India, officially the Republic of India, is in South Asia. India is the seventh-largest country by area and the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the biggest democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the south-west, and the Bay of Bengal on the south-east, India shares land borders with Pakistan to the west, China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north-east and Burma and Bangladesh to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives in addition, India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.
The Indian economy is the world’s tenth-largest by nominal GDP and third-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the fastest-growing major economies it is considered a newly industrialized country. India, has the third-largest standing army in the world and ranks ninth in military expenditure among nations. India is a federal constitutional republic governed under a parliamentary system consisting of 29 states and 7 union territories. India is a pluralistic, multilingual, and a multi-ethnic society. It is also home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats.
Home to the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation and a region of historic trade routes and vast empires, the Indian subcontinent was identified with its commercial and cultural wealth for much of its long history. Four religions—Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism—originated here, whereas Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Islam arrived in the 1st millennium CE and also helped shape the region’s diverse culture. Gradually annexed by and brought under the administration of the British East India Company from the early 18th century and administered directly by the United Kingdom after Indian Rebellion of 1857, India became an independent nation in 1947 after a struggle for independence that was marked by non-violent resistance led by Mahatma Gandhi.
|Emblem||Sarnath Lion Capital|
|Anthem||Jana Gana Mana|
|Aquatic animal||River Dolphin|
|River||Ganga or Ganges|
Republic of India
|Recognised regional languages|
|–||Vice President||Mohammad Hamid Ansari|
|–||Prime Minister||Narendra Modi (BJP)|
|–||Chief Justice||H. L. Dattu|
|–||Speaker of the House||Sumitra Mahajan (BJP)|
|Legislature||Parliament of India|
|–||Upper house||Rajya Sabha|
|–||Lower house||Lok Sabha|
|Independence from the United Kingdom|
|–||Dominion||15 August 1947|
|–||Republic||26 January 1950|
|–||Total||3,287,590 km2 (7th)
1,269,346 sq mi
|–||2011 census||1,210,193,422 (2nd)|
|GDP (PPP)||2014 estimate|
|–||Total||$7.277 trillion (3rd)|
|–||Per capita||$5,777 (125th)|
|GDP (nominal)||2014 estimate|
|–||Total||$2.048 trillion (10th)|
medium · 79th
|HDI (2013)|| 0.586
medium · 135th
|Currency||Indian rupee () (INR)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+05:30)|
|–||Summer (DST)||not observed (UTC+05:30)|
|Date format||dd-mm-yyyy (CE)|
|Drives on the||left|
|ISO 3166 code||IN|
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. 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. 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’s coastline measures 7,517 kilometers (4,700 mi) in length; of this distance, 5,423 kilometers (3,400 mi) belong to peninsular India and 2,094 kilometers (1,300 mi) to the Andaman, Nicobar, and Lakshadweep island chains. According to the Indian naval hydro-graphic charts, the mainland coastline consists of the following: 43% sandy beaches; 11% rocky shores, including cliffs; and 46% mudflats or marshy shores.
Major Himalayan-origin rivers that substantially flow through India include the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, both of which drain into the Bay of Bengal. Important tributaries of the Ganges include the Yamuna and the Kosi, the latter’s extremely low gradient often leads to severe floods and course changes.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 theArabian Sea.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 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.
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. 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. 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.Four major climatic groupings predominate in India: tropical wet, tropical dry, subtropical humid, and montage.
- Andhra Pradesh
- Arunachal Pradesh
- Himachal Pradesh
- Jammu and Kashmir
- Madhya Pradesh
- Tamil Nadu
- Uttar Pradesh
- West Bengal
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands
- Dadra and Nagar Haveli
- Daman and Diu
- National Capital Territory of Delhi