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India (Bharat)

India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world with rich cultural heritage.
India is a vast South Asian country with diverse terrain. Home to the Indus Valley Civilization and a region of historic trade routes and vast empires, the Indian subcontinent was identified with its commercial and cultural wealth for much of its long history.

Key data

Area: 3.3 Million sq. km
Location: Longitudes 68° 7' and 97° 25' East and latitudes 8° 4' and 37° 6' North.
Highest point: Mount Kanchenjunga 8,598 metres and the lowest point is Indian Ocean.
Coastline: 7516.6 km encompassing the mainland, Lakshadweep Islands, and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
Neighbouring Countries: Shares its borders with Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Nepal and Bhutan. India is seperated from Sri Lanka by a narrow channel of sea.
Population: 1,203,710,000(March 2011)(17% of the world's population)
Population density: 324 person per square kilometer
Population growth: 21.34 %
Sex Ratio: 933 females per 1000 males
Literacy: 65.38 % Ethnic Groups: All the five major racial types - Australoid, Mongoloid, Europoid, Caucasian, and Negroid find representation among the people of India.
Flag: The National Flag is a horizontal tricolour of deep saffron (kesaria) at the top, white in the middle, and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion. At the centre of the white band is a navy blue wheel, which is a representation of the Ashoka Chakra at Sarnath.
National Days: 26th January (Republic Day); 15th August (Independence Day); 2nd October (Gandhi Jayanti; Mahatma Gandhi's Birthday)

Climate

The climate of India can broadly be classified as a tropical monsoon one. But, in spite of much of the northern part of India lying beyond the tropical zone, the entire country has a tropical climate marked by relatively high temperatures and dry winters. There are four seasons:
winter (December-February)
south-west monsoon season (June-September)
post monsoon season (October-November)

Places

Administrative Divisions: 29 States and 7 Union Territories.
The capital city is New Delhi. Other major cities include Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore.
TerrainThe mainland comprises of four regions, namely the great mountain zone, plains of the Ganga and the Indus, the desert region, and the southern peninsula. Extending from the snow-covered Himalayan heights to the tropical rain forests of the south. Bounded by the Great Himalayas in the north, it stretches southwards and at the Tropic of Cancer, tapers off into the Indian Ocean between the Bay of Bengal on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west.
Lying entirely in the northern hemisphere, measures about 3,214 km from north to south and about 2,933 km from east to west.

languages

The 1961 census of India listed 1,652 languages, and 220 Indian languages have died in just the last half-century, with out a trace. Some estimates that one language/dialect is lost every month.
The big six languages - Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil and Urdu - are each spoken by more than 50 million people.
A total of 122 languages are each spoken by more than 10,000 people. India has 22 official languages. Schools teach in 58 different languages. There are newspapers in 87 languages. And, about a dozen major scripts are used to communicate in these languages.
India doesn't have a national language. Hindi and English are both official languages. Indian languages belong to four of the world's major language groups: Indo-European, Dravidian, Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Burman.

Religion

Four major world religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism originated there, while Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam arrived in the first millennium CE and shaped the region's diverse culture.
India has the second (or third) highest population of Muslims in the world. The first Muslims in India are thought to have been traders who came to Kerala during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad. There are 300,000 active mosques in India.
The oldest European church and synagogue in India are in the city of Cochin. Jews and Christians have lived continuously in India since 200 B.C. and 52 A.D. respectively.

Economy

Agriculture is the mainstay of India as it employs more than 50% of the Indian population; the rest are employed in industrial and services sectors. India is among the top five producers of tea, silk, spices, sugar, cotton, rubber, coffee and fish in the world. The Agriculture sector in India accounts for 13.7 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Natural Resources are Coal, iron ore, manganese ore, mica, bauxite, petroleum, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, magnesite, limestone, arable land, dolomite, barytes, kaolin, gypsum, apatite, phosphorite, steatite, fluorite, etc.
India is the largest producer of nitrogenous fertiliser having 40 plants. India ranks 3rd among the coal producing countries but although the reserves are substantial the quality is poor with a very high ash content. Cement Plants are large consumer of energy and the main source is coal. The iron and steel industry is the largest consumer of energy in the industrial sector using electricity.
India is aggressively working towards establishing itself as a leader in industrialisation and technological development. Significant developments in the nuclear energy sector are likely as India looks to expand its nuclear capacity. Moreover, nanotechnology is expected to transform the Indian pharmaceutical industry.
India has the world's largest film industry. More than 1,100 movies are produced, on average, each year, twice as many as the American film industry and ten times as many as Britain produces.

Natural dangers

Natural HazardsMonsoon floods, flash floods, earthquakes, droughts, and landslides. Environment - Current IssuesAir pollution control, energy conservation, solid waste management, oil and gas conservation, forest conservation, etc.

Armed Forces

Active personnel: 1,325,450 (ranked 3rd)
Reserve personnel: 1,155,000
Expenditures: US$40.07 billion (FY 2015)

Science & Technology

The Government aims to invest 2 per cent of the country’s GDP on research and development (R&D) in its 12th Five-Year Plan period (2013-17). At present, the country has a total of 16 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), 30 National Institutes of Technology (NITs), 162 universities awarding about 4,000 doctorate and 35,000 post-graduate degrees, and about 40 research laboratories run by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
Modern India is one of the few nations to have gone into outer space. The country has regularly undertaken space missions, including missions to the moon and the famed Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). 27 satellites including 11 that facilitate the communication network to the country are operational. The space budget includes funds for Aditya-1, India’s first satellite to study the Sun, and is intended to launch after 2017.
India is gradually becoming self-reliant in nuclear technology. Recently, the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project Unit-1 (KKNPP 1) with 1,000 MW capacity was commissioned, while the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project Unit-2 (KKNPP-2) with 1,000 MW capacity is under commissioning.
India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) aims to study the properties of atmospheric neutrinos, which are subatomic particles produced by the decay of radioactive elements. An initiative Marine Advanced Simulation Training (MAST) centre is among the world’s most advanced simulation centres, and would be a part of the ongoing efforts of MOL and its partner Synergy Group, a ship management firm with over 100 vessels under its management, to step up recruitment of seafarers from India.
There are plans to establish an Indian Innovation Centre (IIC) and all states of the country will be its members.
MNCs have shifted or are shifting their research and development (R&D) base to India. According to a report released by Zinnov Management Consulting, “Global R&D Service Providers (GSPR) Rating 2014”, India’s R&D globalisation and services market is set to double by 2020 to US$ 38 billion. Chinese telecom gear maker Huawei has launched a Research and Development (R&D) campus in Bengaluru with an investment of US$ 170 million. Kellogg plans to set up its R&D centre in India in 2015. American chipmaker Broadcom, Dell, Specialty chemicals maker BASF SE, Twitter Inc, Dassault Systemes California based Cohesity, are setting up R&D facilities in India.
India is also expected to witness strong growth in its agriculture and pharmaceutical sectors as the government is investing large sums to set up dedicated research centres for R&D in these sectors. The Indian IT industry is also expected to add to the development of the R&D sector.
National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), an autonomous organisation under the Union Ministry of Culture, is engaged in the establishment of Science Centres across the country.

History

India had broken off from an ancient supercontinent Gondwanaland and was moving slowly northwards. About 50 million years ago, the India continental plate collided with Asia, buckling the coastal area of both continents and creating the Himalayas - the world's youngest and the highest mountain range. Evidence of this is provided by fossilised sea shells that can still be found high in the mountains. The plate on which the subcontinent rests continues to press slowly northwards, and is the reason why the height of Mount Everest increases slightly every year.
Indus/Sarswathi civilization, Vedic, early Tamil sangams age – 7000-4000 BC
End of Ramayana – Mahabharata period – 3000 BC
Saraswati-Indus Dravidian (Tamil) civilisation – 3000-2000 BC
Mass migration – evolution of Hindu culture – 1500BC - 700AD

Who are we Indians?
Difficult to say, with so much of invasion, immigration and interaction with rest of the world. Many empires have disappeared, with out a trace including last British empire after second world war. Today, India is a plural society and a repository of multiplicity of cultures and more than thousands of tribes..
Indian maritime history dates back 5,000 years. The first tidal dock is believed to have been built at Lothal around 2300 BC during the Indus Valley Civilisation. The Rig Veda written around 1500 BC, credits Varuna with knowledge of the ocean routes and describes naval expeditions. There is reference to the side wings of a vessel called Plava, which give stability to the ship under storm conditions. The earliest known reference to an organisation devoted to ships in ancient India is to the Mauryan Empire from the 4th century BC. Powerful militaries included those of the Maurya, Gupta, Satavahana, Chola, Vijayanagara, Mughal and Maratha empires.

Unique to India


National Songs: Lyrics in English and Tamil:

National motto of India
सत्यमेव जयते satyam-eva jayate (Truth alone triumphs)
Vaimaye Vellum (Tamil : வாய்மையே வெல்லும்)
It is inscribed in Devanagari lipi at the base of the national emblem, which is an adaptation of the Buddhist Lion of Asoka at Sarnath

National Anthem

Vande Mataram by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay

Vande Maataram, vande maataram
Sujalam sufalam malayaja-shitalaam
Shashya-shyaamala maataram! Vande maataram
வந்தே மாதரம்! வந்தே மாதரம்!
சுஜலாம் சுபலாம் | மலயஜ சீதலாம்
ஷஸ்ய ஷியாமளாம் | மாதரம் | வந்தே மாதரம்

I bow to thee! Rich with thy hurrying streams, bright with orchard gleams, Cool with thy winds of delight, Dark fields waving Mother of might, Mother free. Shubhra-jyotsna-pulakita yaaminim
Phulakusumati-drumadala shobhinim
Suhaasini sumadhur bhaashinim
Sukhada varada maataram| Vande maataram
ஷுப்ர ஜ்யோத்ஸன புலகித யாமினிம்
புல்லகுஸுமித த்ருமதல ஷோபினிம்
சுஹாசினிம் சுமதுர பாஷினிம்
சுகதாம் வரதாம் மாதரம் | வந்தே மாதரம்
Glory of moonlight dreams, Over thy branches and lordly streams, Clad in thy blossoming trees, Mother, giver of ease Laughing low and sweet! Mother I kiss thy feet, Speaker sweet and low! Mother, to thee I bow.

Koti Koti Kantha Kalakalaninada Karaale
Koti Koti Bhujaidhritakharakaravale
Abalaa Keno Maa Eto Bale
Bahubaladharinim Namami Tarinim
Ripudalavarinim Maataram | Vande Mataram
கோடி கோடி கண்ட கலகல நினாத கராலே
கோடி கோடி புஜைர் த்ருத கர கரவாலே
அபலா கெனோ மா நமாமி தாரிணீம்
பஹுபல தாரிணீம் நமாமி தாரிணீம்
ரிபுதல வாரிணீம் மாதரம் வந்தே மாதரம்
Who hath said thou art weak in thy lands When the sword flesh out in the seventy million hands And seventy million voices roar Thy dreadful name from shore to shore? With many strengths who art mighty and stored, To thee I call Mother and Lord! Though who savest, arise and save! To her I cry who ever her foeman drove Back from plain and Sea And shook herself free.

Tumi Vidyaa Tumi Dharma
Tumi Hridi Tumi Marma
Tvam Hi Pranah Sharire Baahute Tumi Maa Shakti
Hridaye Tumi Maa Bhakti
Tomaara Pratima Gadi | Mandire Mataram | Vande Mataram
துமி வித்யா திமி தர்ம
துமி ருதி துமி மர்ம த்வம் ஹி ப்ராணா சரீரே
பாஹுதே துமி மா சக்தி
ருதயே துமி மா பக்தி
தோமாரயி ப்ரதிமா கடி | மந்திரே மாதரம் | வந்தே மாதரம்
Thou art wisdom, thou art law, Thou art heart, our soul, our breath Though art love divine, the awe In our hearts that conquers death. Thine the strength that nervs the arm, Thine the beauty, thine the charm. Every image made divine In our temples is but thine.

Tvam Hi Durga Dashapraharanadharini
Kamala Kamaladala Vihaarini
Vani Vidyadayini Namami Tvam
Namami Kamalam Amalam Atulam
Sujalam Suphalam Maataram
Shyaamalam Saralam Susmitam Bhushhitam
Dharanim Bharanim Maataram | Vande Mataram...
த்வம் ஹி துர்கா தசப்ரஹண தாரிணீம்
கமலாம் கமலதல விஹாரிணீம்
வாணீ வித்யா தாயினீம் நமாமி த்வாம்
நமாமி கமலாம் அமலாம் அதுலாம்
சுஜலாம் சுபலாம் மாதரம் வந்தே மாதரம்
ச்யாமளாம் சரளாம் ஸுஸ்மிதாம் புஷிதாம்
தரணீம் பரணீம் மாதரம் | வந்தே மாதரம் | வந்தே மாதரம்
Thou art Durga, Lady and Queen, With her hands that strike and her swords of sheen, Thou art Lakshmi lotus-throned, And the Muse a hundred-toned, Pure and perfect without peer, Mother lend thine ear, Rich with thy hurrying streams, Bright with thy orchard gleems, Dark of hue O candid-fairIn thy soul, with jewelled hair And thy glorious smile divine, Lovilest of all earthly lands, Showering wealth from well-stored hands! Mother, mother mine! Mother sweet, I bow to thee, Mother great and free!

Bharata Maata Ki Jay!!!
பாரத மாதா கீ ஜெய்

Invocation to Mother Tamil by Manonmaniam Sundaram Pillai

நீராரும் கடல் உடுத்த நில மடந்தைக் கெழிலொழுகும்
சீராரும் வதனமெனத் திகழ்பரதக் கண்டமிதில்
தெக்கணமும் அதிற்சிறந்த திராவிட நல் திருநாடும்
தக்கசிறு பிறைநுதலும் தரித்தநறும் திலகமுமே!
அத்திலக வாசனைபோல் அனைத்துலகும் இன்பமுற,
எத்திசையும் புகழ்மணக்க இருந்த பெரும் தமிழணங்கே! தமிழணங்கே!
௨ன் சீரிளமைத் திறம்வியந்து | செயல் மறந்து வாழ்த்துதுமே! வாழ்த்துதுமே! வாழ்த்துதுமே!

Bharath is like the face of world land mass clad in wavy seas; Deccan is her brow crescent-like on which the fragrant 'Tilak' is the blessed Dravidian land. Like the fragrance of that 'Tilak' plunging the world in joy supreme reigns Goddess Tamil with renown spread far and wide. Praise unto You, Goddess Tamil, whose majestic youthfulness, inspires awe and ecstasy."


Some Notes on Neighbours

Nepal is one of the oldest Countries in all of Asia, and was never colonized. 8 of the world’s top 10 tallest Mountains lies in Nepal including the tallest of them all, Mount Everest. Gautam Buddha, who is a founder of Buddhist religion was born in Nepal, in a place called Lumbini. Nepal is very diverse Country with nearly 123 ethnic groups, and more than 100 languages. Nepal is also diverse geographically, with plains, Hills and mountains. Nepal also is one of two Hindu majority Countries in the world.

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