India Identity Card

Country name:
~ conventional long form: Republic of India
~ conventional short form: India
Area: 3,287,590 sq km
Coastline: 7,000 km
Highest point: Kanchenjunga 8,598 m
Population: 1,080,264,388
Density: 328/km2
Population growth rate: 1.4%
Languages: Hindi and English
Religions: Predominately Hindu, Muslim, Christian
Government type: federal republic
Capital: New Delhi
GDP - per capita: $3,100
Inflation rate: 4.2%
Currency (code): Indian rupee (INR)
Vehicle Country Id-Code: IND
Calling code: +91
Internet country code: .in
Time Zone: + 5.5 H


Taj Mahal

India is a real life epic that unfolds in diverse colour and flavour from the glittery metropolises to the quite village alleys. The cultural mosaic of India is cluttered with enchanting heritage, rich traditions, spiritual enlightenment and evolving ideologies. The vibrant Indian ethos finds expression in different festivities that sweep the nation all round the year and provide the sparkling interlude to the mundane daily life. A land of prayer, grandeur, pageantry, ritual, procession and more, India epitomises the eternal spirit of celebration. Situated on the southern end of Asia, India rests over major portion of the Indian subcontinent. The second most populous country in the world, it is also sometimes called Bharat and Hindustan. India has a long coastline, washed by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea to part of west and southwest and the Bay of Bengal on the south eastern side. The island of Sri Lanka, once called Ceylon, lies a short distance to the south and east of the southernmost tip of India. In the north the Himalaya mountain range separates it from China, Tibet and Nepal in the northeast. Bangladesh and Myanmar lie to the east. Pakistan is the western neighbour of India. New Delhi is the capital city of the country and other major cities are Mumbai, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Bangalore and Chennai.
India began its historical journey with Indus valley Civilisation, one of the earliest incidences of advanced human inhabitation on earth. Right from the Aryan forefathers to the Moghuls, Turkish, Hun, Dutch, French to the imperial British, many races invaded this mythical land and with time, immersed in the great Indian culture. Such clamour of timeless traditions and lifestyles has worked as ingredients to mould India as a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country. Though religiously, the Indian population is pre-dominantly Hindu, the country has been the breeding ground of four major world religions; Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. The minorities of India include Muslims (13.4%), Christians (2.3%), Sikhs (1.84 %), Buddhists (0.76 %), Jains (0.40 %), Jews, Zoroastrians, Ahmadi, and Bahá'ís. With an area of 1,261,810 sq mi (3,268,090 sq km), India is the seventh largest country in the world. After attaining independence on 15th August, 1947, the country developed dramatically and emerged as the largest democracy in the world. Today, India is a significant Asian power and major global player in the field of politics, entertainment, finance, art, literature and culture.

Lakshmana Temple


India is often referred to as a ‘mini-continent’ due to the country's staggering topographical variations. To the north it is bordered by the world's highest mountain chain, the Himalayas that serve as the natural border for the northeastern side. Aravalli, Eastern Ghats, Patkai, Vindhyas, Sahyadri or Western Ghats and Satpuras are the major mountain ranges of India. Travelling down the central, eastern and western plains, one can witness the fertile basins washed by rivers like the Ganga (Ganges), the Brahmaputra, the Yamuna, the Godavari, Kaveri, and the Krishna. This area is famous as the vast Indo-Gangetic plain and the rivers and their numerous tributaries are the lifelines for Indian agriculture. Further south the plateaus and other highlands rise only to flatten by the palm fringed beaches of Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. Two hilly coastal ranges, the Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats, guard the southern highlands. The Central Highlands are composed of the Malwa Plateau in the west, the Deccan Plateau in the south, and the Chota Nagpur Plateau in Jharkhand towards the east.
The Indian subcontinent has a long coastline of over 7,000 km. Tropical rain forests spatter all over the country, especially on the eastern fringes. The arid lands and sandy deserts are situated far west in the Thar Desert of India. The highest point in India is K2, at 8,611 m (28,251 feet) but it is politically disputed due to the peak’s positioning along the India-Pakistan border. The second highest point in Indian Territory is Kanchenjunga, at 8,598 m (28,208 feet). Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar islands are offshore Indian entities in Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal respectively. The Andamans are home to the sole Indian volcanic range at the Barren Islands. Major gulfs of India are the Gulf of Cambay, Gulf of Kutch and the Gulf of Mannar. The country is also home to some unique lakes. The most significant among them are the Chilka Lake, the country's largest salt-water lake in Orissa, Kolleru Lake in Andhra Pradesh, Loktak Lake in Manipur, Dal Lake in Kashmir, Sambhar Lake in Rajasthan, and the Sasthamkotta Lake in Kerala. The Sundarbans delta at the confluence of the Ganges and the Bay of Bengal is the largest mangrove forest in the world.

Gate of India at night, New Delhi


The climate of India is diverse according to the different geographical conditions. The Himalayan ranges, the Thar Desert and the monsoon winds are the major determinants of weather features in this country. The Indo-Gangetic plain is subtropical, with the northern interior areas experiencing snowfall in winter and scorching summers in all regions. India's rainfall, which depends upon the monsoon, is variable in different parts of the country. The monsoon season begins in the south in June, moving north to cover the whole country by the end of the month. It is heavy in the states of Assam and West Bengal and along the southern coasts, moderate in the inland peninsular regions, and scanty in the arid northwest, especially in Rajasthan and Punjab. Cherapunji in the northeast India is the wettest place on earth with highest rainfall.

Mahabalipuram Shore Temple


Humayun's Tomb, New Delhi

The historical itinerary of India gains a mythical proportion if one intends to fathom the thousand years of journey. From the epics of Ramayana, Mahabharat, Puran to the religious scriptures like the Gita, Veda, Vedanta and many more Indian heritages has presented the world with many precious jewels. A recorded outline of the past is available from five thousand years ago with the earliest civilisation of Indus valley. The major cities of this civilisation were situated in the areas of Harappa and Mahenjodaro, presently in Pakistan. They were well-planned and laid out with advanced storage facilities, modern pathways and complex drainage and water systems.
The country was swept by many invasions, the most significant among them being the Aryans who in 1500 BC arrived from northwester sides and settled along side the native Dravidians of India. Alexander the Great of Macedonia arrived in 327 BC but returned without pressing on with his conquests. The first great Indian empire was that of the Mauryas which reached its peak under the Emperor Ashoka. Buddhism was far spread around this time. The Muslim invasions began towards the end of the 12th century and left a great influence on the Indian culture. In the sixteenth century Babur, a descendant of Genghis Khan and Timur (Tamburlaine), invaded the Indian lands and thus established the great Mughul Empire. Mughal Emperor Akbar is believed to be the greatest rulers of all time as he united almost all of India under his reign. The Mughul art, culture, music and literature are an indivisible part of present-day India.
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to settle in India, in Goa, in the fifteenth century. This opened the path for the French and the British explorers to venture into this mystic ‘land of spices’. The milestone of foreign imperialism was first embedded in India with the trading post of British East India Company in Gujarat in 1613. Soon, a rivalry erupted between the French and British over Indian territories. At the Battle of Plassey, in 1757, Robert Clive, an employee of the British East India Company, defeated the French and the Nawab of Bengal. This marked the commencement of two hundred years of eventual British dominance on India. Indian patriotism found its expression with the Sepoy Mutiny in 1857 and it is regarded as the First War of Independence. Around this time, the British government took over control of India from the East India Company and Queen Victoria became the Empress of India.
However, the indomitable spirit and courage of the Indians continued to be enraged against the colonialism and its brutality. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak are some of the great Indian leaders who motivated the nation to attain independence. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, or more popularly Gandhiji, who believed in non violent protest and civil disobedience, stirred the British Empire. After years of struggle and innumerable sacrifice by martyrs Indian independence was achieved on 15th August, 1947. Jawaharlal Nehru, the secretary of the Indian National Congress became the first prime minister of India. The Muslims were given the separate state of Pakistan, included present-day Bangladesh, with Mohammed Ali Jinnah as leader. India maintains its neutral and peaceful independent stand till today, except some incidences of war with China and Pakistan in the 1960s and 70s. It helped in liberation of Bangladesh but Kashmir remains a burning issue.

Taj Mahal


The economic structure of India is the centre of attraction for international investors and multi-national companies. Though it started out as a financial system highly dependent on traditional village farming and agriculture, after its independence in 1947, the country made a complete turn around. It developed by leaps and bounds through modernisation of agriculture and irrigation, establishment of heavy industries and manufacturing units, spread of small scale and cottage industries and multitude of other services.
The Information Technology boom from the last decade of the twentieth century has taken India to a new high and projected the country as a potential destination for outsourcing. Today, India has a sound industrial base, is self-sufficient in providing food for its population and has a well-developed service sector. Mumbai is the commercial capital of the country and Reserve Bank of India and Bombay Stock Exchange are the two pillars of the Indian economy. Privatisation in major segment of the fiscal structure has helped in GDP growth and controlling down the inflation rate. India's per-capita income by purchasing power parity is determined at US$ 3,200 and it is the fourth largest nation in terms of purchasing power parity. The economy flourishes as the tenth largest in the world in terms of currency conversion. However, foreign debts, high level of corruption, federal budget deficit, huge and growing population, unemployment and poverty are the major concerns for Indian economy.

Bahai Temple, New Delhi

India is a federal state with a parliamentary form of government. It is a multi-party and secular democracy that is governed under the 1950 constitution. The Indian parliament is bicameral. The upper house is the council of states and is called the Rajya Sabha. The elected assembly of each of the Indian states chooses the 250 members of this House as their respective state representatives. Only 12 Rajya Sabha members, who belong to different cultural background, are appointed by the president. In addition, one member represents the union territory of Pondicherry. One third of the members retire every other year. The lower house or Lok Sabha is the most powerful one and wields the maximum legislative powers. It is elected every five years, although it may be dissolved earlier by the president. It is composed of 545 members who face the countrywide election process. State governors are appointed by the president for five-year terms.
The elected members of the Indian parliament and state assemblies elect the president of India for a five-year term. The president possesses full executive authority ceremonially and actual power is exercised by the prime minister and council of ministers. The ministers are responsible to the lower house of Parliament or Lok Sabha and must be members of Parliament. The prime minister is the head of the majority party in the Parliament and is sworn in by the president along with his cabinet. India is divided into twenty-eight states (which are further subdivided into districts), six Union Territories and the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
The Indian judiciary is headed by the Supreme Court that leads the High Courts of each state and other smaller ones. The president appoints the judges.




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