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This article is about the Republic of India. For other uses, see India (disambiguation).

Republic of India
Bhrat Ga arjya



Motto: "Satyameva Jayate" (Sanskrit)

"Truth Alone Triumphs"[1]

Anthem: Jana Gana Mana

"Thou art the rulers of the minds of all people" [2][3]


National song:
Vande Mataram
"I Bow to Thee, Mother"[a][1][3]

Area controlled by India shown in dark green;

claimed but uncontrolled regions shown in light green.


New Delhi
2836.8N 7712.5E

Largest city


Official languages

Recognised regional languages

8th Schedule[show]

National language





Federal parliamentary
constitutional republic[1]

- President

Pranab Mukherjee

- Vice President

Mohammad Hamid Ansari

- Prime Minister

Narendra Modi (BJP)

- Chief Justice

H. L. Dattu[6]

- Speaker of the House

Sumitra Mahajan (BJP)


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[7] km2[b] (7th)

1,269,346 sq mi

- Water (%)


- 2011 census

1,210,193,422[8] (2nd)

- Density

380.5/km2 (31st)
985.6/sq mi


2014 estimate

- Total

$7.277 trillion[9] (3rd)

- Per capita

$5,777[9] (125th)

GDP (nominal)

2014 estimate

- Total

$2.048 trillion[9] (10th)

- Per capita

$1,626[9] (145th)

Gini (2010)

medium 79th

HDI (2013)

medium 135th

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


Calling code


ISO 3166 code


Internet TLD

other TLDs[show]

India ( /ndi/), officially the Republic of India (Bhrat Gan arjya),[12][c] is a country in South Asia. It
is the seventh-largestcountry by area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion
people, and the most populous 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, it shares land borders
with Pakistan to the west;[d] 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.

Home to the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation mostly in present day Pakistan 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.[13] Four world religionsHinduism, Buddhism, Jainism,
and Sikhismoriginated 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 from the mid-19th century, India became an
independent nation in 1947 after a struggle for independence that was marked by non-violent
resistance led by Mahatma Gandhi.
The Indian economy is the world's tenth-largest by nominal GDP and third-largest by purchasing
power parity (PPP).[14] Followingmarket-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of
the fastest-growing major economies; it is considered a newly industrialised country. However, it
continues to face the challenges of poverty, corruption, malnutrition, inadequate public healthcare,
and terrorism. A nuclear weapons state and a regional power, it 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 systemconsisting 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.

1 Etymology

2 History

2.1 Ancient India

2.2 Medieval India

2.3 Early modern India

2.4 Modern India

3 Geography

4 Biodiversity

5 Politics

5.1 Government

5.2 Subdivisions

6 Foreign relations and military

7 Economy

8 Demographics

9 Culture

9.1 Art and architecture

9.2 Literature

9.3 Performing arts

9.4 Motion pictures

9.5 Society

9.6 Clothing

9.7 Sport

10 See also

11 Notes

12 References

13 Bibliography

14 External links

Main article: Names of India
The name India is derived from Indus, which originates from the Old Persian word Hindu. The latter
term stems from the Sanskritword Sindhu, which was the historical local appellation for the Indus
River.[15] The ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi(), which translates as "the people of
the Indus".[16]
The geographical term Bharat (pronounced [bartt] ( listen)), which is recognised by the Constitution of
India as an official name for the country,[17] is used by many Indian languages in its variations.
The eponym of Bharat is Bharata, a theological figure that Hindu scriptures describe as a legendary
emperor of ancient India.
Hindustan ([ndt sttan] ( listen)) was originally a Persian word that meant "Land of the Hindus";
prior to 1947, it referred to a region that encompassed northern India and Pakistan. It is occasionally
used to solely denote India in its entirety.[18][19]

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

Ancient India
The earliest authenticated human remains in South Asia date to about 30,000 years ago.[20] Nearly
contemporaneous Mesolithicrock art sites have been found in many parts of the Indian subcontinent,
including at the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh.[21] Around 7000 BCE, the first

known Neolithic settlements appeared on the subcontinent in Mehrgarh and other sites in western
Pakistan.[22] These gradually developed into the Indus Valley Civilisation,[23] the first urban culture in
South Asia;[24] It flourished during 26001900 BCE in Pakistan and western India.[25] Centred on 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. [24]
During the period 2000500 BCE, in terms of culture, many regions of the subcontinent transitioned
from the Chalcolithic to the Iron Age.[26] The Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism,[27] were
composed during this period,[28] and historians have analysed these to posit a Vedic culture in
the Punjab region and the upper Gangetic Plain.[26] Most historians also consider this period to have
encompassed several waves of Indo-Aryan migration into the subcontinent from the north-west.[29][27]
The caste system arose during this period, which created a hierarchy of priests, warriors, free
peasants and traders, and lastly the indigenous peoples who were regarded as impure; and small
tribal units gradually coalesced into monarchical, state-level polities. [31][32] On the Deccan Plateau,
archaeological evidence from this period suggests the existence of a chiefdom stage of political
organisation.[26] In southern India, a progression to sedentary life is indicated by the large number
of megalithic monuments dating from this period,[33] as well as by nearby traces of agriculture,
irrigation tanks, and craft traditions.[33]

Paintings at the Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, 6th century

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.[34][35] The emerging urbanisation and the
orthodoxies of this age also created heterodox religious movements, two of which became
independent religions. 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.[36][37][38] Jainism came into prominence during the life of its
exemplar, Mahavira.[39] In an age of increasing urban wealth, both religions held up renunciation as
an ideal,[40] and both established long-lasting monastic traditions. Politically, by the 3rd century BCE,
the kingdom of Magadha had annexed or reduced other states to emerge as the Mauryan Empire.
The empire was once thought to have controlled most of the subcontinent excepting the far south,
but its core regions are now thought to have been separated by large autonomous areas. [42][43] The
Mauryan kings are known as much for their empire-building and determined management of public
life as forAshoka's renunciation of militarism and far-flung advocacy of the Buddhist dhamma.[44][45]
The Sangam literature of the Tamil language reveals that, between 200 BCE and 200 CE, the
southern peninsula was being ruled by the Cheras, the Cholas, and the Pandyas, dynasties that
traded extensively with the Roman Empire and with West and South-East Asia.[46][47] In North India,
Hinduism asserted patriarchal control within the family, leading to increased subordination of women.
By the 4th and 5th centuries, the Gupta Empire had created in the greater Ganges Plain a
complex system of administration and taxation that became a model for later Indian kingdoms. [49]
Under the Guptas, a renewed Hinduism based on devotion rather than the management of ritual
began to assert itself.[51] The renewal was reflected in a flowering of sculpture and architecture, which

found patrons among an urban elite.[50] Classical Sanskrit literature flowered as well, and Indian
science, astronomy, medicine, and mathematics made significant advances.[50]

Medieval India

The granite tower ofBrihadeeswarar Temple inThanjavur was completed in 1010 CE by Raja Raja Chola I.

The Indian early medieval age, 600 CE to 1200 CE, is defined by regional kingdoms and cultural
diversity.[52] 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.[53]When
his successor attempted to expand eastwards, he was defeated by the Pala king of Bengal.[53] 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. [53] No ruler of
this period was able to create an empire and consistently control lands much beyond his core region.
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.[54] The caste system consequently began to show regional differences.[54]
In the 6th and 7th centuries, the first devotional hymns were created in the Tamil language.[55] They
were imitated all over India and led to both the resurgence of Hinduism and the development of
all modern languages of the subcontinent.[55] 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.[56] Temple towns of various sizes began to appear everywhere as India underwent another
urbanisation.[56] 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 modernday Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam,Philippines, Malaysia, and Java.[57] 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.[57]
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.[58] The sultanate was
to control much of North India, and to make many forays into South India. Although at first disruptive
for the Indian elites, the sultanate largely left its vast non-Muslim subject population to its own laws
and customs.[59][60] 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. [61][62] The
sultanate's raiding and weakening of the regional kingdoms of South India paved the way for the
indigenous Vijayanagara Empire.[63] Embracing a strong Shaivite tradition and building upon the

military technology of the sultanate, the empire came to control much of peninsular India, [64] and was
to influence South Indian society for long afterwards. [63]

Early modern India

Writing the will and testament of the Mughal king court in Persian, 15901595

In the early 16th century, northern India, being then under mainly Muslim rulers, [65] fell again to the
superior mobility and firepower of a new generation of Central Asian warriors. [66] The resulting Mughal
Empire did not stamp out the local societies it came to rule, but rather balanced and pacified them
through new administrative practices[67][68] and diverse and inclusive ruling elites,[69] leading to more
systematic, centralised, and uniform rule.[70] 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.[69] The Mughal state's economic
policies, deriving most revenues from agriculture[71] and mandating that taxes be paid in the wellregulated silver currency,[72] caused peasants and artisans to enter larger markets.[70] The relative
peace maintained by the empire during much of the 17th century was a factor in India's economic
expansion,[70]resulting in greater patronage of painting, literary forms, textiles, and architecture.
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. [74] Expanding
commerce during Mughal rule gave rise to new Indian commercial and political elites along the
coasts of southern and eastern India.[74] As the empire disintegrated, many among these elites were
able to seek and control their own affairs.[75] The "single most important power" that emerged in the
early modern period was the Maratha confederacy.[76]
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.[77][78] 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; both these factors
were crucial in allowing the Company to gain control over the Bengal region by 1765 and sideline the
other European companies.[79][77][80][81] Its further access to the riches of Bengal and the subsequent
increased strength and size of its army enabled it to annex or subdue most of India by the 1820s.
India was then no longer exporting manufactured goods as it long had, but was instead supplying
the British empire with raw materials, and many historians consider this to be the onset of India's

colonial period.[77] By this time, with its economic power severely curtailed by the British parliament
and itself effectively made an arm of British administration, the Company began to more consciously
enter non-economic arenas such as education, social reform, and culture. [83]

Modern India

The British Indian Empire, from the 1909 edition of The Imperial Gazetteer of India. Areas directly governed by the
British are shaded pink; the princely states under British suzerainty are in yellow.

Historians consider India's modern age to have begun sometime between 1848 and 1885. The
appointment in 1848 of Lord Dalhousie as Governor General of the East India Company set the
stage for changes essential to a modern state. These included the consolidation and demarcation of
sovereignty, the surveillance of the population, and the education of citizens. Technological changes
among them, railways, canals, and the telegraphwere introduced not long after their introduction
in Europe.[84][85][86][87] However, disaffection with the Company also grew during this time, and set off
the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Fed by diverse resentments and perceptions, including invasive Britishstyle 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.[88][89] Although the rebellion was suppressed by 1858, it led to the dissolution of the
East India Company and to the direct administration of India by the British government. Proclaiming
a unitary state and a gradual but limited British-style parliamentary system, the new rulers also
protected princes and landed gentry as a feudal safeguard against future unrest. [90][91] In the decades
following, public life gradually emerged all over India, leading eventually to the founding of the Indian
National Congress in 1885.[92][93][94][95]

Jawaharlal Nehru (left) became India's first prime minister in 1947.Mahatma Gandhi (right) led the independence

The rush of technology and the commercialisation of agriculture in the second half of the 19th
century was marked by economic setbacksmany small farmers became dependent on the whims
of far-away markets.[96] There was an increase in the number of large-scale famines,[97]and, despite
the risks of infrastructure development borne by Indian taxpayers, little industrial employment was

generated for Indians.[98] There were also salutary effects: commercial cropping, especially in the
newly canalled Punjab, led to increased food production for internal consumption. [99] The railway
network provided critical famine relief,[100] notably reduced the cost of moving goods,[100] and helped
nascent Indian-owned industry.[99] After World War I, in which some one million Indians served,[101]a
new period began. It was marked by British reforms but also repressive legislation, by more strident
Indian calls for self-rule, and by the beginnings of a nonviolent movement of non-cooperation, of
which Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi would become the leader and enduring symbol.[102] During the
1930s, slow legislative reform was enacted by the British; the Indian National Congress won
victories in the resulting elections.[103] The next decade was beset with crises: Indian participation in
World War II, the Congress's final push for non-cooperation, and an upsurge of Muslim nationalism.
All were capped by the advent of independence in 1947, but tempered by thepartition of India into
two states: India and Pakistan.[104]
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.[105] In the 60 years since, India has had a mixed
record of successes and failures.[106] It has remained a democracy with civil liberties, an active
Supreme Court, and a largely independent press.[106] Economic liberalisation, which was begun in the
1990s, has created a large urban middle class, transformed India into one of the world's fastestgrowing economies,[107] and increased its geopolitical clout. Indian movies, music, and spiritual
teachings play an increasing role in global culture.[106] Yet, India is also shaped by seemingly
unyielding poverty, both rural and urban;[106] by religious and caste-related violence;[108] by Maoistinspired Naxalite insurgencies;[109] and by separatism in Jammu and Kashmir and in Northeast India.
It has unresolved territorial disputes with China,[111] and with Pakistan.[111] The IndiaPakistan
nuclear rivalry came to a head in 1998.[112] India's sustained democratic freedoms are unique among
the world's new nations; however, in spite of its recent economic successes, freedom from want for
its disadvantaged population remains a goal yet to be achieved. [113]

Main article: Geography of India
See also: Geology of India

A topographic map of India

India comprises the bulk of the Indian subcontinent, lying atop the Indian tectonic plate, and part of
the Indo-Australian Plate.[114] India's defining geological processes began 75 million years ago when
the Indian plate, then part of the southern supercontinent Gondwana, began a northeastward drift caused by seafloor spreading to its south-west, and later, south and south-east.
Simultaneously, the vastTethyn oceanic crust, to its northeast, began to subduct under
the Eurasian plate.[114] 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 theHimalayas.[114] Immediately south of the emerging Himalayas, plate movement created a
vast trough that rapidly filled with river-borne sediment[115] and now constitutes the Indo-Gangetic
Plain.[116] Cut off from the plain by the ancient Aravalli Range lies the Thar Desert.[117]
The original Indian plate survives as peninsular India, the oldest and geologically most stable part of
India. It extends as far north as theSatpura and Vindhya ranges in central India. These parallel
chains run from the Arabian Sea coast in Gujarat in the west to the coal-richChota Nagpur Plateau in
Jharkhand in the east.[118] 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;[119] 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 [e] and 68
7' and 97 25' east longitude.[120]

The Kedar Range of the Greater Himalayas rises behind Kedarnath Temple (Indian state of Uttarakhand), which is
one of the twelve jyotirlingashrines.

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.[121] 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.[121]
Major Himalayan-origin rivers that substantially flow through India include the Ganges and
the Brahmaputra, both of which drain into theBay of Bengal.[122] 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.[123] Major peninsular rivers, whose steeper gradients prevent their waters from
flooding, include theGodavari, the Mahanadi, the Kaveri, and the Krishna, which also drain into the
Bay of Bengal;[124] and the Narmada and the Tapti, which drain into the Arabian Sea.[125] 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. [126] 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.[127]
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.[128] 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.[129][130] 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.[128] Four major climatic groupings predominate in India: tropical wet, tropical
dry, subtropical humid, and montane.[131]

Main article: Wildlife of India

Shola highlands are found inKudremukh National Park, Chikmagalurwhich is part of the Western Ghats.

India lies within the Indomalaya ecozone and contains three biodiversity hotspots.[132] One of
17 megadiverse countries, it hosts 8.6% of all mammalian, 13.7% of all avian, 7.9% of all reptilian,
6% of all amphibian, 12.2% of all piscine, and 6.0% of all flowering plant species. [133][134] Endemism is
high among plants, 33%, and among ecoregions such as the shola forests.[135] Habitat ranges from
thetropical rainforest of the Andaman Islands, Western Ghats, and North-East India to the coniferous
forest of the Himalaya. Between these extremes lie the moist deciduous sal forest of eastern India;
the dry deciduous teak forest of central and southern India; and the babul-dominated thorn forest of
the central Deccan and western Gangetic plain.[136] Under 12% of India's landmass bears thick jungle.
The medicinal neem, widely used in rural Indian herbal remedies, is a key Indian tree. The
luxuriant pipal fig tree, shown on the seals ofMohenjo-daro, shaded Gautama Buddha as he sought
Many Indian species descend from taxa originating in Gondwana, from which the Indian
plate separated more than 105 million yearsbefore present.[138] Peninsular
India's subsequent movement towards and collision with the Laurasian landmass set off a mass
exchange of species. Epochal volcanism and climatic changes 20 million years ago forced a mass
extinction.[139] Mammals then entered India from Asia through two zoogeographical passes flanking
the rising Himalaya.[136] Thus, while 45.8% of reptiles and 55.8% of amphibians are endemic, only
12.6% of mammals and 4.5% of birds are.[134] Among them are the Nilgiri leaf
monkey and Beddome's toad of the Western Ghats. India contains 172 IUCN-designated threatened
animal species, or 2.9% of endangered forms.[140] These include the Asiatic lion, the Bengal tiger, and
the Indian White-rumped vulture, which, by ingesting the carrion of diclofenac-laced cattle, nearly
went extinct.
The pervasive and ecologically devastating human encroachment of recent decades has critically
endangered Indian wildlife. In response the system of national parks andprotected areas, first
established in 1935, was substantially expanded. In 1972, India enacted the Wildlife Protection
Act[141] and Project Tiger to safeguard crucial wilderness; the Forest Conservation Act was enacted in
1980 and amendments added in 1988.[142] India hosts more than five hundred wildlife
sanctuaries and thirteen biosphere reserves,[143]four of which are part of the World Network of
Biosphere Reserves; twenty-five wetlands are registered under the Ramsar Convention.[144]

Main article: Politics of India
A parliamentary joint session being held in the Sansad Bhavan.

The Rashtrapati Bhavan is the official residence of the president of India.

India is the world's most populous democracy.[145] A parliamentary republic with a multi-party system,
it has six recognised national parties, including the Indian National Congress and the Bharatiya
Janata Party (BJP), and more than 40 regional parties.[147] The Congress is considered centre-left or
"liberal" in Indian political culture, and the BJP centre-right or "conservative". For most of the period
between 1950when India first became a republicand the late 1980s, the Congress held a
majority in the parliament. Since then, however, it has increasingly shared the political stage with the
BJP,[148] as well as with powerful regional parties which have often forced the creation of multiparty coalitions at the centre.[149]
In the Republic of India's first three general elections, in 1951, 1957, and 1962, the Jawaharlal
Nehru-led Congress won easy victories. On Nehru's death in 1964, Lal Bahadur Shastri briefly
became prime minister; he was succeeded, after his own unexpected death in 1966, byIndira
Gandhi, who went on to lead the Congress to election victories in 1967 and 1971. Following public
discontent with the state of emergency she declared in 1975, the Congress was voted out of power
in 1977; the then-new Janata Party, which had opposed the emergency, was voted in. Its
government lasted just over three years. Voted back into power in 1980, the Congress saw a change
in leadership in 1984, when Indira Gandhi was assassinated; she was succeeded by her son Rajiv
Gandhi, who won an easy victory in the general elections later that year. The Congress was voted
out again in 1989 when a National Front coalition, led by the newly formedJanata Dal in alliance with
the Left Front, won the elections; that government too proved relatively short-lived: it lasted just
under two years.[150] Elections were held again in 1991; no party won an absolute majority. But the
Congress, as the largest single party, was able to form a minority government led by P. V. Narasimha
A two-year period of political turmoil followed the general election of 1996. Several short-lived
alliances shared power at the centre. The BJP formed a government briefly in 1996; it was followed
by two comparatively long-lasting United Front coalitions, which depended on external support. In
1998, the BJP was able to form a successful coalition, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Led
by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the NDA became the first non-Congress, coalition government to complete
a five-year term.[152] In the 2004 Indian general elections, again no party won an absolute majority, but
the Congress emerged as the largest single party, forming another successful coalition: the United
Progressive Alliance (UPA). It had the support of left-leaning parties and MPs who opposed the BJP.
The UPA returned to power in the 2009 general electionwith increased numbers, and it no longer
required external support from India's communist parties.[153] That year, Manmohan Singh became
the first prime minister sinceJawaharlal Nehru in 1957 and 1962 to be re-elected to a consecutive
five-year term.[154] In the 2014 general election, Bharatiya Janata Party became the first political party
since 1984 to win a majority and govern without the support of other parties. [155]

Main article: Government of India
See also: Elections in India

India is a federation with a parliamentary system governed under the Constitution of India, which
National symbols[1]
Sarnath Lion Capital
Jana Gana Mana
Vande Mataram
(Indian rupee)
Not declared[161]
Indian Peafowl
Land animal
Aquatic animal
River Dolphin
Ganga or Ganges
serves as the country's supreme legal document. It is a constitutional republic and representative
democracy, in which "majority rule is tempered by minority rights protected by law". Federalism in
India defines the power distribution between the federal government and the states. The government
abides by constitutional checks and balances. The Constitution of India, which came into effect on
26 January 1950,[156] states in itspreamble that India is
a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic.[157] India's form of government, traditionally
described as "quasi-federal" with a strong centre and weak states, [158] has grown increasingly federal
since the late 1990s as a result of political, economic, and social changes. [159][160]
The federal government comprises three branches:

Executive: The President of India is the head of state[162] and is elected indirectly by a
national electoral college[163] for a five-year term.[164] The Prime Minister of India is the head of
government and exercises most executive power.[165] Appointed by the president,[166] the prime
minister is by convention supported by the party or political alliance holding the majority of seats
in the lower house of parliament.[165] The executive branch of the Indian government consists of
the president, the vice-president, and the Council of Ministersthe cabinet being its executive
committeeheaded by the prime minister. Any minister holding a portfolio must be a member of
one of the houses of parliament.[162] In the Indian parliamentary system, the executive is
subordinate to the legislature; the prime minister and his council are directly responsible to the
lower house of the parliament.[167]

Legislative: The legislature of India is the bicameral parliament. It

operates under a Westminster-style parliamentary system and
comprises the upper house called the Rajya Sabha ("Council of
States") and the lower called the Lok Sabha ("House of the
People").[168] The Rajya Sabha is a permanent body that has 245
members who serve in staggered six-year terms.[169] Most are
elected indirectly by the state and territorial legislatures in numbers
proportional to their state's share of the national population. [166]All but
two of the Lok Sabha's 545 members are directly elected by popular
vote; they represent individual constituencies via five-year terms.
The remaining two members are nominated by the president
from among the Anglo-Indian community, in case the president
decides that they are not adequately represented. [171]

Judicial: India has a unitary three-tier independent judiciary[172] that

comprises the Supreme Court, headed by the Chief Justice of India,
24 High Courts, and a large number of trial courts.[172] The Supreme
Court has original jurisdiction over cases involvingfundamental
rights and over disputes between states and the centre; it
has appellate jurisdiction over the High Courts.[173] It has the power
both to declare the law and to strike down union or state laws which
contravene the constitution.[174] The Supreme Court is also the
ultimate interpreter of the constitution.[175]


A clickable map of the 29 states and 7 union territories of India

Main article: Administrative divisions of India

See also: Political integration of India

India is a federation composed of 29 states and 7 union territories.[176] All states, as well as the union
territories of Puducherry and the National Capital Territory of Delhi, have elected legislatures and
governments, both patterned on the Westminster model. The remaining five union territories are
directly ruled by the centre through appointed administrators. In 1956, under the States
Reorganisation Act, states were reorganised on a linguistic basis.[177] Since then, their structure has
remained largely unchanged. Each state or union territory is further divided into
administrative districts. The districts in turn are further divided into tehsils and ultimately into villages.
1. Andhra Pradesh
2. Arunachal Pradesh
3. Assam
4. Bihar
5. Chhattisgarh
6. Goa
7. Gujarat
8. Haryana
9. Himachal Pradesh
10. Jammu and Kashmir
11. Jharkhand
12. Karnataka
13. Kerala
14. Madhya Pradesh
15. Maharashtra
16. Manipur
17. Meghalaya
18. Mizoram
19. Nagaland
20. Odisha

21. Punjab
22. Rajasthan
23. Sikkim
24. Tamil Nadu
25. Telangana
26. Tripura
27. Uttar Pradesh
28. Uttarakhand
29. West Bengal
Union territories
A. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
B. Chandigarh
C. Dadra and Nagar Haveli
D. Daman and Diu
E. Lakshadweep
F. National Capital Territory of Delhi
G. Puducherry

Foreign relations and military

Main articles: Foreign relations of India and Indian Armed Forces

Narendra Modi meets Vladimir Putinat the 6th BRICS summit. India and Russia share extensive economic, defence,
and technological ties.

Since its independence in 1947, India has maintained cordial relations with most nations. In the
1950s, it strongly supported decolonisation in Africa and Asia and played a lead role in the NonAligned Movement.[178] In the late 1980s, the Indian military twice intervened abroad at the invitation
of neighbouring countries: a peace-keeping operation in Sri Lanka between 1987 and 1990; and an
armed intervention to prevent a coup d'tat attempt in Maldives. India has tense relations with
neighbouring Pakistan; the two nationshave gone to war four times: in 1947, 1965, 1971, and 1999.
Three of these wars were fought over the disputed territory of Kashmir, while the fourth, the 1971
war, followed from India's support for the independence of Bangladesh.[179] After waging the
1962 Sino-Indian Warand the 1965 war with Pakistan, India pursued close military and economic ties
with the Soviet Union; by the late 1960s, the Soviet Union was its largest arms supplier.[180]
Aside from ongoing strategic relations with Russia, India has wide-ranging defence relations with
Israel and France. In recent years, it has played key roles in the South Asian Association for
Regional Cooperation and the World Trade Organisation. The nation has provided
100,000 military and police personnel to serve in 35 UN peacekeeping operations across four
continents. It participates in the East Asia Summit, the G8+5, and other multilateral forums.[181] India
has close economic ties with South America,[182] 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.[183][184]

INS Vikramaditya, the Indian Navys biggest warship.

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.[185] India conducted its first nuclear weapons
test in 1974 and carried out further underground testing in 1998. Despite criticism and military
sanctions, India has signed neither the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty nor the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty, considering both to be flawed and discriminatory.[186] India maintains a "no
first use" nuclear policy and is developing a nuclear triad capability as a part of its "minimum credible
deterrence" doctrine.[187][188] It is developing a ballistic missile defence shield and, in collaboration with
Russia, a fifth-generation fighter jet.[189] Other indigenous military projects involve the design and
implementation ofVikrant-class aircraft carriers and Arihant-class nuclear submarines.[189]
Since the end of the Cold War, India has increased its economic, strategic, and military cooperation
with the United States and theEuropean Union.[190] In 2008, a civilian nuclear agreement was signed
between India and the United States. Although India possessed nuclear weapons at the time and
was not party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it received waivers from the International
Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Suppliers Group, ending earlier restrictions on India's
nuclear technology and commerce. As a consequence, India became the sixth de factonuclear
weapons state.[191] India subsequently signed cooperation agreements involving civilian nuclear
energy with Russia,[192] France,[193] the United Kingdom,[194] andCanada.[195]
The President of India is the supreme commander of the nation's armed forces; with 1.325 million
active troops, they compose the world's third-largest military.[196] It comprises the Indian Army,
the Indian Navy, and the Indian Air Force; auxiliary organisations include the Strategic Forces
Command and three paramilitary groups: the Assam Rifles, theSpecial Frontier Force, and
the Indian Coast Guard.[197] The official Indian defence budget for 2011 was US$36.03 billion, or

1.83% of GDP.[198] For the fiscal year spanning 20122013, US$40.44 billion was budgeted.
According to a 2008 SIPRI report, India's annual military expenditure in terms of purchasing
power stood at US$72.7 billion,[200]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.[202] 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.[203] Much of the military
expenditure was focused on defence against Pakistan and countering growing Chinese influence in
the Indian Ocean.[201]

Main article: Economy of India
See also: Economic history of India, Economic development in India, Tourism in India and Transport
in India

Mumbai is the commercial and entertainment capital of India. It is also one of the world's top ten centres of commerce
in terms of global financial flow, generating 5% of India's GDP.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as of 2014, the Indian economy is nominally
worth US$2.047 trillion; it is the eleventh-largest economy by market exchange rates, and is, at
US$7.277 trillion, the third-largest by purchasing power parity, or PPP.[9]With its average annual GDP
growth rate of 5.8% over the past two decades, and reaching 6.1% during 201112, [204] India is one of
theworld's fastest-growing economies.[205] However, the country ranks 140th in the world in nominal
GDP per capita and 129th in GDP per capita at PPP.[206] Until 1991, all Indian governments
followed protectionist policies that were influenced by socialist economics. Widespread state
intervention and regulation largely walled the economy off from the outside world. An acute balance
of payments crisis in 1991 forced the nation to liberalise its economy;[207] since then it has slowly
moved towards a free-market system[208][209] by emphasising both foreign trade and direct investment
inflows.[210] India's recent economic model is largely capitalist.[209] India has been a member
of WTO since 1 January 1995.[211]
The 486.6-million worker Indian labour force is the world's second-largest, as of 2011.[197] The service
sector makes up 55.6% of GDP, the industrial sector 26.3% and the agricultural sector 18.1%. Major
agricultural products include rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, and potatoes. [176] Major
industries include textiles, telecommunications, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, food
processing, steel, transport equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, and software. [176] In
2006, the share of external trade in India's GDP stood at 24%, up from 6% in 1985. [208] In 2008,
India's share of world trade was 1.68%;[212] In 2011, India was the world's tenth-largest importer and
the nineteenth-largest exporter.[213] Major exports include petroleum products, textile goods, jewellery,
software, engineering goods, chemicals, and leather manufactures.[176] Major imports include crude
oil, machinery, gems, fertiliser, and chemicals.[176] Between 2001 and 2011, the contribution of
petrochemical and engineering goods to total exports grew from 14% to 42%. [214]
Averaging an economic growth rate of 7.5% for several years prior to 2007, [208] India has more than
doubled its hourly wage rates during the first decade of the 21st century.[215]Some 431 million Indians
have left poverty since 1985; India's middle classes are projected to number around 580 million by

2030.[216] Though ranking 51st in global competitiveness, India ranks 17th in financial market
sophistication, 24th in the banking sector, 44th in business sophistication, and 39th in innovation,
ahead of several advanced economies, as of 2010. [217] With 7 of the world's top 15 information
technology outsourcing companies based in India, the country is viewed as the second-most
favourable outsourcing destination after the United States, as of 2009. [218] India's consumer market,
currently the world's eleventh-largest, is expected to become fifth-largest by 2030.[216]
India's telecommunication industry, the world's fastest-growing, added 227 million subscribers during
the period 201011,[219] and after the first quarter of 2013, India surpassed Japan to become the third
largest smartphone market in the world after China and the U.S.[220]

A feeder ship in Diamond Harbour,West Bengal. International tradeaccounted for 14% of India's GDP in 1988, 24% in
1998, and 53% in 2008.

Its automotive industry, the world's second fastest growing, increased domestic sales by 26% during
200910,[221] and exports by 36% during 200809.[222] Power capacity is 250 gigawatts, of which 8%
is renewable. At the end of 2011, 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.[223]
The Pharmaceutical industry in India is among the significant emerging markets for global pharma
industry. The Indian pharmaceutical market is expected to reach $48.5 billion by 2020. India's R & D
spending constitutes 60% of Biopharmaceutical industry.[224][225] India is among the top 12 Biotech
destinations of the world.[226] [227] The Indian biotech industry grew by 15.1% in 201213, increasing its
revenues from 204.4 Billion INR (Indian Rupees) to 235.24 Billion INR (3.94 B US$ - exchange rate
June 2013: 1 US$ approx. 60 INR)[228]Although hardly 2% of Indians pay income taxes.[229]
Despite impressive economic growth during recent decades, India continues to face socio-economic
challenges. India contains the largest concentration of people living below the World Bank's
international poverty line of US$1.25 per day,[230] the proportion having decreased from 60% in 1981
to 42% in 2005, and 25% in 2011[231] 30.7% of India's children under the age of five are underweight,
half the children under five suffer from chronicmalnutrition, and in the states of Madhya
Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh,
which account for 50.04% of India's population, 70% of the children between the ages of six months
and 59 months are anaemic.[233] The Mid-Day Meal Scheme attempts to lower these rates.[234] 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. [235]Corruption in
India is perceived to have increased significantly,[236] with one report estimating the illegal capital
flows since independence to be US$462 billion.[237]
Driven by growth, India's nominal GDP per capita has steadily increased from US$329 in 1991,
when economic liberalisation began, to US$1,265 in 2010, and is estimated to increase to US$2,110
by 2016; however, it has remained lower than those of other Asian developing countries such as
Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, and is expected to remain so in the
near future. While it is currently higher than Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and others. [238]
According to a 2011 PricewaterhouseCoopers report, India's GDP at purchasing power parity could
overtake that of the United States by 2045.[239] 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.[239] 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.[239] 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
Citing persistent inflation pressures, weak public finances, limited progress on fiscal consolidation
and ineffectiveness of the government, rating agency Fitch revised India's Outlook to Negative from
Stable on 18 June 2012.[241] Another credit rating agency S&P had warned previously that a slowing
GDP growth and political roadblocks to economic policy-making could put India at the risk of losing
its investment grade rating.[242] However, Moody did not revise its outlook on India keeping it stable,
but termed the national government as the "single biggest drag" on business activity.[244]

Main article: Demographics of India

A population density and Indian Railways connectivity map. The already densely settled Indo-Gangetic Plain is the
main driver of Indian population growth.

With 1,210,193,422 residents reported in the 2011 provisional census report, [8] India is the world's
second-most populous country. Its population grew by 17.64% during 20012011, [245] compared to
21.54% growth in the previous decade (19912001).[245] The human sex ratio, according to the 2011
census, is 940 females per 1,000 males.[8] The median age was 24.9 in the 2001 census.[197] The first
post-colonial census, conducted in 1951, counted 361.1 million people. [246] 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.[247] India continues to face several public
health-related challenges.[248][249] Life expectancy in India is at 68 years with life expectancy for women
being 69.6 years and for men being 67.3.[250] There are around 50 physicians per 100,000 Indians.
The number of Indians living in urban areas has grown by 31.2% between 1991 and 2001. [252] Yet,
in 2001, over 70% lived in rural areas.[253][254] According to the 2001 census, there are 27 million-plus
cities in India;[252] among
them Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Pune are the most
populous metropolitan areas. The literacy rate in 2011 was 74.04%: 65.46% among females and
82.14% among males.[255]Kerala is the most literate state with 93.91% literacy; while Bihar the least
with 63.82%.[255]

An ascetic in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

India is home to two major language families: Indo-Aryan (spoken by about 74% of the population)
andDravidian (24%). Other languages spoken in India come from the Austroasiatic and TibetoBurmanlanguage families. India has no national language.[256] Hindi, with the largest number of
speakers, is the official language of the government.[257][258] English is used extensively in business
and administration and has the status of a "subsidiary official language"; [259] it is important
in education, especially as a medium of higher education. Each state and union territory has one or
more official languages, and the constitution recognises in particular 21 "scheduled languages". The
Constitution of India recognises 212 scheduled tribal groups which together constitute about 7.5% of
the country's population.[260]The 2001 census reported that Hinduism, with over 800 million adherents
(80.5% of the population), was the largest religion in India; it is followed
by Islam (13.4%), Christianity (2.3%), Sikhism (1.9%), Buddhism (0.8%), Jainism (0.4%), Judaism, Z
oroastrianism, and the Bah' Faith.[261] India has the world's largest Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Zoroastrian,
and Bah' populations, and has the third-largest Muslim population and the largest Muslim
population for a non-Muslim majority country.[262][263]

Main article: Culture of India

A sculpture fashioned in theGandharan tradition depicting Gautama Buddha, founder of Buddhism, at the Tokyo
National Museum

Indian cultural history spans more than 4,500 years. [264] During the Vedic period (c. 1700 500 BCE),
the foundations of Hindu philosophy, mythology, theology and literature were laid, and many beliefs
and practices which still exist today, such as dhrma, krma,yga, and moks a, were established.
India is notable for its religious diversity, with Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity,
and Jainismamong the nation's major religions.[265] The predominant religion, Hinduism, has been
shaped by various historical schools of thought, including those of the Upanishads,[266] the Yoga
Sutras, the Bhakti movement,[265] and by Buddhist philosophy.[267]

Art and architecture

Much of Indian architecture, including the Taj Mahal, other works of Mughal architecture, and South
Indian architecture, blends ancient local traditions with imported styles.[268] Vernacular architecture is
also highly regional in it flavours. Vastu shastra, literally "science of construction" or "architecture"
and ascribed to Mamuni Mayan,[269] explores how the laws of nature affect human dwellings;[270] it
employs precise geometry and directional alignments to reflect perceived cosmic constructs. [271] 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".[272] 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."[273] Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture, developed by the British in the late 19th century,
drew onIndo-Islamic architecture.[274]

The earliest literary writings in India, composed between 1400 BCE and 1200 CE, were in the
Sanskrit language.[275][276] Prominent works of this Sanskrit literature include epics such as
the Mahbhrata and the Ramayana, the dramas of Klidsa such as theAbhijnakuntalam (The
Recognition of akuntal), and poetry such as the Mahkvya.[277][278][279] Kamasutra, the famous book
aboutsexual intercourse also originated in India. Developed between 600 BCE and 300 CE in South
India, the Sangam literature, consisting of 2,381 poems, is regarded as a predecessor of Tamil
literature.[280][281][282][283] From the 14th to the 18th centuries, India's literary traditions went through a
period of drastic change because of the emergence of devotional poets such as Kabr, Tulsds,
and Guru Nnak. 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.[284] In the 19th century, Indian writers took a new interest in social questions and
psychological descriptions. In the 20th century, Indian literature was influenced by the works of
Bengali poet and novelistRabindranath Tagore.[285]

Performing arts

Sitar maestro Ravi Shankarperforms at the Shiraz Arts Festival in the 1970s.

Indian music ranges over various traditions and regional styles. Classical music encompasses two
genres and their various folk offshoots: the northern Hindustani and southern Carnatic schools.
Regionalised popular forms include filmi and folk music; the syncretic tradition of the bauls is a

well-known form of the latter. Indian dance also features diverse folk and classical forms. Among the
better-known folk dances are the bhangra of Punjab, the bihu of Assam, the chhau of Odisha, West
Bengal and Jharkhand, garba and dandiya of Gujarat,ghoomar of Rajasthan, and the lavani of
Maharashtra. Eight dance forms, many with narrative forms and mythological elements, have been
accorded classical dance status by India's National Academy of Music, Dance, and Drama. These
are: bharatanatyam of the state of Tamil Nadu, kathak of Uttar
Pradesh, kathakali and mohiniyattam of Kerala, kuchipudi of Andhra Pradesh, manipuri of
Manipur, odissi of Odisha, and the sattriya of Assam.[287] Theatre in India melds music, dance, and
improvised or written dialogue.[288] Often based on Hindu mythology, but also borrowing from
medieval romances or social and political events, Indian theatre includes the bhavai of Gujarat,
thejatra 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

Motion pictures
The Indian film industry produces the world's most-watched cinema.[290] Established regional
cinematic traditions exist in
the Assamese, Bengali, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam,Punjabi, Gujarati, Marathi, Oriya, Tamil,
and Telugu languages.[291] South Indian cinema attracts more than 75% of national film revenue.
Television broadcasting began in India in 1959 as a state-run medium of communication, and had
slow expansion for more than two decades.[293] The state monopoly on television broadcast ended in
the 1990s and, since then, satellite channels have increasingly shaped popular culture of Indian
society.[294] Today, television is the most penetrative media in India; industry estimates indicate that as
of 2012 there are over 554 million TV consumers, 462 million with satellite and/or cable connections,
compared to other forms of mass media such as press (350 million), radio (156 million) or internet
(37 million).[295]


A Sikh pilgrim at the Harmandir Sahib, or Golden Temple, in Amritsar, Punjab

Traditional Indian society is sometimes defined by social hierarchy. The Indian caste
system embodies much of the social stratification and many of the social restrictions found in the
Indian subcontinent. Social classes are defined by thousands of endogamous hereditary groups,
often termed as jtis, or "castes".[296] India declared untouchability to be illegal[297] in 1947 and has
since enacted other anti-discriminatory laws and social welfare initiatives. At the workplace in urban
India and in international or leading Indian companies, the caste related identification has pretty
much lost its importance.[298][299] Family values are important in the Indian tradition, and multigenerational patriarchal joint families have been the norm in India, though nuclear families are
becoming common in urban areas.[300] An overwhelming majority of Indians, with their consent,
have their marriages arranged by their parents or other family members.[301]Marriage is thought to be
for life,[301] and the divorce rate is extremely low.[302] Child marriages are common, especially in rural
areas; many women in India wed before reaching 18, which is their legal marriageable age.
Female infanticide in India and female foeticide in India have caused a discrepancy in the sex
ratio, as of 2005 it was estimated that there were 50 million more males than females in the nation.

However the recent report from 2011 shown improvement among the gender ratio. [306] The
payment of Dowry, althoughillegal, remains widespread across class lines.[307] Deaths resulting from
dowry, mostly from bride burning, is on the rise.[308]

Many Indian festivals are religious in origin; among them are Chhath, Christmas, Diwali, Durga
Puja, Bakr-Id, Eid ul-Fitr, Ganesh Chaturthi, Holi, Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan,Navratri, Thai
Pongal, and Vaisakhi. India has three national holidays which are observed in all states and union
territories: Republic Day, Independence Day, and Gandhi Jayanti. Other sets of holidays, varying
between nine and twelve, are officially observed in individual states.
Throughout India, many people practice customs and religious rituals, such as "Sam skra," which is
a series of "personal sacraments and rites conducted at various stages throughout life." [309]

Main article: Clothing in India
Cotton was domesticated in India by 4000 B.C.E. Traditional Indian dress varies in colour and style
across regions and depends on various factors, including climate and faith. Popular styles of dress
include draped garments such as the sari for women and the dhoti or lungi for men. Stitched clothes,
such as the shalwar kameez for women andkurtapyjama combinations or European-style trousers
and shirts for men, are also popular.[310] Use of delicate jewellery, modelled on real flowers worn in
ancient India, is part of a tradition dating back some 5,000 years; gemstones are also worn in India
as talismans.[311]

Main article: Sport in India

Indian hockey team, captained byDhyan Chand (standing second from left), after winning the finals at the 1936
Summer Olympicstheir third of six consecutive Olympic golds.

In India, several traditional indigenous sports remain fairly popular, such as kabaddi, kho
kho, pehlwani and gilli-danda. Some of the earliest forms of Asian martial arts, such
as kalarippayattu, musti yuddha, silambam, and marma adi, originated in India. Chess, commonly
held to have originated in India as chaturaga, is regaining widespread popularity with the rise in the
number of Indiangrandmasters.[312][313] Pachisi, from which parcheesi derives, was played on a giant
marble court by Akbar.[314]

Indian chess grandmaster and former world championVishwanathan Anand competes at a chess tournament in 2005.
Chess is commonly believed to have originated in India in the 5th century.

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.[315] 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.[316][317] Other sports in which Indians have
succeeded internationally include badminton,[318] boxing,[319] and wrestling.[320] Football is popular in
West Bengal, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and the north-eastern states.[321]
Field hockey in India is administered by Hockey India. The Indian national hockey team won the
1975Hockey World Cup and have, as of 2012, taken eight gold, one silver, and two bronze Olympic
medals, making it the sport's most successful team in the Olympics.

In a career of twenty four-year span,Sachin Tendulkar has created almost all batting records, including most runs in
both tests and ODIs and most number of centuries in both tests and ODIs, thus making him the most successful
cricketer ever.

India has also played a major role in popularising cricket. Thus, cricket is, by far, the most popular
sport of India. The Indian national cricket team won the 1983 and 2011 Cricket World Cup events,
the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, shared the 2002 ICC Champions Trophy with Sri Lanka, and
won 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. Cricket in India is administered by the Board of Control for
Cricket in India (BCCI); the Ranji Trophy, the Duleep Trophy, the Deodhar Trophy, the Irani Trophy,
and the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy are domestic competitions. The BCCI is also responsible for
conducting an annual Twenty20 competition known as the Indian Premier League.
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; and the2010 Commonwealth
Games. Major international sporting events held annually in India include the Chennai Open,
the Mumbai Marathon, the Delhi Half Marathon, and the Indian Masters. The first Indian Grand
Prix featured in late 2011.[322]

India has traditionally been the dominant country at the South Asian Games. An example of this
dominance is the basketball competition where Team India won three out of four tournaments to
date.[323] The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and the Arjuna Award are the highest forms of government
recognition for athletic achievement; the Dronacharya Award is awarded for excellence in coaching.

See also

India portal

Asia portal

Outline of India

States of India

1. Jump up^ "[...] Jana Gana Mana is the National Anthem of India,
subject to such alterations in the words as the Government may
authorise as occasion arises; and the song Vande Mataram, which
has played a historic part in the struggle for Indian freedom, shall
be honoured equally with Jana Gana Mana and shall have equal
status with it." (Constituent Assembly of India 1950).
2. Jump up^ "The country's exact size is subject to debate because
some borders are disputed. The Indian government lists the total
area as 3,287,260 km2 (1,269,220 sq mi) and the total land area as
3,060,500 km2 (1,181,700 sq mi); the United Nations lists the total
area as 3,287,263 km2 (1,269,219 sq mi) and total land area as
2,973,190 km2 (1,147,960 sq mi)." (Library of Congress 2004).
3. Jump up^ See also: Official names of India
4. Jump up^ The Government of India regards Afghanistan as a
bordering country, as it considers all of Kashmir to be part of India.
However, this is disputed, and the region bordering Afghanistan is
administered by Pakistan. Source: "Ministry of Home Affairs
(Department of Border Management)" (DOC). Retrieved 1
September 2008.[dead link].
5. Jump up^ The northernmost point under Indian control is the
disputed Siachen Glacier in Jammu and Kashmir; however,
the Government of India regards the entire region of the former
princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, including the Northern
Areas administered by Pakistan, to be its territory. It therefore
assigns the longitude 37 6' to its northernmost point.


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