Last updated: Dec, 2014
India, a South Asian nation, is the 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. India boasts of an immensely rich cultural heritage including numerous languages, traditions and people. The country holds its uniqueness in its diversity and hence has adapted itself to international changes with poise and comfort. While the economy has welcomed international companies to invest in it with open arms since liberalisation in 1990s, Indians have been prudent and pro-active in adopting global approach and skills. Indian villagers proudly take up farming, advanced agriculture and unique handicrafts as their profession on one hand while modern industries and professional services sectors are coming up in a big way on the other.
Thus, the country is attracting many global majors for strategic investments owing to the presence of vast range of industries, investment avenues and a supportive Government. Huge population, mostly comprising the youth, is a strong driver for demand and an ample source of manpower.
Location: India lies to the north of the equator in Southern Asia
Latitude: 8° 4' to 37° 6' north
Longitude: 68° 7' to 97° 25' east
Neighbouring Countries: Pakistan and Afghanistan share political borders with India on the West while Bangladesh and Myanmar stand adjacent on the Eastern borders. The northern boundary comprises the Sinkiang province of China, Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. Sri Lanka is another neighbouring country which is separated by a narrow channel of sea formed by the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar.
Capital: New Delhi
Coastline: 7,517 km, including the mainland, the coastlines of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal and Lakshwadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea.
Climate: Southern India majorly enjoys tropical climate but northern India experiences temperatures from sub-zero degrees to 50 degrees Celsius. Winters embrace northern India during December to February while springs blossom in March and April. Monsoons arrive in July and stay till September, followed by autumn in October and November.
Area: India measures 3, 214 km from north to south and 2, 933 km from east to west with a total land area of 3,287,263 sq km.
Natural Resources: coal (fourth-largest reserves in the world), iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite, rare earth elements, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, diamonds, petroleum, limestone, arable land.
Land: 2,973,190 sq km
Water: 314,070 sq km
Political System and Government:
The world's largest democracy implemented its Constitution in 1950 that provided for a parliamentary system of Government with a bicameral parliament and three independent branches: the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. The country has a federal structure with elected governments in States.
Administrative Divisions: 29 States and 7 Union Territories
Constitution: The Constitution of India came into force on 26th January 1950
Executive Branch: The President of India is the Head of State, while the Prime Minister is the Head of the government and runs office with the support of the Council of Ministers who forms the Cabinet.
Legislative Branch: The Federal Legislature comprises of the Lok Sabha (House of the People) and the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) forming both the Houses of the Parliament.
Judicial Branch: The Supreme Court of India is the apex body of the Indian legal system, followed by other High Courts and subordinate Courts.
Chief of State: President, Mr Pranab Mukherjee (since 25 July 2012)
Head of Government:Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi (since May 26, 2014)
Population: 1,236,344,631 (July 2014 est.)
Population Growth Rate: 1.25 per cent (2014 est.)
Religions: Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism
Languages: Hindi, English and at least 16 other official languages
Literacy: Total population: 74.04 per cent (provisional data-2011 census)
Male: 82.14 per cent
Female: 65.46 per cent
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Life expectancy: 66.38 years (men), 68.7 years (women) (2013 est.)
National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) predicts India's gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 5 per cent for 2014-15.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Composition by Sector (2013 estimate)
Airports: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) manages 125 airports across the country.
International Airports: Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Thiruvananthapuram, Port Blair, Srinagar, Jaipur, Nagpur, Calicut, Tiruchirapalli, Coimbatore
Railways: The Indian Railways network is spread over some 64,000 km, with 12,000 passenger and 7,000 freight trains each day from 7,083 stations plying 23 million travellers and 2.65 million tonnes (MT) of goods daily.
Roadways: India’s road network of 4.1 million km is the second largest in the world. With the number of vehicles growing at an average annual pace of 10.16 per cent, Indian roads carry about 65 per cent of freight and 80 per cent of passenger traffic.
Waterways: 14, 500 km
Major Ports of Entry: Chennai, Ennore, Haldia, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Kolkata, Kandla, Kochi, Mormugao, Mumbai, New Mangalore, Paradip, Tuticorin and Vishakhapatnam.
Exchange Rate: INR 1 = US$ 0.0157 as on December 23, 2014
References:Press Releases, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)-The World Fact book, National Highways Authority of India website, Airports Authority of India (AAI) website