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India

1 Etymology

This article is about the Republic of India. For other


uses, see India (disambiguation).

Main article: Names of India


India ( i /ndi/), ocially the Republic of India
(Bhrat Ganarjya),[12][lower-alpha 3] is a country in South
Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the secondmost 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;[lower-alpha 4]
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,
Indias Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime
border with Thailand and Indonesia.

The name India is derived from Indus, which originates


from the Old Persian word Hindu. The latter term stems
from the Sanskrit word 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 [bart] (
)), which is recognised by the Constitution of India as
an ocial name for the country,[17] is used by many Indian languages in its variations. The eponym of Bharat
is Bharata, a theological gure that Hindu scriptures describe as a legendary emperor of ancient India.

Home to the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation and a


region of historic trade routes and vast empires, the
Indian subcontinent was identied 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 regions
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.

Hindustan ([nd stan] ( )) 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]

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

2.1 Ancient India

The Indian economy is the worlds tenth-largest by


nominal GDP and third-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP).[14] Following market-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 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.

The earliest authenticated human remains in South Asia


date to about 30,000 years ago.[20] Nearly contemporaneous Mesolithic rock 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 rst 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 rst urban culture in
South Asia;[24] It ourished 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,
1

2
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][30]
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]

HISTORY

ditions. Politically, by the 3rd century BCE, the kingdom of Magadha had annexed or reduced other states to
emerge as the Mauryan Empire.[41] 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 empirebuilding and determined management of public life as for
Ashoka's renunciation of militarism and far-ung 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.[48][41] 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][50] Under the
Guptas, a renewed Hinduism based on devotion rather
than the management of ritual began to assert itself.[51]
The renewal was reected in a owering of sculpture
and architecture, which found patrons among an urban
elite.[50] Classical Sanskrit literature owered as well, and
Indian science, astronomy, medicine, and mathematics
made signicant advances.[50]

2.2 Medieval India

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 tra-

The Indian early medieval age, 600 CE to 1200 CE, is


dened by regional kingdoms and cultural diversity.[52]
When Harsha of Kannauj, who ruled much of the IndoGangetic 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.[52] 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 dierences.[54]
In the 6th and 7th centuries, the rst 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

2.3

Early modern India

3
tradition and building upon the military technology of the
sultanate, the empire came to control much of peninsular India,[64] and was to inuence South Indian society for
long afterwards.[63]

2.3 Early modern India

The granite tower of Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur was


completed in 1010 CE by Raja Raja Chola I.

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 modern-day 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
Asias 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
rst 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 eeing 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
sultanates raiding and weakening of the regional kingdoms of South India paved the way for the indigenous
Vijayanagara Empire.[63] Embracing a strong Shaivite

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 repower 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 pacied 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-ung
realms through loyalty, expressed through a Persianised
culture, to an emperor who had near-divine status.[69] The
Mughal states economic policies, deriving most revenues
from agriculture[71] and mandating that taxes be paid in
the well-regulated silver currency,[72] caused peasants and

HISTORY

artisans to enter larger markets.[70] The relative peace


maintained by the empire during much of the 17th century was a factor in Indias economic expansion,[70] resulting in greater patronage of painting, literary forms, textiles, and architecture.[73] 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 aairs.[75] The single most
important power that emerged in the early modern period was the Maratha confederacy.[76]
The British Indian Empire, from the 1909 edition of The ImpeBy the early 18th century, with the lines between rial Gazetteer of India. Areas directly governed by the British
commercial and political dominance being increasingly are shaded pink; the princely states under British suzerainty are
in yellow.
blurred, a number of European trading companies, including the English East India Company, had established
coastal outposts.[77][78] The East India Companys control regions of northern and central India and shook the founof the seas, greater resources, and more advanced mili- dations of Company rule.[88][89] Although the rebellion
tary training and technology led it to increasingly ex its was suppressed by 1858, it led to the dissolution of the
military muscle and caused it to become attractive to a East India Company and to the direct administration of
portion of the Indian elite; both these factors were cru- India by the British government. Proclaiming a unitary
cial in allowing the Company to gain control over the state and a gradual but limited British-style parliamentary
Bengal region by 1765 and sideline the other European system, the new rulers also protected princes and landed
companies.[79][77][80][81] Its further access to the riches of gentry as a feudal safeguard against future unrest.[90][91]
Bengal and the subsequent increased strength and size of In the decades following, public life gradually emerged
its army enabled it to annex or subdue most of India by all over India, leading eventually to the founding of the
the 1820s.[82] India was then no longer exporting man- Indian National Congress in 1885.[92][93][94][95]
ufactured 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 Indias colonial
period.[77] By this time, with its economic power severely
curtailed by the British parliament and itself eectively
made an arm of British administration, the Company began to more consciously enter non-economic arenas such
as education, social reform, and culture.[83]

2.4

Modern India

Historians consider Indias 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 changesamong them, railways, canals, and the
telegraphwere introduced not long after their introduction in Europe.[84][85][86][87] However, disaection with
the Company also grew during this time, and set o the
Indian Rebellion of 1857. Fed by diverse resentments
and perceptions, including invasive British-style social reforms, harsh land taxes, and summary treatment of some
rich landowners and princes, the rebellion rocked many

Jawaharlal Nehru (left) became Indias rst prime minister in


1947. Mahatma Gandhi (right) led the independence movement.

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 eects: commercial cropping, especially in the

5
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 Indianowned 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 non-violent movement of noncooperation, 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
Congresss nal push for non-cooperation, and an upsurge
of Muslim nationalism. All were capped by the advent of
independence in 1947, but tempered by the partition of
A topographic map of India
India into two states: India and Pakistan.[104]
Vital to Indias 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 worlds 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 Maoist-inspired Naxalite insurgencies;[109]
and by separatism in Jammu and Kashmir and in Northeast India.[110] It has unresolved territorial disputes with
China,[111] and with Pakistan.[111] The IndiaPakistan nuclear rivalry came to a head in 1998.[112] Indias sustained
democratic freedoms are unique among the worlds 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]

Geography

Main article: Geography of India


See also: Geology of India
India comprises the bulk of the Indian subcontinent, lying atop the Indian tectonic plate, and part of the IndoAustralian Plate.[114] Indias dening 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 seaoor spreading to its
south-west, and later, south and south-east.[114] Simultaneously, the vast Tethyn oceanic crust, to its northeast, began to subduct under the Eurasian plate.[114]

These dual processes, driven by convection in the Earths


mantle, both created the Indian Ocean and caused the
Indian continental crust eventually to under-thrust Eurasia and to uplift the Himalayas.[114] Immediately south of
the emerging Himalayas, plate movement created a vast
trough that rapidly lled with river-borne sediment[115]
and now constitutes the Indo-Gangetic Plain.[116] Cut o
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 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.[118] To
the south, the remaining peninsular landmass, the Deccan
Plateau, is anked on the west and east by coastal ranges
known as the Western and Eastern Ghats;[119] the plateau
contains the countrys oldest rock formations, some over
one billion years old. Constituted in such fashion, India
lies to the north of the equator between 6 44' and 35
30' north latitude[lower-alpha 5] and 68 7' and 97 25' east
longitude.[120]
Indias 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 clis;
and 46% mudats or marshy shores.[121]
Major Himalayan-origin rivers that substantially ow
through India include the Ganges and the Brahmaputra,
both of which drain into the Bay of Bengal.[122] Important tributaries of the Ganges include the Yamuna and
the Kosi; the latters extremely low gradient often leads

4 BIODIVERSITY

The Kedar Range of the Greater Himalayas rises behind


Kedarnath Temple (Indian state of Uttarakhand), which is one
of the twelve jyotirlinga shrines.

to severe oods and course changes.[123] Major peninsular rivers, whose steeper gradients prevent their waters
from ooding, include the Godavari, 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 o Indias south-western coast;
and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a volcanic chain
in the Andaman Sea.[127]
The Indian climate is strongly inuenced 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 Indias rainfall.[128] Four major climatic
groupings predominate in India: tropical wet, tropical
dry, subtropical humid, and montane.[131]

Biodiversity

Main article: Wildlife of India


India lies within the Indomalaya ecozone and contains
three biodiversity hotspots.[133] 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 owering plant
species.[134][135] Endemism is high among plants, 33%,
and among ecoregions such as the shola forests.[136] Habitat ranges from the tropical 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 In-

The lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is the Indian national ower.


Hindus and Buddhists regard it as a sacred symbol of
enlightenment.[132]

dia; the dry deciduous teak forest of central and southern


India; and the babul-dominated thorn forest of the central Deccan and western Gangetic plain.[137] Under 12%
of Indias landmass bears thick jungle.[138] The medicinal neem, widely used in rural Indian herbal remedies, is
a key Indian tree. The luxuriant pipal g tree, shown on
the seals of Mohenjo-daro, shaded Gautama Buddha as
he sought enlightenment.
Many Indian species descend from taxa originating in
Gondwana, from which the Indian plate separated more
than 105 million years before present.[139] Peninsular Indias subsequent movement towards and collision with the
Laurasian landmass set o a mass exchange of species.
Epochal volcanism and climatic changes 20 million
years ago forced a mass extinction.[140] Mammals then
entered India from Asia through two zoogeographical
passes anking the rising Himalaya.[137] Thus, while
45.8% of reptiles and 55.8% of amphibians are endemic, only 12.6% of mammals and 4.5% of birds
are.[135] Among them are the Nilgiri leaf monkey and
Beddomes toad of the Western Ghats. India contains
172 IUCN-designated threatened animal species, or 2.9%
of endangered forms.[141] 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
and protected areas, rst established in 1935, was substantially expanded. In 1972, India enacted the Wildlife
Protection Act[142] and Project Tiger to safeguard crucial wilderness; the Forest Conservation Act was enacted
in 1980 and amendments added in 1988.[143] India hosts
more than ve hundred wildlife sanctuaries and thirteen
biosphere reserves,[144] four of which are part of the
World Network of Biosphere Reserves; twenty-ve wetlands are registered under the Ramsar Convention.[145]

5.1

Government

Politics

Main article: Politics of India


India is the worlds most populous democracy.[146] A

A parliamentary joint session being held in the Sansad Bhavan.

The Rashtrapati Bhavan is the ocial residence of the president


of India.

parliamentary republic with a multi-party system,[147] it


has six recognised national parties, including the Indian
National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),
and more than 40 regional parties.[148] 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 rst 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,[149] as well
as with powerful regional parties which have often forced
the creation of multi-party coalitions at the centre.[150]
In the Republic of Indias rst three general elections,
in 1951, 1957, and 1962, the Jawaharlal Nehru-led
Congress won easy victories. On Nehrus death in 1964,
Lal Bahadur Shastri briey became prime minister; he
was succeeded, after his own unexpected death in 1966,
by Indira Gandhi, who went on to lead the Congress to
election victories in 1967 and 1971. Following public
discontent with the state of emergency she declared in
1975, the Congress was voted out of power in 1977;
the then-new Janata Party, which had opposed the emer-

7
gency, 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 formed Janata
Dal in alliance with the Left Front, won the elections; that
government too proved relatively short-lived: it lasted just
under two years.[151] 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 Rao.[152]
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
briey 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 rst non-Congress, coalition government to complete
a ve-year term.[153] In the 2004 Indian general elections,
again no party won an absolute majority, but the Congress
emerged as the largest single party, forming another successful coalition: the United Progressive Alliance (UPA).
It had the support of left-leaning parties and MPs who opposed the BJP. The UPA returned to power in the 2009
general election with increased numbers, and it no longer
required external support from Indias communist parties.[154] That year, Manmohan Singh became the rst
prime minister since Jawaharlal Nehru in 1957 and 1962
to be re-elected to a consecutive ve-year term.[155] In the
2014 general election, Bharatiya Janata Party became the
rst political party since 1984 to win a majority and govern without the support of other parties.[156]

5.1 Government
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 serves as
the countrys 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 denes 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 eect
on 26 January 1950,[157] states in its preamble that India
is a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic.[158]
Indias form of government, traditionally described as
quasi-federal with a strong centre and weak states,[159]
has grown increasingly federal since the late 1990s as a
result of political, economic, and social changes.[160][161]

5 POLITICS

The federal government comprises three branches:


Executive: The President of India is the head of
state[163] and is elected indirectly by a national
electoral college[164] for a ve-year term.[165] The
Prime Minister of India is the head of government and exercises most executive power.[166] Appointed by the president,[167] the prime minister is
by convention supported by the party or political
alliance holding the majority of seats in the lower
house of parliament.[166] 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.[163] 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.[168]
Legislative: The legislature of India is the bicameral
parliament. It operates under a Westminsterstyle 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).[169] The Rajya Sabha is a permanent
body that has 245 members who serve in staggered six-year terms.[170] Most are elected indirectly by the state and territorial legislatures in numbers proportional to their states share of the national population.[167] All but two of the Lok Sabhas
545 members are directly elected by popular vote;
they represent individual constituencies via ve-year
terms.[171] 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.[172]
Judicial: India has a unitary three-tier independent
judiciary[173] that comprises the Supreme Court,
headed by the Chief Justice of India, 24 High
Courts, and a large number of trial courts.[173] The
Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over cases
involving fundamental rights and over disputes between states and the centre; it has appellate jurisdiction over the High Courts.[174] It has the power
both to declare the law and to strike down union
or state laws which contravene the constitution.[175]
The Supreme Court is also the ultimate interpreter
of the constitution.[176]

See also: Political integration of India


India is a federation composed of 29 states and 7 union
territories.[177] 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 ve
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.[178] 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.
States
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

5.2

Subdivisions

22. Rajasthan
23. Sikkim

A clickable map of the 29 states and 7 union territories


of India
Main article: Administrative divisions of India

24. Tamil Nadu


25. Telangana

9
26. Tripura
27. Uttar Pradesh
28. Uttarakhand
29. West Bengal
Union territories
1. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
2. Chandigarh
3. Dadra and Nagar Haveli
4. Daman and Diu
5. Lakshadweep
6. National Capital Territory of Delhi

while the fourth, the 1971 war, followed from Indias support for the independence of Bangladesh.[180] After waging the 1962 Sino-Indian War and the 1965 war with Pakistan, India pursued close military and economic ties with
the Soviet Union; by the late 1960s, the Soviet Union was
its largest arms supplier.[181]
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.[182] India has close economic ties with
South America,[183] 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.[184][185]

7. Puducherry

Foreign relations and military

Main articles: Foreign relations of India and Indian


Armed Forces
Since its independence in 1947, India has maintained

INS Vikramaditya, the Indian Navys biggest warship.

Narendra Modi meets Vladimir Putin at the 6th BRICS summit.


India and Russia share extensive economic, defence, and technological ties.

cordial relations with most nations. In the 1950s, it


strongly supported decolonisation in Africa and Asia and
played a lead role in the Non-Aligned Movement.[179]
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 nations have gone to war four
times: in 1947, 1965, 1971, and 1999. Three of these
wars were fought over the disputed territory of Kashmir,

Chinas 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.[186] India conducted its rst 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 awed and discriminatory.[187] India maintains a
"no rst use" nuclear policy and is developing a nuclear
triad capability as a part of its "minimum credible deterrence" doctrine.[188][189] It is developing a ballistic missile defence shield and, in collaboration with Russia, a
fth-generation ghter jet.[190] Other indigenous military projects involve the design and implementation of
Vikrant-class aircraft carriers and Arihant-class nuclear
submarines.[190]
Since the end of the Cold War, India has increased its
economic, strategic, and military cooperation with the
United States and the European Union.[191] In 2008, a
civilian nuclear agreement was signed between India and
the United States. Although India possessed nuclear

10
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 Indias nuclear technology and commerce. As a consequence, India
became the sixth de facto nuclear weapons state.[192] India subsequently signed cooperation agreements involving civilian nuclear energy with Russia,[193] France,[194]
the United Kingdom,[195] and Canada.[196]
The President of India is the supreme commander of
the nations armed forces; with 1.325 million active
troops, they compose the worlds third-largest military.[197] 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 Ries, the Special Frontier Force,
and the Indian Coast Guard.[198] The ocial Indian
defence budget for 2011 was US$36.03 billion, or 1.83%
of GDP.[199] For the scal year spanning 20122013,
US$40.44 billion was budgeted.[200] According to a 2008
SIPRI report, Indias annual military expenditure in terms
of purchasing power stood at US$72.7 billion,[201] In
2011, the annual defence budget increased by 11.6%,[202]
although this does not include funds that reach the military through other branches of government.[203] As of
2012, India is the worlds largest arms importer; between
2007 and 2011, it accounted for 10% of funds spent
on international arms purchases.[204] Much of the military expenditure was focused on defence against Pakistan
and countering growing Chinese inuence in the Indian
Ocean.[202]

7 ECONOMY
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,[206] India is one of the worlds fastest-growing
economies.[207] However, the country ranks 140th in the
world in nominal GDP per capita and 129th in GDP per
capita at PPP.[208] Until 1991, all Indian governments
followed protectionist policies that were inuenced by
socialist economics. Widespread state intervention and
regulation largely walled the economy o from the outside world. An acute balance of payments crisis in 1991
forced the nation to liberalise its economy;[209] since then
it has slowly moved towards a free-market system[210][211]
by emphasising both foreign trade and direct investment
inows.[212] Indias recent economic model is largely
capitalist.[211] India has been a member of WTO since
1 January 1995.[213]

The 486.6-million worker Indian labour force is the


worlds second-largest, as of 2011.[198] 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.[177] Major industries include textiles, telecommunications, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, food processing, steel, transport equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, and software.[177] In 2006, the share of external
trade in Indias GDP stood at 24%, up from 6% in
1985.[210] In 2008, Indias share of world trade was
1.68%;[214] In 2011, India was the worlds tenth-largest
importer and the nineteenth-largest exporter.[215] Major exports include petroleum products, textile goods,
7 Economy
jewellery, software, engineering goods, chemicals, and
leather manufactures.[177] Major imports include crude
Main article: Economy of India
oil, machinery, gems, fertiliser, and chemicals.[177] BeSee also: Economic history of India, Economic developtween 2001 and 2011, the contribution of petrochemical
ment in India, Tourism in India and Transport in India
and engineering goods to total exports grew from 14% to
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF),
42%.[216]

Indian agriculture dates from the period 7,0006,000 BCE,[205]


employs most of the national workforce, and is second in farm
output worldwide. Above, a farmer works an ox-drawn plow in
Kadmati, West Bengal.

Averaging an economic growth rate of 7.5% for several


years prior to 2007,[210] India has more than doubled
its hourly wage rates during the rst decade of the 21st
century.[217] Some 431 million Indians have left poverty
since 1985; Indias middle classes are projected to number around 580 million by 2030.[218] Though ranking 51st
in global competitiveness, India ranks 17th in nancial
market sophistication, 24th in the banking sector, 44th
in business sophistication, and 39th in innovation, ahead
of several advanced economies, as of 2010.[219] With 7
of the worlds 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.[220] Indias consumer market, currently the worlds eleventh-largest, is expected to
become fth-largest by 2030.[218]

as of 2014, the Indian economy is nominally worth Indias telecommunication industry, the worlds fastest-

11
growing, added 227 million subscribers during the period
201011,[221] and after the rst quarter of 2013, India
surpassed Japan to become the third largest smartphone
market in the world after China and the U.S.[222]

capita net state domestic product of the richest states in


2007 was 3.2 times that of the poorest.[237] Corruption
in India is perceived to have increased signicantly,[238]
with one report estimating the illegal capital ows since
independence to be US$462 billion.[239]
Driven by growth, Indias 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.[240]

Its automotive industry, the worlds second fastest growing, increased domestic sales by 26% during 2009
10,[223] and exports by 36% during 200809.[224] 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
Indias merchandise exports.[225]

According to a 2011 PricewaterhouseCoopers report, Indias GDP at purchasing power parity could overtake that
of the United States by 2045.[241] During the next four
decades, Indian GDP is expected to grow at an annualised average of 8%, making it potentially the worlds
fastest-growing major economy until 2050.[241] 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.[241] 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.[242]

The Pharmaceutical industry in India is among the significant emerging markets for global pharma industry. The
Indian pharmaceutical market is expected to reach $48.5
billion by 2020. Indias R & D spending constitutes 60%
of Biopharmaceutical industry.[226][227] India is among
the top 12 Biotech destinations of the world.[228] [229] The
Indian biotech industry grew by 15.1% in 201213, increasing its revenues from 204.4 Billion INR (Indian Rupees) to 235.24 Billion INR (3.94 B US$ - exchange rate
June 2013: 1 US$ approx. 60 INR)[230] Although hardly
2% of Indians pay income taxes.[231]

Citing persistent ination pressures, weak public nances,


limited progress on scal consolidation and ineectiveness of the government, rating agency Fitch revised
Indias Outlook to Negative from Stable on 18 June
2012.[243] 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.[244] However,
Moody did not revise its outlook on India keeping it
stable,[245] but termed the national government as the
single biggest drag on business activity.[246]

Power Loom used inside a house in a village near Salem, Tamil


Nadu. Power loom accounts for more than 60% of textile production in India.

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 Banks international poverty
line of US$1.25 per day,[232] the proportion having decreased from 60% in 1981 to 42% in 2005, and 25% in
2011[233] 30.7% of Indias children under the age of ve
are underweight,[234] half the children under ve suer
from chronic malnutrition, and in the states of Madhya
Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana,
Jharkhand, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh, which account for 50.04% of Indias population, 70% of the children between the ages of six months and 59 months are
anaemic.[235] The Mid-Day Meal Scheme attempts to
lower these rates.[236] Since 1991, economic inequality
between Indias states has consistently grown: the per-

8 Demographics
Main article: Demographics of India
With 1,210,193,422 residents reported in the 2011 provisional census,[8] India is the worlds second-most populous country. Its population grew at 1.76% per annum during 20012011,[8] down from 2.13% per annum in the previous decade (19912001).[247] 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.[198] The rst post-colonial census, conducted in 1951, counted 361.1 million people.[248] Medical advances made in the last 50 years as well as in-

12

9 CULTURE

Dravidian (24%). Other languages spoken in India come


from the Austroasiatic and Tibeto-Burman language families. India has no national language.[259] Hindi, with
the largest number of speakers, is the ocial language
of the government.[260][261] English is used extensively
in business and administration and has the status of
a subsidiary ocial language";[262] it is important in
education, especially as a medium of higher education.
Each state and union territory has one or more ocial
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 countrys population.[263]
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, Zoroastrianism, and the Bah'
Faith.[264] India has the worlds largest Hindu, Sikh, Jain,
A population density and Indian Railways connectivity map. The Zoroastrian, and Bah' populations, and has the thirdalready densely settled Indo-Gangetic Plain is the main driver of largest Muslim population and the largest Muslim popuIndian population growth.
lation for a non-Muslim majority country.[265][266]
creased agricultural productivity brought about by the
"Green Revolution" have caused Indias population to
grow rapidly.[249] India continues to face several public
health-related challenges.[250][251] Life expectancy in India is at 68 years with life expectancy for women being 69.6 years and for men being 67.3.[252] There are
around 50 physicians per 100,000 Indians.[253] The number of Indians living in urban areas has grown by 31.2%
between 1991 and 2001.[254] Yet, in 2001, over 70%
lived in rural areas.[255][256] According to the 2001 census, there are 27 million-plus cities in India;[254] 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.[8] Kerala is the most literate state with 95.5%
literacy;[257] while Bihar the least with 67.8%.[258]

9 Culture
Main article: Culture of India
Indian cultural history spans more than 4,500 years.[267]
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 moka,
were established.[16] India is notable for its religious diversity, with Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity, and
Jainism among the nations major religions.[268] The predominant religion, Hinduism, has been shaped by various historical schools of thought, including those of
the Upanishads,[269] the Yoga Sutras, the Bhakti movement,[268] and by Buddhist philosophy.[270]

9.1 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.[271] Vernacular architecture is also highly
regional in it avours. Vastu shastra, literally science of construction or architecture and ascribed to
Mamuni Mayan,[272] explores how the laws of nature
aect human dwellings;[273] it employs precise geometry and directional alignments to reect perceived cosmic constructs.[274] As applied in Hindu temple architecture, it is inuenced by the Shilpa Shastras, a series
A handicraft seller in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
of foundational texts whose basic mythological form is
the Vastu-Purusha mandala, a square that embodied the
India is home to two major language families: Indo- "absolute".[275] The Taj Mahal, built in Agra between
Aryan (spoken by about 74% of the population) and 1631 and 1648 by orders of Emperor Shah Jahan in mem-

9.3

Performing arts

13
ets 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 diered signicantly from classical traditions.[287] In the 19th century, Indian writers
took a new interest in social questions and psychological descriptions. In the 20th century, Indian literature
was inuenced by the works of Bengali poet and novelist
Rabindranath Tagore.[288]

9.3 Performing arts

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

ory 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 worlds heritage.[276] Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture, developed by the British in the late 19th century, Rukmini Devi Arundale, one of the foremost revivalists of
drew on Indo-Islamic architecture.[277]
bharatnatyam dance in the 20th century, performs at a concert.

9.2

Literature

The earliest literary writings in India, composed between 1400 BCE and 1200 CE, were in the Sanskrit
language.[278][279] Prominent works of this Sanskrit literature include epics such as the Mahbhrata and the
Ramayana, the dramas of Klidsa such as the Abhijnakuntalam (The Recognition of akuntal), and poetry
such as the Mahkvya.[280][281][282] Kamasutra, the famous book about sexual 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.[283][284][285][286] From the 14th to the 18th centuries,
Indias literary traditions went through a period of drastic change because of the emergence of devotional po-

Indian music ranges over various traditions and regional


styles. Classical music encompasses two genres and
their various folk oshoots: the northern Hindustani
and southern Carnatic schools.[289] Regionalised popular
forms include lmi 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 Indias 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,

14

9 CULTURE

manipuri of Manipur, odissi of Odisha, and the sattriya of


Assam.[290] Theatre in India melds music, dance, and improvised or written dialogue.[291] 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.[292]

9.4

Motion pictures

The Indian lm industry produces the worlds mostwatched cinema.[293] Established regional cinematic traditions exist in the Assamese, Bengali, Hindi, Kannada,
Malayalam, Punjabi, Gujarati, Marathi, Oriya, Tamil,
and Telugu languages.[294] South Indian cinema attracts
more than 75% of national lm revenue.[295] Television broadcasting began in India in 1959 as a state-run
medium of communication, and had slow expansion for
more than two decades.[296] The state monopoly on television broadcast ended in the 1990s and, since then, satellite channels have increasingly shaped popular culture of
Indian society.[297] 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).[298]

9.5

Society

touchability to be illegal[300] 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
identication has pretty much lost its importance.[301][302]
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.[303] An overwhelming majority of Indians, with their consent, have their marriages
arranged by their parents or other family members.[304]
Marriage is thought to be for life,[304] and the divorce rate
is extremely low.[305] Child marriages are common, especially in rural areas; many women in India wed before
reaching 18, which is their legal marriageable age.[306]
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.[307][308] However the recent
report from 2011 shown improvement among the gender ratio.[309] The payment of Dowry, although illegal, remains widespread across class lines.[310] Deaths resulting
from dowry, mostly from bride burning, is on the rise.[311]
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 ocially observed in individual states.
Throughout India, many people practice customs and
religious rituals, such as "Saskra, which is a series
of personal sacraments and rites conducted at various
stages throughout life.[312]

9.6 Clothing
Main article: Clothing in India

Tourists from North-East India, wrapped in sarongs and shawls,


visit the Taj Mahal.

Traditional Indian society is sometimes dened by social


hierarchy. The Indian caste system embodies much of
the social stratication and many of the social restrictions found in the Indian subcontinent. Social classes are
dened by thousands of endogamous hereditary groups,
often termed as jtis, or castes.[299] India declared un-

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 and kurtapyjama combinations or Europeanstyle trousers and shirts for men, are also popular.[313] Use
of delicate jewellery, modelled on real owers worn in ancient India, is part of a tradition dating back some 5,000
years; gemstones are also worn in India as talismans.[314]

9.7

9.7

Sport

15

Sport

have succeeded internationally include badminton,[321]


boxing,[322] and wrestling.[323] Football is popular in West
Main article: Sport in India
Bengal, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and the north-eastern
In India, several traditional indigenous sports remain states.[324]
Field hockey in India is administered by Hockey India.
The Indian national hockey team won the 1975 Hockey
World Cup and have, as of 2012, taken eight gold, one silver, and two bronze Olympic medals, making it the sports
most successful team in the Olympics.

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

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 Indian grandmasters.[315][316] Pachisi, from which parcheesi
derives, was played on a giant marble court by Akbar.[317]

Indian chess grandmaster and former world champion


Vishwanathan 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.[318]
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.[319][320] Other sports in which Indians

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 the 2010 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 rst Indian Grand Prix featured in
late 2011.[325]
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.[326] 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 coach-

16

12

ing.

REFERENCES

[7] Prole | National Portal of India


[8] Ministry of Home Aairs 2011.

10

See also

[9] Report for Selected Countries and Subjects. World


Economic Outlook Database, International Monetary
Fund. October 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2014.

Outline of India

[10] Gini Index. World Bank. Retrieved 2 March 2011.

States of India

11

[11] Human Development Report 2014 Summary.


United Nations. Retrieved 24 July 2014.

Notes

[12] Dunlop illustrated encyclopedia of facts, p. 91, by Norris McWhirter, Ross McWhirter

[1] "[...] Jana Gana Mana is the National Anthem of India, subject to such alterations in the words as the Government may authorise as occasion arises; and the song
Vande Mataram, which has played a historic part in the
struggle for Indian freedom, shall be honoured equally
with Jana Gana Mana and shall have equal status with
it. (Constituent Assembly of India 1950).

[13] Stein 1998, pp. 1617.

[2] The countrys 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).

[17] Ministry of Law and Justice 2008.

[14] Gross domestic product, current prices in US dollars, Oct


2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
[15] Oxford English Dictionary.
[16] Kuiper 2010, p. 86.

[18] Kaye 1997, pp. 639640.


[19] Encyclopdia Britannica.
[20] Petraglia, Allchin & 2007, p. 6.
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[3] See also: Ocial names of India


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29

15
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projection%29.svg License: ? Contributors: Map by Ssolbergj
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Original artist:Koyos + Ssolbergj (<a href='//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Ssolbergj' title='User talk:Ssolbergj'>talk</a>)
File:Barack_Obama_at_Parliament_of_India_in_New_Delhi_addressing_Joint_session_of_both_houses_2010.jpg
Source:
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session_of_both_houses_2010.jpg License: Public domain Contributors: http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/5246059812/in/
set-72157625560847260/ Original artist: The White House
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artist: Original uploader was Fastsix at en.wikipedia
File:British_Indian_Empire_1909_Imperial_Gazetteer_of_India.jpg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/
36/British_Indian_Empire_1909_Imperial_Gazetteer_of_India.jpg License: Public domain Contributors: Oxford University Press,
1909. Scanned and reduced from personal copy by <a href='//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Fowler%26fowler' class='extiw' title='en:
User:Fowler,<span>,&,</span>,fowler'>Fowler&fowler</a><a href='//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Fowler%26fowler' class='extiw'
title='en:User talk:Fowler,<span>,&,</span>,fowler'>Talk</a> 18:10, 5 August 2007 (UTC) Original artist: Edinburgh Geographical Institute; J. G. Bartholomew and Sons.
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File:Flag_of_Australia.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b9/Flag_of_Australia.svg License: ? Contributors: ?
Original artist: ?
File:Flag_of_Bangladesh.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f9/Flag_of_Bangladesh.svg License: Public
domain Contributors: http://www.dcaa.com.bd/Modules/CountryProfile/BangladeshFlag.aspx Original artist: User:SKopp
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Contributors: Originally from the Open Clip Art website, then replaced with an improved version. Original artist: w:en:User:Nightstallion
(original uploader), the author of xrmap (improved version)
File:Flag_of_Brazil.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/05/Flag_of_Brazil.svg License: ? Contributors: ? Original
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From the Open Clip Art website. Original artist: User:Nightstallion
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_
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Contributors: Original artist:User:Verdy p, User:-x-, User:Paddu, User:Nightstallion, User:Funakoshi, User:Jeltz, User:Dbenbenn, User:
Zscout370

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artist: ?
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Original artist: ?
File:Flag_of_India.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/41/Flag_of_India.svg License: ? Contributors: ? Original
artist: ?
File:Flag_of_Indonesia.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9f/Flag_of_Indonesia.svg License: Public domain Contributors: Law: s:id:Undang-Undang Republik Indonesia Nomor 24 Tahun 2009 (http://badanbahasa.kemdiknas.go.id/
lamanbahasa/sites/default/files/UU_2009_24.pdf) Original artist: Drawn by User:SKopp, rewritten by User:Gabbe
File:Flag_of_Iran.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/ca/Flag_of_Iran.svg License: Public domain Contributors: URL http://www.isiri.org/portal/files/std/1.htm and an English translation / interpretation at URL http://flagspot.net/flags/ir'.html
Original artist: Various
File:Flag_of_Italy.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/03/Flag_of_Italy.svg License: ? Contributors: ? Original
artist: ?
File:Flag_of_Japan.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/9e/Flag_of_Japan.svg License: ? Contributors: ? Original
artist: ?
File:Flag_of_Laos.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/56/Flag_of_Laos.svg License: Public domain Contributors: ? Original artist: ?
File:Flag_of_Malaysia.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/66/Flag_of_Malaysia.svg License:
domain Contributors: Create based on the Malaysian Government Website (archive version)
Original artist: SKopp, Zscout370 and Ranking Update

Public

File:Flag_of_Maldives.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0f/Flag_of_Maldives.svg License: Public domain Contributors: Own work Original artist: user:Nightstallion
File:Flag_of_Mauritius.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/77/Flag_of_Mauritius.svg License: Public domain Contributors: Own work Original artist: Zscout370
File:Flag_of_Mexico.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fc/Flag_of_Mexico.svg License: Public domain
Contributors: Original artist:Alex Covarrubias, 9 April 2006
File:Flag_of_Myanmar.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8c/Flag_of_Myanmar.svg License: CC0 Contributors: Open Clip Art Original artist: Unknown
File:Flag_of_Nepal.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9b/Flag_of_Nepal.svg License: Public domain Contributors: Constitution of The Kingdom of Nepal, Article 5, Schedule 1 [1] Original artist: Drawn by User:Pumbaa80, User:Achim1999
File:Flag_of_New_Zealand.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3e/Flag_of_New_Zealand.svg License:
Public domain Contributors: http://www.mch.govt.nz/files/NZ%20Flag%20-%20proportions.JPG Original artist: Zscout370, Hugh Jass
and many others
File:Flag_of_Pakistan.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/32/Flag_of_Pakistan.svg License: Public domain
Contributors: The drawing and the colors were based from agspot.net. Original artist: User:Zscout370
File:Flag_of_Russia.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f3/Flag_of_Russia.svg License: ? Contributors: ? Original
artist: ?
File:Flag_of_Saudi_Arabia.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0d/Flag_of_Saudi_Arabia.svg License:
CC0 Contributors: the actual ag Original artist: Unknown
File:Flag_of_Singapore.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/48/Flag_of_Singapore.svg License: Public domain Contributors: The drawing was based from http://app.www.sg/who/42/National-Flag.aspx. Colors from the book: (2001). The
National Symbols Kit. Singapore: Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. pp. 5. ISBN 8880968010 Pantone 032 shade from
http://www.pantone.com/pages/pantone/colorfinder.aspx?c_id=13050 Original artist: Various
File:Flag_of_South_Africa.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/af/Flag_of_South_Africa.svg License: Public domain Contributors: Per specications in the Constitution of South Africa, Schedule 1 - National ag Original artist: Flag design by
Frederick Brownell, image by Wikimedia Commons users
File:Flag_of_South_Korea.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/09/Flag_of_South_Korea.svg License: Public domain Contributors: Ordinance Act of the Law concerning the National Flag of the Republic of Korea, Construction and color guidelines
(Russian/English) This site is not exist now.(2012.06.05) Original artist: Various
File:Flag_of_Sri_Lanka.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/11/Flag_of_Sri_Lanka.svg License: Public domain Contributors: SLS 693 - National ag of Sri Lanka Original artist: Zscout370
File:Flag_of_Thailand.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a9/Flag_of_Thailand.svg License: Public domain
Contributors: Own work Original artist: Zscout370
File:Flag_of_Turkey.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b4/Flag_of_Turkey.svg License: Public domain
Contributors: Turkish Flag Law (Trk Bayra Kanunu), Law nr. 2893 of 22 September 1983. Text (in Turkish) at the website of the
Turkish Historical Society (Trk Tarih Kurumu) Original artist: David Benbennick (original author)
File:Flag_of_Vietnam.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/21/Flag_of_Vietnam.svg License: Public domain Contributors: http://vbqppl.moj.gov.vn/law/vi/1951_to_1960/1955/195511/195511300001 http://vbqppl.moj.gov.vn/vbpq/Lists/
Vn%20bn%20php%20lut/View_Detail.aspx?ItemID=820 Original artist: Lu Ly v li theo ngun trn

15.2

Images

35

File:Flag_of_the_People{}s_Republic_of_China.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fa/Flag_of_the_


People%27s_Republic_of_China.svg License: Public domain Contributors: Own work, http://www.protocol.gov.hk/flags/eng/n_flag/
design.html Original artist: Drawn by User:SKopp, redrawn by User:Denelson83 and User:Zscout370
File:Flag_of_the_Philippines.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/99/Flag_of_the_Philippines.svg License:
Public domain Contributors: The design was taken from [1] and the colors were also taken from a Government website Original artist:
User:Achim1999
File:Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/ae/Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom.svg License: ? Contributors: ? Original artist: ?
File:Flag_of_the_United_States.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a4/Flag_of_the_United_States.svg License: ?
Contributors: ? Original artist: ?
File:Folder_Hexagonal_Icon.svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/48/Folder_Hexagonal_Icon.svg License: ? Contributors: ? Original artist: ?
File:Gandhara_Buddha_(tnm).jpeg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b8/Gandhara_Buddha_%28tnm%29.
jpeg License: Public domain Contributors: ? Original artist: ?
File:GroupFromNorthEastIndiaAtTaj.jpg
Source:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4a/
GroupFromNorthEastIndiaAtTaj.jpg License: CC-BY-SA-3.0 Contributors: Own work Original artist: Fowler&fowler
File:Handicrafts_seller.JPG Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e1/Handicrafts_seller.JPG License: CC-BYSA-3.0 Contributors: Own work Original artist: Diham
File:INS_Vikramaditya_during_trials.jpg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cf/INS_Vikramaditya_during_
trials.jpg License: CC-BY-2.5-in Contributors: http://indiannavy.nic.in/sites/default/files/vik_2.jpg Original artist: Indian Navy
File:India_(orthographic_projection).svg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bb/India_%28orthographic_
projection%29.svg License: CC-BY-SA-3.0 Contributors: Original artist:Ssolbergj (<a href='//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_talk:
Ssolbergj' title='User talk:Ssolbergj'>talk</a>)
File:India_topo_big.jpg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/af/India_topo_big.jpg License: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Contributors:
User:Zscout370
File based on the specication given at [1].