country in South Asia

India (Hindi: Bhārat), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: Bhārat Gaṇarājya),[20] also commonly called Hindustan,[21] is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area. It is also the largest country by number of people.[22] It is the world's largest democracy by number of people since 1947.[23][24][25]

Republic of India
Bhārat Gaṇarājya
Motto: "Satyameva Jayate" (Sanskrit)
"Truth Alone Triumphs"[1]
Anthem: "Jana Gana Mana"[a][2][3]
"Thou Art the Ruler of the Minds of All People"[4][2]
National song
"Vande Mātaram" (Sanskrit)[b]
"I Bow to Thee, Mother"[c][1][2]
Image of a globe centred on India, with India highlighted.
Land under the control of India is shown in dark green.
Land claimed but not under the control of India is shown in light green.
CapitalNew Delhi
28°36′50″N 77°12′30″E / 28.61389°N 77.20833°E / 28.61389; 77.20833
Largest city
Official languages
Recognised regional languages
Native languages447 languages[f]
GovernmentFederal parliamentary republic
• President
Droupadi Murmu
Jagdeep Dhankhar
Narendra Modi
Rajya Sabha
Lok Sabha
• Dominion
15 August 1947
• Republic
26 January 1950
• Total
3,287,263[2] km2 (1,269,219 sq mi)[g] (7th)
• Water (%)
• 2023 estimate
Neutral increase 1,428,627,663[13] (1st)
• 2011 census
Neutral increase 1,210,854,977[14][15] (2nd)
• Density
[convert: invalid number] (30th)
GDP (PPP)2024 estimate
• Total
Increase $14.594 trillion[16] (3rd)
• Per capita
Increase $10,123[16] (125th)
GDP (nominal)2024 estimate
• Total
Increase $3.937 trillion[16] (5th)
• Per capita
Increase $2,731[16] (136th)
Gini (2021)Positive decrease 32.8[17]
HDI (2022)Increase 0.644[18]
medium · 134th
CurrencyIndian rupee (₹) (INR)
Time zoneUTC+05:30 (IST)
DST is not observed
Date format
Driving sideleft[19]
Calling code+91
ISO 3166 codeIN
Internet (others)

India is a peninsula. It has has the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, and the Himalayas on the north. It has six neighbours: Pakistan in the northwest;[i] China, Nepal and Bhutan in the north; and Bangladesh and Myanmar in the east. Sri Lanka and the Maldives are nearby to the south. Its Andaman and Nicobar Islands are near Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand.

Modern humans came to the Indian subcontinent from Africa more than 55,000 years ago.[26][27][28] They have lived there for long time. At first, they had lived in the subcontinent as hunter-gatherers. The Indian subcontinent is the second most diverse region after Africa.[29] Humans began to create settlements in the subcontinent 9,000 years ago, on the western banks of the Indus River. The settlements became parts of the Indus Valley Civilisation in the third millennium BCE.[30] By 1200 BCE, Sanskrit, an Indo-European language, spread to India from the northwest.[31][32] The first presence of Sanskrit is found in the hymns (songs of worship) of the Rigveda. The hymns were spread from one person to another orally, not by any book. They show the early forms of Hinduism.[33] The Indo-Aryan languages replaced the Dravidian languages in the northern and western regions of India.[34] By 400 BCE, the caste system was developed within Hinduism.[35] Buddhism and Jainism were also developed in India at the same time.[36]

India has been a federal republic since 1950. Its government is a democratic parliamentary system. It is a multilingual (multiple languages) and multicultural (multiple cultures) society.[37] The capital city of India is New Delhi. India has the second largest military force in the world and is also a nuclear weapon state.[38] India's economy became the world's fastest growing in the G20 developing nations during 2014, replacing the People's Republic of China.[39] India's literacy and wealth are also rising.[40]

India has the fifth largest economy by nominal GDP, the third largest by GDP (PPP) and is one of the fastest growing major economy. According to New World Wealth, India is the fifth richest country in the world with a total individual wealth of $12.6 trillion.[41][42] However, it still has many social and economic issues, for example poverty, pollution, social equality, religious extremism, terrorism and corruption.[43] India has reduced its rate of poverty. But its economic inequality has increased.[44]

India is a founding member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and has signed the Kyoto Protocol. It is also a member of the G20 developing nations. India has its own space agency (ISRO). It has done many research throughout the Solar System. It has sent spacecraft to the Moon and Mars. Indian movies, music and spiritual teachings are becoming more important in global culture.[45] Sources describe it as a potential superpower, because of its rising economy and increase in global influence. India is a country with nuclear weapons. It also has a high rank in military expenditure. It has disputes over Kashmir with its neighbours, Pakistan and China, since the middle of the 20th century.[46]

India has the fourth largest number of spoken languages per country in the world, only behind Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and Nigeria.[47] Most of Indians follow Hinduism at 80%, but people of different religions such as Buddhism, Sikhism and Islam also live there.[48]

Origin of the name


The Oxford English Dictionary (third edition 2009) says that the name "India" comes from the Classical Latin name India. It was originally the name for the Indus Valley (modern-Pakistan).[49] Latin took the name from ancient Greek Indos ( Ἰνδός) and then from Old Persian Hinduš both which means the Indus river basin. The Old Persian name was used for the eastern province Sindh of the Achaemenid Empire. The name has a relation with the Sanskrit word sindhu. It means "river", especially the Indus River.[50][51] The ancient Greeks called Indians as Indoi (Ἰνδοί), which means "the people of the Indus".[52]

The name Bhārat (भारत; pronounced [ˈbʱaːɾət] ( listen)) is found in both Indian epic poetry and the Constitution of India.[53][54] It is used in different Indian languages in different forms. Bhārat is a modern form of the older name Bharātavarṣa (भारतवर्ष). It original meaning was the northern part of India.[55][56] It has become a very popular name for India since the middle of the 19th century.[53][57]

Hindustān ([ɦɪndʊˈstaːn] ( listen)) is a Middle Persian name for India. It became popular by the 13th century.[58] It is used widely since the Mughal Empire.[59]


The Taj Mahal in Agra was built by Shah Jahan as a memorial to his wife Mumtaz Mahal. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is thought to be of "outstanding universal value".[60]

One of the oldest language of the world, Tamil, was born in today's India. Which is more than 3000 years old.[61] Later, a king named Chandragupt Maurya built an empire called the Maurya Empire in 300 BC. It made most of South Asia into one whole country.[62] From 180 BC, many other countries invaded India. Even later (100 BC  AD 1100), other Indian dynasties (empires) came, including the Chalukyas, Cholas, Pallavas, and Pandyas.[63] Southern India at that time was famous for its science, art, and writing. The Cholas of Thanjavur were pioneers at war in the seas and influenced Malaya, Borneo, Cambodia. The influence of Cholas are still noticeable in Southeast Asia.[64]

Many dynasties ruled India around the year 1000. Some of these were the Mughal, Vijayanagara, and the Maratha empires. In the 1600s, European countries invaded India, and the British controlled most of India by 1856.[65]

In the early 1900s, millions of people peacefully started to protest against British control. One of the people who led the freedom movement was Mahatma Gandhi, who only used peaceful tactics, including a way called "ahimsa", which means "non-violence".[66] On 15 August 1947, India peacefully became free and independent from the British Empire. India's constitution was founded on 26 January 1950. Every year, on this day, Indians celebrate Republic Day. The first official leader (Prime Minister) of India was Jawaharlal Nehru.

After 1947, India had a socialist planned economy. It is one of the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement and the United Nations. It has fought many wars since independence from Britain, including the wars in 1947-48, 1965, 1971, and 1999 with Pakistan and in 1962 with China. It also fought a war to capture Goa, a Portuguese-built port and a city that was not a part of India until 1961. The Portuguese refused to give it to the country, and so India had to use force and the Portuguese were defeated. India has also done nuclear tests in 1974 and 1998. It is one of the few countries that have nuclear bombs.[67] Since 1991, India has been one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.[68]


Rivers of India

India is the seventh biggest country in the world. It is the main part of the Indian subcontinent. The countries next to India are Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Bhutan and Nepal. It is also near Sri Lanka and the Maldives, two island countries. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a union territory of India, is near Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar.[69]

India is a peninsula, which means that it is surrounded on three sides by water. In the west is the Arabian Sea, in the south is the Indian Ocean, and in the east is the Bay of Bengal. The coastline of India is of about 7,517 km (4,671 mi) long.[70] The northern part of India has many mountains. The most famous mountain range in India is the Himalayas, which have some of the tallest mountains in the world. There are many rivers in India. The main rivers are the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, the Yamuna, the Godavari, the Kaveri, the Narmada, and the Krishna.

India's total coastline is 7,517-kilometre (4,700-mile) long. The mainland's coastline is 5,423-kilometre (3,400-mile) long. The Andaman, Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands have 2,094-kilometre (1,300-mile) long coastlines in total.[71] From the Indian naval hydrographic charts, 43% of the mainland coast are sandy beaches, 11% are rocky shores and cliffs, and 46% are mudflats or marshy shores.[71]

India has different climates.[72] In South India, the climate is mainly tropical, which means it can get very hot in summer and cool in winter.[72] The northern part, though, has a cooler climate, called subtropical. The mountainous regions can be alpine.[72] The Himalayas, in the alpine climate region, can get extremely cold. The Himalayas do not allow the cold Central Asian winds from blowing into the Indian subcontinent. It keeps the most of the subcontinent warmer than most places at same latitudes.[73][74] There is very heavy rainfall along the west coast and in the Eastern Himalayan foothills. The west, though, is drier. Because of some of the deserts of India, all of India gets rain for four months of the year. That time is called the monsoon. That is because the deserts attract water-filled winds from the Indian Ocean, which give rain when they come into India. When the monsoon rains come late or not so heavily, droughts (when the land dries out because there is less rain) are possible. Monsoons normally come around July–August.


The Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi is the official residence (house where a person lives) of the President of India.
The Parliament House (Sansad Bhavan) in New Delhi is the place where the Parliament of India meets.

India is a parliamentary republic with a multi-party system.[75] It is the democracy in the world by the number of people.[76] It has six national parties, for example the Indian National Congress (INC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It also has more than 50 regional parties.[77] The Congress is known as centre in Indian political culture,[78] while the BJP is known as right-wing.[79][80][81] The Congress was the majority in the Parliament from 1950 to the end of the 1980s. From the end of the 1980s, the BJP[82] and the powerful regional parties are getting more seats in the Parliament over time. This forced the national parties to create coalition governments.[83]



India is ruled under the Constitution of India. It is the country's highest document of law. It came into effect on 26 January 1950.[84] Its original form said that India would be a "sovereign, democratic republic". In 1971, the statement was changed to "sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic".[85] India's has been said to be a "quasi-federal" form of government. That means, the country would have a strong federal government and weak state governments.[86] The federal government is often called the "union government" or the "central government". But after political, economic and social changes at the end of the 1990s, the government became federal.[87][88]

The union government is divided into three parts: the legislature (the one that make laws), the executive (the one that applies laws), and the judiciary (the one that makes sure that the laws are obeyed).[89] All three parts are in New Delhi, the capital city of India.

The legislature of India is called the Parliament (संसद Sansad). It is divided into two houses: the upper house Rajya Sabha (Council of States); and the lower house Lok Sabha (House of the People).[90] The Rajya Sabha has 245 members. They remain members for six years.[91] Most members are elected indirectly by the legislatures of state and union territories.[92] The Lok Sabha has 545 members. They remain members for five years. They are elected directly by the people's vote.[93]

The executive is made up of the President, the Vice President, the Prime Minister and the Union Council of Ministers. The President is the head of state of India.[94] The presidents are elected by an electoral college for a period of five years. The electoral college is made up of members of central and state legislatures.[95][96] The Prime Minister is the head of government of India. The President can choose the Prime Minister, who has most of the power.[92] The President has less power than the Prime Minister. The Union Council of Ministers helps the Prime Minister. It is similar to a cabinet in many countries.

The judicial branch is made up of three types of courts of law: the Supreme Court, the 24 High Courts and a number of trial courts.[97] The Chief Justice of India is the head of the Supreme Court. The members of the court have the power to stop a law being passed by Parliament if they think that the law contradicts (opposes) the Constitution.[98] They can make any government action invalid if it contradicts the Constitution.[99]



For administration purposes, India has been divided into smaller pieces. Most of these pieces are called states, some are called union territories. States and union territories are different in the way they are represented. Most union territories are ruled by administrators (called Lieutenant Governors) sent by the central government. All the states, and the territories of Delhi, and Puducherry elect their local government themselves. In total, there are twenty-eight states and eight union territories.[100]

These are the states and territories of India, including 29 states and 7 union territories.


State Capital Code
Andhra Pradesh Amaravati AP
Arunachal Pradesh Itanagar AR
Assam Dispur AS
Bihar Patna BR
Chhattisgarh Raipur CG
Goa Panaji GA
Gujarat Gandhi nagar GJ
Haryana Chandigarh HR
Himachal Pradesh Shimla HP
Jharkhand Ranchi JH
Karnataka Bangalore KA
Kerala Tiruvanananthapuram KL
Madhya Pradesh Bhopal MP
Maharashtra Mumbai MH
Manipur Imphal MN
Meghalaya Shillong ML
Mizoram Aizawl MZ
Nagaland Kohima NL
Odisha Bhubaneswar OD
Punjab Chandigarh PB
Rajasthan Jaipur RJ
Sikkim Gangtok SK
Tamil Nadu Chennai TN
Telangana Hyderabad TG
Tripura Agartala TR
Uttar Pradesh Lucknow UP
Uttarakhand Dehra Dun UK
West Bengal Kolkata WB

Union territories:

Union territory Capital
Andaman and Nicobar Islands Port Blair
Chandigarh Chandigarh
Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu Daman
Delhi Delhi
Jammu and Kashmir Srinagar (summer capital) and Jammu (winter capital)
Ladakh Leh
Lakshadweep Kavaratti
Puducherry Puducherry



The Indian Armed Forces is the military of India. It is made up of an Army, Navy and Air Force. There are other parts like Paramilitary and Strategic Nuclear Command.

The President of India is the Commander-in-Chief. However, it is managed by the Ministry of Defence. In 2010, the Indian Armed Forces had 1.32 million active personnel. This makes it one of the largest militaries in the world.[101]

The Indian Army is becoming more modern by buying and making new weapons. It is also building defenses against missiles of other countries.[102] In the years 2018-2022, India imported more arms than any other nation in the world.[103] Since its independence in 1947, India fought four wars with Pakistan and a war with China.

National symbols

National emblem of India

The national emblem of India shows four lions standing back-to-back. The lions symbolize power, pride, confidence, and courage. Only the government can use this emblem, according to the State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act, 2005.

The name India comes from the Greek word, 'Indus'. This came from the word sindhu, which, over time, turned into Hind, Hindi, or Hindu. The preferred endonym (the name given to the country by its own people) is "Bhārat" in Hindi and other Indian languages as contrasted with names from outsiders. Some of the national symbols are:

Border Disputes


There are disputes about certain parts of the Indian borders. Countries do not agree on where the borders are.[104] Pakistan and China do not recognise the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir.[105] The Indian government claims it as an Indian state.[105] Similarly, the Republic of India does not recognise the Pakistani and Chinese parts of Kashmir.[105]

In 1914, British India and Tibet agreed on the McMahon Line, as part of the Simla Accord.[106] In July 1914, China withdrew from the agreement.[106] Indians and Tibetans see this line as the official border. China does not agree, and both mainland China and Taiwan do not recognize that Arunachal Pradesh belongs to India. According to them, it is a part of South Tibet, which belongs to China.[107][108]



The economy of the country is among the world's fastest growing. It is the 7th largest in the world with a nominal GDP of $2,250 billion (USD), and in terms of PPP, the economy is 3rd largest (worth US$8.720 trillion).[109] The growth rate is 8.25% for fiscal 2010. However, that is still $3678 (considering PPP) per person per year. India's economy is based mainly on:

  • Service sector: 43%
  • Industries: 41%
  • Information technology: 7%
  • Farming: 7%
  • Outsourcing: 2%.

India's economy is diverse. Major industries include automobiles, cement, chemicals, consumer electronics, food processing, machinery, mining, petroleum, pharmaceuticals, steel, transportation equipment, and textiles.[110]

However, despite economic growth, India continues to suffer from poverty. 27.5% of the population was living in poverty in 2004–2005.[111] In addition, 80.4% of the population live on less than US$2 a day,[112] which was lowered to 68% by 2009.[113]


This is a map of the population density of India.

There are 1.4 billion people living in India.[114] In 2023, India passed China to become the world's most populous country.[115] About 65% of Indians live in rural areas, or land set aside for farming.[116] The largest cities in India are Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad.[100] Hindi and English are Official languages of India. India has 23 officially recognised languages.[117] Altogether, 1,625 languages are spoken in India.[118]



There are many different languages and cultures in India.[100] There are two main language families in India, the Indo-Aryan and the Dravidian languages. About 69% of Indians speak an Indo-Arayan language, and about 26% speak a Dravidian language. Other languages spoken in India come from the Austro-Asiatic group. Around 5% of the people speak a Tibeto-Burman language.

Hindi is the official language in India with the largest number of speakers.[119] It is the official language of the union.[120] Native speakers of Hindi represent about 41% of the Indian population (2001 Indian census). English is also used, mostly for business and in administration. It has the status of a 'subsidiary official language'.[121] The constitution also recognises 21 other languages. Either many people speak those languages, or they have been recognized to be very important for Indian culture. The number of dialects in India is as high as 1,652.[118]

In the south of India, many people speak Kannada, Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam. In the north, many people speak Chhattisgarhi, Punjabi, Bengali, Gujarati, and Marathi, Odia, and Bihari.[122][123]

India has 23 official languages. Its constitution lists the name of the country in each of the languages.[124] Hindi and English (listed in boldface) are the "official languages of the union" (Union meaning the Federal Government in Delhi);[125] Tamil, Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, and Odia are officially the "classical languages of India."

Language Long form English pronunciation Short form
Assamese ভাৰত গণৰাজ্য Bhārôt Gôṇôrājÿô ভাৰত Bharot
Bengali ভারত গণরাজ্য Bʰārôt Gôṇôrājÿô ভারত Bharot
Bhojpuri भोजपुरी Bʰārôt Gôṇôrājÿô ভারত Bharot
English[126] Republic of India India
Gujarati ભારતીય પ્રજાસત્તાક Bhartiya Prajasattak ભારત.
Hindi भारत गणराज्य Bhārat Gaṇarājya भारत Bhārat
Kannada ಭಾರತ ಗಣರಾಜ್ಯ Bhārata Gaṇarājya ಭಾರತ Bhārata
Kashmiri ہِندوستان Hindustān
Konkani भारोत गोणराज भारोत
Lepcha ᰛᰩᰵᰛᰧᰵᰶ་ Hindustān
Limbu ᤕᤠᤰᤌᤢᤱ ᤐᤠᤴ་ Hindustān
Magahi ᤕमगही/मगधी Hindustān
Malayalam ഭാരതം Bhāratam ഭാരതം Bhāratam
Manipuri (also Meitei or Meithei) ভারত গণরাজ্য ভারত
Marathi भारतीय प्रजासत्ताक Bhartiya Prajasattak भारत Bhārat
Nepali भारत गणराज्य Bʰārat Gaṇarādzya भारत Bʰārat
Odia ଭାରତ Bharata Bharata
Punjabi ਭਾਰਤ ਗਣਤੰਤਰ Bhārat Gantantar ਭਾਰਤ Bhārat
Sanskrit भारत गणराज्यम् Bhārata Gaṇarājyam भारत Bhārata
Santhali ᱥᱤᱧᱚᱛ ᱨᱮᱱᱟᱜ ᱟᱹᱯᱱᱟᱹᱛ ᱥᱤᱧᱚᱛ
Sindhi ڀارت، هندستانڀارت، ڀارت،
Tamil இந்தியக் குடியரசு Indiyak-Kudiyarasu இந்தியா India/Bharadham
Telugu భారత గణరాజ్యము Bʰārata Gaṇa Rājyamu భారత్ Bhārath
Urdu جمہوریہ بھارت Jumhūrīyat-e Bhārat بھارت Bhārat


Religion in India[127]
Religion Percent

Cave paintings from the Stone Age are found across India. They show dances and rituals and suggest there was a prehistoric religion. During the Epic and Puranic periods, the earliest versions of the epic poems Ramayana and Mahabharata were written from about 500–100 BCE,[128] although these were orally transmitted for centuries before this period.[129] Other South Asian Stone Age sites apart from Pakistan are in modern India, such as the Bhimbetka rock shelters in central Madhya Pradesh and the Kupgal petroglyphs of eastern Karnataka, contain rock art showing religious rites and evidence of possible ritualised music.[130]

The Harmandir Sahib or The Golden Temple of the Sikhs

Several modern religions are linked to India,[131] namely modern Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism. All of these religions have different schools (ways of thinking) and traditions that are related. As a group they are called the Eastern religions. The Indian religions are similar to one another in many ways: The basic beliefs, the way worship is done and several religious practices are very similar. These similarities mainly come from the fact that these religions have a common history and common origins. They also influenced each other.

The religion of Hinduism is the main faith followed by 79.80% of people in the Republic of India; Islam – 14.23%; Christianity – 2.30%; Sikhism – 1.72%; Buddhism – 0.70% and Jainism – 0.37%.[132]



India sent a spacecraft to Mars for the first time in 2014. That made it the fourth country and first Asian country to do so, successfully. It was called the Mars Orbiter Mission.[133]

ISRO launched 104 satellites in a single mission to create a world record. India became the first nation in the world to have launched over a hundred satellites in one mission. That was more than the 2014 Russian record of 37 satellites in a single launch.

This historic event of Chandrayaan-3[134] is set to take place on Wednesday, August 23 at approximately 6:04pm Indian Standard Time. India's third lunar mission can be streamed live from 5:27pm.

Pop culture


India has the largest movie industry in the world. The Hindi film industry is known as Bollywood, and is mainly based in Bombay, now known as Mumbai. Other industries include Tollywood, Kollywood, Sandalwood, Mollywood, Jollywood, Dhollywood, etc. It makes 1,000 movies a year, about twice as many as Hollywood.[135]


A 2008 Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket match being played between the Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders

Indians have excelled in hockey. They have also won eight gold, one silver, and two bronze medals at the Olympic games. However, cricket is the most popular sport in India. The Indian cricket team won the 1983 and 2011 Cricket World Cup and the 2007 ICC World Twenty20. They shared the 2002 ICC Champions Trophy with Sri Lanka and won the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. Cricket in India is controlled by the Board of Control for Cricket in India or BCCI. Domestic tournaments are the Ranji Trophy, the Duleep Trophy, the Deodhar Trophy, the Irani Trophy, and the Challenger Series. There is also the Indian cricket league and Indian premier league Twenty20 competitions.

Tennis has become popular due to the victories of the India Davis Cup team. Association football is also a popular sport in northeast India, West Bengal, Goa and Kerala.[136] The Indian national football team has won the South Asian Football Federation Cup many times. Chess, which comes from India, is also becoming popular. This is with the increase in the number of Indian Grandmasters.[137] Traditional sports include kabaddi, kho kho, and gilli-danda, which are played throughout India.

  1. The language of "Jana Gana Mana" was originally written in a combination of Sanskrit and Bengali. It was adopted as the national anthem in its Hindi translation.
  2. The language of "Vande Mātaram" is a combination of Sanskrit and Bengali.
  3. "[...] Jana Gana Mana is the National Anthem of India, subject to such alterations in the words as the Government may authorise as occasion arises; and the song Vande Mataram, which has played a historic part in the struggle for Indian freedom, shall be honoured equally with Jana Gana Mana and shall have equal status with it." (Constituent Assembly of India 1950).
  4. Part XVII of the Constitution of India says that Hindi in the Devanagari script (writing system) is the official language of the Union (central government). English is an additional official language.[1][5][6] States and union territories of India can have their own official languages in place of Hindi or English.
  5. Not all the official languages used by the states are in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India. Also, not all the languages listed in the Eighth Schedule are used by the states as official languages. For example, the Sindhi language is listed in the Eighth Schedule. But it is not used by any state.
  6. Different sources give different figures. Ethnologue lists 461 languages of India (out of 6,912 worldwide). 447 of these languages are living languages and 14 are extinct languages.[9][10]
  7. The country's exact size is disputed by other countries. The government of India lists the total area as 3,287,260 km2 (1,269,220 sq mi) and the total land area as 3,060,500 km2 (1,181,700 sq mi). The United Nations lists the total area as 3,287,263 km2 (1,269,219 sq mi) and the total land area as 2,973,190 km2 (1,147,960 sq mi).[12]
  8. See Date and time notation in India.
  9. The Government of India also gives Afghanistan as a neighbouring country. It claims all of Kashmir as the part of India. But Pakistan disputes this claim. Pakistan controls the region of Kashmir bordering Afghanistan. Source: "Ministry of Home Affairs (Department of Border Management)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 March 2015. Retrieved 1 September 2008.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 National Informatics Centre 2005.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "National Symbols | National Portal of India". Archived from the original on 4 February 2017. Retrieved 1 March 2017. The National Anthem of India Jana Gana Mana, composed originally in Bengali by Rabindranath Tagore, was adopted in its Hindi version by the Constituent Assembly as the National Anthem of India on 24 January 1950.
  3. "National anthem of India: a brief on 'Jana Gana Mana'". News18. 14 August 2012. Archived from the original on 17 April 2019. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  4. Wolpert 2003, p. 1.
  5. Ministry of Home Affairs 1960.
  6. "Profile | National Portal of India". Archived from the original on 30 August 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  7. "Constitutional Provisions – Official Language Related Part-17 of the Constitution of India". Department of Official Language via Government of India. Archived from the original on 18 April 2021. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
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  24. Stein, Burton (2012), Arnold, David (ed.), A History of India, The Blackwell History of the World Series (2 ed.), Wiley-Blackwell, One of these is the idea of India as 'the world's largest democracy', but a democracy forged less by the creation of representative institutions and expanding electorate under British rule than by the endeavours of India's founding fathers – Gandhi, Nehru, Patel and Ambedkar – and the labours of the Constituent Assembly between 1946 and 1949, embodied in the Indian constitution of 1950. This democratic order, reinforced by the regular holding of nationwide elections and polling for the state assemblies, has, it can be argued, consistently underpinned a fundamentally democratic state structure – despite the anomaly of the Emergency and the apparent durability of the Gandhi-Nehru dynasty.
  25. Fisher 2018, pp. 184–185: "Since 1947, India's internal disputes over its national identity, while periodically bitter and occasionally punctuated by violence, have been largely managed with remarkable and sustained commitment to national unity and democracy."
  26. Petraglia & Allchin 2007, p. 10, "Y-Chromosome and Mt-DNA data support the colonization of South Asia by modern humans originating in Africa. ... Coalescence dates for most non-European populations average to between 73–55 ka."
  27. Dyson 2018, p. 1, "Modern human beings—Homo sapiens—originated in Africa. Then, intermittently, sometime between 60,000 and 80,000 years ago, tiny groups of them began to enter the north-west of the Indian subcontinent. It seems likely that initially they came by way of the coast. ... it is virtually certain that there were Homo sapiens in the subcontinent 55,000 years ago, even though the earliest fossils that have been found of them date to only about 30,000 years before the present."
  28. Fisher 2018, p. 23, "Scholars estimate that the first successful expansion of the Homo sapiens range beyond Africa and across the Arabian Peninsula occurred from as early as 80,000 years ago to as late as 40,000 years ago, although there may have been prior unsuccessful emigrations. Some of their descendants extended the human range ever further in each generation, spreading into each habitable land they encountered. One human channel was along the warm and productive coastal lands of the Persian Gulf and northern Indian Ocean. Eventually, various bands entered India between 75,000 years ago and 35,000 years ago."
  29. Dyson 2018, p. 28
  30. (a) Dyson 2018, pp. 4–5;
    (b) Fisher 2018, p. 33
  31. Lowe, John J. (2015). Participles in Rigvedic Sanskrit: The syntax and semantics of adjectival verb forms. Oxford University Press. pp. 1–2. ISBN 978-0-19-100505-3. (The Rigveda) consists of 1,028 hymns (suktas), highly crafted poetic compositions originally intended for recital during rituals and for the invocation of and communication with the Indo-Aryan gods. Modern scholarly opinion largely agrees that these hymns were composed between around 1500 BCE and 1200 BCE, during the eastward migration of the Indo-Aryan tribes from the mountains of what is today northern Afghanistan across the Punjab into north India.
  32. (a) Witzel, Michael (2008). "Vedas and Upanisads". In Gavin Flood (ed.). The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 68–70. ISBN 978-0-470-99868-7. It is known from internal evidence that the Vedic texts were orally composed in northern India, at first in the Greater Punjab and later on also in more eastern areas, including northern Bihar, between ca. 1500 BCE and ca. 500–400 BCE. The oldest text, the Rgveda, must have been more or less contemporary with the Mitanni texts of northern Syria/Iraq (1450–1350 BCE); ... The Vedic texts were orally composed and transmitted, without the use of script, in an unbroken line of transmission from teacher to student that was formalised early on. This ensured an impeccable textual transmission superior to the classical texts of other cultures; it is in fact something of a tape-recording of ca. 1500–500 BCE. Not just the actual words, but even the long-lost musical (tonal) accent (as in old Greek or in Japanese) has been preserved up to the present. (pp. 68–69) ... The RV text was composed before the introduction and massive use of iron, that is before ca. 1200–1000 BCE. (p. 70)
    (b) Doniger, Wendy (2014), On Hinduism, Oxford University Press, pp. xviii, 10, ISBN 978-0-19-936009-3, A Chronology of Hinduism: ca. 1500–1000 BCE Rig Veda; ca. 1200–900 BCE Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda (p. xviii); Hindu texts began with the Rig Veda ('Knowledge of Verses'), composed in northwest India around 1500 BCE (p. 10)
    (c) Ludden 2014, p. 19, "In Punjab, a dry region with grasslands watered by five rivers (hence 'panch' and 'ab') draining the western Himalayas, one prehistoric culture left no material remains, but some of its ritual texts were preserved orally over the millennia. The culture is called Aryan, and evidence in its texts indicates that it spread slowly south-east, following the course of the Yamuna and Ganga Rivers. Its elite called itself Arya (pure) and distinguished themselves sharply from others. Aryans led kin groups organized as nomadic horse-herding tribes. Their ritual texts are called Vedas, composed in Sanskrit. Vedic Sanskrit is recorded only in hymns that were part of Vedic rituals to Aryan gods. To be Aryan apparently meant to belong to the elite among pastoral tribes. Texts that record Aryan culture are not precisely datable, but they seem to begin around 1200 BCE with four collections of Vedic hymns (Rg, Sama, Yajur, and Artharva)."
    (d) Dyson 2018, pp. 14–15, "Although the collapse of the Indus valley civilization is no longer believed to have been due to an 'Aryan invasion' it is widely thought that, at roughly the same time, or perhaps a few centuries later, new Indo-Aryan-speaking people and influences began to enter the subcontinent from the north-west. Detailed evidence is lacking. Nevertheless, a predecessor of the language that would eventually be called Sanskrit was probably introduced into the north-west sometime between 3,900 and 3,000 years ago. This language was related to one then spoken in eastern Iran; and both of these languages belonged to the Indo-European language family. ... It seems likely that various small-scale migrations were involved in the gradual introduction of the predecessor language and associated cultural characteristics. However, there may not have been a tight relationship between movements of people on the one hand, and changes in language and culture on the other. Moreover, the process whereby a dynamic new force gradually arose—a people with a distinct ideology who eventually seem to have referred to themselves as 'Arya'—was certainly two-way. That is, it involved a blending of new features which came from outside with other features—probably including some surviving Harappan influences—that were already present. Anyhow, it would be quite a few centuries before Sanskrit was written down. And the hymns and stories of the Arya people—especially the Vedas and the later Mahabharata and Ramayana epics—are poor guides as to historical events. Of course, the emerging Arya were to have a huge impact on the history of the subcontinent. Nevertheless, little is known about their early presence.";
    (e) Robb 2011, pp. 46–, "The expansion of Aryan culture is supposed to have begun around 1500 BCE. It should not be thought that this Aryan emergence (though it implies some migration) necessarily meant either a sudden invasion of new peoples, or a complete break with earlier traditions. It comprises a set of cultural ideas and practices, upheld by a Sanskrit-speaking elite, or Aryans. The features of this society are recorded in the Vedas."
  33. (a) Jamison, Stephanie; Brereton, Joel (2020), The Rigveda, Oxford University Press, pp. 2, 4, ISBN 978-0-19-063339-4, The RgVeda is one of the four Vedas, which together constitute the oldest texts in Sanskrit and the earliest evidence for what will become Hinduism. (p. 2) Although Vedic religion is very different in many regards from what is known as Classical Hinduism, the seeds are there. Gods like Visnu and Siva (under the name Rudra), who will become so dominant later, are already present in the Rgveda, though in roles both lesser than and different from those they will later play, and the principal Rgvedic gods like Indra remain in later Hinduism, though in diminished capacity (p. 4).;
    (b) Flood, Gavin (2020), "Introduction", in Gavin Flood (ed.), The Oxford History of Hinduism: Hindu Practice: Hindu Practice, Oxford University Press, pp. 4–, ISBN 978-0-19-105322-1, I take the term 'Hinduism to meaningfully denote a range and history of practice characterised by a number of features, particularly reference to Vedic textual and sacrificial origins, belonging to endogamous social units (jati/varna), participating in practices that involve making an offering to a deity and receiving a blessing (puja), and a first-level cultural polytheism (although many Hindus adhere to a second-level monotheism in which many gods are regarded as emanations or manifestations of the one, supreme being).;
    (c) Michaels, Axel (2017). Patrick Olivelle, Donald R. Davis (ed.). The Oxford History of Hinduism: Hindu Law: A New History of Dharmaśāstra. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 86–97. ISBN 978-0-19-100709-5. Almost all traditional Hindu families observe until today at least three samskaras (initiation, marriage, and death ritual). Most other rituals have lost their popularity, are combined with other rites of passage, or are drastically shortened. Although samskaras vary from region to region, from class (varna) to class, and from caste to caste, their core elements remain the same owing to the common source, the Veda, and a common priestly tradition preserved by the Brahmin priests. (p 86)
    (d) Flood, Gavin D. (1996). An Introduction to Hinduism. Cambridge University Press. p. 35. ISBN 978-0-521-43878-0. It is this Sansrit, vedic, tradition which has maintained a continuity into modern times and which has provided the most important resource and inspiration for Hindu traditions and individuals. The Veda is the foundation for most later developments in what is known as Hinduism.
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