Geography

Geography
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 flat river valleys and deserts in the west. Climate: Alpine to temperate to subtropical monsoon.

 

 

People and Economy

People
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Indian(s).
Population (2010 est.): 1.17 billion; urban 29%.
Annual population growth rate: 1.376%.
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 estimated that 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--49.13/1,000. Life expectancy--66.46 years (2009 est.).
Work force (est.): 467 million. Agriculture--52%; industry and commerce--14%; services and government--34%.

Economy
GDP (FY 2009 est.): $1.095 trillion.
Real growth rate (2009 est.): 6.5%.
Per capita GDP (PPP, FY 2008): $3,100.
Natural resources: Coal, iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite, chromite, thorium, limestone, barite, titanium ore, diamonds, crude oil.
Agriculture: 17% of GDP. Products--wheat, rice, coarse grains, oilseeds, sugar, cotton, jute, tea.
Industry: 28.2% of GDP. Products--textiles, jute, processed food, steel, machinery, transport equipment, cement, aluminum, fertilizers, mining, petroleum, chemicals, and computer software.
Services and transportation: 54.8% of GDP.
Trade: Exports (FY 2009 est.)--$164.3 billion; engineering goods, petroleum products, 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--$35.76 billion. Imports (FY 2009 est.)--$268.4 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.

 

Government

Government
Type: Federal republic.
Independence: August 15, 1947.
Constitution: January 26, 1950.
Branches: Executive--president (chief of 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 the People). Judicial--Supreme Court.
Political parties: Indian National Congress (INC), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Communist Party of India-Marxist, and numerous regional and small national parties.
Political subdivisions: 28 states,* 7 union territories (including National Capital Territory of Delhi).
Suffrage: Universal over 18.

 

 

India

Forced to Chant Hindu Slogans, Muslim Man Is Beaten to Death in India (Tue, 25 Jun 2019)
The 12-hour mob attack on a man suspected of theft, shown in widely circulated videos, has become another signal of India’s bitter sectarian divide.
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Twenty Years After a Brutal Massacre, It’s Payback Time (Tue, 25 Jun 2019)
Anita Anand’s “The Patient Assassin” documents the life of a peripatetic Indian laborer who waited decades for a chance to kill an official of the Raj.
>> Read more

Chennai, an Indian City of Nearly 5 Million, Is Running Out of Water (Fri, 21 Jun 2019)
New satellite photos of the city, one of India’s largest, show its reservoirs running dry.
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India’s ‘Street Fighter,’ Cornered by Modi, Faces Fight of Her Life (Sun, 16 Jun 2019)
To end decades of communist rule in West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee took blows to her head. Now Narendra Modi’s party is making life hell for her.
>> Read more

Indian Court Convicts 6 Hindus in Rape and Murder of Muslim Girl, 8 (Mon, 10 Jun 2019)
The men were handed sentences of five years to life imprisonment in the case, which reflected bitter religious divisions in the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir.
>> Read more

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