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1 Etymology

This article is about the Republic of India. For other

uses, see India (disambiguation).

Main article: Names of India

India, ocially the Republic of India (IAST: Bhrat
Gaarjya),[21][22][lower-alpha 3] is a country in South Asia.
It is the seventh-largest country 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 southwest, 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 Myanmar
(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.[24] The latter term
stems from the Sanskrit word Sindhu, which was the
historical local appellation for the Indus River.[25] The
ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi (),
which translates as The people of the Indus.[26]
The geographical term Bharat (Bhrat, pronounced
[bart]), which is recognised by the Constitution of India as an ocial name for the country,[27] is used by many
Indian languages in its variations. It is a modernisation
of the historical name Bharatavarsha, which traditionally referred to the Indian subcontinent and gained increasing currency from the mid-19th century as a native
name for India.[21][28] Scholars believe it to be named after the Vedic tribe of Bharatas in the second millennium
B.C.E.[29] It is also traditionally associated with the rule
of the legendary emperor Bharata.[30] Gaarjya (literally, peoples State) is the Sanskrit/Hindi term for republic dating back to the ancient times.[31][32][33]

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.[23]
Four religionsHinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and
Sikhismoriginated here, whereas Zoroastrianism,
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam arrived in the 1st
millennium CE and also shaped 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 after the Indian Rebellion of
1857, India became an independent nation in 1947
after a struggle for independence that was marked by
non-violent resistance led by Mahatma Gandhi.

Hindustan ([nd stan]) is a Persian name for India

dating back to the 3rd century B.C.E. It was introduced into India by the Mughals and widely used since
then. Its meaning varied, referring to a region that encompassed northern India and Pakistan or India in its
entirety.[21][28][34] Currently, the name may refer to either
the northern part of India or the entire country.[34]

Currently, the Indian economy is the worlds seventhlargest by nominal GDP and third-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP).[18] Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the fastestgrowing major economies; it is considered a newly industrialised country. However, it continues to face
the challenges of poverty, corruption, malnutrition and
inadequate public healthcare. A nuclear weapons state
and a regional power, it has the third-largest standing
army in the world and ranks sixth in military expenditure
among nations. India is a federal republic governed under a parliamentary system and consists 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.

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

2.1 Ancient India

The earliest authenticated human remains in South Asia
date to about 30,000 years ago.[35] 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.[36] Around
7000 BCE, the rst known Neolithic settlements appeared on the subcontinent in Mehrgarh and other sites


in western Pakistan.[37] These gradually developed into

the Indus Valley Civilisation,[38] the rst urban culture in
South Asia;[39] it ourished during 25001900 BCE in
Pakistan and western India.[40] Centred around cities such
as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa, Dholavira, and Kalibangan,
and relying on varied forms of subsistence, the civilisation
engaged robustly in crafts production and wide-ranging

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


Map of the Indian subcontinent during the Vedic period

During the period 2000500 BCE, in terms of culture,

many regions of the subcontinent transitioned from the
Chalcolithic to the Iron Age.[41] The Vedas, the oldest
scriptures of Hinduism,[42] were composed during this
period,[43] and historians have analysed these to posit a
Vedic culture in the Punjab region and the upper Gangetic
Plain.[41] Most historians also consider this period to
have encompassed several waves of Indo-Aryan migration into the subcontinent.[44][42] The caste system arose
during this period, creating 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, statelevel polities.[45][46] On the Deccan Plateau, archaeological evidence from this period suggests the existence of
a chiefdom stage of political organisation.[41] In southern India, a progression to sedentary life is indicated by
the large number of megalithic monuments dating from
this period,[47] as well as by nearby traces of agriculture,
irrigation tanks, and craft traditions.[47]
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.[48][49] The emerging urbanisation gave
rise to non-Vedic religious movements, two of which became independent religions. Jainism came into prominence during the life of its exemplar, Mahavira.[50]
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.[51][52][53] In an age of increasing urban wealth, both

religions held up renunciation as an ideal,[54] 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.[55] 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.[56][57] The Mauryan
kings are known as much for their empire-building and
determined management of public life as for Ashoka's
renunciation of militarism and far-ung advocacy of the
Buddhist dhamma.[58][59]
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.[60][61] In North India, Hinduism asserted patriarchal
control within the family, leading to increased subordination of women.[62][55] 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.[63][64] Under the
Guptas, a renewed Hinduism based on devotion rather
than the management of ritual began to assert itself.[65]
The renewal was reected in a owering of sculpture
and architecture, which found patrons among an urban
elite.[64] Classical Sanskrit literature owered as well, and
Indian science, astronomy, medicine, and mathematics
made signicant advances.[64]


Early modern India

fects 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.[71]
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

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.[72]
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.[73][74] 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
The granite tower of Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur was a syncretic Indo-Islamic culture in the north.[75][76] The
completed in 1010 CE by Raja Raja Chola I.
sultanates raiding and weakening of the regional kingdoms of South India paved the way for the indigenous
Vijayanagara Empire.[77] Embracing a strong Shaivite
2.2 Medieval India
tradition and building upon the military technology of the
sultanate, the empire came to control much of peninsuThe Indian early medieval age, 600 CE to 1200 CE, is lar India,[78] and was to inuence South Indian society for
dened by regional kingdoms and cultural diversity.[66] long afterwards.[77]
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 2.3 Early modern India
the Deccan.[67] When his successor attempted to expand
eastwards, he was defeated by the Pala king of Bengal.[67] In the early 16th century, northern India, being then unWhen the Chalukyas attempted to expand southwards, der mainly Muslim rulers,[79] fell again to the superior
they were defeated by the Pallavas from farther south, mobility and repower of a new generation of Central
who in turn were opposed by the Pandyas and the Cholas Asian warriors.[80] The resulting Mughal Empire did not
from still farther south.[67] No ruler of this period was stamp out the local societies it came to rule, but rather
able to create an empire and consistently control lands balanced and pacied them through new administrative
much beyond his core region.[66] During this time, pas- practices[81][82] and diverse and inclusive ruling elites,[83]
toral peoples whose land had been cleared to make way leading to more systematic, centralised, and uniform
for the growing agricultural economy were accommo- rule.[84] Eschewing tribal bonds and Islamic identity, esdated within caste society, as were new non-traditional pecially under Akbar, the Mughals united their far-ung
ruling classes.[68] The caste system consequently began realms through loyalty, expressed through a Persianised
to show regional dierences.[68]
culture, to an emperor who had near-divine status.[83] The
In the 6th and 7th centuries, the rst devotional hymns
were created in the Tamil language.[69] They were imitated all over India and led to both the resurgence
of Hinduism and the development of all modern languages of the subcontinent.[69] 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.[70] Temple towns of various sizes
began to appear everywhere as India underwent another
urbanisation.[70] By the 8th and 9th centuries, the ef-

Mughal states economic policies, deriving most revenues

from agriculture[85] and mandating that taxes be paid in
the well-regulated silver currency,[86] caused peasants and
artisans to enter larger markets.[84] The relative peace
maintained by the empire during much of the 17th century was a factor in Indias economic expansion,[84] resulting in greater patronage of painting, literary forms, textiles, and architecture.[87] Newly coherent social groups
in northern and western India, such as the Marathas, the
Rajputs, and the Sikhs, gained military and governing


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.[90] 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.[96]

2.4 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.
Writing the will and testament of the Mughal king court in
Persian, 15901595

ambitions during Mughal rule, which, through collaboration or adversity, gave them both recognition and military
experience.[88] Expanding commerce during Mughal rule
gave rise to new Indian commercial and political elites
along the coasts of southern and eastern India.[88] As the
empire disintegrated, many among these elites were able
to seek and control their own aairs.[89]
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.[90][91] The East India Companys control
of the seas, greater resources, and more advanced military training and technology led it to increasingly ex
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.[92][90][93][94] 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.[95] India was then no longer exporting man-

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 (English Education Act
1835). Technological changesamong them, railways,
canals, and the telegraphwere introduced not long after their introduction in Europe.[97][98][99][100] 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 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.[101][102] 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 Britishstyle parliamentary system, the new rulers also protected
princes and landed gentry as a feudal safeguard against
future unrest.[103][104] In the decades following, public
life gradually emerged all over India, leading eventually to the founding of the Indian National Congress in


play an increasing role in global culture.[119] Yet, India is also shaped by seemingly unyielding poverty, both
rural and urban;[119] by religious and caste-related violence;[121] by Maoist-inspired Naxalite insurgencies;[122]
and by separatism in Jammu and Kashmir and in Northeast India.[123] It has unresolved territorial disputes with
China[124] and with Pakistan.[124] The IndiaPakistan nuclear rivalry came to a head in 1998.[125] Indias sustained
democratic freedoms are unique among the worlds newer
nations; however, in spite of its recent economic successes, freedom from want for its disadvantaged population remains a goal yet to be achieved.[126]

3 Geography
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.[109]
There was an increase in the number of large-scale
famines,[110] and, despite the risks of infrastructure development borne by Indian taxpayers, little industrial employment was generated for Indians.[111] There were also
salutary eects: commercial cropping, especially in the
newly canalled Punjab, led to increased food production
for internal consumption.[112] The railway network provided critical famine relief,[113] notably reduced the cost
of moving goods,[113] and helped nascent Indian-owned
industry.[112] After World War I, in which approximately
one million Indians served,[114] a new period began. It
was marked by British reforms but also repressive legislations, by more strident Indian calls for self-rule, and
by the beginnings of a nonviolent movement of nonco-operation, of which Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
would become the leader and enduring symbol.[115] During the 1930s, slow legislative reform was enacted by
the British; the Indian National Congress won victories
in the resulting elections.[116] The next decade was beset with crises: Indian participation in World War II, the
Congresss nal push for non-co-operation, and an upsurge of Muslim nationalism. All were capped by the
advent of independence in 1947, but tempered by the
partition of India into two states: India and Pakistan.[117]

Main article: Geography of India

India comprises the bulk of the Indian subcontinent, ly-

A topographic map of India

ing atop the Indian tectonic plate, and part of the IndoAustralian Plate.[127] 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.[127] Simultaneously, the vast Tethyn oceanic crust, to its northeast, began to subduct under the Eurasian plate.[127]
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.[127] Immediately south of
the emerging Himalayas, plate movement created a vast
trough that rapidly lled with river-borne sediment[128]
and now constitutes the Indo-Gangetic Plain.[129] Cut o
from the plain by the ancient Aravalli Range lies the Thar

Vital to Indias self-image as an independent nation was

its constitution, completed in 1950, which put in place
a secular and democratic republic.[118] In the 60 years
since, India has had a mixed record of successes and
failures.[119] It has remained a democracy with civil liberties, an active Supreme Court, and a largely independent press.[119] Economic liberalisation, which was
begun in the 1990s, has created a large urban middle
class, transformed India into one of the worlds fastestgrowing economies,[120] and increased its geopolitical The original Indian plate survives as peninsular India, the
clout. Indian movies, music, and spiritual teachings oldest and geologically most stable part of India. It ex-

tends 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.[131] 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;[132] 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

monsoons.[141] 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.[142][143] 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.[141] Four major climatic
groupings predominate in India: tropical wet, tropical
dry, subtropical humid, and montane.[144]

4 Biodiversity
Main article: Wildlife of India
India lies within the Indomalaya ecozone and contains

The Kedar Range of the Greater Himalayas rises behind

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

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.[134] 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.[134]

The brahminy kite (Haliastur indus) is identied with Garuda,

the mythical mount of Vishnu. It hunts for sh and other prey
near the coasts and around inland wetlands.

three biodiversity hotspots.[145] 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.[146][147] About 21.2% of the countrys landmass is covered by forests (tree canopy density >10%),
of which 12.2% comprises moderately or very dense
forests (tree canopy density >40%).[148] Endemism is
high among plants, 33%, and among ecoregions such as
the shola forests.[149] 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 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.[150]
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.

Major Himalayan-origin rivers that substantially ow

through India include the Ganges and the Brahmaputra,
both of which drain into the Bay of Bengal.[135] Important tributaries of the Ganges include the Yamuna and
the Kosi; the latters extremely low gradient often leads
to severe oods and course changes.[136] 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;[137] and the Narmada and the Tapti, which
drain into the Arabian Sea.[138] 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.[139] 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.[140]
Many Indian species descend from taxa originating in
The Indian climate is strongly inuenced by the Hi- Gondwana, from which the Indian plate separated more
malayas and the Thar Desert, both of which drive the than 105 million years before present.[151] Peninsular Ineconomically and culturally pivotal summer and winter dia's 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.[152] Mammals then entered
India from Asia through two zoogeographical passes
anking the rising Himalaya.[150] Thus, while 45.8% of
reptiles and 55.8% of amphibians are endemic, only
12.6% of mammals and 4.5% of birds are.[147] Among
them are the Nilgiri leaf monkey and Beddomes toad
of the Western Ghats. India contains 172 IUCNdesignated threatened animal species, or 2.9% of endangered forms.[153] These include the Asiatic lion, the
Bengal tiger, the snow leopard and the Indian whiterumped vulture, which, by ingesting the carrion of
diclofenac-laced cattle, nearly became 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[154] and Project Tiger to safeguard crucial wilderness; the Forest Conservation Act was enacted
in 1980 and amendments added in 1988.[155] India hosts
more than ve hundred wildlife sanctuaries and thirteen
biosphere reserves,[156] four of which are part of the
World Network of Biosphere Reserves; twenty-ve wetlands are registered under the Ramsar Convention.[157]

erful regional parties which have often forced the creation

of multi-party coalitions at the centre.[166]
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 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 formed Janata
Dal in alliance with the Left Front, won the elections; that
government too proved relatively short-lived, lasting just
under two years.[167] Elections were held again in 1991;
no party won an absolute majority. The Congress, as the
largest single party, was able to form a minority government led by P. V. Narasimha Rao.[168]


Main article: Politics of India

India is the worlds most populous democracy.[158] A par-

The Rashtrapati Bhavan is the ocial residence of the president

of India.

A parliamentary joint session being held in the Sansad Bhavan.

liamentary republic with a multi-party system,[159] it has

six recognised national parties, including the Indian National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and
more than 40 regional parties.[160] The Congress is considered centre-left in Indian political culture,[161] and the
BJP right-wing.[162][163][164] 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,[165] as well as with pow-

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.[169] 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 par-

ties.[170] 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.[171] In the
2014 general election, the BJP became the rst political
party since 1984 to win a majority and govern without the
support of other parties.[172] The Prime Minister of India
is Narendra Modi, who was formerly Chief Minister of



Main articles: Government of India and Constitution of



body that has 245 members who serve in staggered six-year terms.[186] Most are elected indirectly by the state and territorial legislatures in numbers proportional to their states share of the national population.[183] All but two of the Lok Sabhas
545 members are directly elected by popular vote;
they represent individual constituencies via ve-year
terms.[187] 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.[188]
Judicial: India has a unitary three-tier independent
judiciary[189] that comprises the Supreme Court,
headed by the Chief Justice of India, 24 High
Courts, and a large number of trial courts.[189] 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.[190] It has the power
both to declare the law and to strike down union or
state laws which contravene the constitution,[191] as
well as to invalidate any government action it deems

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 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,[173]
states in its preamble that India is a sovereign, socialist,
secular, democratic republic.[174] Indias form of govern- 5.2 Subdivisions
ment, traditionally described as quasi-federal with a
strong centre and weak states,[175] has grown increasingly Main article: Administrative divisions of India
federal since the late 1990s as a result of political, eco- See also: Political integration of India
A clickable map of the 29 states and 7 union territories
nomic, and social changes.[176][177]
of India
The federal government comprises three branches:
Executive: The President of India is the head of
state[179] and is elected indirectly by a national
electoral college[180] for a ve-year term.[181] The
Prime Minister of India is the head of government and exercises most executive power.[182] Appointed by the president,[183] the prime minister is
by convention supported by the party or political
alliance holding the majority of seats in the lower
house of parliament.[182] 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.[179] 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.[184]
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).[185] The Rajya Sabha is a permanent

India is a federation composed of 29 states and 7 union

territories.[193] 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.[194] 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.

6 Foreign relations and military

Main articles: Foreign relations of India and Indian
Armed Forces
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 Non-Aligned Movement.[195]
In the late 1980s, the Indian military twice intervened
abroad at the invitation of neighbouring countries: a

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

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

peace-keeping operation in Sri Lanka between 1987 and

1990; and an armed intervention to prevent a 1988 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, while the fourth, the 1971 war, followed from
Indias support for the independence of Bangladesh.[196]
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.[197]

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.[202] 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.[203] India maintains a
"no rst use" nuclear policy and is developing a nuclear
triad capability as a part of its "minimum credible deterrence" doctrine.[204][205] It is developing a ballistic missile defence shield and, in collaboration with Russia, a
fth-generation ghter jet.[206] Other indigenous military projects involve the design and implementation of
Vikrant-class aircraft carriers and Arihant-class nuclear

Since the end of the Cold War, India has increased its
economic, strategic, and military co-operation with the
United States and the European Union.[207] 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 Indias nuclear technology and commerce. As a consequence, India
became the sixth de facto nuclear weapons state.[208] India subsequently signed co-operation agreements involv[209]
Aside from ongoing strategic relations with Russia, In- ing civilian nuclear energy with Russia,
and Canada.
dia has wide-ranging defence relations with Israel and the United Kingdom,
France. In recent years, it has played key roles in the The President of India is the supreme commander of
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and the nations armed forces; with 1.325 million active
the World Trade Organisation. The nation has provided troops, they compose the worlds third-largest mili100,000 military and police personnel to serve in 35 UN tary.[213] It comprises the Indian Army, the Indian Navy,
peacekeeping operations across four continents. It partic- and the Indian Air Force; auxiliary organisations include
ipates in the East Asia Summit, the G8+5, and other mul- the Strategic Forces Command and three paramilitary
tilateral forums.[198] India has close economic ties with groups: the Assam Ries, the Special Frontier Force,
South America,[199] Asia, and Africa; it pursues a Look and the Indian Coast Guard.[214] The ocial Indian
East policy that seeks to strengthen partnerships with defence budget for 2011 was US$36.03 billion, or 1.83%
the ASEAN nations, Japan, and South Korea that revolve of GDP.[215] For the scal year spanning 20122013,
around many issues, but especially those involving eco- US$40.44 billion was budgeted.[216] According to a 2008
nomic investment and regional security.[200][201]
SIPRI report, Indias annual military expenditure in terms
of purchasing power stood at US$72.7 billion.[217] In
2011, the annual defence budget increased by 11.6%,[218]
although this does not include funds that reach the military through other branches of government.[219] 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.[220] Much of the military expenditure was focused on defence against Pakistan
and countering growing Chinese inuence in the Indian

INS Vikramaditya, the Indian Navys biggest warship.




1.68%;[230] In 2011, India was the worlds tenth-largest

importer and the nineteenth-largest exporter.[231] Major exports include petroleum products, textile goods,
Main article: Economy of India
goods, chemicals, and
See also: Economic History of India and Economic de- jewellery, software, engineering
imports include crude
velopment in India
chemicals.[193] BeAccording to the International Monetary Fund (IMF),
tween 2001 and 2011, the contribution of petrochemical
and engineering goods to total exports grew from 14%
to 42%.[232] India was the second largest textile exporter
after China in the world in calendar year 2013.[233]
Averaging an economic growth rate of 7.5% for several
years prior to 2007,[225] India has more than doubled
its hourly wage rates during the rst decade of the 21st
century.[234] Some 431 million Indians have left poverty
since 1985; Indias middle classes are projected to number around 580 million by 2030.[235] 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.[236] With 7
Agricultural workers involved in Rice planting. Rice production of the worlds top 15 information technology outsourcing
in India reached 102.75 million tons in 2011-12.
companies based in India, the country is viewed as the
second-most favourable outsourcing destination after the
the Indian economy in 2015 was nominally worth United States, as of 2009.[237] Indias consumer market,
US$2.183 trillion; it is the 7th-largest economy by mar- the worlds eleventh-largest, is expected to become fthket exchange rates, and is, at US$8.027 trillion, the largest by 2030.[235]
third-largest by purchasing power parity, or PPP.[18]
With its average annual GDP growth rate of 5.8% Driven by growth, Indias nominal GDP per capita has
over the past two decades, and reaching 6.1% during steadily increased from US$329 in 1991, when economic
201112,[221] India is one of the worlds fastest-growing liberalisation began, to US$1,265 in 2010, and is eseconomies.[222] However, the country ranks 140th in the timated to increase to US$2,110 by 2016; however, it
world in nominal GDP per capita and 129th in GDP per has remained lower than those of other Asian developcapita at PPP.[223] Until 1991, all Indian governments ing countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri
followed protectionist policies that were inuenced by Lanka, and Thailand, and is expected to remain so in the
Pakistan, Nepal,
socialist economics. Widespread state intervention and near future. However, it is higher than
regulation largely walled the economy o from the outside world. An acute balance of payments crisis in 1991 According to a 2011 PricewaterhouseCoopers report, Inforced the nation to liberalise its economy;[224] since then dias GDP at purchasing power parity could overtake that
it has slowly moved towards a free-market system[225][226] of the United States by 2045.[239] During the next four
by emphasising both foreign trade and direct investment decades, Indian GDP is expected to grow at an annuinows.[227] Indias recent economic model is largely alised average of 8%, making it potentially the worlds
capitalist.[226] India has been a member of WTO since fastest-growing major economy until 2050.[239] The re1 January 1995.[228]
port highlights key growth factors: a young and rapidly
The 486.6-million worker Indian labour force is the growing working-age population; growth in the manufacworlds second-largest, as of 2011.[214] The service sec- turing sector because of rising education and engineering
tor makes up 55.6% of GDP, the industrial sector 26.3% skill levels; and sustained growth of the consumer
and the agricultural sector 18.1%. Indias foreign exBank
pochange remittances were US$70 billion in year 2014, the
largest in the world, contributed to its economy by 25
million Indians working in foreign countries.[229] Major transport infrastructure, agricultural and rural developenergy
agricultural products include rice, wheat, oilseed, cot- ment, removal of labour regulations, education,
Major inton, jute, tea, sugarcane, and potatoes.
dustries include textiles, telecommunications, chemicals,
pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, food processing, steel,
transport equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, and software.[193] In 2006, the share of external trade in Indias GDP stood at 24%, up from 6%
in 1985.[225] In 2008, Indias share of world trade was

In 2016, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released

Top 10 cheapest cities in the world which 4 of it were
from India: Bangalore (2nd), Mumbai (3rd), Chennai
(6th) and New Delhi (8th) based on the cost of 160 products and services.[241]





2% of Indians pay income taxes.[252]

Indias telecommunication industry, the worlds fastestgrowing, added 227 million subscribers during the period 7.2 Poverty
201011,[242] and after the rst quarter of 2013, India
surpassed Japan to become the third largest smartphone Main article: Poverty in India
market in the world after China and the US[243]
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,[253] the proportion having decreased from 60% in 1981 to 42% in 2005, and 25% in
2011.[254] 30.7% of Indias children under the age of ve
are underweight.[255] According to a Food and Agriculture Organization report in 2015, 15% of Indian population is undernourished.[256][257] The Mid-Day Meal
Scheme attempts to lower these rates.[258] Since 1991,
economic inequality between Indias 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.[259] Corruption in India is perceived to have increased signicantly,[260] with one report estimating the
illegal capital ows since independence to be US$462
India has the highest number of people living in conditions of slavery, 18 million, most of whom are in
bonded labour.[262] India has the largest number of child
labourers under the age of 14 in the world with an
estimated 12.6 million children engaged in hazardous

8 Demographics
India has the worlds second-largest mobile phone user base of
996.66 million users as of September 2015. Shown here is a roof
top mobile phone tower in Bangalore

Its automotive industry, the worlds second fastest growing, increased domestic sales by 26% during 2009
10,[244] and exports by 36% during 200809.[245] Indias
capacity to generate electrical power is 250 gigawatts, of
which 8% is renewable. At the end of 2011, the Indian
IT industry employed 2.8 million professionals, generated
revenues close to US$100 billion equalling 7.5% of Indian GDP and contributed 26% of Indias merchandise
The pharmaceutical industry in India is among the significant emerging markets for global pharma industry. The
Indian pharmaceutical market is expected to reach $48.5
billion by 2020. Indias R & D spending constitutes 60%
of the biopharmaceutical industry.[247][248] India is among
the top 12 biotech destinations of the world.[249][250] The
Indian biotech industry grew by 15.1% in 201213, increasing its revenues from 204.4 Billion INR (Indian Rupees) to 235.24 Billion INR (3.94 B US$ - exchange rate
June 2013: 1 US$ approx. 60 INR).[251] Although hardly

Main article: Demographics of India

See also: Languages of India and Religion in India
With 1,210,193,422 residents reported in the 2011 provisional census report,[266] India is the worlds secondmost populous country. Its population grew by 17.64%
during 20012011,[267] compared to 21.54% growth in
the previous decade (19912001).[267] The human sex
ratio, according to the 2011 census, is 940 females
per 1,000 males.[266] The median age was 24.9 in the
2001 census.[214] The rst post-colonial census, conducted in 1951, counted 361.1 million people.[268] Medical advances made in the last 50 years as well as increased agricultural productivity brought about by the
"Green Revolution" have caused Indias population to
grow rapidly.[269] India continues to face several public
health-related challenges.[270][271]
Life expectancy in India is at 68 years with life expectancy for women being 69.6 years and for men being 67.3.[272] There are around 50 physicians per 100,000
Indians.[273] The number of Indians living in urban areas
has grown by 31.2% between 1991 and 2001.[274] Yet,
in 2001, over 70% lived in rural areas.[275][276] The level


dia; among them Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad,
Chennai, Ahmedabad, and Kolkata, in decreasing order
by population.[278] The literacy rate in 2011 was 74.04%:
65.46% among females and 82.14% among males.[279]
The rural urban literacy gap which was 21.2 percentage points in 2001, dropped to 16.1 percentage points
in 2011. The improvement in literacy rate in rural area
is two times that in urban areas.[277] Kerala is the most
literate state with 93.91% literacy; while Bihar the least
with 63.82%.[279]

India is home to two major language families: IndoAryan (spoken by about 74% of the population) and
Dravidian (24%). Other languages spoken in India come
from the Austroasiatic and Sino-Tibetan language families. India has no national language.[280] Hindi, with
the largest number of speakers, is the ocial language
of the government.[281][282] English is used extensively in
business and administration and has the status of a subsidiary ocial language";[6] it is important in education,
A population density and Indian Railways connectivity map. The especially as a medium of higher education. Each state
already densely settled Indo-Gangetic Plain is the main driver of
and union territory has one or more ocial languages,
Indian population growth.
and the constitution recognises in particular 22 scheduled languages. The Constitution of India recognises
212 scheduled tribal groups which together constitute
about 7.5% of the countrys population.[283] The 2011
census reported[284] that Hinduism (79.8% of the population) is the largest religion in India, followed by Islam
(14.23%). Other religions or none (5.97% of the population) include Christianity (2.30%), Sikhism (1.72%),
Buddhism (0.70%), Jainism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism,
and the Bah' Faith.[285] India has the worlds 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

9 Culture

A Bondo woman walks to a weekly market in Chattisgarh.

of urbanisation increased from 27.81% in 2001 Census to

31.16% in 2011 Census. The slowing down of the overall
growth rate of population was due to the sharp decline in
the growth rate in rural areas since 1991.[277] According
to the 2011 census, there are 53 million-plus cities in In-

Main article: Culture of India

Indian cultural history spans more than 4,500 years.[288]
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.[26] India is notable for its
religious diversity, with Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism,
Islam, Christianity, and Jainism among the nations major
religions.[289] The predominant religion, Hinduism, has
been shaped by various historical schools of thought, including those of the Upanishads,[290] the Yoga Sutras, the
Bhakti movement,[289] and by Buddhist philosophy.[291]



tecture, developed by the British in the late 19th century,
drew on Indo-Islamic architecture.[298]

9.2 Literature
Main article: Indian literature
The earliest literary writings in India, composed between 1700 BCE and 1200 CE, were in the Sanskrit
language.[299][300] 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.[301][302][303] 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.[304][305][306][307] From the 14th to the 18th centuries,
Indias 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 diered signicantly from classical traditions.[308] 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
A sculpture fashioned in the Gandharan tradition depicting GauRabindranath Tagore.[309]
tama Buddha, founder of Buddhism, at the Tokyo National Museum

9.3 Performing arts


Art and architecture

Main article: Architecture of India

Much of Indian architecture, including the Taj Mahal,
other works of Mughal architecture, and South Indian
architecture, blends ancient local traditions with imported styles.[292] Vernacular architecture is also highly
regional in it avours. Vastu shastra, literally science of construction or architecture and ascribed to
Mamuni Mayan,[293] explores how the laws of nature
aect human dwellings;[294] it employs precise geometry and directional alignments to reect perceived cosmic constructs.[295] As applied in Hindu temple architecture, it is inuenced by the Shilpa Shastras, a series
of foundational texts whose basic mythological form is
the Vastu-Purusha mandala, a square that embodied the
"absolute".[296] 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 worlds heritage.[297] Indo-Saracenic Revival archi-

Friday evening qawwali at Dargah Salim Chishti in Fatehpur

Sikri, near Agra, Uttar Pradesh

Main articles: Music of India and Dance in India

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.[310] 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,
manipuri of Manipur, odissi of Odisha, and the sattriya of
Assam.[311] Theatre in India melds music, dance, and improvised or written dialogue.[312] 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.[313]


Motion pictures, television

An assortment of Indian spices

be used whole, dehuskedfor example, dhuli moong

or dhuli urador split. Split lentils, or dal, are
used extensively.[321] The spice trade between India and
Europe is often cited by historians as the primary catalyst
for Europes Age of Discovery.[322]

9.6 Society
Main article: Culture of India
Traditional Indian society is sometimes dened by so-

Main articles: Cinema of India and Television in India

The Indian lm industry produces the worlds mostwatched cinema.[314] Established regional cinematic traditions exist in the Assamese, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Hindi,
Kannada, Malayalam, Punjabi, Gujarati, Marathi, Odia,
Tamil, and Telugu languages.[315] South Indian cinema
attracts more than 75% of national lm revenue.[316]
Television broadcasting began in India in 1959 as a staterun medium of communication, and had slow expansion
for more than two decades.[317][318] The state monopoly
on television broadcast ended in the 1990s and, since
then, satellite channels have increasingly shaped popular
culture of Indian society.[319] 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).[320]

A Rajput Hindu marriage ceremony

cial 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.[323] India declared untouchability to be illegal[324] in 1947 and has since en9.5 Cuisine
acted other anti-discriminatory laws and social welfare
initiatives. At the workplace in urban India and in inMain article: Indian cuisine
Indian cuisine encompasses a wide variety of regional ternational or leading Indian companies, the caste[325][326]
and traditional cuisines, often depending on a particular
state (such as Maharashtrian cuisine). Staple foods of Family values are important in the Indian tradition, and
Indian cuisine include pearl millet (bjra), rice, whole- multi-generational patriarchal joint families have been
wheat our (aa), and a variety of lentils, such as ma- the norm in India, though nuclear families are becoming
soor (most often red lentils), toor (pigeon peas), urad common in urban areas.[327] An overwhelming majority
(black gram), and mong (mung beans). Lentils may of Indians, with their consent, have their marriages ar-



ranged by their parents or other elders in the family.[328]

Marriage is thought to be for life,[328] and the divorce
rate is extremely low.[329] As of 2001, just 1.6 percent
of Indian women were divorced but this gure was rising
due to their education and economic independence.[329]
Child marriages are common, especially in rural areas;
many women wed before reaching 18, which is their legal marriageable age.[330] India has the largest number
of sexually abused children, with 53% being subjected
to sexual abuse,[331] and it is argued to be driven by a
higher reluctance to expose relatives, who are often the
abusers.[332] Female infanticide and female foeticide in
the country 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.[333][334] However
a report from 2011 has shown improvement in the gender ratio.[335] The payment of dowry, although illegal,
remains widespread across class lines.[336] Deaths resulting from dowry, mostly from bride burning, are on the
Many Indian festivals are religious in origin. The best
known include Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Thai Pongal,
Holi, Durga Puja, Eid ul-Fitr, Bakr-Id, Christmas, and
Vaisakhi.[338][339] 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.



Girls play hopscotch in Juara, Madhya Pradesh.

derives, was played on a giant marble court by Akbar.[344]

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.[345]
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.[346][347] Other sports in which Indians have succeeded internationally include badminton[348] (Saina Nehwal is the top ranked female badminton player in the
world), boxing,[349] and wrestling.[350] Football is popular in West Bengal, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and the
north-eastern states.[351] India is scheduled to host the
2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup.[352]


Field hockey in India is administered by Hockey India.

The Indian national hockey team won the 1975 Hockey
Main article: Clothing in India
World Cup and have, as of 2012, taken eight gold, one silver, and two bronze Olympic medals, making it the sports
Cotton was domesticated in India by 4000 BCE. Tradi- most successful team in the Olympics.
tional Indian dress varies in colour and style across reIndia has also played a major role in popularising cricket.
gions and depends on various factors, including climate
Thus, cricket is, by far, the most popular sport in Inand faith. Popular styles of dress include draped gardia. The Indian national cricket team won the 1983
ments such as the sari for women and the dhoti or lungi
and 2011 Cricket World Cup events, the 2007 ICC
for men. Stitched clothes, such as the shalwar kameez
World Twenty20, shared the 2002 ICC Champions Trofor women and kurtapyjama combinations or Europeanphy with Sri Lanka, and won 2013 ICC Champions Trostyle trousers and shirts for men, are also popular.[340] Use
phy. Cricket in India is administered by the Board of
of delicate jewellery, modelled on real owers worn in anControl for Cricket in India (BCCI); the Ranji Trophy,
cient India, is part of a tradition dating back some 5,000
the Duleep Trophy, the Deodhar Trophy, the Irani Troyears; gemstones are also worn in India as talismans.[341]
phy, and the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy are domestic
competitions. The BCCI is also responsible for conducting an annual Twenty20 competition known as the Indian
9.8 Sports
Premier League.
Main article: Sport in India
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 Indian grandmasters.[342][343] Pachisi, from which parcheesi

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 but has been discontinued from the F1 season

calendar since 2014.[353]
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.[354] 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.



[4] Hindi, not a national language: Court.

[5] Constitutional Provisions - Ocial Language Related
Part-17 Of The Constitution Of India. National Informatics Centre (in Hindi). Retrieved 27 December 2015.
[6] Ministry of Home Aairs 1960.
[7] Prole | National Portal of India. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
[8] Eighth Schedule (PDF). Retrieved 1 July 2013.
[9] Khan, Saeed (25 January 2010). Theres no national language in India: Gujarat High Court. The Times of India.
Retrieved 5 May 2014.

See also

[10] Press Trust of India (25 January 2010). Hindi, not a national language: Court. The Hindu. Ahmedabad. Retrieved 23 December 2014.


[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).

[11] Census of India : C-1 Population By Religious Community.

[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).

[14] Prole.

[3] See also: Ocial names of India

[4] The Government of India also 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 Aairs (Department of Border Management)" (PDF). Retrieved 1 September 2008.
[5] 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 Gilgit-Baltistan administered by Pakistan, to be its territory. It therefore assigns the longitude 37 6' to its northernmost point.
[1] Hindi in the Devanagari script is the ocial language of
the Union. English is an additional language for government work.[6][1][7]

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