India

Last updated

Republic of India

Bhārat Gaṇarājya
Motto: "Satyameva Jayate" (Sanskrit)
"Truth Alone Triumphs" [1]
Anthem: "Jana Gana Mana" [2] [3]
"Thou Art the Ruler of the Minds of All People" [4] [2]
National song
"Vande Mataram" (Sanskrit)
"I Bow to Thee, Mother" [lower-alpha 1] [1] [2]
India (orthographic projection).svg
Area controlled by India shown in dark green;
regions claimed but not controlled shown in light green
Capital New Delhi
28°36′50″N77°12′30″E / 28.61389°N 77.20833°E / 28.61389; 77.20833
Largest city
Official languages
Recognised regional languages
National language None [9] [10] [11]
Religion
See Religion in India
Demonym(s) Indian
Membership UN, WTO, BRICS, SAARC, SCO, G8+5, G20, Commonwealth of Nations
Government Federal parliamentary constitutional republic
  President
Ram Nath Kovind
Venkaiah Naidu
Narendra Modi
Ranjan Gogoi
Om Birla
Legislature Parliament
Rajya Sabha
Lok Sabha
Independence  
from the United Kingdom
  Dominion
15 August 1947
  Republic
26 January 1950
Area
 Total
3,287,263 [6]  km2 (1,269,219 sq mi) [lower-alpha 4] (7th)
 Water (%)
9.6
Population
 2016 estimate
Increase2.svg1,324,171,354 [13] (2nd)
 2011 census
1,210,854,977 [14] [15] (2nd)
 Density
402.7/km2 (1,043.0/sq mi)(31st)
GDP  (PPP)2019 estimate
 Total
Increase2.svg $11.468 trillion [16] (3rd)
 Per capita
Increase2.svg $8,484 [16] (119th)
GDP  (nominal)2019 estimate
 Total
Increase2.svg $2.972 trillion [16] (5th)
 Per capita
Increase2.svg $2,199 [16] (142nd)
Gini  (2013)33.9 [17]
medium ·  79th
HDI  (2017)Increase2.svg 0.640 [18]
medium ·  130th
Currency Indian rupee () (INR)
Time zone UTC+05:30 (IST)
DST is not observed
Date formatdd-mm-yyyy
Driving side left
Calling code +91
ISO 3166 code IN
Internet TLD .in (others)

India (official name: the Republic of India; [19] Hindi: Bhārat Gaṇarājya) is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by 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 southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; [lower-alpha 5] China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives; its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.

Hindi Indo-Aryan language spoken in India

Hindi, or Modern Standard Hindi is a standardised and Sanskritised register of the Hindustani language. Hindi, written in the Devanagari script, is one of the official languages of the Government of India, along with the English language. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of the Republic of India. Contrary to the popular belief, Hindi is not the national language of India because no language was given such a status in the Indian constitution.

South Asia Southern region of Asia

South Asia, or Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan SAARC countries and, for some authorities, adjoining countries to the west and east. Topographically, it is dominated by the Indian Plate, which rises above sea level as Nepal and northern parts of India situated south of the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush. South Asia is bounded on the south by the Indian Ocean and on land by West Asia, Central Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia.

Democracy system of government in which citizens vote directly in or elect representatives to form a governing body, sometimes called "rule of the majority"

Democracy is a system of government where the citizens exercise power by voting. In a direct democracy, the citizens as a whole form a governing body and vote directly on each issue. In a representative democracy the citizens elect representatives from among themselves. These representatives meet to form a governing body, such as a legislature. In a liberal democracy the powers of the majority are exercised within the framework of a representative democracy, but the constitution limits the majority and protects the minority, usually through the enjoyment by all of certain individual rights, e.g. freedom of speech, or freedom of association.

Contents

Modern humans arrived on the Indian subcontinent from Africa no later than 55,000 years ago. [20] Their long occupation, initially in varying forms of isolation as hunter-gatherers, has made the region highly diverse, second only to Africa in human genetic diversity. [21] Settled life emerged on the subcontinent in the western margins of the Indus river basin 9,000 years ago, evolving gradually into the Indus valley civilisation of the third millennium BCE. [22] By 1200 BCE, an archaic form of Sanskrit, an Indo-European language, had diffused into India from the northwest, unfolding as the language of the Vedas , and recording the dawning of Hinduism in India. [23] The Dravidian languages of India were supplanted in the northern regions. [24] By 400 BCE, stratification and exclusion by caste had emerged within Hinduism, [25] and Buddhism and Jainism had arisen, proclaiming social orders unlinked to heredity. [26] Early political consolidations gave rise to the loose-knit Maurya and Gupta empires based in the Ganges basin of north India, [27] their collective era suffused with wide-ranging creativity, [28] but also marked by the declining status of women, [29] and the incorporation of untouchability into an organized system of belief. [lower-alpha 6] [30] In south India, the Middle kingdoms exported Dravidian-languages scripts and religious cultures to the kingdoms of southeast Asia. [31]

Indian subcontinent Peninsular region in south-central Asia south of the Himalayas

The Indian subcontinent, is a southern region and peninsula of Asia, mostly situated on the Indian Plate and projecting southwards into the Indian Ocean from the Himalayas. Geologically, the Indian subcontinent is related to the land mass that rifted from Gondwana and merged with the Eurasian plate nearly 55 million years ago. Geographically, it is the peninsular region in south-central Asia delineated by the Himalayas in the north, the Hindu Kush in the west, and the Arakanese in the east. Politically, the Indian subcontinent includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Genetic diversity The total number of genetic characteristics in the genetic makeup of a species

Genetic diversity is the total number of genetic characteristics in the genetic makeup of a species. It is distinguished from genetic variability, which describes the tendency of genetic characteristics to vary.

The Neolithic, the final division of the Stone Age, began about 12,000 years ago when the first developments of farming appeared in the Epipalaeolithic Near East, and later in other parts of the world. The division lasted until the transitional period of the Chalcolithic from about 6,500 years ago, marked by the development of metallurgy, leading up to the Bronze Age and Iron Age. In Northern Europe, the Neolithic lasted until about 1700 BC, while in China it extended until 1200 BC. Other parts of the world remained broadly in the Neolithic stage of development until European contact.

In the early medieval era, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam put down roots on India's southern and western coasts. [32] Armies from Central Asia intermittently overran India's plains, [33] eventually establishing the Delhi sultanate, and drawing northern India into the cosmopolitan networks of medieval Islam. [34] In the 15th century, the Vijayanagara empire created a long-lasting composite Hindu culture in south India. [35] In the Punjab, Sikhism emerged, rejecting institutionalized religion. [36] The Mughal empire, in 1525, ushered in two centuries of relative peace, [37] leaving a legacy of luminous architecture. [lower-alpha 7] [38] Gradually expanding rule of the British East India Company followed, turning India into a colonial economy, but also consolidating its sovereignty. [39] British Crown rule began in 1858. The rights promised to Indians were granted slowly, [40] but technological changes were introduced, and ideas of education, modernity and the public life took root. [41] A pioneering and influential nationalist movement emerged, [42] which was noted for nonviolent resistance and led India to its independence in 1947.

Judaism The ethnic religion of the Jewish people

Judaism is the ethnic religion of the Jewish people. It is an ancient, monotheistic, Abrahamic religion with the Torah as its foundational text. It encompasses the religion, philosophy, and culture of the Jewish people. Judaism is considered by religious Jews to be the expression of the covenant that God established with the Children of Israel. It encompasses a wide body of texts, practices, theological positions, and forms of organization. The Torah is part of the larger text known as the Tanakh or the Hebrew Bible, and supplemental oral tradition represented by later texts such as the Midrash and the Talmud. With between 14.5 and 17.4 million adherents worldwide, Judaism is the tenth largest religion in the world.

Zoroastrianism Iranian religion founded by Zoroaster

Zoroastrianism or Mazdayasna is one of the world's oldest continuously practiced religions. It is a heterodox yet orthopraxic faith centered in a dualistic cosmology of good and evil and an eschatology predicting the ultimate conquest of evil with theological elements of henotheism, monotheism/monism, and polytheism. Ascribed to the teachings of the Iranian-speaking spiritual leader Zoroaster, it exalts an uncreated and benevolent deity of wisdom, Ahura Mazda, as its supreme being. Major features of Zoroastrianism, such as messianism, judgment after death, heaven and hell, and free will may have influenced other religious and philosophical systems, including Second Temple Judaism, Gnosticism, Greek philosophy, Christianity, Islam, the Bahá'í Faith, and Buddhism.

Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and the savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures of Judaism, called the Old Testament in Christianity, and chronicled in the New Testament. It is the world's largest religion with over 2.4 billion followers.

India is a secular federal republic governed in a democratic parliamentary system. It is a pluralistic, multilingual and multi-ethnic society. India's population grew from 361 million in 1951 to 1 billion 211 million in 2011. [43] During the same time, its nominal per capita income, increased from $64 annually to $2,041, and its literacy rate from 16.6% to 74%. From being a comparatively destitute country in 1951, [44] India has become a fast-growing major economy, a hub for information technology services, with an expanding middle class. [45] It has a space program which includes several planned or completed lunar missions. Indian movies, music, and spiritual teachings play an increasing role in global culture. [46] India has substantially reduced its rate of poverty, though at the cost of increasing economic inequality. [47] India is a nuclear weapons state, which ranks high in military expenditure. It has disputes over Kashmir with its neighbors, Pakistan and China, unresolved since the mid-20th century. [48] Among the socioeconomic challenges India faces are gender inequality, child malnutrition, [49] and rising levels of air pollution. [50] India's land is megadiverse, with four biodiversity hotspots. [51] Its forest cover comprises 21.4% of its area. [52] India's wildlife, which has traditionally been viewed with tolerance in India's culture, [53] is supported among these forests, and elsewhere, in protected habitats.

A federal republic is a federation of states with a republican form of government. At its core, the literal meaning of the word republic when used to reference a form of government means: "a country that is governed by elected representatives and by an elected leader rather than by a king or queen".

Parliamentary system form of government

A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic governance of a state where the executive derives its democratic legitimacy from its ability to command the confidence of the legislature, typically a parliament, and is also held accountable to that parliament. In a parliamentary system, the head of state is usually a person distinct from the head of government. This is in contrast to a presidential system, where the head of state often is also the head of government and, most importantly, the executive does not derive its democratic legitimacy from the legislature.

Pluralism as a political philosophy is the recognition and affirmation of diversity within a political body, which permits the peaceful coexistence of different interests, convictions, and lifestyles. While not all political pluralists advocate for a pluralist democracy, this is most common as democracy is often viewed as the most fair and effective way to moderate between the discrete values.

Etymology

According to the Oxford English Dictionary (Third Edition 2009), the name India is derived from the Classical Latin India, a reference to South Asia and an uncertain region to its east; and in turn derived successively from: Hellenistic Greek India ( Ἰνδία); ancient Greek Indos ( Ἰνδός); Old Persian Hindush , an eastern province of the Achaemenid empire; and ultimately its cognate, the Sanskrit Sindhu, or "river," but especially the Indus river and, by implication, its well-settled southern basin. [54] [55] The ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi ( Ἰνδοί ), which translates as "The people of the Indus". [56]

<i>Oxford English Dictionary</i> Premier historical dictionary of the English language

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is the principal historical dictionary of the English language, published by Oxford University Press (OUP). It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a comprehensive resource to scholars and academic researchers, as well as describing usage in its many variations throughout the world. The second edition, comprising 21,728 pages in 20 volumes, was published in 1989.

Classical Latin High-prestige style, register and form of the Latin Language of the Roman Republic and Empire

Classical Latin is the form of Latin language recognized as a standard by writers of the late Roman Republic and Roman Empire. In some later periods, it was regarded as "good"/"proper" Latin, with later versions viewed as debased, degenerate, "vulgar", or corrupted. The word Latin is now taken by default to mean "Classical Latin". For example, modern Latin textbooks almost exclusively teach Classical Latin. Marcus Tullius Cicero and his contemporaries of the late republic used lingua latina and sermo latinus versions of the Latin language. Conversely, the Greeks used Vulgar Latin in their vernacular, written as latinitas, or "Latinity" when combined. It was also called sermo familiaris, sermo urbanus, and in rare cases sermo nobilis. Besides latinitas, it was mainly called latine, or latinius.

Ancient Greek Version of the Greek language used from roughly the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE

The ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is often roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, and Hellenistic period. It is antedated in the second millennium BCE by Mycenaean Greek and succeeded by Medieval Greek.

The term Bharat (Bhārat; pronounced  [ˈbʱaːɾət] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )), mentioned in both Indian epic poetry and the Constitution of India, [57] [58] is used in its variations by many Indian languages. A modern rendering of the historical name Bharatavarsha, which applied originally to a region of the Gangetic Valley, [59] [60] Bharat gained increased currency from the mid-19th century as a native name for India. [57] [61]

Indian epic poetry is the epic poetry written in the Indian subcontinent, traditionally called Kavya. The Ramayana and the Mahabharata, which were originally composed in Sanskrit and later translated into many other Indian languages, and The Five Great Epics of Tamil Literature and Sangam literature are some of the oldest surviving epic poems ever written.

Constitution of India Supreme law of India

The Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. The document lays down the framework demarcating fundamental political code, structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens. It is the longest written constitution of any country on earth. B. R. Ambedkar, chairman of the drafting committee, is widely considered to be its chief architect.

The following table lists the names of India in its official languages. There are more than 22 official languages for India as per Article 343 of the Indian constitution and there is no national language for the country. English has the status of a "subsidiary official language". The Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution lists 22 languages, which have been referred to as scheduled languages and given recognition, status, and official encouragement.

Hindustan ( [ɦɪndʊˈstaːn] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is a Middle Persian name for India, introduced during the Mughal Empire and used widely since. Its meaning has varied, referring to a region encompassing present-day northern India and Pakistan or to India in its near entirety. [57] [61] [62]

History

Ancient India

1500-1200 BCE Rigveda, manuscript page sample i, Mandala 1, Hymn 1 (Sukta 1), Adhyaya 1, lines 1.1.1 to 1.1.9, Sanskrit, Devanagari.jpg
Battle at Lanka, Ramayana, Udaipur, 1649-53.jpg
(top) A pre-14th century manuscript of the Rigveda, orally composed and transmitted from 1500 BCE to 1200 BCE (bottom) The "Battle at Lanka," a scene from the Sanskrit epic Ramayana—composed between 700 BCE and 200 CE—was illustrated by Sahibdin, an artist of the 17th century.

By 55,000 years ago, the first modern humans, or Homo sapiens ., had arrived on the Indian subcontinent from Africa, where they had earlier evolved. [63] [64] [65] The earliest known modern human remains in South Asia date to about 30,000 years ago. [66] Nearly contemporaneous human rock art sites have been found in many parts of the Indian subcontinent, including at the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh. [67] After 6500 BCE, evidence for domestication of food crops and animals, construction of permanent structures, and storage of agricultural surplus, appeared in Mehrgarh and other sites in what is now Balochistan. [68] These gradually developed into the Indus Valley Civilisation, [69] [68] the first urban culture in South Asia, [70] which flourished during 2500–1900 BCE in what is now Pakistan and western India. [71] Centred around cities such as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa, Dholavira, and Kalibangan, and relying on varied forms of subsistence, the civilization engaged robustly in crafts production and wide-ranging trade. [70]

During the period 2000–500 BCE, many regions of the subcontinent transitioned from the Chalcolithic cultures to the Iron Age ones. [72] The Vedas, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism, [73] were composed during this period, [74] and historians have analysed these to posit a Vedic culture in the Punjab region and the upper Gangetic Plain. [72] Most historians also consider this period to have encompassed several waves of Indo-Aryan migration into the subcontinent from the north-west. [73] The caste system, which created a hierarchy of priests, warriors, and free peasants, but which excluded indigenous peoples by labeling their occupations impure, arose during this period. [75] On the Deccan Plateau, archaeological evidence from this period suggests the existence of a chiefdom stage of political organisation. [72] In South India, a progression to sedentary life is indicated by the large number of megalithic monuments dating from this period, [76] as well as by nearby traces of agriculture, irrigation tanks, and craft traditions. [76] File:

India in 250 BCE Joppen.jpg
Dhamek Stupa, Sarnath.jpg
Cave 26, Ajanta.jpg
India in 350 CE Joppen.jpg
Clockwise from upper left: (a) A map of the rough extent of the empire of Ashoka, ca 250 BCE; (b) The Dhamek Stupa at Sarnath, 249 BCE, the site of the Buddha's first sermon two centuries earlier; (c) The map of India, ca 350 CE; (d) Cave 26 of the rock-cut Ajanta Caves, fifth century CE

In the late Vedic period, around the 6th century BCE, the small states and chiefdoms of the Ganges Plain and the north-western regions had consolidated into 16 major oligarchies and monarchies that were known as the mahajanapadas . [77] [78] The emerging urbanisation gave rise to non-Vedic religious movements, two of which became independent religions. Jainism came into prominence during the life of its exemplar, Mahavira. [79] Buddhism, based on the teachings of Gautama Buddha, attracted followers from all social classes excepting the middle class; chronicling the life of the Buddha was central to the beginnings of recorded history in India. [80] [81] [82] In an age of increasing urban wealth, both religions held up renunciation as an ideal, [83] and both established long-lasting monastic traditions. Politically, by the 3rd century BCE, the kingdom of Magadha had annexed or reduced other states to emerge as the Mauryan Empire. [84] The empire was once thought to have controlled most of the subcontinent excepting the far south, but its core regions are now thought to have been separated by large autonomous areas. [85] [86] The Mauryan kings are known as much for their empire-building and determined management of public life as for Ashoka's renunciation of militarism and far-flung advocacy of the Buddhist dhamma . [87] [88]

The Sangam literature of the Tamil language reveals that, between 200 BCE and 200 CE, the southern peninsula was being ruled by the Cheras, the Cholas, and the Pandyas, dynasties that traded extensively with the Roman Empire and with West and South-East Asia. [89] [90] In North India, Hinduism asserted patriarchal control within the family, leading to increased subordination of women. [91] [84] By the 4th and 5th centuries, the Gupta Empire had created in the greater Ganges Plain a complex system of administration and taxation that became a model for later Indian kingdoms. [92] [93] Under the Guptas, a renewed Hinduism based on devotion rather than the management of ritual began to assert itself. [94] The renewal was reflected in a flowering of sculpture and architecture, which found patrons among an urban elite. [93] Classical Sanskrit literature flowered as well, and Indian science, astronomy, medicine, and mathematics made significant advances. [93]

Medieval India

India in 1022 Joppen.jpg
Gopuram Corner View of Thanjavur Brihadeeswara Temple..JPG
(left) A map of India in 1022 CE; (right) Brihadeshwara temple, Thanjavur, completed in 1010 CE

The Indian early medieval age, 600 CE to 1200 CE, is defined by regional kingdoms and cultural diversity. [95] When Harsha of Kannauj, who ruled much of the Indo-Gangetic Plain from 606 to 647 CE, attempted to expand southwards, he was defeated by the Chalukya ruler of the Deccan. [96] When his successor attempted to expand eastwards, he was defeated by the Pala king of Bengal. [96] When the Chalukyas attempted to expand southwards, they were defeated by the Pallavas from farther south, who in turn were opposed by the Pandyas and the Cholas from still farther south. [96] No ruler of this period was able to create an empire and consistently control lands much beyond his core region. [95] During this time, pastoral peoples whose land had been cleared to make way for the growing agricultural economy were accommodated within caste society, as were new non-traditional ruling classes. [97] The caste system consequently began to show regional differences. [97]

In the 6th and 7th centuries, the first devotional hymns were created in the Tamil language. [98] They were imitated all over India and led to both the resurgence of Hinduism and the development of all modern languages of the subcontinent. [98] Indian royalty, big and small, and the temples they patronised drew citizens in great numbers to the capital cities, which became economic hubs as well. [99] Temple towns of various sizes began to appear everywhere as India underwent another urbanisation. [99] By the 8th and 9th centuries, the effects were felt in South-East Asia, as South Indian culture and political systems were exported to lands that became part of modern-day Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, and Java. [100] Indian merchants, scholars, and sometimes armies were involved in this transmission; South-East Asians took the initiative as well, with many sojourning in Indian seminaries and translating Buddhist and Hindu texts into their languages. [100]

India in 1398 Joppen.jpg
Qutb minar ruins.jpg
(left) India in 1398 CE, during the Delhi Sultanate (marked "Afghan empire" in the map); (b) The Qutub Minar 73 metres (240 ft) tall completed by the Sultan of Delhi, Iltutmish

After the 10th century, Muslim Central Asian nomadic clans, using swift-horse cavalry and raising vast armies united by ethnicity and religion, repeatedly overran South Asia's north-western plains, leading eventually to the establishment of the Islamic Delhi Sultanate in 1206. [101] The sultanate was to control much of North India and to make many forays into South India. Although at first disruptive for the Indian elites, the sultanate largely left its vast non-Muslim subject population to its own laws and customs. [102] [103] By repeatedly repulsing Mongol raiders in the 13th century, the sultanate saved India from the devastation visited on West and Central Asia, setting the scene for centuries of migration of fleeing soldiers, learned men, mystics, traders, artists, and artisans from that region into the subcontinent, thereby creating a syncretic Indo-Islamic culture in the north. [104] [105] The sultanate's raiding and weakening of the regional kingdoms of South India paved the way for the indigenous Vijayanagara Empire. [106] Embracing a strong Shaivite tradition and building upon the military technology of the sultanate, the empire came to control much of peninsular India, [107] and was to influence South Indian society for long afterwards. [106]

Early modern India

India in 1525 Joppen Hi Def.jpg
India in1605 Joppen Hi Def.jpg
Agra Fort DistantTaj.JPG
Clockwise from upper left: (a) India in 1525 at the onset of Mughal rule; (b) India in 1605 during the rule of Akbar; (c) A distant view of the Taj Mahal from the Agra Fort

In the early 16th century, northern India, being then under mainly Muslim rulers, [108] fell again to the superior mobility and firepower of a new generation of Central Asian warriors. [109] The resulting Mughal Empire did not stamp out the local societies it came to rule, but rather balanced and pacified them through new administrative practices [110] [111] and diverse and inclusive ruling elites, [112] leading to more systematic, centralised, and uniform rule. [113] Eschewing tribal bonds and Islamic identity, especially under Akbar, the Mughals united their far-flung realms through loyalty, expressed through a Persianised culture, to an emperor who had near-divine status. [112] The Mughal state's economic policies, deriving most revenues from agriculture [114] and mandating that taxes be paid in the well-regulated silver currency, [115] caused peasants and artisans to enter larger markets. [113] The relative peace maintained by the empire during much of the 17th century was a factor in India's economic expansion, [113] resulting in greater patronage of painting, literary forms, textiles, and architecture. [116] Newly coherent social groups in northern and western India, such as the Marathas, the Rajputs, and the Sikhs, gained military and governing ambitions during Mughal rule, which, through collaboration or adversity, gave them both recognition and military experience. [117] Expanding commerce during Mughal rule gave rise to new Indian commercial and political elites along the coasts of southern and eastern India. [117] As the empire disintegrated, many among these elites were able to seek and control their own affairs. [118]

India in 1795 Joppen High Def.jpg
India in 1848 Joppen.jpg
India 1835 2 Mohurs.jpg
Clockwise from top left: (a) India under British East India Company rule in 1795; (b) India in 1848; (c) A two mohur gold coin issued by the Company in 1835 with the bust of William IV, King on the obverse, and the face value in English and Persian, on the reverse

By the early 18th century, with the lines between commercial and political dominance being increasingly blurred, a number of European trading companies, including the English East India Company, had established coastal outposts. [119] [120] The East India Company's control of the seas, greater resources, and more advanced military training and technology led it to increasingly flex its military muscle and caused it to become attractive to a portion of the Indian elite; these factors were crucial in allowing the company to gain control over the Bengal region by 1765 and sideline the other European companies. [121] [119] [122] [123] Its further access to the riches of Bengal and the subsequent increased strength and size of its army enabled it to annex or subdue most of India by the 1820s. [124] India was then no longer exporting manufactured goods as it long had, but was instead supplying the British Empire with raw materials, and many historians consider this to be the onset of India's colonial period. [119] By this time, with its economic power severely curtailed by the British parliament and effectively having been made an arm of British administration, the company began to more consciously enter non-economic arenas such as education, social reform, and culture. [125]

Modern India

British Indian Empire 1909 Imperial Gazetteer of India.jpg
India railways1909a.jpg
NewDelhiInaugurationSecondDayCancellation27Feb1931.jpg
Clockwise from upper left: (a) 1909 Map of the British Indian Empire; (b) The railway network of India in 1909, fourth largest in the world; (c) New Delhi became the capital of India in 1931, its inauguration marked by six postage stamps.

Historians consider India's modern age to have begun sometime between 1848 and 1885. The appointment in 1848 of Lord Dalhousie as Governor General of the East India Company set the stage for changes essential to a modern state. These included the consolidation and demarcation of sovereignty, the surveillance of the population, and the education of citizens. Technological changes—among them, railways, canals, and the telegraph—were introduced not long after their introduction in Europe. [126] [127] [128] [129] However, disaffection with the company also grew during this time, and set off the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Fed by diverse resentments and perceptions, including invasive British-style social reforms, harsh land taxes, and summary treatment of some rich landowners and princes, the rebellion rocked many regions of northern and central India and shook the foundations of Company rule. [130] [131] Although the rebellion was suppressed by 1858, it led to the dissolution of the East India Company and the direct administration of India by the British government. Proclaiming a unitary state and a gradual but limited British-style parliamentary system, the new rulers also protected princes and landed gentry as a feudal safeguard against future unrest. [132] [133] In the decades following, public life gradually emerged all over India, leading eventually to the founding of the Indian National Congress in 1885. [134] [135] [136] [137]

The rush of technology and the commercialisation of agriculture in the second half of the 19th century was marked by economic setbacks—many small farmers became dependent on the whims of far-away markets. [138] There was an increase in the number of large-scale famines, [139] and, despite the risks of infrastructure development borne by Indian taxpayers, little industrial employment was generated for Indians. [140] There were also salutary effects: commercial cropping, especially in the newly canalled Punjab, led to increased food production for internal consumption. [141] The railway network provided critical famine relief, [142] notably reduced the cost of moving goods, [142] and helped the nascent Indian-owned industry. [141]

Nehru gandhi.jpg
Jawaharlal Nehru sharing a joke with Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Mumbai, 6 July 1946

After World War I, in which approximately one million Indians served, [143] a new period began. It was marked by British reforms but also repressive legislation, by more strident Indian calls for self-rule, and by the beginnings of a nonviolent movement of non-co-operation, of which Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi would become the leader and enduring symbol. [144] During the 1930s, slow legislative reform was enacted by the British; the Indian National Congress won victories in the resulting elections. [145] The next decade was beset with crises: Indian participation in World War II, the Congress's final push for non-co-operation, and an upsurge of Muslim nationalism. All were capped by the advent of independence in 1947, but tempered by the partition of India into two states: India and Pakistan. [146]

Vital to India's self-image as an independent nation was its constitution, completed in 1950, which put in place a secular and democratic republic. [147] It has remained a democracy with civil liberties, an active Supreme Court, and a largely independent press. [148] Economic liberalisation, which was begun in the 1990s, has created a large urban middle class, transformed India into one of the world's fastest-growing economies, [149] and increased its geopolitical clout. Indian movies, music, and spiritual teachings play an increasing role in global culture. [148] Yet, India is also shaped by seemingly unyielding poverty, both rural and urban; [148] by religious and caste-related violence; [150] by Maoist-inspired Naxalite insurgencies; [151] and by separatism in Jammu and Kashmir and in Northeast India. [152] It has unresolved territorial disputes with China [153] and with Pakistan. [153] The India–Pakistan nuclear rivalry came to a head in 1998. [154] India's sustained democratic freedoms are unique among the world's newer nations; however, in spite of its recent economic successes, freedom from want for its disadvantaged population remains a goal yet to be achieved. [155]

Geography

India Orographical Features Plate 4, Imperial Gazetteer of India, Atlas, 1909.jpg
India's orographical features include the Ganges- and Indus plains, the Western- and Eastern Ghats, the Thar desert, the Aravalli hills, and Satpura and Vindhya ranges
India southwest summer monsoon onset map en.svg
The average onset dates and wind directions during India's southwest summer monsoon.
Parked boats at Anjarle Creek.jpg
Fishing boats are moored and lashed together during an approaching monsoon storm whose dark clouds can be seen overhead. The scene is a tidal creek in Anjarle, a coastal village in Maharashtra

India comprises the bulk of the Indian subcontinent, lying atop the Indian tectonic plate, a part of the Indo-Australian Plate. [156] India's defining geological processes began 75 million years ago when the Indian plate, then part of the southern supercontinent Gondwana, began a north-eastward drift caused by seafloor spreading to its south-west, and later, south and south-east. [156] Simultaneously, the vast Tethyn oceanic crust, to its northeast, began to subduct under the Eurasian plate. [156] These dual processes, driven by convection in the Earth's mantle, both created the Indian Ocean and caused the Indian continental crust eventually to under-thrust Eurasia and to uplift the Himalayas. [156] Immediately south of the emerging Himalayas, plate movement created a vast trough that rapidly filled with river-borne sediment [157] and now constitutes the Indo-Gangetic Plain. [158] Cut off from the plain by the ancient Aravalli Range lies the Thar Desert. [159]

The original Indian plate survives as peninsular India, the oldest and geologically most stable part of India. It extends as far north as the Satpura and Vindhya ranges in central India. These parallel chains run from the Arabian Sea coast in Gujarat in the west to the coal-rich Chota Nagpur Plateau in Jharkhand in the east. [160] To the south, the remaining peninsular landmass, the Deccan Plateau, is flanked on the west and east by coastal ranges known as the Western and Eastern Ghats; [161] the plateau contains the country's oldest rock formations, 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 [lower-alpha 8] and 68° 7' and 97° 25' east longitude. [162]

India's coastline measures 7,517 kilometres (4,700 mi) in length; 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 island chains. [163] According to the Indian naval hydrographic charts, the mainland coastline consists of the following: 43% sandy beaches; 11% rocky shores, including cliffs; and 46% mudflats or marshy shores. [163]

The Kosi river, shown here during a flood, rises in Nepal, rushes down with great force through its narrow Himalayan valley, and debouches in a flat plain in Bihar, India, where the river bed has risen so much from deposited silt that the river attempts to find a new course. NDRF in Bihar Flood 2.jpg
The Kosi river, shown here during a flood, rises in Nepal, rushes down with great force through its narrow Himalayan valley, and debouches in a flat plain in Bihar, India, where the river bed has risen so much from deposited silt that the river attempts to find a new course.

Major Himalayan-origin rivers that substantially flow through India include the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, both of which drain into the Bay of Bengal. [165] Important tributaries of the Ganges include the Yamuna and the Kosi; the latter's extremely low gradient, caused by long-term silt deposition, leads to severe floods and course changes. [166] [167] 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; [168] and the Narmada and the Tapti, which drain into the Arabian Sea. [169] Coastal features include the marshy Rann of Kutch of western India and the alluvial Sundarbans delta of eastern India; the latter is shared with Bangladesh. [170] 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. [171]

The Indian climate is strongly influenced by the Himalayas and the Thar Desert, both of which drive the economically and culturally pivotal summer and winter monsoons. [172] 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. [173] [174] The Thar Desert plays a crucial role in attracting the moisture-laden south-west summer monsoon winds that, between June and October, provide the majority of India's rainfall. [172] Four major climatic groupings predominate in India: tropical wet, tropical dry, subtropical humid, and montane. [175]

Biodiversity

India Vegetation Features IGI 1909 Atlas.jpg
A 1909 map showing India's forests, bush and small wood, cultivated lands, steppe, and desert.
2010 India forest cover distribution map for its States and Union Territories.svg
A 2010 map shows India's forest cover averaged out for each state.
Panthera tigris tigris Tidoba 20150306.jpg
India has the majority of the world's wild tigers, their numbers having increased to nearly 3,000 in 2019, [176] but human-tiger conflict in India has also increased. The Bengal tiger is one of the IUCN-designated endangered animals. [177] Shown here is Maya, a Bengal tigress of the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra.

India is a megadiverse country, a term employed for countries, numbering 17, that display high biological diversity and contain many species exclusively indigenous, or endemic, to them. [178] India is a habitat for 8.6% of all mammal species, 13.7% of bird species, 7.9% of reptile species, 6% of amphibian species, 12.2% of fish species, and 6.0% of all flowering plant species. [179] [180] Fully third of Indian plant species are endemic. [181] India also contains four of the world's 34 biodiversity hotspots, [51] or regions that display significant habitat loss in the presence of high endemism. [lower-alpha 9] [182]

India's forest cover is 701,673 km2 (270,917 sq mi), which is 21.35% of the country's total land area, can be subdivided further into broad categories of canopy density, or the proportion of the area of a forest covered by its tree canopy. [183] Very dense forest, whose canopy density is greater than 70%, occupies 2.61% of India's land area. [183] It predominates in the tropical moist forest of the Andaman Islands, the Western Ghats, and Northeast India. [184] Moderately dense forest, whose canopy density is between 40% and 70%, occupies 9.59% of India's land area, [183] and predominates in the temperate coniferous forest of the Himalayas, the moist deciduous sal forest of eastern India, and the dry deciduous teak forest of central and southern India. [184] Open forest, whose canopy density is between 10% and 40%, occupies 9.14% of India's land area, [183] and predominates in the babul-dominated thorn forest of the central Deccan plateau and the western Gangetic plain. [184]

Among the notable trees that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent, are the astringent Azadirachta indica , or neem, which is widely used in rural Indian herbal medicine, [185] and the luxuriant Ficus religiosa , or peepul, [186] which is displayed on the ancient seals of Mohenjo-daro, [187] and under which the Buddha is recorded in the Pali canon to have sought enlightenment, [188]

Many Indian species have descended from those of Gondwana, the southern supercontinent from which India separated more than 100 million years ago. [189] India's subsequent collision with Eurasia set off a mass exchange of species. However, volcanism and climatic changes later caused the extinction of many endemic Indian forms. [190] Still later, mammals entered India from Asia through two zoogeographical passes flanking the Himalaya. [184] This had the effect of lowering endemism among India's mammals, which stands at 12.6%, contrasting with 45.8% among reptiles and 55.8% among amphibians. [180] Notable endemics are the vulnerable [191] Hooded leaf monkey [192] and the threatened [193] Beddom's toad [193] [194] of the Western Ghats.

The vulnerable Malabar frog is endemic to the Western Ghats. Clinotarsus curtipes-Aralam-2016-10-29-001.jpg
The vulnerable Malabar frog is endemic to the Western Ghats.

India contains 172 IUCN-designated threatened animal species, or 2.9% of endangered forms. [195] These include the endangered Bengal tiger and the Ganges river dolphin and the critically endangered: Gharial, a crocodilian; the Great Indian bustard; and the Indian white-rumped vulture, which has become nearly extinct by having ingested the carrion of diclofenac-treated cattle. [196] The pervasive and ecologically devastating human encroachment of recent decades has critically endangered Indian 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 [197] and Project Tiger to safeguard crucial wilderness; the Forest Conservation Act was enacted in 1980 and amendments added in 1988. [198] India hosts more than five hundred wildlife sanctuaries and thirteen biosphere reserves, [199] four of which are part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves; twenty-five wetlands are registered under the Ramsar Convention. [200]

Politics and government

Politics

Social movements have long been a part of democracy in India. The picture shows a section of 25,000 landless people in the state of Madhya Pradesh listening to Rajagopal P. V. before their 350 km march, Janadesh 2007, from Gwalior to New Delhi to publicize their demand for further land reform in India. Rajagopal speaking to 25,000 people, Janadesh 2007, India.jpg
Social movements have long been a part of democracy in India. The picture shows a section of 25,000 landless people in the state of Madhya Pradesh listening to Rajagopal P. V. before their 350 km march, Janadesh 2007, from Gwalior to New Delhi to publicize their demand for further land reform in India.

India is the world's most populous democracy. [202] A parliamentary republic with a multi-party system, [203] it has seven recognised national parties, including the Indian National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and more than 40  regional parties. [204] The Congress is considered centre-left in Indian political culture, [205] and the BJP right-wing. [206] [207] [208] For most of the period between 1950—when India first became a republic—and the late 1980s, the Congress held a majority in the parliament. Since then, however, it has increasingly shared the political stage with the BJP, [209] as well as with powerful regional parties which have often forced the creation of multi-party coalition governments at the centre. [210]

In the Republic of India's first three general elections, in 1951, 1957, and 1962, the Jawaharlal Nehru-led Congress won easy victories. On Nehru's death in 1964, Lal Bahadur Shastri briefly became prime minister; he was succeeded, after his own unexpected death in 1966, by Indira Gandhi, who went on to lead the Congress to election victories in 1967 and 1971. Following public discontent with the state of emergency she declared in 1975, the Congress was voted out of power in 1977; the then-new Janata Party, which had opposed the emergency, was voted in. Its government lasted just over two years. Voted back into power in 1980, the Congress saw a change in leadership in 1984, when Indira Gandhi was assassinated; she was succeeded by her son Rajiv Gandhi, who won an easy victory in the general elections later that year. The Congress was voted out again in 1989 when a National Front coalition, led by the newly formed Janata Dal in alliance with the Left Front, won the elections; that government too proved relatively short-lived, lasting just under two years. [211] Elections were held again in 1991; no party won an absolute majority. The Congress, as the largest single party, was able to form a minority government led by P. V. Narasimha Rao. [212]

US president Barack Obama at the Parliament of India in New Delhi addressing members of parliament of both houses, the lower, Lok Sabha, and the upper, Rajya Sabha, in a joint session, 8 November 2010. Barack Obama at Parliament of India in New Delhi addressing Joint session of both houses 2010.jpg
US president Barack Obama at the Parliament of India in New Delhi addressing members of parliament of both houses, the lower, Lok Sabha, and the upper, Rajya Sabha, in a joint session, 8 November 2010.

A two-year period of political turmoil followed the general election of 1996. Several short-lived alliances shared power at the centre. The BJP formed a government briefly in 1996; it was followed by two comparatively long-lasting United Front coalitions, which depended on external support. In 1998, the BJP was able to form a successful coalition, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the NDA became the first non-Congress, coalition government to complete a five-year term. [213] In the 2004 Indian general elections, again no party won an absolute majority, but the Congress emerged as the largest single party, forming another successful coalition: the United Progressive Alliance (UPA). It had the support of left-leaning parties and MPs who opposed the BJP. The UPA returned to power in the 2009 general election with increased numbers, and it no longer required external support from India's communist parties. [214] That year, Manmohan Singh became the first prime minister since Jawaharlal Nehru in 1957 and 1962 to be re-elected to a consecutive five-year term. [215] In the 2014 general election, the BJP became the first political party since 1984 to win a majority and govern without the support of other parties. [216] The incumbent Indian prime minister is Narendra Modi, a former chief minister of Gujarat. On 20 July 2017, Ram Nath Kovind was elected India's 14th president and took the oath of office on 25 July 2017. [217] [218] [219]

Government

The official home of the President of India, the Rashtrapati Bhavan, was designed between 1911 and 1931 by British architects, Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker for the Viceroy of India during the British Raj. Rashtrapati Bhavan Wide New Delhi India.jpg
The official home of the President of India, the Rashtrapati Bhavan, was designed between 1911 and 1931 by British architects, Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker for the Viceroy of India during the British Raj.

India is a federation with a parliamentary system governed under the Constitution of India, which serves as the country's supreme legal document. It is a constitutional republic and representative democracy, in which "majority rule is tempered by minority rights protected by law". Federalism in India defines the power distribution between the union, or central, government and the states. The Constitution of India, which came into effect on 26 January 1950, [221] originally stated India to be a "sovereign, democratic republic;" this characterization was amended in 1971 to "a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic. [222] India's form of government, traditionally described as "quasi-federal" with a strong centre and weak states, [223] has grown increasingly federal since the late 1990s as a result of political, economic, and social changes. [224] [225]

National symbols [1]
Tiranga (Tricolour)
Emblem Sarnath Lion Capital
LanguageNone [9] [10] [11]
Anthem Jana Gana Mana
Song Vande Mataram
Currency (Indian rupee)
Calendar Saka
Animal Tiger (land)
River dolphin (aquatic)
Bird Indian peafowl
Flower Lotus
Fruit Mango
Tree Banyan
River Ganga
GameNot declared [226]

The Government of India comprises three branches: [227]

Administrative divisions

States (1–29) & Union territories (A-G)
1. Andhra Pradesh 19. Nagaland
2. Arunachal Pradesh 20. Odisha
3. Assam 21. Punjab
4. Bihar 22. Rajasthan
5. Chhattisgarh 23. Sikkim
6. Goa 24. Tamil Nadu
7. Gujarat 25. Telangana
8. Haryana 26. Tripura
9. Himachal Pradesh 27. Uttar Pradesh
10. Jammu and Kashmir 28. Uttarakhand
11. Jharkhand 29. West Bengal
12. Karnataka A. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
13. Kerala B. Chandigarh
14. Madhya Pradesh C. Dadra and Nagar Haveli
15. Maharashtra D. Daman and Diu
16. Manipur E. Lakshadweep
17. Meghalaya F. National Capital Territory of Delhi
18. Mizoram G. Puducherry

India is a federal union comprising 29 states and 7 union territories. [242] All states, as well in addition to the union territories of Puducherry and the National Capital Territory of Delhi, have elected legislatures and governments following on the Westminster system of governance. The remaining five union territories are directly ruled by the centre through appointed administrators. In 1956, under the States Reorganisation Act, states were reorganised on a linguistic basis. [243] Since then, their structure has remained largely unchanged.[ citation needed ] Each state or union territory is further divided into administrative districts. The districts are further divided into tehsils and ultimately into villages.[ citation needed ]

Foreign, economic and strategic relations

During the 1950s and 60s, India played a pivotal role in the Non-aligned movement. Shown here are from left to right: Gamal Abdel Nasser of United Arab Republic (now Egypt), Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia and Jawaharlal Nehru of India, at the Conference for Non-Aligned Nations, in Belgrade, September 1961. Jawaharlal Nehru, Nasser and Tito at the Conference of Non-Aligned Nations held in Belgrade.jpg
During the 1950s and 60s, India played a pivotal role in the Non-aligned movement. Shown here are from left to right: Gamal Abdel Nasser of United Arab Republic (now Egypt), Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia and Jawaharlal Nehru of India, at the Conference for Non-Aligned Nations, in Belgrade, September 1961.

Since its independence in 1947, India has maintained cordial relations with most nations. In the 1950s, it strongly supported decolonisation in Africa and Asia and played a lead role in the Non-Aligned Movement. [244] In the late 1980s, the Indian military twice intervened abroad at the invitation of neighbouring countries: a peace-keeping operation in Sri Lanka between 1987 and 1990; and an armed intervention to prevent a 1988 coup d'état attempt in the Maldives. India has tense relations with neighbouring Pakistan; the two nations have gone to war four times: in 1947, 1965, 1971, and 1999. Three of these wars were fought over the disputed territory of Kashmir, while the fourth, the 1971 war, followed from India's support for the independence of Bangladesh. [245] After waging the 1962 Sino-Indian War and the 1965 war with Pakistan, India pursued close military and economic ties with the Soviet Union; by the late 1960s, the Soviet Union was its largest arms supplier. [246]

Aside from ongoing special relationship with Russia, [247] India has wide-ranging defence relations with Israel and France. In recent years, it has played key roles in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and the World Trade Organization. The nation has provided 100,000 military and police personnel to serve in 35 UN peacekeeping operations across four continents. It participates in the East Asia Summit, the G8+5, and other multilateral forums. [248] India has close economic ties with South America, [249] Asia, and Africa; it pursues a "Look East" policy that seeks to strengthen partnerships with the ASEAN nations, Japan, and South Korea that revolve around many issues, but especially those involving economic investment and regional security. [250] [251]

The Indian Air Force contingent marching at the 221st Bastille Day military parade in Paris, on July 14, 2009. The parade at which India was the foreign guest was led by the India's oldest regiment, the Maratha Light Infantry, founded in 1768. France, with which India signed a strategic partnership in 1998, is now India's third-largest supplier of military equipment. Indian Air Force contingent as a part of the Bastille Day Parade of France, in Paris on July 14, 2009.jpg
The Indian Air Force contingent marching at the 221st Bastille Day military parade in Paris, on July 14, 2009. The parade at which India was the foreign guest was led by the India's oldest regiment, the Maratha Light Infantry, founded in 1768. France, with which India signed a strategic partnership in 1998, is now India's third-largest supplier of military equipment.

China's nuclear test of 1964, as well as its repeated threats to intervene in support of Pakistan in the 1965 war, convinced India to develop nuclear weapons. [252] India conducted its first nuclear weapons test in 1974 and carried out further underground testing in 1998. Despite criticism and military sanctions, India has signed neither the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty nor the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, considering both to be flawed and discriminatory. [253] India maintains a "no first use" nuclear policy and is developing a nuclear triad capability as a part of its "Minimum Credible Deterrence" doctrine. [254] [255] It is developing a ballistic missile defence shield and, in collaboration with Russia, a fifth-generation fighter jet. [256] Other indigenous military projects involve the design and implementation of Vikrant-class aircraft carriers and Arihant-class nuclear submarines. [256]

Since the end of the Cold War, India has increased its economic, strategic, and military co-operation with the United States and the European Union. [257] In 2008, a civilian nuclear agreement was signed between India and the United States. Although India possessed nuclear weapons at the time and was not party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it received waivers from the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Suppliers Group, ending earlier restrictions on India's nuclear technology and commerce. As a consequence, India became the sixth de facto nuclear weapons state. [258] India subsequently signed co-operation agreements involving civilian nuclear energy with Russia, [259] France, [260] the United Kingdom, [261] and Canada. [262]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India (left, background) in talks with President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico during the former's visit to Mexico, June 2016 Modi Nieto Mexico June 2016.jpg
Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India (left, background) in talks with President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico during the former's visit to Mexico, June 2016

The President of India is the supreme commander of the nation's armed forces; with 1.395 million active troops, they compose the world's second-largest military. It comprises the Indian Army, the Indian Navy, the Indian Air Force, and the Indian Coast Guard. [263] The official Indian defence budget for 2011 was US$36.03 billion, or 1.83% of GDP. [264] For the fiscal year spanning 2012–2013, US$40.44 billion was budgeted. [265] According to a 2008 SIPRI report, India's annual military expenditure in terms of purchasing power stood at US$72.7 billion. [266] In 2011, the annual defence budget increased by 11.6%, [267] although this does not include funds that reach the military through other branches of government. [268] As of 2012, India is the world's largest arms importer; between 2007 and 2011, it accounted for 10% of funds spent on international arms purchases. [269] Much of the military expenditure was focused on defence against Pakistan and countering growing Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean. [267] In May 2017, the Indian Space Research Organisation launched the South Asia Satellite, a gift from India to its neighbouring SAARC countries. [270] In October 2018, India signed a US$5.43 billion (over Rs 400 billion) agreement with Russia to procure four S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile defence systems, Russia's most advanced long-range missile defence system. [271]

Economy

Plowing the land in India - modern and traditional.jpg
Women at work, Gujarat (cropped).jpg
ILRI, Stevie Mann - Villager and calf share milk from cow in Rajasthan, India.jpg
Clockwise from top: (a) A farmer in northwestern Karnataka ploughs his field with a tractor even as another in a field beyond does the same with a pair of oxen In 2018, 44% of India's total workforce was employed in agriculture. [272] (b) Women tend to a recently planted rice field in Junagadh district in Gujarat. 57% of India's female workforce was employed in agriculture in 2018. [273] (c) India is the world's largest producer of milk, with the largest population of cattle. In 2018, nearly 80% of India's milk was sourced by hand milking from small farms with herd size between one and three.[ citation needed ]

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Indian economy in 2017 was nominally worth US$2.611 trillion; it is the sixth-largest economy by market exchange rates, and is, at US$9.459 trillion, the third-largest by purchasing power parity, or PPP. [16] With its average annual GDP growth rate of 5.8% over the past two decades, and reaching 6.1% during 2011–12, [274] India is one of the world's fastest-growing economies. [275] However, the country ranks 140th in the world in nominal GDP per capita and 129th in GDP per capita at PPP. [276] Until 1991, all Indian governments followed protectionist policies that were influenced by socialist economics. Widespread state intervention and regulation largely walled the economy off from the outside world. An acute balance of payments crisis in 1991 forced the nation to liberalise its economy; [277] since then it has slowly moved towards a free-market system [278] [279] by emphasising both foreign trade and direct investment inflows. [280] India has been a member of WTO since 1 January 1995. [281]

The 513.7-million-worker Indian labour force is the world's second-largest, as of 2016. [263] The service sector makes up 55.6% of GDP, the industrial sector 26.3% and the agricultural sector 18.1%. India's foreign exchange remittances of US$70 billion in 2014, the largest in the world, contributed to its economy by 25 million Indians working in foreign countries. [282] Major agricultural products include rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, and potatoes. [242] Major industries include textiles, telecommunications, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, food processing, steel, transport equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, and software. [242] In 2006, the share of external trade in India's GDP stood at 24%, up from 6% in 1985. [278] In 2008, India's share of world trade was 1.68%; [283] In 2011, India was the world's tenth-largest importer and the nineteenth-largest exporter. [284] Major exports include petroleum products, textile goods, jewellery, software, engineering goods, chemicals, and leather manufactures. [242] Major imports include crude oil, machinery, gems, fertiliser, and chemicals. [242] Between 2001 and 2011, the contribution of petrochemical and engineering goods to total exports grew from 14% to 42%. [285] India was the second largest textile exporter after China in the world in the calendar year 2013. [286]

Averaging an economic growth rate of 7.5% for several years prior to 2007, [278] India has more than doubled its hourly wage rates during the first decade of the 21st century. [287] Some 431 million Indians have left poverty since 1985; India's middle classes are projected to number around 580 million by 2030. [288] Though ranking 51st in global competitiveness, India ranks 17th in financial market sophistication, 24th in the banking sector, 44th in business sophistication, and 39th in innovation, ahead of several advanced economies, as of 2010. [289] With 7 of the world's top 15 information technology outsourcing companies based in India, the country is viewed as the second-most favourable outsourcing destination after the United States, as of 2009. [290] India's consumer market, the world's eleventh-largest, is expected to become fifth-largest by 2030. [288] However, hardly 2% of Indians pay income taxes. [291]

Driven by growth, India's nominal GDP per capita has steadily increased from US$329 in 1991, when economic liberalisation began, to US$1,265 in 2010, to an estimated US$1,723 in 2016, and is expected to grow to US$2,358 by 2020; [16] however, it has remained lower than those of other Asian developing countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, and is expected to remain so in the near future. However, it is higher than Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and others. [292]

A panorama of Bangalore, the center of India's software development economy. In the 1980s, when the first multinational corporations began to set up centers in India, they chose Bangalore because of the large pool of skilled graduates in the area, in turn due to the many science and engineering colleges in the surrounding region. Bangalore Panorama edit1.jpg
A panorama of Bangalore, the center of India's software development economy. In the 1980s, when the first multinational corporations began to set up centers in India, they chose Bangalore because of the large pool of skilled graduates in the area, in turn due to the many science and engineering colleges in the surrounding region.

According to a 2011 PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report, India's GDP at purchasing power parity could overtake that of the United States by 2045. [294] During the next four decades, Indian GDP is expected to grow at an annualised average of 8%, making it potentially the world's fastest-growing major economy until 2050. [294] The report highlights key growth factors: a young and rapidly growing working-age population; growth in the manufacturing sector because of rising education and engineering skill levels; and sustained growth of the consumer market driven by a rapidly growing middle-class. [294] The World Bank cautions that, for India to achieve its economic potential, it must continue to focus on public sector reform, transport infrastructure, agricultural and rural development, removal of labour regulations, education, energy security, and public health and nutrition. [295]

According to the Worldwide Cost of Living Report 2017 released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) which was created by comparing more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services, four of the cheapest cities were in India: Bangalore (3rd), Mumbai (5th), Chennai (5th) and New Delhi (8th). [296]

Industries

Coaches of the Delhi Metro Blue Line, manufactured by Bombardier Transportation, Canada. DelhiMetroBlueLineBombardier.jpg
Coaches of the Delhi Metro Blue Line, manufactured by Bombardier Transportation, Canada.

India's telecommunication industry, the world's fastest-growing, added 227 million subscribers during the period 2010–11, [297] and after the third quarter of 2017, India surpassed the US to become the second largest smartphone market in the world after China. [298]

The Indian automotive industry, the world's second-fastest growing, increased domestic sales by 26% during 2009–10, [299] and exports by 36% during 2008–09. [300] India's capacity to generate electrical power is 300 gigawatts, of which 42 gigawatts is renewable. [301] At the end of 2011, the Indian IT industry employed 2.8 million professionals, generated revenues close to US$100 billion equalling 7.5% of Indian GDP and contributed 26% of India's merchandise exports. [302]

The pharmaceutical industry in India is among the significant emerging markets for the global pharmaceutical industry. The Indian pharmaceutical market is expected to reach $48.5 billion by 2020. India's R & D spending constitutes 60% of the biopharmaceutical industry. [303] [304] India is among the top 12 biotech destinations in the world. [305] [306] The Indian biotech industry grew by 15.1% in 2012–13, increasing its revenues from 204.4 billion INR (Indian rupees) to 235.24 billion INR (3.94 B US$ – exchange rate June 2013: 1 US$ approx. 60 INR). [307]

Socio-economic challenges

Female health workers in India (34332433890).jpg
Female health workers about to begin another day of immunization against infectious diseases in 2006. Eight years later, and three years after India's last case of polio, the World Health Organization on 11 February 2014 declared India to be polio-free.

Despite economic growth during recent decades, India continues to face socio-economic challenges. In 2006, India contained the largest number of people living below the World Bank's international poverty line of US$1.25 per day, [308] the proportion having decreased from 60% in 1981 to 42% in 2005; [309] under its later revised poverty line, it was 21% in 2011. [lower-alpha 10] [311] 30.7% of India's children under the age of five are underweight. [312] According to a Food and Agriculture Organization report in 2015, 15% of the population is undernourished. [313] [314] The Mid-Day Meal Scheme attempts to lower these rates. [315]

According to a Walk Free Foundation report in 2016, there were an estimated 18.3 million people in India, or 1.4% of the population, living in the forms of modern slavery, such as bonded labour, child labour, human trafficking, and forced begging, among others. [316] [317] [318] According to the 2011 census, there were 10.1 million child labourers in the country, a decline of 2.6 million from 12.6 million child labourers in 2001. [319]

Since 1991, economic inequality between India's states has consistently grown: the per-capita net state domestic product of the richest states in 2007 was 3.2 times that of the poorest. [320] Corruption in India is perceived to have decreased. According to the Corruption Perceptions Index, India ranked 78th out of 180 countries in 2018 with a score of 41 out of 100, an improvement from 85th in 2014. [321] [322]

Demographics, languages, and religion

India by population density, religion, language
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The population density of India by natural divisions, based on the Indian census of 1901
2011 Census India population density map, states and union territories.svg
Population density of India by each state, based on the Indian census of 2011.
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The prevailing religions of South Asia based on district-wise majorities in the 1901 census
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The language families of South Asia

With 1,210,193,422 residents reported in the 2011 provisional census report, [323] India is the world's second-most populous country. Its population grew by 17.64% during 2001–2011, [324] compared to 21.54% growth in the previous decade (1991–2001). [324] The human sex ratio, according to the 2011 census, is 940 females per 1,000 males. [323] The median age was 27.6 as of 2016. [263] The first post-colonial census, conducted in 1951, counted 361.1 million people. [325] Medical advances made in the last 50 years as well as increased agricultural productivity brought about by the "Green Revolution" have caused India's population to grow rapidly. [326] India continues to face several public health-related challenges. [327] [328]

Life expectancy in India is at 68 years, with life expectancy for women being 69.6 years and for men being 67.3. [329] There are around 50 physicians per 100,000 Indians. [330] Migration from rural to urban areas has been an important dynamic in the recent history of India. The number of Indians living in urban areas grew by 31.2% between 1991 and 2001. [331] Yet, in 2001, over 70% still lived in rural areas. [332] [333] The level of urbanisation increased further from 27.81% in the 2001 Census to 31.16% in the 2011 Census. The slowing down of the overall growth rate of population was due to the sharp decline in the growth rate in rural areas since 1991. [334] According to the 2011 census, there are 53 million-plus urban agglomerations in India; among them Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad, in decreasing order by population. [335] The literacy rate in 2011 was 74.04%: 65.46% among females and 82.14% among males. [336] The rural-urban literacy gap, which was 21.2 percentage points in 2001, dropped to 16.1 percentage points in 2011. The improvement in literacy rate in rural area is two times that in urban areas. [334] Kerala is the most literate state with 93.91% literacy; while Bihar the least with 63.82%. [336]

Women in Kargil town in Jammu and Kashmir, India's only state with a majority Muslim population. Islam is followed by 68.3%, Hinduism by 28.4%, Sikhism by 1.9%, and Buddhism by 0.9%. Girls in Kargil.jpg
Women in Kargil town in Jammu and Kashmir, India's only state with a majority Muslim population. Islam is followed by 68.3%, Hinduism by 28.4%, Sikhism by 1.9%, and Buddhism by 0.9%.

India is home to two major language families: Indo-Aryan (spoken by about 74% of the population) and Dravidian (spoken by 24% of the population). Other languages spoken in India come from the Austroasiatic and Sino-Tibetan language families. India has no national language. [338] Hindi, with the largest number of speakers, is the official language of the government. [339] [340] English is used extensively in business and administration and has the status of a "subsidiary official language"; [5] it is important in education, especially as a medium of higher education. Each state and union territory has one or more official languages, and the constitution recognises in particular 22 "scheduled languages".

The 2011 census reported that the religion in India with the largest number of followers was Hinduism (79.80% of the population), followed by Islam (14.23%); the remaining were Christianity (2.30%), Sikhism (1.72%), Buddhism (0.70%), Jainism (0.36%) and others [lower-alpha 3] (0.9%). [12] India has the world's largest Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Zoroastrian, and Bahá'í populations, and has the third-largest Muslim population—the largest for a non-Muslim majority country. [341] [342]

Culture

Hampi, seat of the Vijayanagara Empire Hampi Royal Area, Vijayanagara Empire, Karnataka.jpg
Hampi, seat of the Vijayanagara Empire

Indian cultural history spans more than 4,500 years. [343] During the Vedic period (c.1700 – c.500 BCE), the foundations of Hindu philosophy, mythology, theology and literature were laid, and many beliefs and practices which still exist today, such as dhárma , kárma , yóga , and mokṣa , were established. [56] India is notable for its religious diversity, with Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity, and Jainism among the nation's major religions. [344] The predominant religion, Hinduism, has been shaped by various historical schools of thought, including those of the Upanishads , [345] the Yoga Sutras , the Bhakti movement, [344] and by Buddhist philosophy. [346]

Art, architecture and literature

Much of Indian architecture, including the Taj Mahal, other works of Mughal architecture, and South Indian architecture, blends ancient local traditions with imported styles. [347] Vernacular architecture is also highly regional in it flavours. Vastu shastra , literally "science of construction" or "architecture" and ascribed to Mamuni Mayan, [348] explores how the laws of nature affect human dwellings; [349] it employs precise geometry and directional alignments to reflect perceived cosmic constructs. [350] As applied in Hindu temple architecture, it is influenced by the Shilpa Shastras , a series of foundational texts whose basic mythological form is the Vastu-Purusha mandala, a square that embodied the "absolute". [351] The Taj Mahal, built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by orders of Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, has been described in the UNESCO World Heritage List as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage". [352] Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture, developed by the British in the late 19th century, drew on Indo-Islamic architecture. [353]

The earliest literature in India, composed between 1500 BCE and 1200 CE, was in the Sanskrit language. [354] Major works of Sanskrit literature include the Rigveda (c. 1500 BCE–1200 BCE), the epics: Mahābhārata (c. 400 BCE–400 CE) and the Ramayana (c. 300 BCE and later); Abhijñānaśākuntalam ( The Recognition of Śakuntalā , and other dramas of Kālidāsa (c. 5th century CE) and Mahākāvya poetry. [355] [356] [357] In Tamil literature, Sangam Literature (c 600 BCE–300 BCE) consisting of 2,381 poems, composed by 473 poets, is the earliest work. [358] [359] [360] [361] From the 14th to the 18th centuries, India's literary traditions went through a period of drastic change because of the emergence of devotional poets such as Kabīr, Tulsīdās, and Guru Nānak. This period was characterised by a varied and wide spectrum of thought and expression; as a consequence, medieval Indian literary works differed significantly from classical traditions. [362] In the 19th century, Indian writers took a new interest in social questions and psychological descriptions. In the 20th century, Indian literature was influenced by the works of Bengali poet and novelist Rabindranath Tagore, [363] who was a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Performing arts, and media

Bharata Natyam Performance DS.jpg
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Sattriya Dancer Krishnakshi Kashyap2.jpg
The Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's national academy of performance arts, has designated eight Indian dance styles to be Classical. Among them are from top left to bottom right. (a) Bharatanatyam, (b) Kathak, (c) Mohiniyattam, and (d) Sattriya; Not shown here are: Manipuri, Odissi, Kathakali, and Kuchipudi

Indian music ranges over various traditions and regional styles. Classical music encompasses two genres and their various folk offshoots: the northern Hindustani and southern Carnatic schools. [364] Regionalised popular forms include filmi and folk music; the syncretic tradition of the bauls is a well-known form of the latter. Indian dance also features diverse folk and classical forms. Among the better-known folk dances are the bhangra of Punjab, the bihu of Assam, the Jhumair and chhau of Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal, garba and dandiya of Gujarat, ghoomar of Rajasthan, and the lavani of Maharashtra. 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 Odisha, and the sattriya of Assam. [365] Theatre in India melds music, dance, and improvised or written dialogue. [366] Often based on Hindu mythology, but also borrowing from medieval romances or social and political events, Indian theatre includes the bhavai of Gujarat, the jatra of West Bengal, the nautanki and ramlila of North India, tamasha of Maharashtra, burrakatha of Andhra Pradesh, terukkuttu of Tamil Nadu, and the yakshagana of Karnataka. [367] India has a theatre training institute NSD that is situated at New Delhi It is an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. [368]

Film director Satyajit Ray (left) and sitar maestro Ravi Shankar discussing the musical score of the movie Pather Panchali, which was to win Ray the Best Human Document award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1956, and set in motion a career that led to an Academy Honorary Award in 1992. Satyajit Ray with Ravi Sankar recording for Pather Panchali.jpg
Film director Satyajit Ray (left) and sitar maestro Ravi Shankar discussing the musical score of the movie Pather Panchali , which was to win Ray the Best Human Document award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1956, and set in motion a career that led to an Academy Honorary Award in 1992.

The Indian film industry produces the world's most-watched cinema. [371] Established regional cinematic traditions exist in the Assamese, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Punjabi, Gujarati, Marathi, Odia, Tamil, and Telugu languages. [372] South Indian cinema attracts more than 75% of national film revenue. [373]

Television broadcasting began in India in 1959 as a state-run medium of communication and had slow expansion for more than two decades. [374] [375] The state monopoly on television broadcast ended in the 1990s and, since then, satellite channels have increasingly shaped the popular culture of Indian society. [376] Today, television is the most penetrative media in India; industry estimates indicate that as of 2012 there are over 554 million TV consumers, 462 million with satellite and/or cable connections, compared to other forms of mass media such as press (350 million), radio (156 million) or internet (37 million). [377]

Society, clothing, and cuisine

Northern and Western Indian Home Cooked Lunch and Southern Indian Thali Dinner.jpg
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Clockwise from top left: (a) top: Home cooked Northern/Western Indian lunch delivered to the office by the tiffin wallah; bottom: South Indian thali style dinner; (b) (b) Hilsa fish dinner, Kolkota, 2006; (c) Some spices used in Indian cooking: top row: Clove, mace, cumin seed, chili powder, fenugreek seed; middle row: Anise, black pepper, cardamom (in pod), turmeric powder, nutmeg; bottom row: Chili pepper, coriander seeds, pomegranate seeds, cinnamon, and star anise ]]

Traditional Indian society is sometimes defined by social hierarchy. The Indian caste system embodies much of the social stratification and many of the social restrictions found in the Indian subcontinent. Social classes are defined by thousands of endogamous hereditary groups, often termed as jātis , or "castes". [378] India declared untouchability to be illegal [379] in 1947 and has since enacted other anti-discriminatory laws and social welfare initiatives. At the workplace in urban India and in international or leading Indian companies, the caste related identification has pretty much lost its importance. [380] [381]

Family values are important in the Indian tradition, and multi-generational patriarchal joint families have been the norm in India, though nuclear families are becoming common in urban areas. [382] An overwhelming majority of Indians, with their consent, have their marriages arranged by their parents or other elders in the family. [383] Marriage is thought to be for life, [383] and the divorce rate is extremely low. [384] As of 2001, just 1.6 percent of Indian women were divorced, but this figure was rising due to their education and economic independence. [384] Child marriages are common, especially in rural areas; many women wed before reaching 18, which is their legal marriageable age. [385] Female infanticide and female foeticide in the country have caused a discrepancy in the sex ratio, as of 2005 it was estimated that there were 50 million more males than females in the nation. [386] [387] However, a report from 2011 has shown improvement in the gender ratio. [388] The payment of dowry, although illegal, remains widespread across class lines. [389] Deaths resulting from dowry, mostly from bride burning, are on the rise, despite stringent anti-dowry laws. [390]

L to R: (a) A tandoor chef in the Turkman Gate area of Old Delhi makes Khameeri Roti (a Muslim style of bread made with a sourdough starter), while his assistants help with the prep work.

Many Indian festivals are religious in origin. The best known include Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Thai Pongal, Holi, Durga Puja, Eid ul-Fitr, Bakr-Id, Christmas, and Vaisakhi. [391] [392]

Cotton was domesticated in India by 4000 BCE. Traditional Indian dress varies in colour and style across regions and depends on various factors, including climate and faith. Popular styles of dress include draped garments such as the sari for women and the dhoti or lungi for men. Stitched clothes, such as the shalwar kameez for women and kurta pyjama combinations or European-style trousers and shirts for men, are also popular. [393] Use of delicate jewellery, modelled on real flowers worn in ancient India, is part of a tradition dating back some 5,000 years; gemstones are also worn in India as talismans. [394]

Indian cuisine encompasses a wide variety of regional and traditional cuisines, often depending on a particular state (such as Maharashtrian cuisine). Staple foods of Indian cuisine include pearl millet (ISO: bājra), rice, whole-wheat flour (aṭṭa), and a variety of lentils, such as masoor (most often red lentils), toor (pigeon peas), urad (black gram), and mong (mung beans). Lentils may be used whole, dehusked—for example, dhuli moong or dhuli urad—or split. Split lentils, or dal , are used extensively. [395] The spice trade between India and Europe is often cited by historians as the primary catalyst for Europe's Age of Discovery. [396]

Sports and recreation

During a twenty four-year career, Sachin Tendulkar has set many batting records in cricket. The picture shows him about to score a record 14,000 runs in test cricket while playing Australia in Bangalore on 10 October, 2010 Sachin Tendulkar about to score 14000th run in test cricket.jpg
During a twenty four-year career, Sachin Tendulkar has set many batting records in cricket. The picture shows him about to score a record 14,000 runs in test cricket while playing Australia in Bangalore on 10 October, 2010

In India, several traditional indigenous sports remain fairly popular, such as kabaddi , kho kho , pehlwani and gilli-danda . Some of the earliest forms of Asian martial arts, such as kalarippayattu , musti yuddha , silambam , and marma adi , originated in India. Chess, commonly held to have originated in India as chaturaṅga , is regaining widespread popularity with the rise in the number of Indian grandmasters. [397] [398] Pachisi , from which parcheesi derives, was played on a giant marble court by Akbar. [399]

The improved results garnered by the Indian Davis Cup team and other Indian tennis players in the early 2010s have made tennis increasingly popular in the country. [400] India has a comparatively strong presence in shooting sports, and has won several medals at the Olympics, the World Shooting Championships, and the Commonwealth Games. [401] [402] Other sports in which Indians have succeeded internationally include badminton [403] (Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu are two of the top-ranked female badminton players in the world), boxing, [404] and wrestling. [405] Football is popular in West Bengal, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and the north-eastern states. [406]

A game of kabaddi in Bagepalli, Karnataka Kabaddi in Bagepalli Karnataka.jpg
A game of kabaddi in Bagepalli, Karnataka

Cricket is the most popular sport in India. [407] Major domestic competitions include the Indian Premier League, which is the most-watched cricket league in the world and ranks sixth among all sports leagues. [408]

India has hosted or co-hosted several international sporting events: the 1951 and 1982 Asian Games; the 1987, 1996, and 2011 Cricket World Cup tournaments; the 2003 Afro-Asian Games; the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy; the 2010 Hockey World Cup; the 2010 Commonwealth Games; and the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Major international sporting events held annually in India include the Chennai Open, the Mumbai Marathon, the Delhi Half Marathon, and the Indian Masters. The first Formula 1 Indian Grand Prix featured in late 2011 but has been discontinued from the F1 season calendar since 2014. [409] India has traditionally been the dominant country at the South Asian Games. An example of this dominance is the basketball competition where the Indian team won three out of four tournaments to date. [410]

See also

Notes

  1. "[...] 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." (Constituent Assembly of India 1950).
  2. According to Part XVII of the Constitution of India, Hindi in the Devanagari script is the official language of the Union, along with English as an additional official language. [5] [1] [6] States and union territories can have a different official language of their own other than Hindi or English.
  3. 1 2 Besides specific religions, the last two categories in the 2011 Census were "Other religions and persuasions" (0.65%) and "Religion not stated" (0.23%).
  4. "The country's exact size is subject to debate because some borders are disputed. The Indian government lists the total area as 3,287,260 km2 (1,269,220 sq mi) and the total land area as 3,060,500 km2 (1,181,700 sq mi); the United Nations lists the total area as 3,287,263 km2 (1,269,219 sq mi) and total land area as 2,973,190 km2 (1,147,960 sq mi)." (Library of Congress 2004).
  5. The Government of India also regards Afghanistan as a bordering country, as it considers all of Kashmir to be part of India. However, this is disputed, and the region bordering Afghanistan is administered by Pakistan. Source: "Ministry of Home Affairs (Department of Border Management)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 March 2015. Retrieved 1 September 2008.
  6. " The Chinese pilgrim also recorded evidence of the caste system as he could observe it. According to this evidence the treatment meted out to untouchables such as the Chandalas was very similar to that which they experienced in later periods. This would contradict assertions that this rigid form of the caste system emerged in India only as a reaction to the Islamic conquest. [30]
  7. "Shah Jahan eventually sent her body 800 km (500 mi) to Agra for burial in the Rauza-i Munauwara (“Illuminated Tomb”) – a personal tribute and a stone manifestation of his imperial power. This tomb has been celebrated globally as the Taj Mahal." [38]
  8. The northernmost point under Indian control is the disputed Siachen Glacier in Jammu and Kashmir; however, the Government of India regards the entire region of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, including the Gilgit-Baltistan administered by Pakistan, to be its territory. It therefore assigns the latitude 37° 6' to its northernmost point.
  9. A biodiversity hotspot is a biogeographical region which has more than 1,500 vascular plant species, but less than 30% of its primary habitat. [182]
  10. In 2015, the World Bank raised its international poverty line to $1.90 per day. [310]

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Provincial elections were held in British India in January 1946 to elect members of the legislative councils of British Indian provinces. The consummation of British rule in India were the 1945/1946 elections. As minor political parties were eliminated the political scene became restricted to the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League who were more antagonised than ever. The Congress, in a repeat of the 1937 elections, won 90 percent of the general non-Muslim seats while the Muslim League won the majority of Muslim seats in the provinces. The Muslim League verified its claim to be the sole representative of Muslim India. The election laid the path to Pakistan.

Jat people jat jatt

The Jat people are a traditionally agricultural community native to the Indian subcontinent, comprising what is today Northern India and Pakistan. Originally pastoralists in the lower Indus river-valley of Sindh, Jats migrated north into the Punjab region, Delhi, Rajputana, and the western Gangetic Plain in late medieval times. Primarily of Hindu, Muslim and Sikh faiths, they now live mostly in the Indian states of Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and the Pakistani provinces of Punjab and Sindh.

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