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☹Republic of India☹


Area: 3.29 million sq. km. (1.27 million sq. mi.); about one-third the size of the U.S.
Cities: Capital --New Delhi (pop. 12.8 million, 2001 census). Other major cities --Mumbai, formerly Bombay (16.4 million); Kolkata, formerly Calcutta (13.2 million); Chennai, formerly Madras (6.4 million); Bangalore (5.7 million); Hyderabad (5.5 million); Ahmedabad (5 million); Pune (4 million).
Terrain: Varies from Himalayas to flatriver valleys and deserts in the west.
Climate: Alpine to temperate to subtropical monsoon.
Nationality: Noun and adjective --Indian(s).
Population (2012 est.): 1.21 billion; urban 29%.
Annual population growth rate (2012est.): 1.312%.
Density: 324/sq. km.
Ethnic groups: Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, others 3%. While the national census does not recognize racial or ethnic groups, it is estimatedthat there are more than 2,000 ethnic groups in India.
Religions (2001 census): Hindu 80.5%; Muslim 13.4%; Christian 2.3%;Sikh 1.9%; other groups including Buddhist, Jain, Parsi within 1.8%; unspecified 0.1%.
Languages: Hindi, English, and 16 other official languages.
Education: Years compulsory- -K-10. Literacy-- 61%.
Health: Infant mortality rate --46.07/1,000. Life expectancy --67.14 years (2012 est.).
Work force (est.): 467 million. Agriculture --52%; industry and commerce --14%; services and government --34%.
Type: Federal republic.
Independence: August 15, 1947.
Constitution: January 26, 1950.
Branches: Executive --president (chiefof state), prime minister (head of government), Council of Ministers (cabinet). Legislative --bicameral parliament (Rajya Sabha or Council of States, and Lok Sabha or House of thePeople). Judicial-- Supreme Court.
Political parties: Indian National Congress (INC), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Communist Party of India-Marxist, and numerous regionaland small national parties.
Political subdivisions: 28 states,* 7 union territories (including National Capital Territory of Delhi).
Suffrage: Universal over 18.
GDP (FY 2011 est.): $1.843 trillion.
Real growth rate (2011 est.): 7.8%.
Per capita GDP (PPP, FY 2011 est.):$3,700.
Natural resources: Coal, iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite, chromite, thorium, limestone, barite, titanium ore, diamonds, crude oil.
Agriculture: 18.1% of GDP. Products --wheat, rice, coarse grains, oilseeds, sugar, cotton, jute, tea.
Industry: 26.3% of GDP. Products --textiles, jute, processed food, steel, machinery, transport equipment, cement, aluminum, fertilizers, mining, petroleum, chemicals, and computer software.
Services and transportation: 55.6% ofGDP.
Trade: Exports (FY 2011 est.)--$298.2 billion; engineering goods, petroleumproducts, precious stones, cotton apparel and fabrics, gems and jewelry, handicrafts, tea. Services exports ($101.2 billion in 2008-2009)represent more than one-third of India's total exports. Software exports (FY 2009)--$35.76 billion. Imports (FY 2011 est.)--$451 billion; petroleum, machinery and transport equipment, electronic goods, edible oils, fertilizers, chemicals, gold, textiles, iron and steel. Major trade partners --U.S., China, U.A.E., EU, Russia, Japan.
Although India occupies only 2.4% of the world's land area, it supports over 15% of the world's population. Only China has a larger population. India's median age is 25, one of the youngest among large economies. About 70% live in more than 550,000villages, and the remainder in more than 200 towns and cities. Over the thousands of years of its history, India has been invaded from the Iranian plateau, Central Asia, Arabia, Afghanistan, and the West; Indian people and culture have absorbed and modified these influences to produce a remarkable racial and cultural synthesis.
Religion, caste, and language are major determinants of social and political organization in India today. However, with more job opportunities in the private sector and better chances of upward social mobility, India has begun a quiet social transformation in this area. The government has recognized 18 official languages; Hindi, the national language, is the most widely spoken, although English is a national lingua franca. Although about 80% of its people are Hindu, India also is the home of more than 138 million Muslims--one of the world's largest Muslim populations. The population also includes Christians, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, and Parsis.
The Hindu caste system reflects Indian occupational and socially defined hierarchies. Ancient Sanskrit sources divide society into four majorcategories, priests ( Brahmin ), warriors ( Kshatriya ), traders/artisans ( Vaishya ) and farmers/laborers ( Shudra ). Although these categories are understood throughout India, they describe reality only in the most general terms.

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