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  • Profile

  • History
    • The Indian Mutiny of 1857
    • End of the East India Company
    • Formation of Indian National Congress (INC)
    • Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
    • The Non-Cooperation Movement
    • Simon Commission
    • Civil Disobedience Movement
    • Quit India Movement
    • Second World War
    • Independent India

  • Government
    • Constitution of India
    • Parliament
    • Rajya Sabha
    • Lok Sabha
    • Difference between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha
    • Functions and Powers

  • Land and Population
    • Physical Features
    • States and Union Territories
    • Population

  • Culture
    • Ethnicity of India
    • Festivals
    • Lifestyle, Values & Beliefs
    • Classical Dances
    • Science

  • Profile

    India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world - with a kaleidoscopic variety and rich cultural heritage- spanning a period of more than 4000 years, and witnessing the fusion of several customs and traditions, which are reflective of the rich culture and heritage of the Country.

    The history of the nation gives a glimpse into the magnanimity of its evolution - from a Country reeling under colonialism, to one of the leading economies in the global scenario within a span of fifty years. More than anything, the nationalistic fervour of the people is the contributing force behind the culmination of such a development. This transformation of the nation instills a sense of national pride in the heart of every Indian within the Country and abroad, and this section is a modest attempt at keeping its flame alive.

    India has become self-sufficient in agricultural production, and is now the tenth industrialised country in the world and the sixth nation to have gone into outer space to conquer nature for the benefit of the people. It covers an area of 32,87,263 sq. km, extending from the snow-covered Himalayan heights to the tropical rain forests of the south. As the seventh largest country in the world, India stands apart from the rest of Asia, marked off as it is by mountains and the sea, which give the country a distinct geographical entity. 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, the mainland extends between latitudes 8° 4' and 37° 6' north, longitudes 68° 7' and 97° 25' east, and measures about 3,214 km from north to south between the extreme latitudes and about 2,933 km from east to west between the extreme longitudes. It has a land frontier of about 15,200 km. The total length of the coastline of the mainland, Lakshadweep Islands, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is 7,516.6 km.


  • History

    India's history and culture is dynamic, spanning back to the beginning of human civilization. It begins with a mysterious culture along the Indus River and in farming communities in the southern lands of India. The history of India is punctuated by constant integration of migrating people with the diverse cultures that surround India. Available evidence suggests that the use of iron, copper and other metals was widely prevalent in the Indian sub-continent at a fairly early period, which is indicative of the progress that this part of the world had made. By the end of the fourth millennium BC, India had emerged as a region of highly developed civilization.

    Medieval History of India - For a period that has come to be so strongly associated with the Islamic influence and rule in India, Medieval Indian history went for almost three whole centuries under the so-called indigenous rulers, that included the Chalukyas, the Pallavas, the Pandyas, the Rashtrakutas, the Muslims rulers and finally the Mughal Empire. The most important dynasty to emerge in the middle of the 9th century was that of the Cholas.

    Indian Freedom Struggle (1857-1947) - In ancient times, people from all over the world were keen to come to India. The Aryans came from Central Europe and settled down in India. The Persians followed by the Iranians and Parsis immigrated to India. Then came the Moghuls and they too settled down permanently in India. Chengis Khan, the Mongolian, invaded and looted India many times. Alexander the Great too, came to conquer India but went back after a battle with Porus. He-en Tsang from China came in pursuit of knowledge and to visit the ancient Indian universities of Nalanda and Takshila. Columbus wanted to come to India, but instead landed on the shores of America. Vasco da Gama from Portugal came to trade his country's goods in return for Indian species. The French came and established their colonies in India.

    Lastly, the Britishers came and ruled over India for nearly 200 years. After the battle of Plassey in 1757, the British achieved political power in India. And their paramountcy was established during the tenure of Lord Dalhousie, who became the Governor- General in 1848. He annexed Punjab, Peshawar and the Pathan tribes in the north-west of India. And by 1856, the British conquest and its authority were firmly established. And while the British power gained its heights during the middle of the 19th century, the discontent of the local rulers, the peasantry, the intellectuals, common masses as also of the soldiers who became unemployed due to the disbanding of the armies of various states that were annexed by the British, became widespread. This soon broke out into a revolt which assumed the dimensions of the 1857 Mutiny.

    • The Indian Mutiny of 1857

      The conquest of India, which could be said to have begun with the Battle of Plassey (1757), was practically completed by the end of Dalhousie's tenure in 1856. It had been by no means a smooth affair as the simmering discontent of the people manifested itself in many localized revolt during this period. However, the Mutiny of 1857, which began with a revolt of the military soldiers at Meerut, soon became widespread and posed a grave challenge to the British rule. Even though the British succeeded in crushing it within a year, it was certainly a popular revolt in which the Indian rulers, the masses and the militia participated so enthusiastically that it came to be regarded as the First War of Indian Independence.

      Introduction of zamindari system by the British, where the peasants were ruined through exorbitant charges made from them by the new class of landlords. The craftsmen were destroyed by the influx of the British manufactured goods. The religion and the caste system which formed the firm foundation of the traditional Indian society was endangered by the British administration. The Indian soldiers as well as people in administration could not rise in hierarchy as the senior jobs were reserved for the Europeans. Thus, there was all-round discontent and disgust against the British rule, which burst out in a revolt by the 'sepoys' at Meerut whose religious sentiments were offended when they were given new cartridges greased with cow and pig fat, whose covering had to be stripped out by biting with the mouth before using them in rifles. The Hindu as well as the Muslim soldiers, who refused to use such cartridges, were arrested which resulted in a revolt by their fellow soldiers on May 9, 1857.

      The rebel forces soon captured Delhi and the revolt spread to a wider area and there was uprising in almost all parts of the country. The most ferocious battles were fought in Delhi, Awadh, Rohilkhand, Bundelkhand, Allahabad, Agra, Meerut and western Bihar. The rebellious forces under the commands of Kanwar Singh in Bihar and Bakht Khan in Delhi gave a stunning blow to the British. In Kanpur, Nana Sahib was proclaimed as the Peshwa and the brave leader Tantya Tope led his troops. Rani Lakshmibai was proclaimed the ruler of Jhansi who led her troops in the heroic battles with the British. The Hindus, the Muslims, the Sikhs and all the other brave sons of India fought shoulder to shoulder to throw out the British. The revolt was controlled by the British within one year, it began from Meerut on 10 May 1857 and ended in Gwalior on 20 June 1858.

    • End of the East India Company

      Consequent to the failure of the Revolt of 1857 rebellion, one also saw the end of the East India Company's rule in India and many important changes took place in the British Government's policy towards India which sought to strengthen the British rule through winning over the Indian princes, the chiefs and the landlords. Queen Victoria's Proclamation of November 1, 1858 declared that thereafter India would be governed by and in the name of the British Monarch through a Secretary of State.

      The Governor General was given title of Viceroy, which meant the representative of the Monarch. Queen Victoria assumed the title of the Empress of India and thus gave the British Government unlimited powers to intervene in the internal affair of the Indian states. In brief, the British paramountcy over India, including the Indian States, was firmly established. The British gave their support to the loyal princes, zamindar and local chiefs but neglected the educated people and the common masses. They also promoted the other interests like those of the British merchants, industrialists, planters and civil servants. The people of India, as such, did not have any say in running the government or formulation of its policies. Consequently, people's disgust with the British rule kept mounting, which gave rise to the birth of Indian National Movement.

      The leadership of the freedom movement passed into the hands of reformists like Raja Rammohan Roy, Bankim Chandra and Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. During this time, the binding psychological concept of National Unity was also forged in the fire of the struggle against a common foreign oppressor.

      Raja Rammohan Roy (1772-1833) founded the Brahmo Samaj in 1828 which aimed at purging the society of all its evil practices. He worked for eradicating evils like sati, child marriage and purdah system, championed widow marriage and women's education and favoured English system of education in India. It was through his effort that sati was declared a legal offence by the British.

      Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) the disciple of Ramakrishna Pramhamsa, established the Ramkrishna Mission at Belur in 1897. He championed the supremacy of Vedantic philosophy. His talk at the Chicago (USA) Conference of World Religions in 1893 made the westerners realize the greatness of Hinduism for the first time.

    • Formation of Indian National Congress (INC)

      The foundations of the Indian National Movement were laid by Suredranath Banerjee with the formation of Indian Association at Calcutta in 1876. The aim of the Association was to represent the views of the educated middle class, inspire the Indian community to take the value of united action. The Indian Association was, in a way, the forerunner of the Indian National Congress, which was founded, with the help of A.O. Hume, a retired British official. The birth of Indian National Congress (INC) in 1885 marked the entry of new educated middle-class into politics and transformed the Indian political horizon. The first session of the Indian National Congress was held in Bombay in December 1885 under the president ship of Womesh Chandra Banerjee and was attended among others by and Badr-uddin-Tyabji.

      At the turn of the century, the freedom movement reached out to the common unlettered man through the launching of the "Swadeshi Movement" by leaders such as Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Aurobindo Ghose. The Congress session at Calcutta in 1906, presided by Dadabhai Naoroji, gave a call for attainment of 'Swaraj' a type of self-government elected by the people within the British Dominion, as it prevailed in Canada and Australia, which were also the parts of the British Empire.

      Meanwhile, in 1909, the British Government announced certain reforms in the structure of Government in India which are known as Morley-Minto Reforms. But these reforms came as a disappointment as they did not mark any advance towards the establishment of a representative Government. The provision of special representation of the Muslim was seen as a threat to the Hindu-Muslim unity on which the strength of the National Movement rested. So, these reforms were vehemently opposed by all the leaders, including the Muslim leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Subsequently, King George V made two announcements in Delhi: firstly, the partition of Bengal, which had been effected in 1905, was annulled and, secondly, it was announced that the capital of India was to be shifted from Calcutta to Delhi.

      The disgust with the reforms announced in 1909 led to the intensification of the struggle for Swaraj. While, on one side, the extremist led by the great leaders like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pal waged a virtual war against the British, on the other side, the revolutionaries stepped up their violent activities There was a widespread unrest in the country. To add to the already growing discontent among the people, Rowlatt Act was passed in 1919, which empowered the Government to put people in jail without trial. This caused widespread indignation, led to massive demonstration and hartals, which the Government repressed with brutal measures like the Jaliawalla Bagh massacre, where thousand of unarmed peaceful people were gunned down on the order of General Dyer.

    • Jallianwala Bagh Massacre

      Jalianwala Bagh massacre of April 13, 1919 was one of the most inhuman acts of the British rulers in India. The people of Punjab gathered on the auspicious day of Baisakhi at Jalianwala Bagh, adjacent to Golden Temple (Amritsar), to lodge their protest peacefully against persecution by the British Indian Government. General Dyer appeared suddenly with his armed police force and fired indiscriminately at innocent empty handed people leaving hundreds of people dead, including women and children.

      After the First World War (1914-1918), Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi became the undisputed leader of the Congress. During this struggle, Mahatma Gandhi had developed the novel technique of non-violent agitation, which he called 'Satyagraha', loosely translated as 'moral domination'. Gandhi, himself a devout Hindu, also espoused a total moral philosophy of tolerance, brotherhood of all religions, non-violence (ahimsa) and of simple living. With this, new leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhash Chandra Bose also emerged on the scene and advocated the adoption of complete independence as the goal of the National Movement.

    • The Non-Cooperation Movement

      Under leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, the Congress launched a series of mass movements - the Non-Cooperation Movement of 1920 -1922 and the Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930.

      The Non-Cooperation Movement was triggered by the famous Salt (Dandi) March, when Gandhi captured the imagination of the nation by leading a band of followers from his ashram at Sabarmati, on a 200 mile trek to the remote village of Dandi on the west coast, there to prepare salt in symbolic violation of British law. He inspired millions of others to take the first step on the road to emancipation and equality.

    • Simon Commission

      The Non-cooperation movement failed. Therefore there was a lull in political activities. The Simon Commission was sent to India in 1927 by the British Government to suggest further reforms in the structure of Indian Government. The Commission did not include any Indian member and the Government showed no intention of accepting the demand for Swaraj. Therefore, it sparked a wave of protests all over the country and the Congress as well as the Muslim League gave a call to boycott it under the leadership of Lala Lajpat Rai. The crowds were lathicharged and Lala Lajpat Rai, also called Sher-e-Punjab (Lion of Punjab) died of the blows received in an agitation.

    • Civil Disobedience Movement

      Mahatma Gandhi led the Civil Disobedience Movement that was launched in the Congress Session of December 1929. The aim of this movement was a complete disobedience of the orders of the British Government. During this movement it was decided that India would celebrate 26th January as Independence Day all over the country. On 26th January 1930, meetings were held all over the country and the Congress tricolour was hoisted. The British Government tried to repress the movement and resorted to brutal firing, killing hundreds of people. Thousands were arrested along with Gandhiji and Jawaharlal Nehru. But the movement spread to all the four corners of the country Following this, Round Table Conferences were arranged by the British and Gandhiji attended the second Round Table Conference at London. But nothing came out of the conference and the Civil Disobedience Movement was revived.

      During this time, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were arrested on the charges of throwing a bomb in the Central Assembly Hall (which is now Lok Sabha). And were hanged to death on March 23, 1931.

    • Quit India Movement

      In August 1942, Gandhiji started the 'Quit India Movement' and decided to launch a mass civil disobedience movement 'Do or Die' call to force the British to leave India. The movement was followed, nonetheless, by large-scale violence directed at railway stations, telegraph offices, government buildings, and other emblems and institutions of colonial rule. There were widespread acts of sabotage, and the government held Gandhi responsible for these acts of violence, suggesting that they were a deliberate act of Congress policy. However, all the prominent leaders were arrested, the Congress was banned and the police and army were brought out to suppress the movement.

      Meanwhile, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, who stealthily ran away from the British detention in Calcutta, reached foreign lands and organized the Indian National Army (INA) to overthrow the British from India.

      The Second World War broke out in September of 1939 and without consulting the Indian leaders, India was declared a warring state (on behalf of the British) by the Governor General. Subhash Chandra Bose, with the help of Japan, preceded fighting the British forces and not only freed Andaman and Nicobar Islands from the Britishers but also entered the north-eastern border of India. But in 1945 Japan was defeated and Netaji proceeded from Japan through an aeroplane to a place of safety but met with an accident and it was given out that he died in that air-crash itself.

      "Give me blood and I shall give you freedom" - was one of the most popular statements made by him, where he urges the people of India to join him in his freedom movement.

    • Second World War

      At the conclusion of the Second World War, the Labour Party, under Prime Minister Clement Richard Attlee, came to power in Britain. The Labour Party was largely sympathetic towards Indian people for freedom. A Cabinet Mission was sent to India in March 1946, which after a careful study of the Indian political scenario, proposed the formation of an interim Government and convening of a Constituent Assembly comprising members elected by the provincial legislatures and nominees of the Indian states. An interim Government was formed headed by Jawaharlal Nehru. However, the Muslim League refused to participate in the deliberations of the Constituent Assembly and pressed for the separate state for Pakistan. Lord Mountbatten, the Viceroy of India, presented a plan for the division of India into India and Pakistan, and the Indian leaders had no choice but to accept the division, as the Muslim League was adamant.

    • Independent India

      Thus, India became free at the stroke of midnight, on August 14, 1947. (Since then, every year India celebrates its Independence Day on 15th August). Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minster of free India and continued his term till 1964. Giving voice to the sentiments of the nation, Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said,

      "Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we will redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.... We end today a period of ill fortune, and India discovers herself again."


  • Government

    India, also known as Bharat, is a Union of States. India is officially referred to as Republic of India; ( or Bharat Ganrajya in Hindi). It is a Sovereign Socialist Democratic Republic with a parliamentary system of government. New Delhi is the capital of India. The Republic is governed in terms of the Constitution of India which was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26th November 1949 and came into force on 26th January 1950. India consists of 29 States a 7 Union Territories. India became Independent on August 15, 1947 from the British colonial rules. The Constitution of India is the fountain source of the legal system in the country.

    The President of India is the Head of the State, while the Prime Minister is the Head of the Government, and runs office with the support of the Council of Ministers who form the Cabinet Ministry.

    The Indian Legislature comprises of the Lok Sabha (House of the People) and the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) forming both the Houses of the Parliament.

    The Supreme Court of India is the apex body of the Indian legal system, followed by other High Courts and subordinate Courts.

    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 are: 26th January (Republic Day), 15th August (Independence Day), 2nd October (Gandhi Jayanti; Mahatma Gandhi's Birthday)

    • Constitution of India

      The Constitution provides for a Parliamentary form of government which is federal in structure with certain unitary features. The constitutional head of the Executive of the Union is the President. As per Article 79 of the Constitution of India, the council of the Parliament of the Union consists of the President and two Houses known as the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) and the House of the People (Lok Sabha). Article 74(1) of the Constitution provides that there shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as its head to aid and advise the President, who shall exercise his functions in accordance to the advice. The real executive power is thus vested in the Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as its head.

      The Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the House of the People (Lok Sabha). Every State has a Legislative Assembly. Certain States have an upper House also called State Legislative Council. There is a Governor for each state who is appointed by the President. Governor is the Head of the State and the executive power of the State is vested in him. The Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister as its head advises the Governor in the discharge of the executive functions. The Council of the Ministers of a state is collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly of the State.

      The Constitution distributes legislative powers between Parliament and State legislatures as per the lists of entries in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution. The residuary powers vest in the Parliament. The centrally administered territories are called Union Territories.

    • Parliament

      Parliament is the supreme legislative body of India. The Indian Parliament comprises of the President and the two Houses-Lok Sabha (House of the People) and Rajya Sabha (Council of States). The President has the power to summon and prorogue either House of Parliament or to dissolve Lok Sabha.

      The Constitution of India came into force on January 26, 1950. The first general elections under the new Constitution were held during the year 1951-52 and the first elected Parliament came into being in April, 1952, the Second Lok Sabha in April, 1957, the Third Lok Sabha in April, 1962, the Fourth Lok Sabha in March, 1967, the Fifth Lok Sabha in March, 1971, the Sixth Lok Sabha in March, 1977, the Seventh Lok Sabha in January, 1980, the Eighth Lok Sabha in December, 1984, the Ninth Lok Sabha in December, 1989, the Tenth Lok Sabha in June, 1991, the Eleventh Lok Sabha in May, 1996, the Twelfth Lok Sabha in March, 1998 and Thirteenth Lok Sabha in October, 1999.

    • Rajya Sabha

      The origin of Rajya Sabha can be traced back to 1919, when in pursuance to the Government of India Act, 1919, a second chamber known as the Council of States was created. This Council of States, comprising of mostly nominated members was a deformed version of second chamber without reflecting true federal features. The Council continued to function till India became independent. The Rajya Sabha, its Hindi nomenclature was adopted in 23 August, 1954.

      The Rajya Sabha is to consist of not more than 250 members - 238 members representing the States and Union Territories, and 12 members nominated by the President.

      Rajya Sabha is a permanent body and is not subject to dissolution. However, one third of the members retire every second year, and are replaced by newly elected members. Each member is elected for a term of six years.

      The Vice President of India is the ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha. The House also elects a Deputy Chairman from among its members. Besides, there is also a panel of "Vice Chairmen" in the Rajya Sabha. The senior most Minister, who is a member of Rajya Sabha, is appointed by the Prime Minister as Leader of the House.

    • Lok Sabha

      Parliamentary institutions in India, with all their modern ramifications, owe their origin to India's British connections. Until 1853, there was no legislative body distinct from the Executive. The Charter Act of 1853, for the first time provided some sort of a legislature in the form of a 12 member Legislative Council. The Indian Independence Act, 1947 declared the Constituent Assembly of India to be a full sovereign body. Apart from being a Constitution drafting body, it also assumed full powers for the governance of the country. With the coming into force of the Constitution on 26 January, 1950, the Constituent Assembly functioned as the Provisional Parliament until the first Lok Sabha, then known as the House of People, and was constituted following General Elections in 1952. Lok Sabha, the Hindi nomenclature was adopted on 14 May, 1954.

      The Lok Sabha is composed of representatives of people chosen by direct election on the basis of Universal Adult Suffrage. The Constitution provides that the maximum strength of the House be 552 members - 530 members to represent the States, 20 members to represent the Union Territories, and 2 members to be nominated by the President from the Anglo-Indian Community. At present, the strength of the House is 545 members.

      The term of the Lok Sabha, unless dissolved, is five years from the date appointed for its first meeting. However, while a proclamation of emergency is in operation, this period may be extended by Parliament by law for a period not exceeding one year at a time and not extending in any case, beyond a period of six months after the proclamation has ceased to operate.

    • Difference between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha

      Members of Lok Sabha are directly elected by the eligible voters. Members of Rajya Sabha are elected by the elected members of State Legislative Assemblies in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote.

      The normal life of every Lok Sabha is 5 years only while Rajya Sabha is a permanent body.

      Lok Sabha is the House to which the Council of Ministers is responsible under the Constitution. Money Bills can only be introduced in Lok Sabha. Also it is Lok Sabha, which grants the money for running the administration of the country.

      Rajya Sabha has special powers to declare that it is necessary and expedient in the national interest that Parliament may make laws with respect to a matter in the State List or to create by law one or more all-India services common to the Union and the States.

    • Functions and Powers

      The cardinal functions of the Legislature include overseeing of administration, passing of budget, ventilation of public grievances, and discussing various subjects like development plans, international relations, and national policies. The Parliament can, under certain circumstances, assume legislative power with respect to a subject falling within the sphere, exclusively reserved for the states. The Parliament is also vested with powers to impeach the President, remove judges of Supreme and High Courts, the Chief Election Commissioner, and Comptroller and Auditor General in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Constitution. All legislation requires the consent of both Houses of Parliament. In the case of Money Bills, the will of the Lok Sabha prevails. The Parliament is also vested with the power to initiate amendments in the Constitution.


  • Land and Population
    • Physical Features

      Countries having a common border with India are Afghanistan and Pakistan to the north-west, China, Bhutan and Nepal to the north, Myanmar to the east and Bangladesh to the east of West Bengal. Sri Lanka is separated from India by a narrow channel of sea formed by the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar.

    • States and Union Territories

      India, a union of states, is a Sovereign, Secular, Democratic Republic with a Parliamentary system of Government. The President is the constitutional head of Executive of the Union. In the states, the Governor, as the representative of the President, is the head of Executive. The system of government in states closely resembles that of the Union. There are 29 states and 7 Union territories in the country. Union Territories are administered by the President through an Administrator appointed by him. From the largest to the smallest, each State/UT of India has a unique demography, history and culture, dress, festivals, language etc.

    • Population

      India's population as on 1 March 2001 stood at 1,028 million (532.1 million males and 496.4 million females). India accounts for a meagre 2.4 per cent of the world surface area of 135.79 million sq km. Yet, it supports and sustains a whopping 16.7 per cent of the world population.

      The Birth rate according to the 2001 census is 24.8. The Death rate according to the 2001 census is 8.9. Life Expectancy Rate 63.9 years (Males); 66.9 years (Females) (As of Sep 2005). All the five major racial types - Australoid, Mongoloid, Europoid, Caucasian, and Negroid find representation among the people of India.

      There are 22 National Languages have been recognized by the Constitution of India, of which Hindi is the Official Union Language. Besides these, there are 844 different dialects that are practiced in various parts of the Country. According to the provisional results of the 2001 census, the literacy rate in the Country stands at 64.84 per cent, 75.26% for males and 53.67% for females.

    Major Airports: Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi and Thiruvananthapuram.

    Major Ports of Entry: Kandla, Mumbai, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Kochi, Tuticorin, Chennai, Vishakhapatnam, Paradip, Kolkata, and Haldia.

    Time Zone: GMT +5 ½ hours.

    Currency Unit: Indian Rupee (INR), 100 paise=1 INR. Coins in vogue - 50 paise, INR 1 and 5. Currency notes INR 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000.


  • Culture

    The Indian culture varies like its vast geography. People speak in different languages, dress differently, follow different religions, eat different food but are of the same temperament. So whether it is a joyous occasion or a moment of grief, people participate whole-heartedly, feeling the happiness or pain. A festival or a celebration is never constrained to a family or a home. The whole community or neighbourhood is involved in bringing liveliness to an occasion. Likewise, an Indian wedding is a celebration of union, not only of the bride and groom, but also of two families, maybe cultures or religion too! Similarly, in times of sorrow, neighbours and friends play an important part in easing out the grief.

    • Ethnicity of India

      With a population of more than 1,027 million as accounted by the March 1, 2001 population census, India is a colourful canvas portraying a unique assimilation of ethnic groups displaying varied cultures and religions. In fact, this uniqueness in the ethnicity of the country is the factor that makes it different from other nations. Moreover, the vastness of India's nationalism, accounting to a plethora of cultural extravaganza, religions, etc. is the reason that the country is seen more as a seat for a major world civilization than a mere nation-state.

      Since ancient times, the spiritual land of India has displayed varied hues of culture, religion, race, language, and so on. This variety in race, culture, religion, etc. accounts for the existence of different ethnic groups who, although, live within the sanctums of one single nation, profess different social habits and characteristics. Regional territories in India play an important role in differentiating these ethnic groups, with their own social and cultural identities. The religions that are prevalent in the country are Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism, with the freedom for citizens to practice any religion they want to. With the governance of 35 different states and union territories in the country, there has originated a sense of regionalism amongst the various parts, with different states displaying different cultures, which although eventually fuse through a common bond to showcase a national cultural identity. The Constitution of India has recognised 22 different languages that are prevalent in the country, out of which, Hindi is the official language and is spoken in most of the urban cities of India. Other than these 22 languages, there are hundreds of dialects that add to the multilingual nature of the country.

    • Festivals

      India is a land of festivals and fairs. Virtually celebrating each day of the year, there are more festivals celebrated in India than anywhere else in the world. Each festival pertains to different occasions, some welcome the seasons of the year, the harvest, the rains, or the full moon. Others celebrate religious occasions, the birthdays of divine beings and saints, or the advent of the New Year. A number of these festivals are common to most parts of India. However, they may be called by different names in various parts of the country or may be celebrated in a different fashion. Some of the festivals celebrated all over India are mentioned below. However, this section is still under enhancement. There are many other important festivals celebrated by various communities in India and this section shall be further enriched with information about them...

    • Lifestyle, Values & Beliefs

      India is a diverse country, a fact that is visibly prominent in its people, culture and climate. From the eternal snows of the Himalayas to the cultivated peninsula of far South, from the deserts of the West to the humid deltas of the East, from the dry heat and cold of the Central Plateau to the cool forest foothills, Indian lifestyles clearly glorify the geography.

      The food, clothing and habits of an Indian differ in accordance to the place of origin.

    • Classical Dances

      Dance in India, is rooted to age-old tradition. This vast sub-continent has given birth to varied forms of dancing, each shaped by the influences of a particular period and environment. The nation offers a number of classical dance forms, each of which can be traced to different parts of the country. Each form represents the culture and ethos of a particular region or a group of people.

      • Bharatanatyam
      • Kathakali
      • Kathak
      • Odissi
      • Manipuri
      • Mohiniattam
      • Kuchipudi
      • Kutiyattam
    • Science

      The global image of India is that of an upcoming and progressive nation. True, India has leaped many boundaries in all sectors- commerce, technology and development etc in the recent past, yet she has not neglected her other creative genius. Wondering what it is? Well, it the alternative science that has been continuously practiced in India since times immemorial. Ayurveda, is a distinct form of medicine made purely of herbs and natural weeds, that can cure any ailment of the world. Ayurveda has also been mentioned in the Ancient Indian epics like Ramayana. Even today, when the western concept of medicine has reached its zenith, there are people looking for alternative methods of treatment for its multifarious qualities.

      With increasing complexities in one's lives these days, people are perpetually looking for a medium through which they get some peace of mind. This is where another science, that of meditation and spirituality comes into the scene. Meditation and Yoga are synonymous with India and Indian spirituality. Meditation is one of the most important components of Yoga, which is a mind-body therapy involving a series of exercises. The word 'meditation' covers many disparate practices from visualizing situations, focusing on objects or images, thinking through a complex idea, or even getting lost in a provocative book, all qualifying as meditation in the broad sense. However in Yoga, meditation generally refers to the more formal practice of focusing the mind and observing oneself in the moment. Many people from India and abroad are resorting to yoga and meditation to de-stress and rejuvenate their mind.

      Another widely followed phenomena in India is the Doctrine of Karma that preaches that every person should behave justly as every act or deed comes back in full circle in one of the births of an individual.

      A very important aspect of India in the recent past is the emergence of the New Age woman. Women in India are predominantly homemakers, though this perspective is changing. In many places, especially metros and other cities, women are the bread earners of the house or are at par with their male counterparts. The increase in the cost of living/economy has also contributed to the rise in this aspect.

      The beauty of the Indian people lies in their spirit of tolerance, give-and-take and a composition of cultures that can be compared to a garden of flowers of various colours and shades of which, while maintaining their own entity, lend harmony and beauty to the garden - India!



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