YOU CAN EDIT THIS PAGE! Just click any blue "Edit" link and start writing!

India

From Wikitravel
Revision as of 08:08, 9 September 2003 by 210.55.146.223 (talk) (weeding)
Jump to: navigation, search
India

Default Banner.jpg

Flag
In-flag.png
Quick Facts
CapitalNew Delhi
Governmentfederal republic
CurrencyIndian rupee (INR)
Areatotal: 3,287,590 sq km
land: 2,973,190 sq km
water: 314,400 sq km
Population1,045,845,226 (July 2002 est.)
LanguageEnglish enjoys associate status but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindi is the national language and primary tongue of 30% of the people; there are 14 other official languages: Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, and Sanskrit; Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language
ReligionHindu 81.3%, Muslim 12%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other groups including Buddhist, Jain, Parsi 2.5% (2000)


This article is an import from the CIA World Factbook 2002. It's a starting point for creating a real Wikitravel country article according to our country article template. Please plunge forward and edit it.

The Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world, goes back at least 5,000 years. Aryan tribes from the northwest invaded about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier inhabitants created the classical Indian culture. Arab incursions starting in the 8th century and Turkish in 12th were followed by European traders beginning in the late 15th century. By the 19th century, Britain had assumed political control of virtually all Indian lands. Nonviolent resistance to British colonialism under Mohandas GANDHI and Jawaharlal NEHRU led to independence in 1947.

The subcontinent was divided into the secular state of India and the smaller Muslim state of Pakistan. A third war between the two countries in 1971 resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. Fundamental concerns in India include the ongoing dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir, massive overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and ethnic and religious strife, all this despite impressive gains in economic investment and output.


Geography

In-map.png
Map of India
Location 
Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan
Geographic coordinates 
20 00 N, 77 00 E
Map references 
Asia
Area 
total: 3,287,590 sq km
land: 2,973,190 sq km
water: 314,400 sq km
Area - comparative 
slightly more than one-third the size of the US
Land boundaries 
total: 14,103 km
border countries: Bangladesh 4,053 km, Bhutan 605 km, Burma 1,463 km, China 3,380 km, Nepal 1,690 km, Pakistan 2,912 km


Climate 
varies from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north
Terrain 
upland plain (Deccan Plateau) in south, flat to rolling plain along the Ganges, deserts in west, Himalayas in north
Elevation extremes 
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Kanchenjunga 8,598 m
Natural hazards 
droughts; flash floods, as well as widespread and destructive flooding from monsoonal rains; severe thunderstorms; earthquakes
Environment - current issues 
deforestation; soil erosion; overgrazing; desertification; air pollution from industrial effluents and vehicle emissions; water pollution from raw sewage and runoff of agricultural pesticides; tap water is not potable throughout the country; huge and growing population is overstraining natural resources

People

Population 
1,045,845,226 (July 2002 est.)


Languages 
English enjoys associate status but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindi is the national language and primary tongue of 30% of the people; there are 14 other official languages: Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, and Sanskrit; Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language

Government

Capital 
New Delhi
Administrative divisions 
28 states and 7 union territories*; Andaman and Nicobar Islands*, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh*, Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli*, Daman and Diu*, Delhi*, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep*, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Pondicherry*, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal

Economy

Economy - overview 
India's economy encompasses traditional village farming, modern agriculture, handicrafts, a wide range of modern industries, and a multitude of support services. Overpopulation severely handicaps the economy and about a quarter of the population is too poor to be able to afford an adequate diet. Government controls have been reduced on imports and foreign investment, and privatization of domestic output has proceeded slowly. The economy has posted an excellent average growth rate of 6% since 1990, reducing poverty by about 10 percentage points. India has large numbers of well-educated people skilled in the English language; India is a major exporter of software services and software workers. The poor monsoon of mid-2002 has reduced agricultural output substantially.


Currency 
Indian rupee (INR)
Currency code 
INR
Exchange rates 
Indian rupees per US dollar - 48.336 (January 2002), 47.186 (2001), 44.942 (2000), 43.055 (1999), 41.259 (1998), 36.313 (1997)

Communications

Internet country code 
.in

Transportation

Ports and harbors 
Chennai (Madras), Cochin, Jawaharal Nehru, Kandla, Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay), Vishakhapatnam

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international 
discussions with Bangladesh remain stalled to delimit a small section of river boundary, demarcate and fence off the entire boundary, exchange 162 minuscule enclaves, and allocate divided villages while skirmishes, illegal trafficking, and violence along the border continue; Bangladesh has protested India's attempts to fence off high traffic sections of the porous boundary; dispute with Bangladesh over New Moore/South Talpatty Island in the Bay of Bengal; much of the rugged, militarized boundary with China is in dispute but talks to resolve the least contested middle sector resumed in 2001; with Pakistan, armed stand-off over the status and sovereignty of Kashmir continues; dispute with Pakistan over terminus of Rann of Kutch prevents extension of a maritime boundary; water-sharing problems with Pakistan persist over the Indus River (Wular Barrage); Joint Border Committee formed with Nepal in 2001 is intended to resolve 53 disputed sections of boundary covering an area of 720 sq km
Illicit drugs 
world's largest producer of licit opium for the pharmaceutical trade, but an undetermined quantity of opium is diverted to illicit international drug markets; transit point for illicit narcotics produced in neighboring countries; illicit producer of methaqualone; vulnerable to narcotics money laundering through the hawala system