, human encroachment has posed a threat to India's wildlife; in response, the system of national parks and protected areas, first established in 1935, was substantially expanded. In 1972, India enacted the Wildlife Protection Act[94] and Project Tiger to safeguard crucial habitat; in addition, the Forest Conservation Act[95] was enacted in 1980. Along with more than five hundred wildlife sanctuaries, India hosts thirteen biosphere reserves,[96] four of which are part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves; twenty-five wetlands are registered under the Ramsar Convention.[97]

Economy

, in Mumbai, is Asia's oldest and India's largest stock exchange.]] For an entire generation from the 1950s until the 1980s, India followed socialist-inspired policies. The economy was shackled by extensive regulation, protectionism, and public ownership, leading to pervasive corruption and slow growth.[98][99][100][101] Since 1991, the nation has moved towards a market-based system.[99][100] The policy change in 1991 came after an acute balance of payments crisis, and the emphasis since then has been to use foreign trade and foreign investment as integral parts of India's economy.[102]

With an average annual GDP growth rate of 5.8% for the past two decades, the economy is among the fastest growing in the world.[103] It has the world's second largest labour force, with 516.3 million people. In terms of output, the agricultural sector accounts for 28% of GDP; the service and industrial sectors make up 54% and 18% respectively. Major agricultural products include rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, potatoes; cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, poultry; fish.[53] Major industries include textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transport equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, software.[53] India's trade has reached a relatively moderate share 24% of GDP in 2006, up from 6% in 1985.[99] India's share of world trade has reached 1%. Major exports include petroleum products, textile goods, gems and jewelry, software, engineering goods, chemicals, leather manufactures.[53] Major imports include crude oil, machinery, gems, fertilizer, chemicals.[53]

India's GDP is US$1.089 trillion, which makes it the twelfth-largest economy in the world[104] or fourth largest by purchasing power adjusted exchange rates. India's nominal per capita income US$977 is ranked 128th in the world. In the late 2000s, India's economic growth has averaged 7½% a year, which will double the average income in a decade.[99]

Despite India's impressive economic growth over recent decades, it still contains the largest concentration of poor people in the world, and has a higher rate of malnutrition among children under the age of three (46% in year 2007) than any other country in the world.[105][106].

The percentage of people living below the World Bank's international poverty line of $1.25 a day (PPP, in nominal terms Rs. 21.6 a day in urban areas and Rs 14.3 in rural areas in 2005) decreased from 60% in 1981 to 42% in 2005.[107] Even though India has avoided famines in recent decades, half of children are underweight, one of the highest rates in the world and nearly double the rate of Sub-Saharan Africa.[108]

Ongoing reforms are watched closely as India could become potentially important for the global economy. A Goldman Sachs report predicts that "from 2007 to 2020, India’s GDP per capita will quadruple," and that the Indian economy will surpass the United States by 2043, but India "will remain a low-income country for several decades, with per capita incomes well below its other BRIC peers. But if it can fulfill its growth potential, it can become a motor for the world economy, and a key contributor to generating spending growth.".[101] Although the Indian economy has grown steadily over the last two decades; its growth has been uneven when comparing different social groups, economic groups, geographic regions, and rural and urban areas.[109] World Bank suggests that the most important priorities are public sector reform, infrastructure, agricultural and rural development, removal of labor regulations, reforms in lagging states, and HIV/AIDS.[110]

Demographics

Religion in India[111]
Religion Percent
Hinduism
  
80.5%
Islam
  
13.4%
Christianity
  
2.3%
Sikhism
  
1.9%
Buddhism
  
0.8%
Jainism
  
0.4%
Others
  
0.7%
With an estimated population of 1.17 billion,[9] representing 17% of the world population,[112] India is the world's second most populous country. The last 50 years have seen a rapid increase in population due to medical advances and massive increase in agricultural productivity made by the green revolution.[113][114] Almost 70% of Indians reside in rural areas, although in recent decades migration to larger cities has led to a dramatic increase in the country's urban population. India's largest cities are Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.[53]

India is the world's most culturally, linguistically and genetically diverse geographical entity after the African continent.[53] India is home to two major linguistic families: Indo-Aryan (spoken by about 74% of the population) and Dravidian (spoken by about 24%). Other languages spoken in India come from the Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Burman linguistic families. Hindi, with the largest number of speakers,[115] is the official language of the union.[116] English is used extensively in business and administration and has the status of a 'subsidiary official language;'[117] it is also important in education, especially as a medium of higher education. In addition, every state and union territory has its own official languages, and the constitution also recognises in particular 21 other languages that are either abundantly spoken or have classical status. While Sanskrit and Tamil have been studied as classical languages for many years,[118] the Government of India has also accorded classical language status to Kannada and Telugu using its own criteria.[119] The number of dialects in India is as high as 1,652.[120]

India's literacy rate is 64.8% (53.7% for females and 75.3% for males).[9] The state of Kerala has the highest literacy rate at 91% while Bihar has the lowest at 47%.[121][122] The national human sex ratio is 944 females per 1,000 males. India's median age is 24.9, and the population growth rate of 1.38% per annum; there are 22.01 births per 1,000 people per year.[9]


Cities by population

File:Mumbai Downtown.jpg
Mumbai
File:LotusDelhi.jpg
Delhi
File:UB City.jpg
Bangalore

Rank Core City State Population Rank Core City State Population

File:Calcutta Kolkata Victoria Memorial.jpg
Kolkata
File:Chennai Central .jpg
Chennai
File:Hyderabad india .jpg
Hyderabad

1 Mumbai Maharashtra 13,922,125 11 Jaipur Rajasthan 3,102,808
2 Delhi Delhi 12,259,230 12 Lucknow Uttar Pradesh 2,685,528
3 Bangalore Karnataka 5,310,318 13 Nagpur Maharashtra 2,403,239
4 Kolkata West Bengal 5,080,519 14 Patna Bihar 1,814,012
5 Chennai Tamil Nadu 4,590,267 15 Indore Madhya Pradesh 1,811,513
6 Hyderabad Andhra Pradesh 4,025,335 16 Bhopal Madhya Pradesh 1,752,244
7 Ahmedabad Gujarat 3,913,793 17 Thane Maharashtra 1,739,697
8 Pune Maharashtra 3,337,481 18 Ludhiana Punjab 1,701,212
9 Surat Gujarat 3,233,988 19 Agra Uttar Pradesh 1,638,209
10 Kanpur Uttar Pradesh 3,144,267 20 Pimpri Chinchwad Maharashtra 1,553,538
2009 estimation[123]



Culture

India's culture is marked by a high degree of syncretism[124] and cultural pluralism.[125] It has managed to preserve established traditions while absorbing new customs, traditions, and ideas from invaders and immigrants and spreading its cultural influence to other parts of Asia, mainly South East and East Asia. Traditional Indian society is defined by relatively strict social hierarchy. The Indian caste system describes the social stratification and social restrictions in the Indian subcontinent, in which social classes are defined by thousands of endogamous hereditary groups, often termed as jātis or castes.

Traditional Indian family values are highly respected, and multi-generational patriarchal joint families have been the norm, although nuclear family are becoming common in urban areas.[98] An overwhelming majority of Indians have their marriages arranged by their parents and other respected family members, with the consent of the bride and groom.[126] Marriage is thought to be for life,[126] and the divorce rate is extremely low.[127] Child marriage is still a common practice, with half of women in India marrying before the legal age of 18.[128][129]

Indian cuisine is characterised by a wide variety of regional styles and sophisticated use of herbs and spices. The staple foods in the region are rice (especially in the south and the east) and wheat (predominantly in the north).[130] Spices originally native to the Indian subcontinent that are now consumed world wide include black pepper; in contrast, hot chili peppers, popular across India, were introduced by the Portuguese.[131]

File:MysorePalace1.JPG
The Amba Vilas palace at Mysore, one of the foremost centers of the fine arts in the post-Vijayanagara days, is an important tourist attraction.

Traditional Indian dress varies across the regions in its colours and styles and depends on various factors, including climate. Popular styles of dress include draped garments such as sari for women and dhoti or lungi for men; in addition, stitched clothes such as salwar kameez for women and kurta-pyjama and European-style trousers and shirts for men, are also popular.

Many Indian festivals are religious in origin, although several are celebrated irrespective of caste and creed. Some popular festivals are Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Ugadi, Thai Pongal, Holi, Onam, Vijayadasami, Durga Puja, Eid ul-Fitr, Bakr-Id, Christmas, Buddha Jayanti and Vaisakhi.[132] India has three national holidays. Other sets of holidays, varying between nine and twelve, are officially observed in individual states. Religious practices are an integral part of everyday life and are a very public affair.

Indian architecture is one area that represents the diversity of Indian culture. Much of it, including notable monuments such as the Taj Mahal and other examples of Mughal architecture and South Indian architecture, comprises a blend of ancient and varied local traditions from several parts of the country and abroad. Vernacular architecture also displays notable regional variation.

Indian music covers a wide range of traditions and regional styles. Classical music largely encompasses the two genres – North Indian Hindustani, South Indian Carnatic traditions and their various offshoots in the form of regional folk music. Regionalised forms of popular music include filmi and folk music; the syncretic tradition of the bauls is a well-known form of the latter.

Indian dance too has diverse folk and classical forms. Among the well-known folk dances are the bhangra of the Punjab, the bihu of Assam, the chhau of West Bengal, Jharkhand and sambalpuri of Orissa and the ghoomar of Rajasthan. Eight dance forms, many with narrative forms and mythological elements, have been accorded classical dance status by India's National Academy of Music, Dance, and Drama. These are: bharatanatyam of the state of Tamil Nadu, kathak of Uttar Pradesh, kathakali and mohiniyattam of Kerala, kuchipudi of Andhra Pradesh, manipuri of Manipur, odissi of Orissa and the sattriya of Assam.[133]

Theatre in India often incorporates music, dance, and improvised or written dialogue.[134] Often based on Hindu mythology, but also borrowing from medieval romances, and news of social and political events, Indian theatre includes the bhavai of state of Gujarat, the jatra of West Bengal, the nautanki and ramlila of North India, the tamasha of Maharashtra, the burrakatha of Andhra Pradesh, the terukkuttu of Tamil Nadu, and the yakshagana of Karnataka.[135]

The Indian film industry is the largest in the world.[136] Bollywood, based in Mumbai, makes commercial Hindi films and is the most prolific film industry in the world.[137] Established traditions also exist in Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu language cinemas.[138]

The earliest works of Indian literature were transmitted orally and only later written down.[139] These included works of Sanskrit literature – such as the early Vedas, the epics Mahābhārata and Ramayana, the drama Abhijñānaśākuntalam (The Recognition of Śakuntalā), and poetry such as the Mahākāvya[140] – and the Tamil language Sangam literature.[141] Among Indian writers of the modern era active in Indian languages or English, Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Prize in 1913.

Sports

Twenty20 cricket match being played between the Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders]]

India's official national sport is field hockey, administered by the Indian Hockey Federation. The Indian field hockey team won the 1975 Men's Hockey World Cup and 8 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals at the Olympic games. However, cricket is the most popular sport; the India national cricket team won the 1983 Cricket World Cup and the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, and shared the 2002 ICC Champions Trophy with Sri Lanka. Cricket in India is administered by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, and domestic competitions include the Ranji Trophy, the Duleep Trophy, the Deodhar Trophy, the Irani Trophy and the Challenger Series. In addition Indian cricket league and Indian premier league organise Twenty20 competitions.

Tennis has become increasingly popular, owing to the victories of the India Davis Cup team. Association football is also a popular sport in northeast India, West Bengal, Goa and Kerala.[142] The Indian national football team has won the South Asian Football Federation Cup several times. Chess, commonly held to have originated in India, is also gaining popularity with the rise in the number of Indian Grandmasters.[143] Traditional sports include kabaddi, kho kho, and gilli-danda, which are played nationwide. India is also home to the ancient martial arts, Kalarippayattu and Varma Kalai.

The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and the Arjuna Award are India's highest awards for achievements in sports, while the Dronacharya Award is awarded for excellence in coaching. India hosted or co-hosted the 1951 and the 1982 Asian Games, the 1987 and 1996 Cricket World Cup. It is also scheduled to host the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the 2011 Cricket World Cup.

See also

Notes

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  4. ^ "Constituent Assembly of India — Volume XII". Constituent Assembly of India: Debates. parliamentofindia.nic.in, National Informatics Centre. 1950-01-24. http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol12p1.htm. Retrieved on 2007-06-29. "The composition consisting of the words and music known as Jana Gana Mana is the National Anthem of India, subject to such alterations in the words as the Government may authorise as occasion arises; and the song Vande Mataram, which has played a historic part in the struggle for Indian freedom, shall be honoured equally with Jana Gana Mana and shall have equal status with it." 
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  122. ^ "Census Statistics of Bihar: Literacy Rates Literacy rate of Bihar". Government of Bihar. http://gov.bih.nic.in/Profile/CensusStats-03.htm Census Statistics of Bihar: Literacy Rates. Retrieved on 2007-12-13. 
  123. ^ India: largest cities and towns and statistics of their population
  124. ^ Das, N.K. (July 2006). "Cultural Diversity, Religious Syncretism and People of India: An Anthropological Interpretation". Bangladesh e-Journal of Sociology 3 (2nd). ISSN 1819-8465. http://www.bangladeshsociology.org/Content.htm. Retrieved on 2007-09-27. "The pan-Indian, civilizational dimension of cultural pluralism and syncretism encompasses ethnic diversity and admixture, linguistic heterogeneity as well as fusion, and variations as well as synthesis in customs, behavioural patterns, beliefs and rituals". 
  125. ^ Baidyanath, Saraswati (2006). "Cultural Pluralism, National Identity and Development". Interface of Cultural Identity Development (1stEdition ed.). New Delhi: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. xxi+290 pp. ISBN 81-246-0054-6. http://ignca.nic.in/ls_03.htm. Retrieved on 2007-06-08. 
  126. ^ a b Medora, Nilufer (2003). "Mate selection in contemporary India: Love marriages versus arranged marriages". in Hamon, Raeann R. and Ingoldsby, Bron B.. Mate Selection Across Cultures. SAGE. pp. 209–230. ISBN 0761925929. 
  127. ^ "Divorce Rate In India". http://www.divorcerate.org/divorce-rate-in-india.html. 
  128. ^ "Child marriages targeted in India". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/1617759.stm. 
  129. ^ "State of the World’s Children-2009". UNICEF. 2009. http://www.unicef.org/sowc09/docs/SOWC09_Table_9.pdf. 
  130. ^ Delphine, Roger, "The History and Culture of Food in Asia", in Kiple & Kriemhild 2000, pp. 1140–1151.
  131. ^ Achaya 1994, Achaya 1997
  132. ^ "18 Popular India Festivals". http://festivals.indobase.com/index.html. Retrieved on 2007-12-23. 
  133. ^ 1. "South Asian arts: Techniques and Types of Classical Dance" From: Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 12 Oct. 2007. 2. Sangeet Natak Academi (National Academy of Music, Dance, and Drama, New Delhi, India). 2007. Dance Programmes. 3. Kothari, Sunil. 2007. Sattriya dance of the celibate monks of Assam, India. Royal Holloway College, University of London.
  134. ^ Lal 1998.
  135. ^ (Karanth 1997, p. 26). Quote: "The Yakṣagāna folk-theatre is no isolated theatrical form in India. We have a number of such theatrical traditions all around Karnataka... In far off Assam we have similar plays going on by the name of Ankia Nat, in neighouring Bengal we have the very popular Jatra plays. Maharashtra has Tamasa. (p. 26.)
  136. ^ "Country profile: India". BBC. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/country_profiles/1154019.stm. Retrieved on 2007. 
  137. ^ Dissanayake & Gokulsing 2004.
  138. ^ Rajadhyaksha & Willemen (editors) 1999.
  139. ^ MacDonell 2004, pp. 1-40.
  140. ^ Johnson 1998, MacDonell 2004, pp. 1-40, and Kalidasa & Johnson (editor) 2001.
  141. ^ 1. Encyclopaedia Britannica (2008), "Tamil Literature." Quote: "Apart from literature written in classical (Indo-Aryan) Sanskrit, Tamil is the oldest literature in India. Some inscriptions on stone have been dated to the 3rd century BC, but Tamil literature proper begins around the 1st century AD. Much early poetry was religious or epic; an exception was the secular court poetry written by members of the sangam, or literary academy (see Sangam literature)." 2. Ramanujan 1985, pp. ix-x. Quote: "These poems are 'classical,' i.e. early, ancient; they are also 'classics,' i.e. works that have stood the test of time, the founding works of a whole tradition. Not to know them is not to know a unique and major poetic achievement of Indian civilisation. Early classical Tamil literature (c. 100 BC–AD 250) consists of the Eight Anthologies (Eţţuttokai), the Ten Long Poems (Pattuppāţţu), and a grammar called the Tolkāppiyam or the 'Old Composition.' ... The literature of classical Tamil later came to be known as Cankam (pronounced Sangam) literature. (pp. ix-x.)"
  142. ^ Majumdar & Bandyopadhyay 2006, pp. 1-5.
  143. ^ "Anand crowned World champion". Rediff. 2008-10-29. http://www.rediff.com/sports/2008/oct/29anand.htm. Retrieved on 2008-10-29. 

References

History
Geography
  • Dikshit, K.R.; Joseph E. Schwartzberg (2007). "India: The Land". Encyclopædia Britannica. pp. 1–29. 
  • Government of India (2007). India Yearbook 2007. Publications Division, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. ISBN 81-230-1423-6. 
  • Heitzman, J.; R.L. Worden (1996). India: A Country Study. Library of Congress (Area Handbook Series). ISBN 0-8444-0833-6. 
  • Posey, C.A (1994). The Living Earth Book of Wind and Weather. Reader's Digest Association. ISBN 0-8957-7625-1. 
Flora and fauna
  • Ali, Salim & S. Dillon Ripley (1995), A Pictorial Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent, Mumbai: Bombay Natural History Society and Oxford University Press. pp. 183, 106 colour plates by John Henry Dick, ISBN 0195637321.
  • Blatter, E. & Walter S. Millard (1997), Some Beautiful Indian Trees, Mumbai: Bombay Natural History Society and Oxford University Press. pp. xvii, 165, 30 colour plates, ISBN 019562162X.
  • Israel, Samuel & Toby Sinclair (editors) (2001), Indian Wildlife, Discovery Channel and APA Publications., ISBN 9812345558.
  • Prater, S. H. (1971), The book of Indian Animals, Mumbai: Bombay Natural History Society and Oxford University Press. pp. xxiii, 324, 28 colour plates by Paul Barruel., ISBN 0195621697.
  • Rangarajan, Mahesh (editor) (1999), Oxford Anthology of Indian Wildlife: Volume 1, Hunting and Shooting, New Delhi: Oxford University Press. pp. xi, 439, ISBN 0195645928.
  • Rangarajan, Mahesh (editor) (1999), Oxford Anthology of Indian Wildlife: Volume 2, Watching and Conserving, New Delhi: Oxford University Press. pp. xi, 303, ISBN 0195645936.
  • Tritsch, Mark F. (2001), Wildlife of India, London: Harper Collins Publishers. p. 192, ISBN 0007110626.
Culture

External links

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also India

Contents

Italian

Noun

india f. (plural indie) masculine indio

  1. Indian (female)

Synonyms

  • nativa americana, amerindia, indiana

Anagrams

  • Anagrams of adiin
  • daini

Spanish

Adjective

india

  1. feminine of indio

Noun

india f. (plural indias)

Singular
india f.

Plural
indias f.

  1. feminine of indio

Simple English

Republic of India

Hindi: भारत गणराज्य
Bhārat Ganarājya

File:Flag of File:Emblem of
Official flag Coat of Arms
National information
National motto: Satyameva Jayate (Truth alone Wins)
National anthem: Jana Gana Mana (anthem)
Vande Mataram (song)
About the people
Official languages: Hindi, English, 21 other languages
Population: (# of people)
  - Total: 1.12 billion (1,120,000,000)[1] (ranked 2)
  - Density: 324 per km²
Geography / Places
Area controlled by India in dark green;
Claimed but uncontrolled territories in light green.
Capital city: New Delhi
Largest city: Mumbai
Area
  - Total: 3,287,590 (ranked 7)
  - Water:312,321 km² (9.5%)
Politics / Government
Established: August 15, 1947
Leaders: President: Ms Pratibha Patil
Prime Minister: Dr. Manmohan Singh
Economy / Money
Currency:
(Name of money)
Indian Rupee (INR)
International information
Time zone: +05:30
Telephone dialing code: 91
Internet domain: .in

India is a country in Asia. Other names for the country are Hindustan, Bharat and Republic of India. India has more than 1.12 billion (1,120,000,000) people, which is more than any other country in the world except China.[1] It is the seventh largest country in the world. India has seven neighbours, Pakistan in the north-west, China and Nepal in the north, Bhutan and Bangladesh in the North-east India region of the country and Myanmar in the east and Sri Lanka in the south. India is the largest democracy in the world by population.[2] The capital of India is New Delhi. India is a peninsula, bound by the Indian Ocean in the south, the Arabian Sea on the west and Bay of Bengal in the east. The coastline of India is of about 7,517 kilometers (4,671 mi) long.[3] India has the third largest army in the world[4][5] and nuclear weapons.[6]

India is a growing economy and has high levels of poverty, illiteracy and malnutrition. India has a higher rate of malnutrition among children under the age of three (46% in year 2007) than any other country in the world.[7][8]

India is a founding member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and has signed the Kyoto Protocol.

Contents

Languages

There are many different languages and cultures in India. The only geographical place with more different languages and cultures is the African continent.[9] There are two main language families in India, the Indo-Aryan and the Dravidian languages. About 69% of Indians speak an Indo-Arayan language, about 26% speak a Dravidian language. Other languages spoken in India come from the Austro-Asiatic group. Around 5% of the people speak a Tibeto-Burman language.

Hindi is the official language in India with the largest number of speakers.[10] It is the official language of the union.[11] Native speakers of Hindi represent about 41% of the Indian population (2001 Indian census). English is also used, mostly for business and in the administration. It has the status of a 'subsidiary official language'.[12] The constitution also recognises 21 other languages. Either many people speak those languages, or they have been recognised to be very important for Indian culture. The number of dialects in India is as high as 1,652.[13]

In the south of India, many people speak Kannada, Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam. In the north, many people speak Chhattisgarhi, Punjabi, Bengali, Gujarati, and Marathi, Oriya, and Bihari.[14][15]

History

File:Taj Mahal in March
The Taj Mahal in Agra was built by Shah Jahan as a memorial to his wife Mumtaz Mahal. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is thought to be of "outstanding universal value".[16]

Two of the main Classical languages of the world— Sanskrit and Tamil were born in India. Both of these languages are more than 3000 years old. Tamil is one of the oldest languages. The country founded a religion called Hinduism, which most Indians still follow. Later, a king called Ashoka built an empire called the Maurya dynasty in 300 BC. It made most of South Asia into one whole country.[17] From 180 BC, many other countries invaded India. Even later (100 BC  — AD 1100), other Indian dynasties (empires) came, including the Chalukyas, Cholas, Pallavas, and Pandyas.[18] South India at that time was famous for its very good science, art, and writing.

Many dynasties ruled India around the year 1000. Some of these were the Mughal, Vijayanagara, and the Maratha empires. In the 1600s, European countries invaded India, and the British controlled most of India by 1856.[19]

In the beginning of the 1900s, millions of people peacefully started to protest. One of the people who were leading the freedom movement was Mahatma Gandhi, who only used peaceful tactics, including a way called "ahimsa", which means "non-violence".[20] On August 15, 1947, India peacefully became free and independent from the British Empire. India's constitution was founded on January 26, 1950. The first official leader (Prime Minister) of India was Jawaharlal Nehru.

After 1947, India has become a powerful country. It is one of the nations that founded the Non-Aligned Movement and the United Nations (when it was being ruled by Britain). It has fought many wars since independence from Britain, including the ones in 1947, 1962, 1965, 1971, 1984 and 1999 with Pakistan. It also fought a war to capture Goa, a Portuguese-built port and city which was not a part of India until 1962. India fought an infamous battle with the Portuguese who were outnumbered and unprepared for war and were easily defeated. India has also done nuclear tests in 1974 and 1998, and it is one of the few countries that has nuclear bombs.[21] Since 1991, India has been one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.[22]

Government

[[File:|thumb|left|This is the Parliament of India.]] India is the largest democracy in the world.[2] Its government is divided into three branches: the Legislative (the one that makes the laws, the Parliament), the Executive (the government), and the Judiciary (the one that makes sure that the laws are obeyed, the supreme court).

The Legislative branch is made up of the Parliament of India, which is located in New Delhi, the capital of India. The Parliament of India is divided into two groups: the upper house, Rajya Sabha (Council of States); and the lower house, Lok Sabha (House of People). The Rajya Sabha has 250 members,[23] and the Lok Sabha has 545 members.[23]

The Executive branch is made up of the President, Vice President, Prime Minister, and the Council of Ministers. The President of India is elected for five years. The President can choose the Prime Minister, who has most of the power. The Council of Ministers, such as the Minister of Defence, help the Prime Minister.

The Judicial branch is made up of the courts of India, including the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice of India is the head of the Supreme Court. Supreme Court members have the power to stop a law being passed by Parliament if they think that the law is illegal and contradicts (opposes) the Constitution of India.[24] In India, there are also 21 High Courts.

Indian states

For administration purposes, India has been divided into smaller pieces. Most of these pieces are called states, some are called union territories. States and union territories are different in the way they are represented. Most union territories are ruled by administrators sent by the central government. All the states, and the territories of Dehli, and Puducherry elect their local government themselves. In total, there are twenty-eight states, and seven union territories.[9]

These are the states and territories of India, including 28 states and 7 union territories.

States:

  1. Andhra Pradesh
  2. Arunachal Pradesh
  3. Assam
  4. Bihar
  5. Chhattisgarh
  6. Goa
  7. Gujarat
  8. Haryana
  9. Himachal Pradesh
  10. Jammu and Kashmir
  11. Jharkhand
  12. Karnataka
  13. Kerala
  14. Madhya Pradesh
  1. Maharashtra
  2. Manipur
  3. Meghalaya
  4. Mizoram
  5. Nagaland
  6. Orissa
  7. Punjab
  8. Rajasthan
  9. Sikkim
  10. Tamil Nadu
  11. Tripura
  12. Uttar Pradesh
  13. Uttarakhand
  14. West Bengal

Union territories:

  1. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
  2. Chandigarh
  3. Dadra and Nagar Haveli
  4. Daman and Diu
  5. Lakshadweep
  6. National Capital Territory of Delhi
  7. Puducherry

Trouble with the borders

There are disputes about certain parts of the Indian borders. Certain countries do not think the borders are where India thinks they are. Pakistan and China do not recognise the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. This state makes up the Indian part of Kashmir. Similarly, India does not recognise the Pakistani and Chinese parts of Kashmir.

In 1914, British India and Tibet agreed on the McMahon Line, as part of the Simla Accord. India and the Tibetan government see this line as the official border of India. China does not accept this agreement (accord). As a result, both mainland China and Taiwan do not recognize that the state of Arunachal Pradesh belongs to India. According to them it is a part of South Tibet, which belongs to China.[25][26]

Geography and climate

File:India states and union territories
States and union territories of India

India is the seventh largest country in the world. It is the main part of the Indian subcontinent. The countries next to India are Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Bhutan, and Nepal. It is also near Sri Lanka, an island country.

India is a peninsula, which means that it is surrounded on three sides by water. In the west is the Arabian Sea, in the south is the Indian Ocean, and in the east is the Bay of Bengal. The northern part of India has many mountains. The most famous mountain range in India is the Himalayas, which have some of the tallest mountains in the world. There are many rivers in India. The main rivers are the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, the Yamuna, the Godavari, the Kaveri, the Narmada, and the Krishna.

India has different climates.[27] In the South, the climate is mainly tropical, which means it can get very hot in summer and cool in winter.[27] The northern part, though, has a cooler climate, called sub-tropical, and even alpine in mountainous regions.[27] The Himalayas, in the alpine climate region, can get extremely cold. There is very heavy rainfall along the west coast and in the Eastern Himalayan foothills. The west, though, is drier. Because of some of the deserts of India, all of India gets rain for four months of the year. That time is called the monsoon. That is so because the deserts attract water-filled winds from the Indian Ocean, which give rain when they come into India. When the monsoon rains come late or not so heavily, droughts (when the land wears out because there is less rain) are possible.

Economy

[[File:|thumb|alt=View from ground of a modern 30-story building.|The Bombay Stock Exchange, in Mumbai, is Asia's oldest and India's largest stock exchange.]]

The economy of the country is growing. The economy of India is the 11th largest in the world with a GDP of $568 billion. In terms of PPP (how much that money can buy in India compared to other countries), the economy is fourth largest (worth $3.319 trillion U.S.). The growth rate is 8.25% for fiscal 2010. However, that is still only $3100 (considering PPP) per person per year.

India's economy is diverse. Major industries include automobiles, cement, chemicals, consumer electronics, food processing, machinery, mining, petroleum, pharmaceuticals, steel, transportation equipment, and textiles.[1]

However despite economic growth, India suffers from poverty. 27.5% of the population was living in poverty in 2004–2005.[28] In addition, 80.4% of the population live on less than USD$2 a day.[29]

People

There are 1.12 billion people living in India.[30] India is the second largest country by the number of people living in it, with China being the first. Experts think that by the year 2030, India will be the first.[31] About 70% of Indians live on farms.[32] The largest cities in India are Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad.[9] India has 23 official languages.[33] Altogether, 1,625 languages are spoken in India.[13]

Religions

Religion in India[34]
Religion Percent
Hinduism
  
80.5%
Islam
  
13.4%
Christianity
  
2.3%
Sikhism
  
1.9%
Buddhism
  
0.8%
Jainism
  
0.4%
Others
  
0.7%

File:Golden Temple
The Harmandir Sahib or The Golden Temple of the Sikhs.

Cave paintings from the Stone Age are found across India. They show dances and rituals and suggest there was a prehistoric religion. During the Epic and Puranic periods, the earliest versions of the epic poems Ramayana and Mahabharata were written roughly from 500–100 BCE,[35] although these were orally transmitted for centuries prior to this period.[36] Other South Asian Stone Age sites apart from Pakistan are in modern India, such as the Bhimbetka rock shelters in central Madhya Pradesh and the Kupgal petroglyphs of eastern Karnataka, contain rock art showing religious rites and evidence of possible ritualised music.[37]

Several modern religions are linked to India,[38] namely modern Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Ayyavazhi and Sikhism. All of these religions have different schools (ways of thinking) and traditions that are related. As a group they are called the Eastern religions. The Indian religions are similar to one another in many ways: The basic beliefs, the way worship is done and several religious practices are very similar. These similarities mainly come from the fact that these religions have a common history and common origins. They also influenced each other.

The religion of Hinduism is followed by 80.5% of people in the Republic of India; Islam – 13.4%; Christianity – 2.3%; Sikhism – 1.9%; Buddhism – 0.8% and Jainism – 0.4%.[39]

Sports

File:IPL T20 Chennai vs
A 2008 Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket match being played between the Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders

India's official national sport is field hockey which is controlled by the Indian Hockey Federation. The Indian field hockey team won the 1975 Men's Hockey World Cup. They have also won eight gold, one silver and two bronze medals at the Olympic games. However, cricket is the most popular sport in India. The India cricket team won the 1983 Cricket World Cup and the 2007 ICC World Twenty20. They shared the 2002 ICC Champions Trophy with Sri Lanka. Cricket in India is controlled by the Board of Control for Cricket in India or BCCI. Domestic tournaments are the Ranji Trophy, the Duleep Trophy, the Deodhar Trophy, the Irani Trophy and the Challenger Series. There is also the Indian cricket league and Indian premier league Twenty20 competitions.

Tennis has become popular due to the victories of the India Davis Cup team. Association football is also a popular sport in northeast India, West Bengal, Goa and Kerala.[40] The Indian national football team has won the South Asian Football Federation Cup many times. Chess, which comes from India, is also becoming popular. This is with the increase in the number of Indian Grandmasters.[41] Traditional sports include kabaddi, kho kho, and gilli-danda, which are played throughout India.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "CIA Factbook: India". CIA Factbook. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/in.html. Retrieved 2007-03-10. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Country profile: India". British Broadcasting Corporation. 19 April 2012. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/country_profiles/1154019.stm. Retrieved 2005-55-21. 
  3. Kumar, V. Sanil; K. C. Pathak, P. Pednekar, N. S. N. Raju (2006). "Coastal processes along the Indian coastline" (PDF). Current Science 91 (4): 530–536. http://drs.nio.org/drs/bitstream/2264/350/1/Curr_Sci_91_530.pdf. 
  4. "The world's ten largest armies". http://www.espritdecorps.ca/new_page_240.htm. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  5. "Largest Army in the World". http://www.mapsofworld.com/world-top-ten/world-top-ten-countries-with-largest-armies-map.html. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  6. "India Nuclear Forces". Federation of American Scientists. http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/india/nuke/index.html. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  7. ""Inclusive Growth and Service delivery: Building on India’s Success"". World Bank. 2006. http://siteresources.worldbank.org/SOUTHASIAEXT/Resources/DPR_FullReport.pdf. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  8. Page, Jeremy (February 22, 2007). ""Indian children suffer more malnutrition than in Ethiopia"". The Times. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article1421393.ece. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "Country Profile: India" (PDF). Library of Congress - Federal Research Division. December 2004. http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/profiles/India.pdf. Retrieved 2007-06-24. 
  10. "Languages by number of speakers according to 1991 census". Central Institute of Indian Languages. http://www.ciil.org/Main/Languages/map4.htm. Retrieved 2007. 
  11. Mallikarjun, B. (Nov., 2004), Fifty Years of Language Planning for Modern Hindi–The Official Language of India, Language in India, Volume 4, Number 11. ISSN 1930-2940.
  12. "Notification No. 2/8/60-O.L. (Ministry of Home Affairs), dated 27 April, 1960". http://www.rajbhasha.gov.in/preseng.htm. Retrieved 2007. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 Matthew, K.M. (2006). Manorama Yearbook 2003. Malayala Manorama. pp. pg 524. ISBN 81-89004-07-7. 
  14. Prabodh Bechardas Pandit, "Language in a Plural Society", Dev Raj Chanana Memorial Committee, 1977.
  15. Robert McHenry, "The New Encyclopaedia Britannica", Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1993.
  16. "Taj Mahal". World Heritage List. UNESCO World Heritage Centre. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list. Retrieved 28 September 2007. "The World Heritage List includes 851 properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value." 
  17. Jona Lendering. "Maurya dynasty". http://www.livius.org/man-md/mauryas/mauryas.html. Retrieved 2007-06-17. 
  18. "South India". Suni System Ltd.. 2007. http://www.webindia123.com/history/MEDIEVAL/history%20south.htm. Retrieved 2007-06-19. 
  19. "From Trade to Colonization - Historic Dynamics of the East India Companies". June 03, 2007. http://india_resource.tripod.com/eastindia.html. Retrieved 2007-06-19. 
  20. Concise Encyclopedia. Dorling Kindersly Limited. 1997. pp. p. 455. ISBN 0-7513-5911-4. 
  21. "India Profile". NTI. 2003. http://www.nti.org/e_research/profiles/India/index.html. Retrieved 2007-06-20. 
  22. Montek S. Ahluwalia (2002). "Economic Reforms in India since 1991: Has Gradualism Worked?" (MS Word). Journal of Economic Perspectives. http://planningcommission.nic.in/aboutus/speech/spemsa/msa008.doc. Retrieved 2007-06-13. 
  23. 23.0 23.1 "Our Parliament A brief description of the Indian Parliament". www.parliamentofindia.gov.in. http://www.india.gov.in/outerwin.htm?id=http://parliamentofindia.gov.in/. Retrieved 2007-06-16. 
  24. Matthew, K.M. (20088). Manorama Yearbook 2003. Malayala Manorama. pp. pg 524. ISBN 81-89004-07-7. 
  25. "China revives claims on Indian territory". Islamic Republic News Agency. http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/china/2005/china-050405-irna01.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-26. 
  26. India-Taiwan Relations: In Delicate Minuet
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Concise Encyclopedia. Dorling Kindersly Limited. 1997. pp. p. 333. ISBN 0-7513-5911-4. 
  28. "Poverty estimates for 2004-05". Planning Commission,Government of India. http://www.planningcommission.gov.in/news/prmar07.pdf. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  29. "Human Development Report 2007/2008 - Population living below $2 a day (%)". United Nations Development Programme. http://hdrstats.undp.org/indicators/24.html. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  30. "Most populated countries". Compare Infobase Limited. http://www.mapsofworld.com/world-top-ten/world-top-ten-most-populated-countries-map.html. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  31. Concise Encyclopedia. Dorling Kindersly Limited. 1997. pp. p. 332. ISBN 0-7513-5911-4. 
  32. "Census of India 2001". Census of India. http://www.censusindia.net/results/index.html. Retrieved 2007. 
  33. "Languages of India". India image. http://indiaimage.nic.in/languages.htm. Retrieved 2005. 
  34. Religious Composition
  35. Goldman 2007, p. 23.
  36. Rinehart 2004, p. 28.
  37. "Ancient Indians made 'rock music'". BBC News. 19 March 2004. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3520384.stm. Retrieved 2007-08-07. 
  38. Adams, C. J., Classification of religions: Geographical, Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2007. Accessed: September 5 2007
  39. "Census of India 2001, Data on Religion". Census of India. http://www.censusindia.net/religiondata/. Retrieved 2007. 
  40. Majumdar & Bandyopadhyay 2006, pp. 1–5
  41. "Anand crowned World champion". Rediff. 2008-10-29. http://www.rediff.com/sports/2008/oct/29anand.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 

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