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India - Cities    Inia - States


Official name: Bharat Ganarajya (Republic of India)

Capital: New Delhi


Principal official language: Hindi

Associate Official language: English


Other languages with official status: 14 additional languages, of which Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, and Malayalam are widely spoken.


National anthem: "Jana-gana-mana" ("Thou Art the Ruler of the Minds of All People").

National song: "Vande Mataram" ("I Bow to Thee, Mother").


Major cities:  Mumbai (9,925,891); Delhi (7,206,704); Calcutta (4,399,819); Chennai (3,841,396); Bangalore (3,302,296)(1991 census)

Land and climate


Land: In southern Asia, north of the Indian Ocean. Borders Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, and Bangladesh. Most of northern India a low-lying plain that includes the valleys of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers. Himalaya rises in the far northern parts of the country. Groups of rugged hills in extreme eastern India - near Burma and the eastern parts of Bangladesh. Large triangular peninsula that forms southern India is plateau with slopes dropping down to coasts. Slopes especially sharp near west coast.

Area: 3,287,590 sq. km.

Greatest distances:   north-south, about 3,200 km;

                                east-west, about 2,740 km.

Elevation: Highest - Kanchenjunga, in the Himalaya, 8,598 m above sea level.

               Lowest - sea level along the coast.

Climate: Entire country, except mountains, hot from March to September. Early part of hot season very dry; but from June onward, monsoon rains bring relief from extreme dry heat. Mild temperatures in northern and central India from October to February; in far north, temperatures occasionally drop below freezing. Southern India lacks true cool season, but October to February not so hot as rest of year. Northeast and west coast receive heavy rainfall. Near-desert along Pakistan border. Rest of the country receives moderate rain, but suffers occasional drought.


Form of Government: Federal Republic.

Head of State: President.

Head of Government: Prime Minister.


Legislature: Bicameral Parliament of two houses: Lok Sabha (House of the People, 545 members) and Rajya Sabha (Council of States, a maximum of 250 members).

The Lok Sabha is more powerful than the Rajya Sabha.


Executive: President and Prime Minister. The prime minister selects the members of the Council of Ministers, who are then appointed by the president.


Judiciary: Highest court is the Supreme Court.


Political subdivisions: 25 states and 7 territories.



Population: Estimated 2000 population --1,022,021,000.

1991 census --846,302,688.

Population density: 311 people per sq. km.

Distribution: 74 per cent rural, 26 per cent urban.

Major ethnic groups: Indo-Aryans, majority in northern and central India. In the southern states, where Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam are spoken, most people are Dravidians. People related to Tibetans and Burmese in northern and eastern border states.


Major religions: 82 per cent Hindu, 12 per cent Muslim, 2 per cent Christian, 2 per cent Sikh.


Money: Currency unit - Indian Rupee. One rupee = 100 paise.