Official Name: Republic of India
Jana gana mana, composed by Rabindranath Tagore (Click here to read the full version.)
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.
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.
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.
Multi-party parliamentary democracy, based on universal adult franchise.
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).
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.
3.29 million square kilometers.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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%).
Rupee (1 Rupee = 100 paise) In Aug 2013, one US dollar equaled approximately 65.00 rupees.
1st April to 31st March.