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This article is about the Republic of India. India_sentence_0

For other uses, see India (disambiguation). India_sentence_1

"Bharat" redirects here. India_sentence_2

For other uses, see Bharat (disambiguation). India_sentence_3


Republic of India

Bhārat Gaṇarājya (see other local names)India_header_cell_0_0_0

CapitalIndia_header_cell_0_1_0 New DelhiIndia_cell_0_1_1
Largest cityIndia_header_cell_0_2_0 India_cell_0_2_1
Official languagesIndia_header_cell_0_3_0 India_cell_0_3_1
Recognised national languagesIndia_header_cell_0_4_0 NoneIndia_cell_0_4_1
Recognised regional languagesIndia_header_cell_0_5_0 State level and Eighth ScheduleIndia_cell_0_5_1
Native languagesIndia_header_cell_0_6_0 447 languagesIndia_cell_0_6_1
Religion (2011)India_header_cell_0_7_0 See Religion in IndiaIndia_cell_0_7_1
Demonym(s)India_header_cell_0_8_0 IndianIndia_cell_0_8_1
MembershipIndia_header_cell_0_9_0 India_cell_0_9_1
GovernmentIndia_header_cell_0_10_0 Federal parliamentary constitutional republicIndia_cell_0_10_1
PresidentIndia_header_cell_0_11_0 Ram Nath KovindIndia_cell_0_11_1
Vice PresidentIndia_header_cell_0_12_0 Venkaiah NaiduIndia_cell_0_12_1
Prime MinisterIndia_header_cell_0_13_0 Narendra ModiIndia_cell_0_13_1
Chief JusticeIndia_header_cell_0_14_0 Sharad Arvind BobdeIndia_cell_0_14_1
Speaker of the Lok SabhaIndia_header_cell_0_15_0 Om BirlaIndia_cell_0_15_1
Deputy Chairman of the Rajya SabhaIndia_header_cell_0_16_0 Harivansh Narayan SinghIndia_cell_0_16_1
LegislatureIndia_header_cell_0_17_0 ParliamentIndia_cell_0_17_1
Upper houseIndia_header_cell_0_18_0 Rajya SabhaIndia_cell_0_18_1
Lower houseIndia_header_cell_0_19_0 Lok SabhaIndia_cell_0_19_1
Independence from the United KingdomIndia_header_cell_0_20_0
DominionIndia_header_cell_0_21_0 15 August 1947India_cell_0_21_1
RepublicIndia_header_cell_0_22_0 26 January 1950India_cell_0_22_1
Area India_header_cell_0_23_0
TotalIndia_header_cell_0_24_0 3,287,263 km (1,269,219 sq mi) (7th)India_cell_0_24_1
Water (%)India_header_cell_0_25_0 9.6India_cell_0_25_1
2018 estimateIndia_header_cell_0_27_0 1,352,642,280 (2nd)India_cell_0_27_1
2011 censusIndia_header_cell_0_28_0 1,210,854,977 (2nd)India_cell_0_28_1
DensityIndia_header_cell_0_29_0 409.0/km (1,059.3/sq mi) (19th)India_cell_0_29_1
GDP (PPP)India_header_cell_0_30_0 2020 estimateIndia_cell_0_30_1
TotalIndia_header_cell_0_31_0 $8.683 trillion (3rd)India_cell_0_31_1
Per capitaIndia_header_cell_0_32_0 $6,283 (118th)India_cell_0_32_1
GDP (nominal)India_header_cell_0_33_0 2020 estimateIndia_cell_0_33_1
TotalIndia_header_cell_0_34_0 $2.59 trillion (6th)India_cell_0_34_1
Per capitaIndia_header_cell_0_35_0 $1,876 (139th)India_cell_0_35_1
Gini (2013)India_header_cell_0_36_0 33.9

medium · 79thIndia_cell_0_36_1

HDI (2019)India_header_cell_0_37_0 0.645

medium · 131stIndia_cell_0_37_1

CurrencyIndia_header_cell_0_38_0 Indian rupee (₹) (INR)India_cell_0_38_1
Time zoneIndia_header_cell_0_39_0 UTC+05:30 (IST)India_cell_0_39_1
India_header_cell_0_40_0 DST is not observedIndia_cell_0_40_1
Date formatIndia_header_cell_0_41_0 India_cell_0_41_1
Mains electricityIndia_header_cell_0_42_0 230 V–50 HzIndia_cell_0_42_1
Driving sideIndia_header_cell_0_43_0 leftIndia_cell_0_43_1
Calling codeIndia_header_cell_0_44_0 +91India_cell_0_44_1
ISO 3166 codeIndia_header_cell_0_45_0 INIndia_cell_0_45_1
Internet TLDIndia_header_cell_0_46_0 .in (others)India_cell_0_46_1

India (Hindi: Bhārat), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: Bhārat Gaṇarājya), is a country in South Asia. India_sentence_4

It is the second-most populous country, the seventh-largest country by land area, and the most populous democracy in the world. India_sentence_5

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; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. India_sentence_6

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. India_sentence_7

Modern humans arrived on the Indian subcontinent from Africa no later than 55,000 years ago. India_sentence_8

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. India_sentence_9

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. India_sentence_10

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 Rigveda, and recording the dawning of Hinduism in India. India_sentence_11

The Dravidian languages of India were supplanted in the northern and western regions. India_sentence_12

By 400 BCE, stratification and exclusion by caste had emerged within Hinduism, and Buddhism and Jainism had arisen, proclaiming social orders unlinked to heredity. India_sentence_13

Early political consolidations gave rise to the loose-knit Maurya and Gupta Empires based in the Ganges Basin. India_sentence_14

Their collective era was suffused with wide-ranging creativity, but also marked by the declining status of women, and the incorporation of untouchability into an organised system of belief. India_sentence_15

In South India, the Middle kingdoms exported Dravidian-languages scripts and religious cultures to the kingdoms of Southeast Asia. India_sentence_16

In the early medieval era, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism put down roots on India's southern and western coasts. India_sentence_17

Muslim armies from Central Asia intermittently overran India's northern plains, eventually establishing the Delhi Sultanate, and drawing northern India into the cosmopolitan networks of medieval Islam. India_sentence_18

In the 15th century, the Vijayanagara Empire created a long-lasting composite Hindu culture in south India. India_sentence_19

In the Punjab, Sikhism emerged, rejecting institutionalised religion. India_sentence_20

The Mughal Empire, in 1526, ushered in two centuries of relative peace, leaving a legacy of luminous architecture. India_sentence_21

Gradually expanding rule of the British East India Company followed, turning India into a colonial economy, but also consolidating its sovereignty. India_sentence_22

British Crown rule began in 1858. India_sentence_23

The rights promised to Indians were granted slowly, but technological changes were introduced, and ideas of education, modernity and the public life took root. India_sentence_24

A pioneering and influential nationalist movement emerged, which was noted for nonviolent resistance and became the major factor in ending British rule. India_sentence_25

In 1947 the British Indian Empire was partitioned into two independent dominions, a Hindu-majority Dominion of India and a Muslim-majority Dominion of Pakistan, amid large-scale loss of life and an unprecedented migration. India_sentence_26

India has been a secular federal republic since 1950, governed in a democratic parliamentary system. India_sentence_27

It is a pluralistic, multilingual and multi-ethnic society. India_sentence_28

India's population grew from 361 million in 1951 to 1.211 billion in 2011. India_sentence_29

During the same time, its nominal per capita income increased from US$64 annually to US$1,498, and its literacy rate from 16.6% to 74%. India_sentence_30

From being a comparatively destitute country in 1951, India has become a fast-growing major economy and a hub for information technology services, with an expanding middle class. India_sentence_31

It has a space programme which includes several planned or completed extraterrestrial missions. India_sentence_32

Indian movies, music, and spiritual teachings play an increasing role in global culture. India_sentence_33

India has substantially reduced its rate of poverty, though at the cost of increasing economic inequality. India_sentence_34

India is a nuclear-weapon state, which ranks high in military expenditure. India_sentence_35

It has disputes over Kashmir with its neighbours, Pakistan and China, unresolved since the mid-20th century. India_sentence_36

Among the socio-economic challenges India faces are gender inequality, child malnutrition, and rising levels of air pollution. India_sentence_37

India's land is megadiverse, with four biodiversity hotspots. India_sentence_38

Its forest cover comprises 21.4% of its area. India_sentence_39

India's wildlife, which has traditionally been viewed with tolerance in India's culture, is supported among these forests, and elsewhere, in protected habitats. India_sentence_40

Etymology India_section_0

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," specifically the Indus river and, by implication, its well-settled southern basin. India_sentence_41

The ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi (), which translates as "The people of the Indus". India_sentence_42

The term Bharat (Bhārat; pronounced [ˈbʱaːɾət (listen)), mentioned in both Indian epic poetry and the Constitution of India, is used in its variations by many Indian languages. India_sentence_43

A modern rendering of the historical name Bharatavarsha, which applied originally to a region of the Gangetic Valley, Bharat gained increased currency from the mid-19th century as a native name for India. India_sentence_44

Hindustan ([ɦɪndʊˈstaːn (listen)) is a Middle Persian name for India, introduced during the Mughal Empire and used widely since. India_sentence_45

Its meaning has varied, referring to a region encompassing present-day northern India and Pakistan or to India in its near entirety. India_sentence_46

History India_section_1

Main articles: History of India and History of the Republic of India India_sentence_47

Ancient India India_section_2

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. India_sentence_48

The earliest known modern human remains in South Asia date to about 30,000 years ago. India_sentence_49

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, Pakistan. India_sentence_50

These gradually developed into the Indus Valley Civilisation, the first urban culture in South Asia, which flourished during 2500–1900 BCE in what is now Pakistan and western India. India_sentence_51

Centred around cities such as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa, Dholavira, and Kalibangan, and relying on varied forms of subsistence, the civilisation engaged robustly in crafts production and wide-ranging trade. India_sentence_52

During the period 2000–500 BCE, many regions of the subcontinent transitioned from the Chalcolithic cultures to the Iron Age ones. India_sentence_53

The Vedas, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism, were composed during this period, and historians have analysed these to posit a Vedic culture in the Punjab region and the upper Gangetic Plain. India_sentence_54

Most historians also consider this period to have encompassed several waves of Indo-Aryan migration into the subcontinent from the north-west. India_sentence_55

The caste system, which created a hierarchy of priests, warriors, and free peasants, but which excluded indigenous peoples by labelling their occupations impure, arose during this period. India_sentence_56

On the Deccan Plateau, archaeological evidence from this period suggests the existence of a chiefdom stage of political organisation. India_sentence_57

In South India, a progression to sedentary life is indicated by the large number of megalithic monuments dating from this period, as well as by nearby traces of agriculture, irrigation tanks, and craft traditions. India_sentence_58

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. India_sentence_59

The emerging urbanisation gave rise to non-Vedic religious movements, two of which became independent religions. India_sentence_60

Jainism came into prominence during the life of its exemplar, Mahavira. India_sentence_61

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. India_sentence_62

In an age of increasing urban wealth, both religions held up renunciation as an ideal, and both established long-lasting monastic traditions. India_sentence_63

Politically, by the 3rd century BCE, the kingdom of Magadha had annexed or reduced other states to emerge as the Mauryan Empire. India_sentence_64

The empire was once thought to have controlled most of the subcontinent except the far south, but its core regions are now thought to have been separated by large autonomous areas. India_sentence_65

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. India_sentence_66

The Sangam literature of the Tamil language reveals that, between 200 BCE and 200 CE, the southern peninsula was ruled by the Cheras, the Cholas, and the Pandyas, dynasties that traded extensively with the Roman Empire and with West and South-East Asia. India_sentence_67

In North India, Hinduism asserted patriarchal control within the family, leading to increased subordination of women. India_sentence_68

By the 4th and 5th centuries, the Gupta Empire had created a complex system of administration and taxation in the greater Ganges Plain; this system became a model for later Indian kingdoms. India_sentence_69

Under the Guptas, a renewed Hinduism based on devotion, rather than the management of ritual, began to assert itself. India_sentence_70

This renewal was reflected in a flowering of sculpture and architecture, which found patrons among an urban elite. India_sentence_71

Classical Sanskrit literature flowered as well, and Indian science, astronomy, medicine, and mathematics made significant advances. India_sentence_72

Medieval India India_section_3

The Indian early medieval age, 600 CE to 1200 CE, is defined by regional kingdoms and cultural diversity. India_sentence_73

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. India_sentence_74

When his successor attempted to expand eastwards, he was defeated by the Pala king of Bengal. India_sentence_75

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. India_sentence_76

No ruler of this period was able to create an empire and consistently control lands much beyond his core region. India_sentence_77

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. India_sentence_78

The caste system consequently began to show regional differences. India_sentence_79

In the 6th and 7th centuries, the first devotional hymns were created in the Tamil language. India_sentence_80

They were imitated all over India and led to both the resurgence of Hinduism and the development of all modern languages of the subcontinent. India_sentence_81

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. India_sentence_82

Temple towns of various sizes began to appear everywhere as India underwent another urbanisation. India_sentence_83

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. India_sentence_84

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. India_sentence_85

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. India_sentence_86

The sultanate was to control much of North India and to make many forays into South India. India_sentence_87

Although at first disruptive for the Indian elites, the sultanate largely left its vast non-Muslim subject population to its own laws and customs. India_sentence_88

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. India_sentence_89

The sultanate's raiding and weakening of the regional kingdoms of South India paved the way for the indigenous Vijayanagara Empire. India_sentence_90

Embracing a strong Shaivite tradition and building upon the military technology of the sultanate, the empire came to control much of peninsular India, and was to influence South Indian society for long afterwards. India_sentence_91

Early modern India India_section_4

In the early 16th century, northern India, then under mainly Muslim rulers, fell again to the superior mobility and firepower of a new generation of Central Asian warriors. India_sentence_92

The resulting Mughal Empire did not stamp out the local societies it came to rule. India_sentence_93

Instead, it balanced and pacified them through new administrative practices and diverse and inclusive ruling elites, leading to more systematic, centralised, and uniform rule. India_sentence_94

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. India_sentence_95

The Mughal state's economic policies, deriving most revenues from agriculture and mandating that taxes be paid in the well-regulated silver currency, caused peasants and artisans to enter larger markets. India_sentence_96

The relative peace maintained by the empire during much of the 17th century was a factor in India's economic expansion, resulting in greater patronage of painting, literary forms, textiles, and architecture. India_sentence_97

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. India_sentence_98

Expanding commerce during Mughal rule gave rise to new Indian commercial and political elites along the coasts of southern and eastern India. India_sentence_99

As the empire disintegrated, many among these elites were able to seek and control their own affairs. India_sentence_100

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. India_sentence_101

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. India_sentence_102

Its further access to the riches of Bengal and the subsequent increased strength and size of its army enabled it to annexe or subdue most of India by the 1820s. India_sentence_103

India was then no longer exporting manufactured goods as it long had, but was instead supplying the British Empire with raw materials. India_sentence_104

Many historians consider this to be the onset of India's colonial period. India_sentence_105

By this time, with its economic power severely curtailed by the British parliament and having effectively been made an arm of British administration, the company began more consciously to enter non-economic arenas like education, social reform, and culture. India_sentence_106

Modern India India_section_5

Main article: History of the Republic of India India_sentence_107

Historians consider India's modern age to have begun sometime between 1848 and 1885. India_sentence_108

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. India_sentence_109

These included the consolidation and demarcation of sovereignty, the surveillance of the population, and the education of citizens. India_sentence_110

Technological changes—among them, railways, canals, and the telegraph—were introduced not long after their introduction in Europe. India_sentence_111

However, disaffection with the company also grew during this time and set off the Indian Rebellion of 1857. India_sentence_112

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. India_sentence_113

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. India_sentence_114

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. India_sentence_115

In the decades following, public life gradually emerged all over India, leading eventually to the founding of the Indian National Congress in 1885. India_sentence_116

The rush of technology and the commercialisation of agriculture in the second half of the 19th century was marked by economic setbacks and many small farmers became dependent on the whims of distant markets. India_sentence_117

There was an increase in the number of large-scale famines, and, despite the risks of infrastructure development borne by Indian taxpayers, little industrial employment was generated for Indians. India_sentence_118

There were also salutary effects: commercial cropping, especially in the newly canalled Punjab, led to increased food production for internal consumption. India_sentence_119

The railway network provided critical famine relief, notably reduced the cost of moving goods, and helped nascent Indian-owned industry. India_sentence_120

After World War I, in which approximately one million Indians served, a new period began. India_sentence_121

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. India_sentence_122

During the 1930s, slow legislative reform was enacted by the British; the Indian National Congress won victories in the resulting elections. India_sentence_123

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. India_sentence_124

All were capped by the advent of independence in 1947, but tempered by the partition of India into two states: India and Pakistan. India_sentence_125

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. India_sentence_126

It has remained a democracy with civil liberties, an active Supreme Court, and a largely independent press. India_sentence_127

Economic liberalisation, which began in the 1990s, has created a large urban middle class, transformed India into one of the world's fastest-growing economies, and increased its geopolitical clout. India_sentence_128

Indian movies, music, and spiritual teachings play an increasing role in global culture. India_sentence_129

Yet, India is also shaped by seemingly unyielding poverty, both rural and urban; by religious and caste-related violence; by Maoist-inspired Naxalite insurgencies; and by separatism in Jammu and Kashmir and in Northeast India. India_sentence_130

It has unresolved territorial disputes with China and with Pakistan. India_sentence_131

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. India_sentence_132

Geography India_section_6

Main article: Geography of India India_sentence_133

India accounts for the bulk of the Indian subcontinent, lying atop the Indian tectonic plate, a part of the Indo-Australian Plate. India_sentence_134

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. India_sentence_135

Simultaneously, the vast Tethyan oceanic crust, to its northeast, began to subduct under the Eurasian Plate. India_sentence_136

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. India_sentence_137

Immediately south of the emerging Himalayas, plate movement created a vast trough that rapidly filled with river-borne sediment and now constitutes the Indo-Gangetic Plain. India_sentence_138

Cut off from the plain by the ancient Aravalli Range lies the Thar Desert. India_sentence_139

The original Indian Plate survives as peninsular India, the oldest and geologically most stable part of India. India_sentence_140

It extends as far north as the Satpura and Vindhya ranges in central India. India_sentence_141

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. India_sentence_142

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; the plateau contains the country's oldest rock formations, some over one billion years old. India_sentence_143

Constituted in such fashion, India lies to the north of the equator between 6° 44′ and 35° 30′ north latitude and 68° 7′ and 97° 25′ east longitude. India_sentence_144

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. India_sentence_145

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. India_sentence_146

Major Himalayan-origin rivers that substantially flow through India include the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, both of which drain into the Bay of Bengal. India_sentence_147

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. India_sentence_148

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; and the Narmada and the Tapti, which drain into the Arabian Sea. India_sentence_149

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. India_sentence_150

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. India_sentence_151

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. India_sentence_152

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. India_sentence_153

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. India_sentence_154

Four major climatic groupings predominate in India: tropical wet, tropical dry, subtropical humid, and montane. India_sentence_155

Biodiversity India_section_7

Main articles: Forestry in India and Wildlife of India India_sentence_156

India is a megadiverse country, a term employed for 17 countries which display high biological diversity and contain many species exclusively indigenous, or endemic, to them. India_sentence_157

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. India_sentence_158

Fully a third of Indian plant species are endemic. India_sentence_159

India also contains four of the world's 34 biodiversity hotspots, or regions that display significant habitat loss in the presence of high endemism. India_sentence_160

India's forest cover is 701,673 km (270,917 sq mi), which is 21.35% of the country's total land area. India_sentence_161

It can be subdivided further into broad categories of canopy density, or the proportion of the area of a forest covered by its tree canopy. India_sentence_162

Very dense forest, whose canopy density is greater than 70%, occupies 2.61% of India's land area. India_sentence_163

It predominates in the tropical moist forest of the Andaman Islands, the Western Ghats, and Northeast India. India_sentence_164

Moderately dense forest, whose canopy density is between 40% and 70%, occupies 9.59% of India's land area. India_sentence_165

It 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. India_sentence_166

Open forest, whose canopy density is between 10% and 40%, occupies 9.14% of India's land area, and predominates in the babul-dominated thorn forest of the central Deccan Plateau and the western Gangetic plain. India_sentence_167

Among the Indian subcontinent's notable indigenous trees are the astringent Azadirachta indica, or neem, which is widely used in rural Indian herbal medicine, and the luxuriant Ficus religiosa, or peepul, which is displayed on the ancient seals of Mohenjo-daro, and under which the Buddha is recorded in the Pali canon to have sought enlightenment, India_sentence_168

Many Indian species have descended from those of Gondwana, the southern supercontinent from which India separated more than 100 million years ago. India_sentence_169

India's subsequent collision with Eurasia set off a mass exchange of species. India_sentence_170

However, volcanism and climatic changes later caused the extinction of many endemic Indian forms. India_sentence_171

Still later, mammals entered India from Asia through two zoogeographical passes flanking the Himalayas. India_sentence_172

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. India_sentence_173

Notable endemics are the vulnerable hooded leaf monkey and the threatened Beddom's toad of the Western Ghats. India_sentence_174

India contains 172 IUCN-designated threatened animal species, or 2.9% of endangered forms. India_sentence_175

These include the endangered Bengal tiger and the Ganges river dolphin. India_sentence_176

Critically endangered species include: the 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. India_sentence_177

The pervasive and ecologically devastating human encroachment of recent decades has critically endangered Indian wildlife. India_sentence_178

In response, the system of national parks and protected areas, first established in 1935, was expanded substantially. India_sentence_179

In 1972, India enacted the Wildlife Protection Act and Project Tiger to safeguard crucial wilderness; the Forest Conservation Act was enacted in 1980 and amendments added in 1988. India_sentence_180

India hosts more than five hundred wildlife sanctuaries and thirteen biosphere reserves, four of which are part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves; twenty-five wetlands are registered under the Ramsar Convention. India_sentence_181

Politics and government India_section_8

Politics India_section_9

Main article: Politics of India India_sentence_182

India is the world's most populous democracy. India_sentence_183

A parliamentary republic with a multi-party system, it has eight recognised national parties, including the Indian National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and more than 40 regional parties. India_sentence_184

The Congress is considered centre-left in Indian political culture, and the BJP right-wing. India_sentence_185

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. India_sentence_186

Since then, however, it has increasingly shared the political stage with the BJP, as well as with powerful regional parties which have often forced the creation of multi-party coalition governments at the centre. India_sentence_187

In the Republic of India's first three general elections, in 1951, 1957, and 1962, the Jawaharlal Nehru-led Congress won easy victories. India_sentence_188

On Nehru's death in 1964, Lal Bahadur Shastri briefly became prime minister; he was succeeded, after his own unexpected death in 1966, by Nehru's daughter Indira Gandhi, who went on to lead the Congress to election victories in 1967 and 1971. India_sentence_189

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. India_sentence_190

Its government lasted just over two years. India_sentence_191

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. India_sentence_192

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. India_sentence_193

Elections were held again in 1991; no party won an absolute majority. India_sentence_194

The Congress, as the largest single party, was able to form a minority government led by P. India_sentence_195 V. Narasimha Rao. India_sentence_196

A two-year period of political turmoil followed the general election of 1996. India_sentence_197

Several short-lived alliances shared power at the centre. India_sentence_198

The BJP formed a government briefly in 1996; it was followed by two comparatively long-lasting United Front coalitions, which depended on external support. India_sentence_199

In 1998, the BJP was able to form a successful coalition, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). India_sentence_200

Led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the NDA became the first non-Congress, coalition government to complete a five-year term. India_sentence_201

Again in the 2004 Indian general elections, no party won an absolute majority, but the Congress emerged as the largest single party, forming another successful coalition: the United Progressive Alliance (UPA). India_sentence_202

It had the support of left-leaning parties and MPs who opposed the BJP. India_sentence_203

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. India_sentence_204

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. India_sentence_205

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. India_sentence_206

The incumbent prime minister is Narendra Modi, a former chief minister of Gujarat. India_sentence_207

On 20 July 2017, Ram Nath Kovind was elected India's 14th president and took the oath of office on 25 July 2017. India_sentence_208

Government India_section_10

Main articles: Government of India and Constitution of India India_sentence_209

India is a federation with a parliamentary system governed under the Constitution of India—the country's supreme legal document. India_sentence_210

It is a constitutional republic and representative democracy, in which "majority rule is tempered by minority rights protected by law". India_sentence_211

Federalism in India defines the power distribution between the union and the states. India_sentence_212

The Constitution of India, which came into effect on 26 January 1950, originally stated India to be a "sovereign, democratic republic;" this characterisation was amended in 1971 to "a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic". India_sentence_213

India's form of government, traditionally described as "quasi-federal" with a strong centre and weak states, has grown increasingly federal since the late 1990s as a result of political, economic, and social changes. India_sentence_214


National symbolsIndia_table_caption_1
FlagIndia_header_cell_1_0_0 Tiranga (Tricolour)India_cell_1_0_1
EmblemIndia_header_cell_1_1_0 Sarnath Lion CapitalIndia_cell_1_1_1
AnthemIndia_header_cell_1_2_0 Jana Gana ManaIndia_cell_1_2_1
SongIndia_header_cell_1_3_0 "Vande Mataram"India_cell_1_3_1
LanguageIndia_header_cell_1_4_0 NoneIndia_cell_1_4_1
CurrencyIndia_header_cell_1_5_0 (Indian rupee)India_cell_1_5_1
CalendarIndia_header_cell_1_6_0 SakaIndia_cell_1_6_1
AnimalIndia_header_cell_1_7_0 India_cell_1_7_1
FlowerIndia_header_cell_1_8_0 LotusIndia_cell_1_8_1
FruitIndia_header_cell_1_9_0 MangoIndia_cell_1_9_1
TreeIndia_header_cell_1_10_0 BanyanIndia_cell_1_10_1
RiverIndia_header_cell_1_11_0 GangesIndia_cell_1_11_1
GameIndia_header_cell_1_12_0 Not declaredIndia_cell_1_12_1

The Government of India comprises three branches: India_sentence_215


  • Executive: The President of India is the ceremonial head of state, who is elected indirectly for a five-year term by an electoral college comprising members of national and state legislatures. The Prime Minister of India is the head of government and exercises most executive power. Appointed by the president, the prime minister is by convention supported by the party or political alliance having a majority of seats in the lower house of parliament. The executive of the Indian government consists of the president, the vice president, and the Union Council of Ministers—with the cabinet being its executive committee—headed by the prime minister. Any minister holding a portfolio must be a member of one of the houses of parliament. In the Indian parliamentary system, the executive is subordinate to the legislature; the prime minister and their council are directly responsible to the lower house of the parliament. Civil servants act as permanent executives and all decisions of the executive are implemented by them.India_item_0_0
  • Legislature: The legislature of India is the bicameral parliament. Operating under a Westminster-style parliamentary system, it comprises an upper house called the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and a lower house called the Lok Sabha (House of the People). The Rajya Sabha is a permanent body of 245 members who serve staggered six-year terms. Most are elected indirectly by the state and union territorial legislatures in numbers proportional to their state's share of the national population. All but two of the Lok Sabha's 545 members are elected directly by popular vote; they represent single-member constituencies for five-year terms. The remaining two members are nominated by the president from among the Anglo-Indian community, in case the president decides they are not adequately represented.India_item_0_1
  • Judiciary: India has a three-tier unitary independent judiciary comprising the supreme court, headed by the Chief Justice of India, 25 high courts, and a large number of trial courts. The supreme court has original jurisdiction over cases involving fundamental rights and over disputes between states and the centre and has appellate jurisdiction over the high courts. It has the power to both strike down union or state laws which contravene the constitution, and invalidate any government action it deems unconstitutional.India_item_0_2

Administrative divisions India_section_11

Main article: Administrative divisions of India India_sentence_216

See also: Political integration of India India_sentence_217

India is a federal union comprising 28 states and 8 union territories (listed below as 1–28 and A–H, respectively). India_sentence_218

All states, as well as the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, Puducherry and the National Capital Territory of Delhi, have elected legislatures and governments following the Westminster system of governance. India_sentence_219

The remaining five union territories are directly ruled by the central government through appointed administrators. India_sentence_220

In 1956, under the States Reorganisation Act, states were reorganised on a linguistic basis. India_sentence_221

There are over a quarter of a million local government bodies at city, town, block, district and village levels. India_sentence_222

Foreign, economic and strategic relations India_section_12

Main articles: Foreign relations of India and Indian Armed Forces India_sentence_223

In the 1950s, India strongly supported decolonisation in Africa and Asia and played a leading role in the Non-Aligned Movement. India_sentence_224

After initially cordial relations with neighbouring China, India went to war with China in 1962, and was widely thought to have been humiliated. India_sentence_225

India has had tense relations with neighbouring Pakistan; the two nations have gone to war four times: in 1947, 1965, 1971, and 1999. India_sentence_226

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. India_sentence_227

In the late 1980s, the Indian military twice intervened abroad at the invitation of the host country: 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_sentence_228

After the 1965 war with Pakistan, India began to pursue close military and economic ties with the Soviet Union; by the late 1960s, the Soviet Union was its largest arms supplier. India_sentence_229

Aside from ongoing its special relationship with Russia, India has wide-ranging defence relations with Israel and France. India_sentence_230

In recent years, it has played key roles in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and the World Trade Organization. India_sentence_231

The nation has provided 100,000 military and police personnel to serve in 35 UN peacekeeping operations across four continents. India_sentence_232

It participates in the East Asia Summit, the G8+5, and other multilateral forums. India_sentence_233

India has close economic ties with countries in South America, 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. India_sentence_234

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. India_sentence_235

India conducted its first nuclear weapons test in 1974 and carried out additional underground testing in 1998. India_sentence_236

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. India_sentence_237

India maintains a "no first use" nuclear policy and is developing a nuclear triad capability as a part of its "Minimum Credible Deterrence" doctrine. India_sentence_238

It is developing a ballistic missile defence shield and, a fifth-generation fighter jet. India_sentence_239

Other indigenous military projects involve the design and implementation of Vikrant-class aircraft carriers and Arihant-class nuclear submarines. India_sentence_240

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. India_sentence_241

In 2008, a civilian nuclear agreement was signed between India and the United States. India_sentence_242

Although India possessed nuclear weapons at the time and was not a 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. India_sentence_243

As a consequence, India became the sixth de facto nuclear weapons state. India_sentence_244

India subsequently signed co-operation agreements involving civilian nuclear energy with Russia, France, the United Kingdom, and Canada. India_sentence_245

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. India_sentence_246

It comprises the Indian Army, the Indian Navy, the Indian Air Force, and the Indian Coast Guard. India_sentence_247

The official Indian defence budget for 2011 was US$36.03 billion, or 1.83% of GDP. India_sentence_248

For the fiscal year spanning 2012–2013, US$40.44 billion was budgeted. India_sentence_249

According to a 2008 Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report, India's annual military expenditure in terms of purchasing power stood at US$72.7 billion. India_sentence_250

In 2011, the annual defence budget increased by 11.6%, although this does not include funds that reach the military through other branches of government. India_sentence_251

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. India_sentence_252

Much of the military expenditure was focused on defence against Pakistan and countering growing Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean. India_sentence_253

In May 2017, the Indian Space Research Organisation launched the South Asia Satellite, a gift from India to its neighbouring SAARC countries. India_sentence_254

In October 2018, India signed a US$5.43 billion (over 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. India_sentence_255

Economy India_section_13

Main article: Economy of India India_sentence_256

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Indian economy in 2019 was nominally worth $2.9 trillion; it is the fifth-largest economy by market exchange rates, and is around $11 trillion, the third-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). India_sentence_257

With its average annual GDP growth rate of 5.8% over the past two decades, and reaching 6.1% during 2011–2012, India is one of the world's fastest-growing economies. India_sentence_258

However, the country ranks 139th in the world in nominal GDP per capita and 118th in GDP per capita at PPP. India_sentence_259

Until 1991, all Indian governments followed protectionist policies that were influenced by socialist economics. India_sentence_260

Widespread state intervention and regulation largely walled the economy off from the outside world. India_sentence_261

An acute balance of payments crisis in 1991 forced the nation to liberalise its economy; since then it has moved slowly towards a free-market system by emphasising both foreign trade and direct investment inflows. India_sentence_262

India has been a member of WTO since 1 January 1995. India_sentence_263

The 513.7-million-worker Indian labour force is the world's second-largest, as of 2016. India_sentence_264

The service sector makes up 55.6% of GDP, the industrial sector 26.3% and the agricultural sector 18.1%. India_sentence_265

India's foreign exchange remittances of US$70 billion in 2014, the largest in the world, were contributed to its economy by 25 million Indians working in foreign countries. India_sentence_266

Major agricultural products include: rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, and potatoes. India_sentence_267

Major industries include: textiles, telecommunications, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, food processing, steel, transport equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, and software. India_sentence_268

In 2006, the share of external trade in India's GDP stood at 24%, up from 6% in 1985. India_sentence_269

In 2008, India's share of world trade was 1.68%; In 2011, India was the world's tenth-largest importer and the nineteenth-largest exporter. India_sentence_270

Major exports include: petroleum products, textile goods, jewellery, software, engineering goods, chemicals, and manufactured leather goods. India_sentence_271

Major imports include: crude oil, machinery, gems, fertiliser, and chemicals. India_sentence_272

Between 2001 and 2011, the contribution of petrochemical and engineering goods to total exports grew from 14% to 42%. India_sentence_273

India was the world's second largest textile exporter after China in the 2013 calendar year. India_sentence_274

Averaging an economic growth rate of 7.5% for several years prior to 2007, India has more than doubled its hourly wage rates during the first decade of the 21st century. India_sentence_275

Some 431 million Indians have left poverty since 1985; India's middle classes are projected to number around 580 million by 2030. India_sentence_276

Though ranking 51st in global competitiveness, as of 2010, 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. India_sentence_277

With seven of the world's top 15 information technology outsourcing companies based in India, as of 2009, the country is viewed as the second-most favourable outsourcing destination after the United States. India_sentence_278

India's consumer market, the world's eleventh-largest, is expected to become fifth-largest by 2030. India_sentence_279

Increasing access to electricity and clean cooking have been the priorities for energy in India: the country's coal is a major cause of greenhouse gas emissions by India but the country's renewable energy is competing strongly. India_sentence_280

Driven by growth, India's nominal GDP per capita increased steadily from US$329 in 1991, when economic liberalisation began, to US$1,265 in 2010, to an estimated US$1,723 in 2016. India_sentence_281

It is expected to grow to US$2,358 by 2020. India_sentence_282

However, it has remained lower than those of other Asian developing countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, and is expected to remain so in the near future. India_sentence_283

Its GDP per capita is higher than Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan and others. India_sentence_284

According to a 2011 PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report, India's GDP at purchasing power parity could overtake that of the United States by 2045. India_sentence_285

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. India_sentence_286

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. India_sentence_287

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. India_sentence_288

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). India_sentence_289

Industries India_section_14

India's telecommunication industry, the world's fastest-growing, added 227 million subscribers during the period 2010–2011, and after the third quarter of 2017, India surpassed the US to become the second largest smartphone market in the world after China. India_sentence_290

The Indian automotive industry, the world's second-fastest growing, increased domestic sales by 26% during 2009–2010, and exports by 36% during 2008–2009. India_sentence_291

India's capacity to generate electrical power is 300 gigawatts, of which 42 gigawatts is renewable. India_sentence_292

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. India_sentence_293

The pharmaceutical industry in India is among the significant emerging markets for the global pharmaceutical industry. India_sentence_294

The Indian pharmaceutical market is expected to reach $48.5 billion by 2020. India_sentence_295

India's R & D spending constitutes 60% of the biopharmaceutical industry. India_sentence_296

India is among the top 12 biotech destinations in the world. India_sentence_297

The Indian biotech industry grew by 15.1% in 2012–2013, increasing its revenues from ₹204.4 billion (Indian rupees) to ₹235.24 billion (US$3.94 billion at June 2013 exchange rates). India_sentence_298

Socio-economic challenges India_section_15

Despite economic growth during recent decades, India continues to face socio-economic challenges. India_sentence_299

In 2006, India contained the largest number of people living below the World Bank's international poverty line of US$1.25 per day. India_sentence_300

The proportion decreased from 60% in 1981 to 42% in 2005. India_sentence_301

Under the World Bank's later revised poverty line, it was 21% in 2011. India_sentence_302

30.7% of India's children under the age of five are underweight. India_sentence_303

According to a Food and Agriculture Organization report in 2015, 15% of the population is undernourished. India_sentence_304

The Mid-Day Meal Scheme attempts to lower these rates. India_sentence_305

According to a 2016 Walk Free Foundation report 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. India_sentence_306

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 in 2001. India_sentence_307

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. India_sentence_308

Corruption in India is perceived to have decreased. India_sentence_309

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. India_sentence_310

Demographics, languages, and religion India_section_16

Main articles: Demographics of India, Languages of India, and Religion in India India_sentence_311

With 1,210,193,422 residents reported in the 2011 provisional census report, India is the world's second-most populous country. India_sentence_312

Its population grew by 17.64% from 2001 to 2011, compared to 21.54% growth in the previous decade (1991–2001). India_sentence_313

The human sex ratio, according to the 2011 census, is 940 females per 1,000 males. India_sentence_314

The median age was 27.6 as of 2016. India_sentence_315

The first post-colonial census, conducted in 1951, counted 361 million people. India_sentence_316

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. India_sentence_317

The average life expectancy in India is at 68 years—69.6 years for women, 67.3 years for men. India_sentence_318

There are around 50 physicians per 100,000 Indians. India_sentence_319

Migration from rural to urban areas has been an important dynamic in India's recent history. India_sentence_320

The number of people living in urban areas grew by 31.2% between 1991 and 2001. India_sentence_321

Yet, in 2001, over 70% still lived in rural areas. India_sentence_322

The level of urbanisation increased further from 27.81% in the 2001 Census to 31.16% in the 2011 Census. India_sentence_323

The slowing down of the overall population growth rate was due to the sharp decline in the growth rate in rural areas since 1991. India_sentence_324

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. India_sentence_325

The literacy rate in 2011 was 74.04%: 65.46% among females and 82.14% among males. India_sentence_326

The rural-urban literacy gap, which was 21.2 percentage points in 2001, dropped to 16.1 percentage points in 2011. India_sentence_327

The improvement in the rural literacy rate is twice that of urban areas. India_sentence_328

Kerala is the most literate state with 93.91% literacy; while Bihar the least with 63.82%. India_sentence_329

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). India_sentence_330

Other languages spoken in India come from the Austroasiatic and Sino-Tibetan language families. India_sentence_331

India has no national language. India_sentence_332

Hindi, with the largest number of speakers, is the official language of the government. India_sentence_333

English is used extensively in business and administration and has the status of a "subsidiary official language"; it is important in education, especially as a medium of higher education. India_sentence_334

Each state and union territory has one or more official languages, and the constitution recognises in particular 22 "scheduled languages". India_sentence_335

The 2011 census reported 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 (0.9%). India_sentence_336

India has the third-largest Muslim population—the largest for a non-Muslim majority country. India_sentence_337

Culture India_section_17

Main article: Culture of India India_sentence_338

Indian cultural history spans more than 4,500 years. India_sentence_339

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. India_sentence_340

India is notable for its religious diversity, with Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity, and Jainism among the nation's major religions. India_sentence_341

The predominant religion, Hinduism, has been shaped by various historical schools of thought, including those of the Upanishads, the Yoga Sutras, the Bhakti movement, and by Buddhist philosophy. India_sentence_342

Art, architecture and literature India_section_18

Main articles: Architecture of India and Indian literature India_sentence_343

Much of Indian architecture, including the Taj Mahal, other works of Mughal architecture, and South Indian architecture, blends ancient local traditions with imported styles. India_sentence_344

Vernacular architecture is also regional in its flavours. India_sentence_345

Vastu shastra, literally "science of construction" or "architecture" and ascribed to Mamuni Mayan, explores how the laws of nature affect human dwellings; it employs precise geometry and directional alignments to reflect perceived cosmic constructs. India_sentence_346

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". India_sentence_347

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". India_sentence_348

Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture, developed by the British in the late 19th century, drew on Indo-Islamic architecture. India_sentence_349

The earliest literature in India, composed between 1500 BCE and 1200 CE, was in the Sanskrit language. India_sentence_350

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. India_sentence_351

In Tamil literature, the Sangam literature (c. 600 BCE – 300 BCE) consisting of 2,381 poems, composed by 473 poets, is the earliest work. India_sentence_352

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 like Kabīr, Tulsīdās, and Guru Nānak. India_sentence_353

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. India_sentence_354

In the 19th century, Indian writers took a new interest in social questions and psychological descriptions. India_sentence_355

In the 20th century, Indian literature was influenced by the works of the Bengali poet and novelist Rabindranath Tagore, who was a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. India_sentence_356

Performing arts and media India_section_19

Main articles: Music of India, Dance in India, Cinema of India, and Television in India India_sentence_357

Indian music ranges over various traditions and regional styles. India_sentence_358

Classical music encompasses two genres and their various folk offshoots: the northern Hindustani and southern Carnatic schools. India_sentence_359

Regionalised popular forms include filmi and folk music; the syncretic tradition of the bauls is a well-known form of the latter. India_sentence_360

Indian dance also features diverse folk and classical forms. India_sentence_361

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. India_sentence_362

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. India_sentence_363

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. India_sentence_364

Theatre in India melds music, dance, and improvised or written dialogue. India_sentence_365

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. India_sentence_366

India has a theatre training institute the National School of Drama (NSD) that is situated at New Delhi It is an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. India_sentence_367

The Indian film industry produces the world's most-watched cinema. India_sentence_368

Established regional cinematic traditions exist in the Assamese, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Punjabi, Gujarati, Marathi, Odia, Tamil, and Telugu languages. India_sentence_369

The Hindi language film industry (Bollywood) is the largest sector representing 43% of box office revenue, followed by the South Indian Telugu and Tamil film industries which represent 36% combined. India_sentence_370

Television broadcasting began in India in 1959 as a state-run medium of communication and expanded slowly for more than two decades. India_sentence_371

The state monopoly on television broadcast ended in the 1990s. India_sentence_372

Since then, satellite channels have increasingly shaped the popular culture of Indian society. India_sentence_373

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 or cable connections compared to other forms of mass media such as the press (350 million), radio (156 million) or internet (37 million). India_sentence_374

Society India_section_20

Main article: Culture of India India_sentence_375

Traditional Indian society is sometimes defined by social hierarchy. India_sentence_376

The Indian caste system embodies much of the social stratification and many of the social restrictions found in the Indian subcontinent. India_sentence_377

Social classes are defined by thousands of endogamous hereditary groups, often termed as jātis, or "castes". India_sentence_378

India declared untouchability to be illegal in 1947 and has since enacted other anti-discriminatory laws and social welfare initiatives. India_sentence_379

At the workplace in urban India, and in international or leading Indian companies, caste-related identification has pretty much lost its importance. India_sentence_380

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. India_sentence_381

An overwhelming majority of Indians, with their consent, have their marriages arranged by their parents or other family elders. India_sentence_382

Marriage is thought to be for life, and the divorce rate is extremely low, with less than one in a thousand marriages ending in divorce. India_sentence_383

Child marriages are common, especially in rural areas; many women wed before reaching 18, which is their legal marriageable age. India_sentence_384

Female infanticide in India, and lately female foeticide, have created skewed gender ratios; the number of missing women in the country quadrupled from 15 million to 63 million in the 50-year period ending in 2014, faster than the population growth during the same period, and constituting 20 percent of India's female electorate. India_sentence_385

Accord to an Indian government study, an additional 21 million girls are unwanted and do not receive adequate care. India_sentence_386

Despite a government ban on sex-selective foeticide, the practice remains commonplace in India, the result of a preference for boys in a patriarchal society. India_sentence_387

The payment of dowry, although illegal, remains widespread across class lines. India_sentence_388

Deaths resulting from dowry, mostly from bride burning, are on the rise, despite stringent anti-dowry laws. India_sentence_389

Many Indian festivals are religious in origin. India_sentence_390

The best known include: Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Thai Pongal, Holi, Durga Puja, Eid ul-Fitr, Bakr-Id, Christmas, and Vaisakhi. India_sentence_391

Education India_section_21

Main articles: Education in India, Literacy in India, and History of education in the Indian subcontinent India_sentence_392

In the 2011 census, about 73% of the population was literate, with 81% for men and 65% for women. India_sentence_393

This compares to 1981 when the respective rates were 41%, 53% and 29%. India_sentence_394

In 1951 the rates were 18%, 27% and 9%. India_sentence_395

In 1921 the rates 7%, 12% and 2%. India_sentence_396

In 1891 they were 5%, 9% and 1%, According to Latika Chaudhary, in 1911 there were under three primary schools for every ten villages. India_sentence_397

Statistically, more caste and religious diversity reduced private spending. India_sentence_398

Primary schools taught literacy, so local diversity limited its growth. India_sentence_399

In 2019, India had over 900 universities and 40,000 colleges. India_sentence_400

In India's higher education system, a significant number of seats are reserved under affirmative action policies for the historically disadvantaged. India_sentence_401

In recent decades India's improved education system is often cited as one of the main contributors to its economic development. India_sentence_402

Clothing India_section_22

Main article: Clothing in India India_sentence_403

The most widely worn traditional dress in India, for both women and men, from ancient times until the advent of modern times, was draped. India_sentence_404

For women it eventually took the form of a sari, a single long piece of cloth, famously six yards long, and of width spanning the lower body. India_sentence_405

The sari is tied around the waist and knotted at one end, wrapped around the lower body, and then over the shoulder. India_sentence_406

In its more modern form, it has been used to cover the head, and sometimes the face, as a veil. India_sentence_407

It has been combined with an underskirt, or Indian petticoat, and tucked in the waist band for more secure fastening, It is also commonly worn with an Indian blouse, or choli, which serves as the primary upper-body garment, the sari's end—passing over the shoulder—serving to obscure the upper body's contours and to cover the midriff. India_sentence_408

For men, a similar but shorter length of cloth, the dhoti, has served as a lower-body garment. India_sentence_409

It too is tied around the waist and wrapped. India_sentence_410

In south India, it is usually wrapped around the lower body, the upper end tucked in the waistband, the lower left free. India_sentence_411

In addition, in northern India, it is also wrapped once around each leg before being brought up through the legs to be tucked in at the back. India_sentence_412

Other forms of traditional apparel that involve no stitching or tailoring are the chaddar (a shawl worn by both sexes to cover the upper body during colder weather, or a large veil worn by women for framing the head, or covering it) and the pagri (a turban or a scarf worn around the head as a part of a tradition, or to keep off the sun or the cold). India_sentence_413

Until the beginning of the first millennium CE, the ordinary dress of people in India was entirely unstitched. India_sentence_414

The arrival of the Kushans from Central Asia, circa 48 CE, popularised cut and sewn garments in the style of Central Asian favoured by the elite in northern India. India_sentence_415

However, it was not until Muslim rule was established, first with the Delhi sultanate and then the Mughal Empire, that the range of stitched clothes in India grew and their use became significantly more widespread. India_sentence_416

Among the various garments gradually establishing themselves in northern India during medieval and early-modern times and now commonly worn are: the shalwars and pyjamas both forms of trousers, as well as the tunics kurta and kameez. India_sentence_417

In southern India, however, the traditional draped garments were to see much longer continuous use. India_sentence_418

Shalwars are atypically wide at the waist but narrow to a cuffed bottom. India_sentence_419

They are held up by a drawstring or elastic belt, which causes them to become pleated around the waist. India_sentence_420

The pants can be wide and baggy, or they can be cut quite narrow, on the bias, in which case they are called churidars. India_sentence_421

The kameez is a long shirt or tunic. India_sentence_422

The side seams are left open below the waist-line,), which gives the wearer greater freedom of movement. India_sentence_423

The kameez is usually cut straight and flat; older kameez use traditional cuts; modern kameez are more likely to have European-inspired set-in sleeves. India_sentence_424

The kameez may have a European-style collar, a Mandarin-collar, or it may be collarless; in the latter case, its design as a women's garment is similar to a kurta. India_sentence_425

At first worn by Muslim women, the use of shalwar kameez gradually spread, making them a regional style, especially in the Punjab region. India_sentence_426

A kurta, which traces its roots to Central Asian nomadic tunics, has evolved stylistically in India as a garment for everyday wear as well as for formal occasions. India_sentence_427

It is traditionally made of cotton or silk; it is worn plain or with embroidered decoration, such as chikan; and it can be loose or tight in the torso, typically falling either just above or somewhere below the wearer's knees. India_sentence_428

The sleeves of a traditional kurta fall to the wrist without narrowing, the ends hemmed but not cuffed; the kurta can be worn by both men and women; it is traditionally collarless, though standing collars are increasingly popular; and it can be worn over ordinary pyjamas, loose shalwars, churidars, or less traditionally over jeans. India_sentence_429

In the last 50 years, fashions have changed a great deal in India. India_sentence_430

Increasingly, in urban settings in northern India, the sari is no longer the apparel of everyday wear, transformed instead into one for formal occasions. India_sentence_431

The traditional shalwar kameez is rarely worn by younger women, who favour churidars or jeans. India_sentence_432

The kurtas worn by young men usually fall to the shins and are seldom plain. India_sentence_433

In white-collar office settings, ubiquitous air conditioning allows men to wear sports jackets year-round. India_sentence_434

For weddings and formal occasions, men in the middle- and upper classes often wear bandgala, or short Nehru jackets, with pants, with the groom and his groomsmen sporting sherwanis and churidars. India_sentence_435

The dhoti, the once universal garment of Hindu India, the wearing of which in the homespun and handwoven form of khadi allowed Gandhi to bring Indian nationalism to the millions, is seldom seen in the cities, reduced now, with brocaded border, to the liturgical vestments of Hindu priests. India_sentence_436

Cuisine India_section_23

Main article: Indian cuisine India_sentence_437

Indian cuisine consists of a wide variety of regional and traditional cuisines. India_sentence_438

Given the range of diversity in soil type, climate, culture, ethnic groups, and occupations, these cuisines vary substantially from each other, using locally available spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruit. India_sentence_439

Indian foodways have been influenced by religion, in particular Hindu cultural choices and traditions. India_sentence_440

They have been also shaped by Islamic rule, particularly that of the Mughals, by the arrival of the Portuguese on India's southwestern shores, and by British rule. India_sentence_441

These three influences are reflected, respectively, in the dishes of pilaf and biryani; the vindaloo; and the tiffin and the Railway mutton curry. India_sentence_442

Earlier, the Columbian exchange had brought the potato, the tomato, maize, peanuts, cashew nuts, pineapples, guavas, and most notably, chilli peppers, to India. India_sentence_443

Each became staples of use. India_sentence_444

In turn, the spice trade between India and Europe was a catalyst for Europe's Age of Discovery. India_sentence_445

The cereals grown in India, their choice, times, and regions of planting, correspond strongly to the timing of India's monsoons, and the variation across regions in their associated rainfall. India_sentence_446

In general, the broad division of cereal zones in India, as determined by their dependence on rain, was firmly in place before the arrival of artificial irrigation. India_sentence_447

Rice, which requires a lot of water, has been grown traditionally in regions of high rainfall in the northeast and the western coast, wheat in regions of moderate rainfall, like India's northern plains, and millet in regions of low rainfall, such as on the Deccan Plateau and in Rajasthan. India_sentence_448

The foundation of a typical Indian meal is a cereal cooked in plain fashion, and complemented with flavourful savoury dishes. India_sentence_449

The latter includes lentils, pulses and vegetables spiced commonly with ginger and garlic, but also more discerningly with a combination of spices that may include coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamon and others as informed by culinary conventions. India_sentence_450

In an actual meal, this mental representation takes the form of a platter, or thali, with a central place for the cooked cereal, peripheral ones, often in small bowls, for the flavourful accompaniments, and the simultaneous, rather than piecemeal, ingestion of the two in each act of eating, whether by actual mixing—for example of rice and lentils—or in the folding of one—such as bread—around the other, such as cooked vegetables. India_sentence_451

A notable feature of Indian food is the existence of a number of distinctive vegetarian cuisines, each a feature of the geographical and cultural histories of its adherents. India_sentence_452

The appearance of ahimsa, or the avoidance of violence toward all forms of life in many religious orders early in Indian history, especially Upanishadic Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, is thought to have been a notable factor in the prevalence of vegetarianism among a segment of India's Hindu population, especially in southern India, Gujarat, and the Hindi-speaking belt of north-central India, as well as among Jains. India_sentence_453

Among these groups, strong discomfort is felt at thoughts of eating meat, and contributes to the low proportional consumption of meat to overall diet in India. India_sentence_454

Unlike China, which has increased its per capita meat consumption substantially in its years of increased economic growth, in India the strong dietary traditions have contributed to dairy, rather than meat, becoming the preferred form of animal protein consumption accompanying higher economic growth. India_sentence_455

In the last millennium, the most significant import of cooking techniques into India occurred during the Mughal Empire. India_sentence_456

The cultivation of rice had spread much earlier from India to Central and West Asia; however, it was during Mughal rule that dishes, such as the pilaf, developed in the interim during the Abbasid caliphate, and cooking techniques such as the marinating of meat in yogurt, spread into northern India from regions to its northwest. India_sentence_457

To the simple yogurt marinade of Persia, onions, garlic, almonds, and spices began to be added in India. India_sentence_458

Rice grown to the southwest of the Mughal capital, Agra, which had become famous in the Islamic world for its fine grain, was partially cooked and layered alternately with the sauteed meat, the pot sealed tightly, and slow cooked according to another Persian cooking technique, to produce what has today become the Indian biryani, a feature of festive dining in many parts of India. India_sentence_459

In food served in restaurants in urban north India, and internationally, the diversity of Indian food has been partially concealed by the dominance of Punjabi cuisine. India_sentence_460

This was caused in large part by an entrepreneurial response among people from the Punjab region who had been displaced by the 1947 partition of India, and had arrived in India as refugees. India_sentence_461

The identification of Indian cuisine with the tandoori chicken—cooked in the tandoor oven, which had traditionally been used for baking bread in the rural Punjab and the Delhi region, especially among Muslims, but which is originally from Central Asia—dates to this period. India_sentence_462

Sports and recreation India_section_24

Main article: Sport in India India_sentence_463

Cricket is the most popular sport in India. India_sentence_464

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. India_sentence_465

Several traditional indigenous sports remain fairly popular, such as kabaddi, kho kho, pehlwani and gilli-danda. India_sentence_466

Some of the earliest forms of Asian martial arts, such as Kalarippayattu, musti yuddha, silambam, and marma adi, originated in India. India_sentence_467

Chess, commonly held to have originated in India as chaturaṅga, is regaining widespread popularity with the rise in the number of Indian grandmasters. India_sentence_468

Pachisi, from which parcheesi derives, was played on a giant marble court by Akbar. India_sentence_469

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. India_sentence_470

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. India_sentence_471

Other sports in which Indians have succeeded internationally include badminton (Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu are two of the top-ranked female badminton players in the world), boxing, and wrestling. India_sentence_472

Football is popular in West Bengal, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and the north-eastern states. India_sentence_473

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. India_sentence_474

Major international sporting events held annually in India include the Chennai Open, the Mumbai Marathon, the Delhi Half Marathon, and the Indian Masters. India_sentence_475

The first Formula 1 Indian Grand Prix featured in late 2011 but has been discontinued from the F1 season calendar since 2014. India_sentence_476

India has traditionally been the dominant country at the South Asian Games. India_sentence_477

An example of this dominance is the basketball competition where the Indian team won three out of four tournaments to date. India_sentence_478

See also India_section_25


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