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India File

Official Name: Republic of India

 

National Anthem

 

Jana gana mana, composed by Rabindranath Tagore (Click here to read the full version.)

National Emblem

A uni-dimensional adaptation of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Emperor Ashok, the emblem depicts three lions (from the four which stand back-to-back looking to north, south, east and west on the original capital), and part of the frieze on the abacus i.e. the Wheel of the Law (Dharma) in the centre flanked by a horse and a bull. The bell-shaped lotus which supports the original capital has been omitted and instead, inscribed below the abacus are the words "Satyameva Jayate" - "Truth Alone Triumphs" in the Devnagari script.

National Flag

India's flag is a horizontal tricolour with deep saffron above, white in the middle and dark green below, in equal proportions. The saffron signifies the spirit of sacrifice, the white represents purity and the green fertility. In the centre of the white band is a navy blue wheel with 24 spokes, signifying progress. The width to length ratio of the flag is two to three.

National Calendar

Based on the Saka Era with Chaitra as its first month and a normal year of 365 days, the national calendar has a permanent correspondence with the Gregorian calendar with 1st Chaitra falling on 22nd March (21st March in leap years).

Structure of the State

Union of 29 states and 6 Union Territories with the Central Government based in New Delhi.

Political System

Multi-party parliamentary democracy, based on universal adult franchise.

Parliament

Bicameral legislature, with the Upper House known as the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and the Lower House known as the Lok Sabha (Council of the People).

Last Elections

April-May 2009.

Current Government

Formed by United Progressive Alliance (UPA) led by the Indian National Congress Party.

Head of State

President Hon'ble Shri Pranab Mukherjee (http://presidentofindia.nic.in).

Head of Government

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi (http://pmindia.nic.in).

Indian Standard Time

IST is equal to GMT + 5 hours and 30 minutes.

Area

3.29 million square kilometers.

Climate

Varied continental climate. Spring from March-April, summer from May-October, winter from November-February. Tropical monsoon from June-August, and post-monsoon or north-east monsoon season (Oct-Dec). Most of the rainfall is brought by the south-west monsoon. Owing to the geographical diversity of India, regional climatic conditions in the extreme north, east and west can be different.

Neighbours

India shares borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan to the north-west, China, Nepal and Bhutan to the north, Myanmar and Bangladesh to the east. Sri Lanka is separated from the southernmost tip of India by the narrow Palk Straits and the Gulf of Mannar.

Major Cities/Towns

Almost forty percent of India's 1.027 billion people live in urban centers, the four largest being Delhi (12 million), Mumbai (16 million), Kolkata (13.2 million), and Chennai (6.4 million). Other cities like Pune, Hyderabad, Bangalore, etc., are rapidly developing into major centers of commerce and industry.

Population

1.241 billion (2011 census);
Current growth rate: 1.2% per annum
Lifespan: Male 62.3 years; female 65.3 years
Death rate: 8.5 per 1000

Languages

Hindi is the official language, but English is also widely spoken. In addition, 18 languages are recognized by the Constitution of India. There are about 1,500 dialects.

Literacy

70%

Religions

India is a secular country with no state religion. Major religions include Hinduism (82%), Islam (12-15%), Christianity (2.3%), Sikhism (1.9%), Buddhism (0.8%) and Jainism (0.4%).

Currency

Rupee (1 Rupee = 100 paise) In Aug 2013, one US dollar equaled approximately 65.00 rupees.

Fiscal Year

1st April to 31st March.