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India: A Snapshot

Last updated: Mar, 2014

Introduction

The Republic of India, located in South Asia, is the seventh largest country in the world by area. The population of over 1.2 billion makes it the second most populous country in the world as well as the largest democracy. India is home to the famous Indus Valley Civilisation and is recognised for its rich culture. Four of the world’s religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism – originated here; and with Christianity and Islam making their way into the country in the 1st Millennium, India’s vibrant culture was established.

Today, India’s economy is the third largest by purchasing power parity (PPP) and eleventh largest by nominal gross domestic product (GDP), globally. Due to its rapid growth, especially over the last decade, India is considered an industrialised nation. The country which comprises 28 states and 7 union territories is a federal constitutional government that is run by a parliamentary system. Apart from being a multi-ethnic, pluralistic society, India is also blessed with a variety of wildlife.

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: India share political borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan 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: 7517 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 enjoys tropical climate but northern India experiences temperatures from sub-zero degrees to 50 degrees Celsius. Winters in northern India are usually during December to February while spring blossoms 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, chromite, natural gas, magnesite, manganese ore, apatite, phosphorite, steatite, mica, bauxite, petroleum, titanium ore, limestone, arable land, dolomite, baryte, kaolin, gypsum, fluorite

Land: 2,973,190 sq km

Water: 314,070 sq km

Political Profile

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: 28 States and 7 Union Territories

Constitution: The Constitution of India came into force on January 26, 1950.

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