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India , officially the Republic of India , is a state located in SouthAsia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, Apple MB772LL/A battery

the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; Bhutan, the People's Republic of China and Nepal to the northeast; and Bangladesh and Burma to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives;HP Pavilion dv5 Adapter

in addition, India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.

Home to the ancient 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.Sony NP-F330 Battery

Four of the world's major religions—Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism—originated here, while Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam arrived in the first millennium CE and shaped the region's diverse culture.Asus Eee PC 904HA Adapter

Graduallyannexed by the British East India Company from the early 18th century and colonised by the United Kingdom from the mid-19th century, India became an independent nation in 1947 after a struggle for independence which was marked by non-violent resistance and led by Mahatma Gandhi.Nikon D80  Battery

The Indian economy is the world's tenth largest economy by nominal GDP and fourth largest economy by purchasing power parity. Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India has become one of the fastest growing major economies, and is considered a newly industrialized country; Sony PCGA-AC19V9 Adapter

however, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, illiteracy, corruption and inadequate public health. A nuclear weapons state and a regional power, it has the third-largest standing army in the world, and ranks tenth in military expenditure among nations.Dell T555C battery

India is a federal constitutional republic with a parliamentary democracy consisting of 28 states and seven union territories. It is one of the five BRICSnations. India is a pluralistic, multilingual, and multiethnic society. It is also home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats.HP Pavilion DV6-3013SL battery

Etymology

The name India is derived from Indus, which is derived from the Old Persian word Hindu, from Sanskrit ?????? Sindhu, the historic local appellation for theIndus River.[15] The ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi (?????), the people of the Indus.HP Pavilion DV7-2085EL battery

The Constitution of India and usage in many Indian languages also recognises Bharat (pronounced as an official name of equal status.The name Bharat is derived from the name of the legendary king Bharata in Hindu scriptures. Hindustan originally a Persian word for “Land of the Hindus” referring to northern India and Pakistan before 1947, is also occasionally used as a synonym for all of India.HP Pavilion DV9700 battery

Ancient India

The earliest anatomically modern human remains found in South Asia are from approximately 30,000 years ago.[19] Near contemporaneous Mesolithicrock art sites have been found in many parts of the Indian subcontinent, including at the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh.HP Mini 702EA battery

Around 7000 BCE, the first known neolithic settlements appeared on the subcontinent in Mehrgarh and other sites in western Pakistan. These gradually developed into the Indus Valley Civilisation,the first urban culture in South Asia, which flourished during 2500–1900 BCE in Pakistan and western India.HP Pavilion DV7-1120EO battery

Centred around its cities, such as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa, Lothal, and Kalibangan, and relying on varied forms of subsistence, the civilisation engaged robustly in crafts production and wide-ranging trade.

During the period 2000 BCE–500 BCE, many regions of the subcontinent evolved from copper age to iron age cultures.HP Compaq 491278-001 battery

The Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, were composed during this period, and historians have analysed these to posit a Vedic culture in the Punjab region and the upper Ganges Plain. Most historians also consider this period to have encompassed several waves of Indo-Aryan migration into the subcontinent from the north-west.HP Pavilion DV6-1030US battery

The caste system, creating a social hierarchy, appeared during this period. In the Deccan, archaeological evidence from this period suggests the existence of a chiefdom stage of political organization. In South India, the large number of megalithic monuments found from this period,and nearby evidence of agriculture, irrigation tanks, and craft traditions suggest progression to sedentary life.HP Compaq 490306-001 battery

By the fifth century BCE, the small chiefdoms of the Ganges Plain and the north-west regions had consolidated into sixteen major oligarchies andmonarchies called Mahajanapadas. The emerging urbanisation as well as the orthodoxies of the late Vedic age now created the religious reform movements of Buddhism and Jainism.HP Pavilion DV5-1211EM battery

Buddhism, based on the teachings of India's first historical figure, Gautam Buddha, attracted followers from all social classes; Jainism, older, came into prominence around the same time during the life of its exemplar, Mahavira. In an age of increasing urban wealth, both religions held up renunciation as an ideal, and both established long-lasting monasteries.HP EliteBook 2530P battery

Politically, by the 3rd century BCE, the kingdom of Magadha had annexed or reduced other states to emerge as the Mauryan Empire.[34] The empire was once thought to have controlled most of the subcontinent excepting the far south, but its core regions are now thought to have been separated by large autonomous areas.HP Pavilion DV4385EA battery

The Mauryas are known as much for their empire building and determined management of public life as for Ashoka the Great's renunciation of militarism and his far flung advocacy of the Buddhist dhamma.

The Sangam literature of the Tamil language reveals that during the period 200 BCE–200 CE, the southern peninsula was being ruled by the Cheras,Compaq PP2100 battery

theCholas and the Pandyas, dynasties that would trade extensively with the Roman Empire, and with west and south-east Asia. In north India, during the same time, Hinduism asserted patriarchal control within the family, leading to the increased subordination of women.HP Compaq KU532AA battery

By the fourth and fifth centuries CE, the Gupta Empire had created a complex administrative and taxation system in the greater Ganges Plain that would become a model for later Indian kingdoms. Under the Guptas, a renewed Hinduism, based on devotion rather than the management of ritual, began to assert itself, and was reflected in a flowering of sculpture and architecture, which found patrons among an urban elite.HP Pavilion DV6-1270EQ battery

Classical Sanskrit literature flowered as well, and Indian science,astronomy, medicine, and mathematics made significant advances.

Early medieval and medieval India

The Indian early medieval age (600 CE to 1200 CE) was defined by regional kingdoms and cultural diversity.HP Pavilion DV4385EA battery

When Harsha of Kannauj, who ruled much of the Ganges plain from 606 to 647 CE, attempted to expand southwards, he was defeated by the Chalukya ruler of the Deccan.When his successor attempted to expand eastwards, he was defeated by the Pala king of Bengal.HP Compaq Business  NC4400 battery

When the Chalukyas attempted to expand southwards, they were defeated by the Pallavas from farther south, who, in turn, were opposed by the Pandyas and the Cholas from still farther south.[43] No ruler of this period was able to create an empire and consistently control lands much beyond his core region.[HP Pavilion ZD8227 battery

During this time also, pastoral peoples whose land had been cleared to make way for the growing agriculture economy were accommodated within caste society, as were new non-traditional ruling classes.[44] The caste system, consequently, began to show regional differences.HP Pavilion DV5-1211EM battery

In the sixth and seventh centuries CE, the first devotional hymns in an Indian vernacular were created in the Tamil language. These were imitated all over India, and led both to the resurgence of Hinduism and to the development of all the modern languages of the subcontinent.Nikon D200 Battery

Indian royalty, big and small, and the temples they patronised drew citizens in great numbers to the capital cities, which became economic hubs as well. Temple towns of various sizes began to appear everywhere as India underwent another urbanisation.By the eight and ninth centuries, the effects were evident elsewhere as well;Acer PA-1650-02 Adapter

for South Indian culture and political systems were being exported to Southeast Asia, in particular to what today are Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia andJava.Not only were Indian merchants, scholars, and sometimes armies involved in this transmission, but the south-east Asians took the initiative as well, with many sojourning in Indian seminaries and translating Buddhist and Hindu texts into their languages. Sony CYBER-SHOT DSC-T10  Battery

Muslim rule in the subcontinent began in 712 CE when the Arab general Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Sindh and Multan in southern Punjab in modern day Pakistan, setting the stage for several successive invasions from Central Asia between the 10th and 15th centuries CE, HP Compaq Business 6715b Battery

leading to the formation of Muslim empires in the Indian subcontinent such as the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire.

Mughal rule came from Central Asia to cover most of the northern parts of the subcontinent. Mughal rulers introduced Central Asian art and architecture to India. Kodak KLIC-7004 Battery

In addition to the Mughals and variousRajput kingdoms, several independent Hindu states, such as the Vijayanagara Empire, the Maratha Empire, and the Ahom Kingdom, flourished contemporaneously in southern, western, and northeastern India respectively.Acer Aspire 5920G Adapter

The Mughal Empire suffered a gradual decline in the early 18th century, which provided opportunities for the Afghans, Balochis, and the Sikhs to control large areas in the west and northwest of the subcontinent until the British East India Company gained ascendancy over South Asia. Canon Digital IXUS 90 IS Battery

Modern India

Beginning in the mid-18th century and over the next century, India was gradually annexed by the British East India Company. Dissatisfaction with Company rule led to the Indian Rebellion of 1857, after which India was directly administered by the British Crown and witnessed a period of both rapid development of infrastructure and economic decline. HP 2133 Mini-Note PC Adapter

During the first half of the 20th century, a nationwide struggle for independence was launched by the Indian National Congress and later joined by the Muslim League. The subcontinent gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, after being partitioned into the dominions of India and Pakistan.Toshiba PA3536U-1BRS Battery

On 26 January 1950, India became a republic and a new constitution came into effect.

Since independence, India has faced challenges from religious violence, casteism, naxalism, terrorism and regional separatist insurgencies, especially inJammu and Kashmir and Northeast India. Since the 1990s terrorist attacks have affected many Indian cities. HP Compaq Business NX6110 Battery

India has unresolved territorial disputes with the People's Republic of China, which, in 1962, escalated into the Sino-Indian War, and with Pakistan, which resulted in wars in 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999. India is a founding member of the United Nations (as British India) and the Non-Aligned Movement.HP Pavilion DV9000 Adapter

India is a state armed with nuclear weapons; having conducted its first nuclear test in 1974,[49] followed by another five tests in 1998.[49] Beginning 1991,significant economic reforms[50] have transformed India into one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, increasing its global clout.Dell Studio 1537 battery

Geography

India, the major portion of the Indian subcontinent, lies atop the Indian tectonic plate, a minor plate within the Indo-Australian Plate.India's defining geological processes commenced seventy-five million years ago, when the Indian subcontinent, then part of the southern supercontinent Gondwana, HP PPP009H Adapter

began a northeastwards drift—lasting fifty million years—across the then unformed Indian Ocean.The subcontinent's subsequent collision with the Eurasian Plateand subduction under it, gave rise to the Himalayas, the planet's highest mountains, which now abut India in the north and the north-east.Sony VGP-BPS8 Battery

In the former seabed immediately south of the emerging Himalayas, plate movement created a vast trough, which, having gradually been filled with river-borne sediment,[53]now forms the Indo-Gangetic Plain.[54] To the west of this plain, and cut off from it by the Aravalli Range, lies the Thar Desert.Dell PA-12 Adapter

The original Indian plate now survives as peninsular India, the oldest and geologically most stable part of India, and extends as far north as the Satpura andVindhya ranges in central India. These parallel ranges run from the Arabian Sea coast in Gujarat in the west to the coal-rich Chota Nagpur Plateau in Jharkhand in the east.Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T7/B  Battery

To their south, the remaining peninsular landmass, the Deccan Plateau, is flanked on the left and right by the coastal ranges,Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats respectively;the plateau contains the oldest rock formations in India, some over one billion years old. Constituted in such fashion, India lies to the north of the equator between 6°44' and 35°30' north latitude and 68°7' and 97°25' east longitude.Dell LATITUDE M65 Battery

India's coast is 7,517 kilometres (4,700 mi) long; of this distance, 5,423 kilometres (3,400 mi) belong to peninsular India, and 2,094 kilometres (1,300 mi) to the Andaman, Nicobar, and Lakshadweep Islands. According to the Indian naval hydrographic charts, the mainland coast consists of the following: 43% sandy beaches, 11% rocky coast including cliffs, and 46% mudflats or marshy coast. HP Compaq 6720s Adapter

Major Himalayan-origin rivers that substantially flow through India include the Ganges (Ganga) and the Brahmaputra, both of which drain into the Bay of Bengal.Important tributaries of the Ganges include the Yamuna and the Kosi; the latter's extremely low gradient causes disastrous floods every year. Acer AS07B41 Battery

Major peninsular rivers, whose steeper gradients prevent their waters from flooding, include the Godavari, the Mahanadi, the Kaveri, and the Krishna, which also drain into the Bay of Bengal;and the Narmada and the Tapti, which drain into the Arabian Sea.Among notable coastal features of India are the marshy Rann of Kutch in western India, Dell Vostro 1310 Battery

and the alluvial Sundarbans delta, which India shares with Bangladesh.India has two archipelagos: theLakshadweep, coral atolls off India's south-western coast; and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a volcanic chain in the Andaman Sea.HP Compaq Business 6910p Battery

India's climate is strongly influenced by the Himalayas and the Thar Desert, both of which drive the monsoons.The Himalayas prevent cold Central Asiankatabatic winds from blowing in, keeping the bulk of the Indian subcontinent warmer than most locations at similar latitudes.Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ4S Battery

The Thar Desert plays a crucial role in attracting the moisture-laden southwest summer monsoon winds that, between June and October, provide the majority of India's rainfall. Four major climatic groupings predominate in India: tropical wet, tropical dry, subtropical humid, and montane.Dell PA-12 Adapter

Biodiversity

Lying within the Indomalaya ecozone, with three hotspots located within its area, India displays significant biodiversity. As one of the seventeenmegadiverse countries, it is home to 7.6% of all mammalian, 12.6% of all avian, 6.2% of all reptilian, 4.4% of all amphibian, 11.7% of all fish, and 6.0% of all flowering plant species.Sony NP-FH100 Battery

Many ecoregions, such as the shola forests, exhibit extremely high rates of endemism; overall, 33% of Indian plant species are endemic.

India's forest cover ranges from the tropical rainforest of the Andaman Islands, Western Ghats, and northeastern India to the coniferous forest of the Himalaya. Toshiba Equium M50-192 Battery

Between these extremes lie the sal-dominated moist deciduous forest of eastern India; the teak-dominated dry deciduous forest of central and southern India; and the babul-dominated thorn forest of the central Deccan and western Gangetic plain. Important Indian trees include the medicinal neem, widely used in rural Indian herbal remedies. Apple MacBook Pro Battery

The pipal fig tree, shown on the seals of Mohenjo-daro, shaded Gautama Buddha as he sought enlightenment. According to latest report, less than 12% of India's landmass is covered by dense forests.

Many Indian species are descendants of taxa originating in Gondwana, from which the Indian plate separated a long time ago. Apple PowerBook G4 Battery

Peninsular India's subsequentmovement towards, and collision with, the Laurasian landmass set off a mass exchange of species. However, volcanism and climatic changes 20 million years ago caused the extinction of many endemic Indian forms. Soon thereafter, mammals entered India from Asia through two zoogeographical passes on either side of the emerging Himalaya.Dell Studio 1537 battery

Consequently, among Indian species, only 12.6% of mammals and 4.5% of birds are endemic, contrasting with 45.8% of reptiles and 55.8% of amphibians. Notable endemics are the Nilgiri leaf monkey and the brown and carmine Beddome's toad of the Western Ghats. India contains 172, or 2.9%, of IUCN-designated threatened species.Acer BATBL50L6 Battery

These include the Asiatic Lion, the Bengal Tiger, and the Indian white-rumped vulture, which suffered a near-extinction from ingesting the carrion of diclofenac-treated cattle.

In recent decades, human encroachment has posed a threat to India's wildlife; Canon EOS 450D Battery

in response, the system of national parks and protected areas, first established in 1935, was substantially expanded. In 1972, India enacted the Wildlife Protection Act and Project Tiger to safeguard crucial habitat; in addition, the Forest Conservation Act was enacted in 1980.Acer Travelmate 2400 Battery

Along with more than five hundred wildlife sanctuaries, India hosts thirteen biosphere reserves, four of which are part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves; twenty-five wetlands are registered under the Ramsar Convention.

Politics

India is the most populous democracy in the world.Dell Inspiron 1525 Adapter

A parliamentary republic with a multi-party system, it has six recognised national parties, including the Indian National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and more than 40 regional parties. The Congress is considered centre-left or "liberal" in Indian political culture, and the BJP centre-right or "conservative". Compaq Presario 2100 Adapter

For most of the period between 1950 — when India first became a republic — and the late 1980s, the Congress held a majority in the parliament. Since then, however, it has increasingly shared the political stage with the BJP, as well as with powerful regional parties which have often forced the creation of multi-party coalitions at the Centre.Acer Aspire 1362 Battery

In the Republic of India's first three general elections, in 1951, 1957 and 1962, the Jawaharlal Nehru-led Congress won easy victories. On Nehru's death in 1964, Lal Bahadur Shastri briefly became prime minister; he was succeeded, after his own unexpected death in 1966, by Indira Gandhi, who went on to lead the Congress to election victories in 1967 and 1971.Toshiba Equium M50-192 Battery

Following public discontent with the state of emergency she declared in 1975, the Congress was voted out of power in 1977, and a new party, the Janata Party, which had opposed the emergency, was voted in. Its government, however, proved short-lived, lasting just over three years.Dell XPS M1330 Battery

Back in power in 1980, the Congress saw a change in leadership in 1984, when Indira Gandhi was assassinated and succeeded by her son Rajiv Gandhi, who won an easy victory in the general elections later that year. The Congress was voted out again in 1989, when a National Front coalition, led by the newly formed Janata Dal, in alliance with the Left Front, won the elections; Acer Travelmate 2200 Adapter

that government too proved short-lived, lasting just under two years. Elections were held again in 1991 in which no party won an absolute majority, but the Congress, as the largest single party, was able to form a minority government, led by P.V. Narasimha Rao, and to complete a five-year term.HP Compaq 6735b Adapter

The two years after the general election of 1996 were years of political turmoil, with several short-lived alliances sharing power at the centre. The BJP formed a government briefly in 1996; it was followed by two relatively longer-lasting United Front coalitions, which depended on external support. Dell Vostro 1000 Battery

In 1998, the BJP was able to form a successful coalition, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which, under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, became the first non-Congress government to complete a full five-year term. In the 2004 Indian general elections, again no party won an absolute majority, HP Compaq nx7300 Adapter

but the Congress emerged as the largest single party, forming a successful coalition, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), with the support of left-leaning parties and MPs opposed to the BJP. The UPA coalition was returned to power in the 2009 general election, with increased numbers that ensured it no longer required external support from India's Communist parties.Asus f82 battery

That year,Manmohan Singh became the first prime minister since Jawaharlal Nehru in 1957 and 1962 to be re-elected to a second consecutive five-year term.

Government

India is a federation with a parliamentary system governed under the Constitution of India.Dell XPS M1330 Battery

It is a constitutional republic and representative democracy, in which "majority rule is tempered by minority rights protected by law." Federalism in India defines the power distribution between the federal government and the states. The government is regulated by a checks and balances defined by Indian Constitution,HP Compaq Business 6910p Battery

which serves as the country's supreme legal document. The Constitution of India, which came into effect on 26 January 1950,[97]states in its preamble that India is a sovereign, socialist, secular, democraticrepublic.[98] India's form of government, traditionally described as 'quasi-federal' with a strong centre and weak states,Compaq PRESARIO R3000 Battery

has grown increasingly federal since the late 1990s as a result of political, economic and social changes.

The President of India is the head of state elected indirectly by an electoral college for a five-year term. The Prime Minister is the head of government and exercises most executive power.HP Compaq Business NX6110 Battery

Appointed by the President, the prime minister is by convention supported by the party or political alliance holding the majority of seats in the lower house of parliament.The executive branch of the Indian government consists of the president, the vice-president, and the council of ministers (the cabinet being its executive committee) headed by the prime minister. Dell Latitude D610 Adapter

Any minister holding a portfolio must be a member of one of the houses of parliament. In the Indian parliamentary system, the executive is subordinate to the legislature, with the prime minister and his council directly responsible to the lower house of the parliament.Asus Eee PC 701 Adapter

The legislature of India is the bicameral parliament, operating under a Westminster-style parliamentary system, and comprising the upper house called theRajya Sabha (Council of States) and the lower called the Lok Sabha (House of People). The Rajya Sabha, a permanent body, has 245 members serving staggered six year terms.HP Compaq Business NX6325 Battery

Most are elected indirectly by the state and territorial legislatures, their numbers in proportion to their state's population.[108] All but two of the Lok Sabha's 545 members are directly elected by popular vote to represent individual constituencies for five-year terms.Dell Studio XPS 16 battery

The remaining two members are nominated by the president from among the Anglo-Indian community, in case the president decides that the community is not adequately represented.

India has a unitary three-tier judiciary, consisting of the Supreme Court, headed by the Chief Justice of India, 21 High Courts, and a large number of trial courts.Acer Aspire 5520 Battery

The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over cases involving fundamental rights and over disputes between states and the Centre, and appellate jurisdiction over the High Courts. It is judicially independent, and has the power both to declare the law and to strike down Union or State laws which contravene the Constitution.Acer TravelMate 5720 Adapter

The Supreme Court is also the ultimate interpreter of the Constitution, it being one of its most important functions.

Administrative divisions

India is a federation composed of 28 states and seven Union Territories. All states, as well as the union territories of Puducherry and the National Capital Territory of Delhi, have elected legislatures and governments, both patterned on the Westminster model. HP Compaq 6735s Adapter

The remaining five union territories are directly ruled by the Centre through appointed administrators. In 1956, under the States Reorganisation Act, states were reorganised on a linguistic basis.Since then, their structure has remained largely unchanged. Each state or union territory is further divided into administrativedistricts.Dell XPS M1330 Battery

Foreign relations and military

Since its independence in 1947, India has maintained cordial relations with most nations. In the 1950s, it strongly supported the independence of European colonies in Africa and Asia and played a pioneering role in the Non-Aligned Movement.HP Compaq nc6230 Adapter

In the late 1980s, India made two brief military interventions at the invitation of neighbouring countries, one by the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka and the other, Operation Cactus, in the Maldives. However, India has had a tense relationship with neighbouring Pakistan and the two countries have gone to war four times, in 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999. Dell T117C battery

The Kashmir dispute was the predominant cause of these wars, excepting that of 1971, which followed the civil unrest in erstwhile East Pakistan.After the India-China War of 1962 and the 1965 war with Pakistan, India proceeded to develop close military and economic ties with the Soviet Union; by late 1960s, the Soviet Union had emerged as India's largest arms supplier.Asus x5dij-sx039c battery

Today, in addition to the continuing strategic relations with Russia, India has wide ranging defence relations with Israel and France. In recent years, India has played an influential role in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and the World Trade Organization.Dell Inspiron 1464 battery

The nation has provided 55,000military and police personnel to serve in thirty-five UN peacekeeping operations across four continents. India is also an active participant in various multilateral forums, most notably the East Asia Summit and the G8+5.HP Compaq 6720s Adapter

In the economic sphere, India has close relationships with the developing nations of South America, Asia and Africa. For about a decade now, India has also pursued a "Look East" policy which has helped it strengthen its partnerships with the ASEAN nations, Japan and South Korea on a wide range of issues, but especially economic investment and regional security.Dell Latitude D630 Adapter

China's nuclear test of 1964 as well as its repeated threats to intervene in support of Pakistan in the 1965 war convinced India to develop nuclear weapons of its own. India conducted its first nuclear weapons test in 1974 and further underground testing in 1998.HP Pavilion dm4 battery

Despite criticism and military sanctions, India has signed neither the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) nor the NPT, considering both to be flawed and discriminatory. India maintains a "no first use" nuclear policy and is developing a nuclear triad capability as a part of its "minimum credible deterrence" doctrine.Sony NP-FS11 Battery

It is also developing a ballistic missile defence shield and, in collaboration with Russia, a fifth generation fighter jet.[132][133]Other major indigenous military development projects include Vikrant class aircraft carriers and Arihant class nuclear submarines.Dell Inspiron 1520 Adapter

Recently, India has also increased its economic, strategic and military cooperation with the United States and the European Union.In 2008, a civilian nuclear agreement was signed between India and the United States. Although India possessed nuclear weapons at the time and was not party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT),Toshiba PA3399U-1BRS Battery

it received waivers from the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), ending earlier restrictions on India's nuclear technology and commerce. As a consequence, India has become the world's sixth de facto nuclear weapons state.Acer Aspire 5920G Adapter

Following the NSG waiver, India was also able to sign civilian nuclear energy cooperation agreements with other nations, including Russia, France, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

With 1.3 million active troops, the Indian military is the third largest in the world. Acer Aspire 5920 Battery

India's armed forces consists of an Indian Army, Navy, Air Force, and auxiliary forces such as the Paramilitary Forces, the Coast Guard, and the Strategic Forces Command, is the third largest in the world.The President of India is the supreme commander of the Indian Armed Forces. IBM Thinkpad T40 Adapter

The official Indian defence budget for 2011 stands at US$36.03 billion (or 1.83% of GDP).According to a 2008 SIPRI report, India's annual military expenditure in terms of purchasing power stood at US$72.7 billion, India has also become the world's largest arms importer, receiving 9% of all international arms transfers during the period from 2006–2010.Nikon COOLPIX 4300 Battery

Defence contractors, such as the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), oversee indigenous development of sophisticated arms and military equipment, including ballistic missiles, fighter aircraft and main battle tanks, in order to reduce India's dependence on foreign imports.Apple MB771 battery

Economy

According to the International Monetary Fund, India's nominal GDP stands at US$1.53 trillion, making it the tenth-largest economy in the world. With purchasing power parity (PPP), India's economy is the fourth largest in the world at US$4.06 trillion.Sony DSC-P5 Battery

With its average annual GDP growing at 5.8% for the past two decades, India is also one of the fastest growing economies in the world.However, India's per capita income is US$1,000, and the country ranks 138th in nominal GDP per capita and 129th in GDP per capita at PPP among all countries of the world.Dell Inspiron 6400 Adapter

Until 1991, all Indian governments followed protectionist policies that were influenced by socialist economics. Widespread state intervention and regulation caused the Indian economy to be largely closed to the outside world. After an acute balance of payments crisis in 1991,Toshiba PA3534U-1BRS Battery

the nation liberalised its economy and has since continued to move towards a free-market system, emphasizing both foreign trade and investment. Consequently, India's economic model is now being described overall as capitalist.

With 467 million workers, India has the world's second largest labour force.Sony NP-FP50 Battery

The service sector makes up 54% of the GDP, the agricultural sector 28%, and the industrial sector 18%. Major agricultural products include rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, and potatoes. Major industries include textiles, telecommunications, chemicals, food processing, steel, transport equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery and software.HP Compaq nx7300 Adapter

By 2006, India's external trade had reached a relatively moderate proportion of GDP at 24%, up from 6% in 1985. In 2008, India's share of world trade was 1.68%; India was the world'sfifteenth largest importer in 2009, and the eighteenth largest exporter.Dell Latitude D820 Adapter

Major exports include petroleum products, textile goods, gems and jewelry, software, engineering goods, chemicals, and leather manufactures. Major imports include crude oil, machinery, gems, fertiliser, chemicals.

Averaging an economic growth rate of 7.5% during the last few years,[151] India has more than doubled its hourly wage rates during the last decade.Toshiba PA3399U-1BRS Battery

Moreover, since 1985, India has moved 431 million of its citizens out of poverty, and by 2030 India's middle class numbers will grow to more than 580 million.[160] Although ranking 51st in global competitiveness, India ranks 17th in financial market sophistication, 24th in the banking sector, Dell Studio XPS 1640 Battery

44th in business sophistication and 39th in innovation, ahead of several advanced economies.[161] With seven of the world's top 15 technology outsourcing companies based in India, the country is viewed as the second most favourable outsourcing destination after the United States.[Dell Latitude D830 Battery

] India's consumer market, currently the world's thirteenth largest, is expected to become fifth largest by 2030.[160]Its telecommunication industry, the world's fastest growing, added 227 million subscribers during 2010–11 [163] its automobile industry, the world's second-fastest growing, increased domestic sales by 26% during 2009–10,[164] and exports by 36% during 2008–09.[165]Dell Inspiron E1505 Adapter

Despite impressive economic growth during recent decades, India continues to face a number of socio-economic challenges. India contains the largest concentration of people living below the World Bank's international poverty line of $1.25/day,[166] the proportion having decreased from 60% in 1981 to 42% in 2005.[Asus Eee PC 1201PN battery

] Half of the children in India are underweight[168] and 46% of children under the age of three suffer from malnutrition.[166] Since 1991, economic inequality between India's states has consistently grown: the per capita net state domestic product of the richest states in 2007 was 3.2 times that of the poorest.[Dell PA-12 Adapter

] Corruption in India is perceived to have increased significantly,[170] with one report estimating the illegal capital flows since independence to be US$462 billion.[171] Driven by consistent growth, India's nominal GDP per capita has steadily increased from U$463 in 2001 to U$1,176 by 2010, yet it remains lower than those of other Asian developing countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Iran.[Asus Eee PC 701 Adapter]

According to a 2011 PwC report, India's GDP at purchasing power parity will overtake that of Japan during 2011 itself and that of the United States by 2045.[173] Moreover, during the next four decades, India's economy is expected to grow at an average of 8%, making the nation potentially the world's fastest growing major economy until 2050.[Dell XPS M1330 Battery

] The report also highlights some of the key factors behind high economic growth — a young and rapidly growing working age population; the growth of the manufacturing sector due to rising levels of education and engineering skills; and sustained growth of the consumer market due to a rapidly growing middle class.[fujifilm np95 battery]

However, the World Bank cautions that for India to achieve its economic potential, it must continue to focus on public sector reform, transport infrastructure, agricultural and rural development, removal of labour regulations, education, energy security, and public health and nutrition.[Asus Eee PC 900 Adapter]

Demographics

With 1,210,193,422 citizens reported in the 2011 provisional Census,[8] India is the world's second most populous country. India's population grew at 1.76% per annum during the last decade,[8] down from 2.13% per annum in the previous decade (1991-2001).[Sony VAIO PCG-713 Battery]

The human sex ratio in India, according to the 2011 census, is 940 females per 1,000 males,[8] the lowest since independence. India's median age was 24.9 in the 2001 census.[48] Medical advances of the last 50 years, as well increased agricultural productivity brought about by the "green revolution" have caused India's population to grow rapidly.[Dell Latitude D830 Adapter]

The percentage of Indian population living in urban areas has grown as well, increasing by 31.2% from 1991 to 2001. Despite this, in 2001, over 70% of India's population continued to live in rural areas. According to the 2001 census, there are twenty seven million-plus cities in the country, withMumbai, Delhi and Kolkata being the largest.Dell Studio XPS 1640 battery

India's overall literacy rate in 2011 is 74.04%, its female literacy rate standing at 65.46% and its male at 82.14%.[181] The state of Kerala has the highest literacy rate, whereas Bihar has the lowest.India continues to face several public health-related challenges.[Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ4S  Battery]

According to the World Health Organization, 900,000 Indians die each year from drinking contaminated water or breathing polluted air.[186] There are about 60 physicians per 100,000 people in India.

The Indian Constitution recognises 212 scheduled tribal groups which together constitute about 7.5% of the country's population.[HP Compaq Business NX6320 Battery]

The 2001 census reported the religion in India with the largest number of followers was Hinduism, with over 800 million (80.5%) of the population recording it as their religion. Other religious groups include Muslims (13.4%), Christians (2.3%), Sikhs (1.9%), Buddhists (0.8%), Jains (0.4%), Jews, Zoroastrians and Bahá'ís.[Canon POWERSHOT G2 Battery]

India has the world's third-largest Muslim population and the largest Muslim population for a non-Muslim majority country.

India is home to two major language families: Indo-Aryan (spoken by about 74% of the population) and Dravidian (spoken by about 24%). Dell Latitude E6500 battery

Other languages spoken in India come from the Austro-Asiaticand Tibeto-Burman language families. Neither the Constitution of India, nor any Indian law defines any national language.[190] Hindi, with the largest number of speakers,[191] is the official language of the union.[Dell LATITUDE D630 Battery]

English is used extensively in business and administration and has the status of a 'subsidiary official language;'[193] it is also important in education, especially as a medium of higher education. In addition, every state and union territory has its own official languages, and the constitution also recognises in particular 21 "scheduled languages".Asus R33030 Adapter

Culture

India's culture is marked by a high degree of syncretism and cultural pluralism. India's cultural tradition dates back to 8000 BCE and has a continuously recorded history for over 2,500 years. With its roots based in the Indus Valley Tradition, the Indian culture took a distinctive shape during the 11th century BCE Vedic age which laid the foundation of HinduDell Mini 1011 battery

philosophy, mythology, literary tradition and beliefs and practices, such as dhárma, kárma,yóga and mok?a.[199] It has managed to preserve established traditions while absorbing new customs, traditions, and ideas from invaders and immigrants and spreading its cultural influence to other parts of Asia, mainly South East and East Asia.toshiba pa3332u-1brs battery

Indian religions form one of the most defining aspects of Indian culture.Major dhármic religions which were founded in India include Hinduism, Buddhismand Jainism. Considered to be a successor to t

he ancient Vedic religion? Hinduism has been shaped by the various schools of thoughts based on theUpanishads,the Yoga Sutras and the Bhakti movement.HP Compaq 6710b Adapter

Buddhism originated in India in 5th century BCE and prominent early Buddhist schools, such as Therav?da and Mah?y?na, gained dominance during the Maurya Empire.[200] Though Buddhism entered a period of gradual decline in India 5th century CE onwards,[203] it played an influential role in shaping Indian philosophy and thought.[HP Compaq nx6325 Adapter]

Indian architecture is one area that represents the diversity of Indian culture. Much of it, including notable monuments such as the Taj Mahal and other examples of Mughal architecture and South Indian architecture, comprises a blend of ancient and varied local traditions from several parts of the country and abroad. Acer Aspire 5720 Adapter

Vernacular architecture also displays notable regional variation.

Indian cuisine is characterised by a wide variety of regional styles and sophisticated use of herbs and spices. The staple foods in the region are rice (especially in the south and the east), wheat (predominantly in the north)[204] and lentils.[Toshiba Equium A110-252 Battery]

Spices, such as black pepper which are now consumed world wide, are originally native to the Indian subcontinent. Chili pepper, which was introduced by the Portuguese, is also widely used in Indian cuisine.[206]

Considered to be the earliest and foremost "monument" of Indian literature, the Vedic or Sanskrit literature was developed from 1,400 BCE to 1,200 AD.[Acer Aspire 5052ANWXMi Battery]

Prominent Indian literary works of the classical era include epics such as Mah?bh?rata and Ramayana, dramas such as the Abhijñ?na??kuntalam (The Recognition of ?akuntal?), and poetry such as the Mah?k?vya.[209] Developed between 600 BCE and 300 AD, the Sangam literature consists 2,381 poems and is regarded as a predecessor of Tamil literature.Dell Mini 1011v battery

From 7th century AD to 18th century AD, India's literary traditions went through a period of drastic change because of the emergence of devotional poets such as Kab?r, Tuls?d?s and Guru N?nak. This period was characterised by varied and wide spectrum of thought and expression and as a consequence, medieval Indian literary works differed significantly from classical traditions.[HP Compaq nx7300 Adapter]

In the 19th century, Indian writers took new interest in social questions and psychological descriptions. During the 20th century, Indian literature was heavily influenced by the works of universally acclaimed Bengali poet and novelist Rabindranath Tagore.[Dell Vostro 1510 Battery]

Society and traditions

Traditional Indian society is defined by relatively strict social hierarchy. The Indian caste system describes the social stratification and social restrictions in the Indian subcontinent, in which social classes are defined by thousands of endogamous hereditary groups, often termed as j?tis or castes.[Toshiba PA3534U-1BRS Battery]

Several influential social reform movements, such as the Bramho Shômaj, the Arya Sam?ja and the Ramakrishna Mission, have played a pivotal role in the emancipation of Dalits (or "untouchables") and other lower-caste communities in India.[216] However, the majority of Dalits continue to live in segregation and are often persecuted and discriminated against.[Asus M50 battery]

Traditional Indian family values are highly respected, and multi-generational patriarchal joint families have been the norm, although nuclear families are becoming common in urban areas.[218] An overwhelming majority of Indians have their marriages arranged by their parents and other respected family members, with the consent of the bride and groom.[Asus Eee PC 901 Battery]

Marriage is thought to be for life,[219] and the divorce rate is extremely low.[220] Child marriage is still a common practice, more so in rural India, with about half of women in India marrying before the legal age of 18.

Many Indian festivals are religious in origin, although several are celebrated irrespective of caste and creed.Dell Inspiron 6400 Battery

Some popular festivals are Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Ugadi, Thai Pongal, Holi, Onam, Vijayadashami, Durga Puja, Eid ul-Fitr, Bakr-Id, Christmas, Buddha Jayanti, Moharram and Vaisakhi.[223][224]India has three national holidays which are observed in all states and union territories — Republic Day, Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti. HP Compaq Business NC6220 Battery

Other sets of holidays, varying between nine and twelve, are officially observed in individual states. Religious practices are an integral part of everyday life and are a very public affair.

Traditional Indian dress varies across the regions in its colours and styles and depends on various factors, including climate. Sony VGP-BPS9 battery

Popular styles of dress include draped garments such as sari for women and dhoti or lungi for men; in addition, stitched clothes such as salwar kameez for women and kurta-pyjama and European-style trousers and shirts for men, are also popular.

Music, dance, theatre and cinema

Indian music covers a wide range of traditions and regional styles.Sony VGP-BPS13 battery

Classical music largely encompasses the two genres – North Indian Hindustani, South Indian Carnatic traditions and their various offshoots in the form of regional folk music. Regionalised forms of popular music include filmi and folk music; the syncretic tradition of the bauls is a well-known form of the latter.HP Compaq nx7300 Adapter

Indian dance too has diverse folk and classical forms. Among the well-known folk dances are the bhangra of the Punjab, the bihu of Assam, the chhau of West Bengal, Jharkhand , sambalpuri of Orissa , the ghoomar of Rajasthan and the Lavani of Maharashtra. HP Compaq 2510p Adapter

Eight dance forms, many with narrative forms and mythological elements, have been accorded classical dance status by India'sNational Academy of Music, Dance, and Drama. These are: bharatanatyam of the state of Tamil Nadu, kathak of Uttar Pradesh, Dell Studio PP39L battery

kathakali and mohiniyattam of Kerala, kuchipudi of Andhra Pradesh,manipuri of Manipur, odissi of Orissa and the sattriya of Assam.

Theatre in India often incorporates music, dance, and improvised or written dialogue. Nikon COOLPIX 5700  Battery

Often based on Hindu mythology, but also borrowing from medieval romances, and news of social and political events, Indian theatre includes the bhavai of state of Gujarat, the jatra of West Bengal, the nautanki and ramlila of North India, the tamasha of Maharashtra, the burrakatha of Andhra Pradesh, theterukkuttu of Tamil Nadu, and the yakshagana of Karnataka.[Dell Studio XPS 16 battery]

Bollywood, the commercial center of Hindi cinema in India, is the most prolific and the Indian film industry most watched film industry in the world. Established traditions also exist in Assamese, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Tamil, and Telugu language cinemas.[HP Compaq nx7400 Adapter]

Sport

India's official national sport is field hockey, administered by Hockey India. The Indian hockey team won the 1975 Hockey World Cup and 8 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals at the Olympic games, making it one of the world's most successful national hockey teams ever. Cricket, however, is by far the most popular sport;HP Pavilion DV6500 Adapter

the India cricket team won the 1983 and the 2011 World Cups, 2007 ICC World Twenty20, and shared the 2002 ICC Champions Trophywith Sri Lanka. Cricket in India is administered by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and domestic competitions include the Ranji Trophy,Dell T117C battery

theDuleep Trophy, the Deodhar Trophy, the Irani Trophy and the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy. In addition, BCCI conducts the Indian Premier League, a Twenty20 competition.

India is home to several traditional sports which originated in the country and continue to remain fairly popular.Acer PA-1650-02 Adapter

These include kabaddi, kho kho, pehlwani andgilli-danda. Some of the earliest forms of Asian martial arts, such as Kalarippayattu, Yuddha, Silambam and Varma Kalai, originated in India. The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and the Arjuna Award are India's highest awards for achievements in sports, while the Dronacharya Award is awarded for excellence in coaching.Acer Aspire 5920G Adapter

Chess, commonly held to have originated in India, is regaining widespread popularity with the rise in the number of Indian Grandmasters.[233] Tennis has also become increasingly popular, owing to the victories of the India Davis Cup team and the success of Indian tennis players.[Asus S1 Adapter]

India has a strong presence inshooting sports, winning several medals at the Olympics, the World Shooting Championships and the Commonwealth Games. Other sports in which Indian sports-persons have won numerous awards or medals at international sporting events include badminton,[237] boxing[238] and wrestling.HP Pavilion dv6000 Battery

Football is a popular sport in northeastern India,West Bengal, Goa, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.[241]

India has hosted or co-hosted several international sporting events, such as the 1951 and the 1982 Asian Games, the 1987, 1996 and 2011 Cricket World Cups, the 2003 Afro-Asian Games, Ibm Thinkpad T30 Battery

the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy, the 2010 Hockey World Cup and the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Major international sporting events annually held in India include the Chennai Open, Mumbai Marathon, Delhi Half Marathon and the Indian Masters. It will also host the first Indian Grand Prix in 2011 in Greater Noida.Dell Studio PP39L battery

The Economy of India is the Tenth largest in the world by nominal GDP[1] and the fourth largest by purchasing power parity (PPP).[1] The country'sper capita GDP (PPP) is $3,339 (IMF, 129th) in 2010.[HP Pavilion dv5 Adapter]

Following strong economic reforms from the post-independence socialist economy, the country's economic growth progressed at a rapid pace, as free market principles were initiated in 1991 for international competition and foreign investment.[11] Despite fast economic growth the nation continues face massive income equalities, high unemployment and malnutrition.HP Compaq Business NC6400 Battery

Overview

Social democratic policies governed India's economy from 1947 to 1991. The economy was characterised by extensive regulation, protectionism,public ownership, pervasive corruption and slow growth.[12][13] Since 1991, continuing economic liberalisation has moved the country towards amarket-based economy.HP Compaq 490306-001 battery

A revival of economic reforms and better economic policy in first decade of the 21st century accelerated India'seconomic growth rate. In recent years, Indian cities have continued to liberalise business regulations.[5] By 2008, India had established itself as the world's second-fastest growing major economy.[Compaq Presario CQ35-100 battery]

However, as a result of the financial crisis of 2007–2010, coupled with a poor monsoon, India's gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate significantly slowed to 6.7% in 2008–09, but subsequently recovered to 7.2% in 2009–10, while the fiscal deficit rose from 5.9% to a high 6.5% during the same period.[HP Compaq HSTNN-LB51 battery]

India’s current account deficit surged to 4.1% of GDP during Q2 FY11 against 3.2% the previous quarter. The unemployment rate for 2009–2010, according to the state Labour Bureau, was 9.4% nationwide, rising to 10.1% in rural areas, where two-thirds of the 1.2 billion population live.[HP Pavilion ZE4500 battery

India's large service industry accounts for 57.2% of the country's GDP while the industrial and agricultural sectors contribute 28.6% and 14.6% respectively.[16] Agriculture is the predominant occupation in India, accounting for about 52% of employment. The service sector makes up a further 34%, and industrial sector around 14%.[HP G62-100EB battery]

However, statistics from a 2009-10 government survey, which used a smaller sample size than earlier surveys, suggested that the share of agriculture in employment had dropped to 45.5%.[4]

Major industries include telecommunications, textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, information technology-enabled services and pharmaceuticals.[HP Pavilion DV6-1211AX battery]

The labour force totals 500 million workers. Major agricultural productsinclude rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, potatoes, cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, poultry and fish.[18] In 2009-2010, India's top five trading partners are United Arab Emirates, China, United States, Saudi Arabia and Germany.HP Pavilion DV6-1220SO battery

Previously a closed economy, India's trade and business sector has grown fast.[12] India currently accounts for 1.5% of world trade as of 2007 according to the World Trade Statistics of the WTO in 2006, which valued India's total merchandise trade (counting exports and imports) at $294 billion and India's services trade at $143 billion. HP EliteBook 6930P battery

Thus, India's global economic engagement in 2006 covering both merchandise and services trade was of the order of $437 billion, up by a record 72% from a level of $253 billion in 2004. India's total trade in goods and services has reached a share of 43% of GDP in 2005–06, up from 16% in 1990–91.HP Pavilion DV6-1210SA battery

Pre-colonial period (up to 1773)

The citizens of the Indus Valley civilisation, a permanent settlement that flourished between 2800 BC and 1800 BC, practiced agriculture, domesticated animals, used uniform weights and measures, made tools and weapons, and traded with other cities.Compaq Presario CQ71 battery

Evidence of well-planned streets, a drainage system and water supply reveals their knowledge of urban planning, which included the world's first urban sanitation systems and the existence of a form of municipal government.

Maritime trade was carried out extensively between South India and southeast and West Asia from early times until around the fourteenth century AD. HP Pavilion DV7-1290EO battery

Both the Malabar and Coromandel Coasts were the sites of important trading centres from as early as the first century BC, used for import and export as well as transit points between the Mediterranean region and southeast Asia.Over time, traders organised themselves into associations which received state patronage. HP G6000 battery

However, state patronage for overseas trade came to an end by the thirteenth century AD, when it was largely taken over by the local Jewish and Muslim communities, initially on the Malabar and subsequently on the Coromandel coast.[23] Further north, theSaurashtra and Bengal coasts played an important role in maritime trade, and the Gangetic plains and the Indus valley housed several centres of river-borne commerce. HP HDX X18-1005EA battery

Most overland trade was carried out via the Khyber Pass connecting the Punjab region with Afghanistan and onward to theMiddle East and Central Asia.[24] Although many kingdoms and rulers issued coins, barter was prevalent. Villages paid a portion of their agricultural produce as revenue to the rulers, while their craftsmen received a part of the crops at harvest time for their services.[HP Pavilion DV6-3013SL battery]

Religion, especially Hinduism and the caste and the joint family systems, played an influential role in shaping economic activities.[26] The caste system functioned much like medieval European guilds, ensuring the division of labour, providing for the training of apprentices and, in some cases, allowing manufacturers to achieve narrow specialisation.HP Compaq HSTNN-IB62 battery

For instance, in certain regions, producing each variety of cloth was the specialty of a particular sub-caste. Textiles such as muslin, Calicos, shawls, and agricultural products such as pepper, cinnamon, opium and indigo were exported to Europe, the Middle East and South East Asia in return for gold and silver.[HP Pavilion DV6100 battery]

Assessment of India's pre-colonial economy is mostly qualitative, owing to the lack of quantitative information. The Mughal economy functioned on an elaborate system of coined currency, land revenue and trade. Gold, silver and copper coins were issued by the royal mints which functioned on the basis offree coinage.[HP EliteBook 2730P battery]

The political stability and uniform revenue policy resulting from a centralised administration under the Mughals, coupled with a well-developed internal trade network, ensured that India, before the arrival of the British, was to a large extent economically unified,HP Pavilion DV9000 battery

despite having a traditional agrarian economy characterised by a predominance of subsistence agriculture dependent on primitive technology.[29] After the decline of the Mughals, western, central and parts of south and north India were integrated and administered by the Maratha Empire. HP Pavilion DV7 battery

After the loss at the Third Battle of Panipat, the Maratha Empire disintegrated into several confederate states, and the resulting political instability and armed conflict severely affected economic life in several parts of the country, although this was compensated for to some extent by localised prosperity in the new provincial kingdoms.[HP Pavilion DV7-1290EO battery]

By the end of the eighteenth century, the British East India Company entered the Indian political theatre and established its dominance over other European powers. This marked a determinative shift in India's trade, and a less powerful impact on the rest of the economy.[HP Compaq Business 6735S battery]

Colonial period (1773–1947)

Company rule in India brought a major change in the taxation and agricultural policies, which tended to promote commercialisation of agriculture with a focus on trade, resulting in decreased production of food crops, mass impoverishment and destitution of farmers, and in the short term, led to numerous famines.[HP 540 battery]

The economic policies of the British Raj caused a severe decline in the handicrafts and handloom sectors, due to reduced demand and dipping employment.[34] After the removal of international restrictions by the Charter of 1813, Indian trade expanded substantially and over the long term showed an upward trend.[HP Compaq Business NW9440 battery]

The result was a significant transfer of capital from India to England, which, due to the colonial policies of the British, led to a massive drain of revenue rather than any systematic effort at modernisation of the domestic economy.[HP Compaq Business  TC4400 battery]

India's colonisation by the British created an institutional environment that, on paper, guaranteed property rightsamong the colonisers, encouraged free trade, and created a single currency with fixed exchange rates, standardised weights and measures and capital markets.HP Compaq 491278-001 battery

It also established a well-developed system of railwaysand telegraphs, a civil service that aimed to be free from political interference, a common-law and an adversarial legal system.[38] This coincided with major changes in the world economy – industrialisation, and significant growth in production and trade.HP HSTNN-LB31 battery

However, at the end of colonial rule, India inherited an economy that was one of the poorest in the developing world,[39] with industrial development stalled, agriculture unable to feed a rapidly growing population, a largely illiterate and unskilled labour force, and extremely inadequate infrastructure.[HP Pavilion DV5-1211EM  battery]

The 1872 census revealed that 91.3% of the population of the region constituting present-day India resided in villages,[41] and urbanisation generally remained sluggish until the 1920s, due to the lack of industrialisation and absence of adequate transportation. Subsequently, the policy of discriminating protection HP Pavilion DV3-4000  battery

(where certain important industries were given financial protection by the state), coupled with the Second World War, saw the development and dispersal of industries, encouraging rural-urban migration, and in particular the large port cities of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras grew rapidly. HP Pavilion TX1000   battery

Despite this, only one-sixth of India's population lived in cities by 1951.[42]

The impact of the British rule on India's economy is a controversial topic. Leaders of the Indian independence movement and left-nationalist economic historians have blamed colonial rule for the dismal HP Pavilion DV6-1210SA  battery

state of India's economy in its aftermath and argued that financial strength required for industrial development in Europe was derived from the wealth taken from colonies in Asia and Africa. At the same time, right-wing historians have countered that India's low economic performance was due to various sectors HP 448007-001 battery

being in a state of growth and decline due to changes brought in by colonialism and a world that was moving towards industrialisation and economic integration.[43]

Pre-liberalisation period (1947–1991)

Indian economic policy after independence was influenced by the colonial experience, HP Compaq Business  6530B  battery

which was seen by Indian leaders as exploitative, and by those leaders' exposure to democratic socialism as well as the progress achieved by the economy of the Soviet Union.  Domestic policy tended towards protectionism, with a strong emphasis on import substitution industrialisation, economic interventionism, HP Pavilion DV5-1211EM  battery

a large public sector, business regulation, and central planning, while trade and foreign investment policies were relatively liberal.[45] Five-Year Plans of India resembled central planning in the Soviet Union. Steel, mining, machine tools, telecommunications, insurance, and power plants, among other industries, were effectively nationalised in the mid-1950s.[HP Pavilion DV5-1015EA  battery]

Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India, along with the statistician Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, formulated and oversaw economic policy during the initial years of the country's existence. They expected favorable outcomes from their strategy, involving the rapid development of heavy industry by both public and private sectors, HP Pavilion DV6-1230SB battery

and based on direct and indirect state intervention, rather than the more extreme Soviet-style central command system. The policy of concentrating simultaneously on capital- and technology-intensive heavy industry and subsidising manual, low-skill cottage industries was criticised by economist Milton Friedman, HP Pavilion ZD8181EA  battery

who thought it would waste capital and labour, and retard the development of small manufacturers. The rate of growth of the Indian economy in the first three decades after independence was derisively referred to as the Hindu rate of growth, because of the unfavourable comparison with growth rates in other Asian countries, especially the East Asian Tigers.HP Pavilion DV9500  battery

Since 1965, the use of high-yielding varieties of seeds, increased fertilisers and improved irrigation facilities collectively contributed to the Green Revolution in India, which improved the condition of agriculture by increasing crop productivity, improving crop patterns and strengthening forward and backward linkages between agriculture and industry.HP Pavilion DV4-1125BR  battery

However, it has also been criticised as an unsustainable effort, resulting in the growth of capitalistic farming, ignoring institutional reforms and widening income disparities.[53]

Post-liberalisation period (since 1991)

In the late 1970s, the government led by Morarji Desai eased restrictions on capacity expansion for incumbent companies, removed price controls, reduced corporate taxes and promoted the creation of small scale industries in large numbers. HP Pavilion DV5-1111EA Battery

However, the subsequent government policy of Fabian socialism hampered the benefits of the economy, leading to high fiscal deficits and a worsening current account. The collapse of the Soviet Union, which was India's major trading partner, and the Gulf War, which caused a spike in oil prices, HP Pavilion DV6-1234TX   battery

resulted in a major balance-of-payments crisis for India, which found itself facing the prospect of defaulting on its loans.[54] India asked for a $1.8 billion bailout loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which in return demanded reforms.[HP Pavilion DV3-2008TX  battery]

In response, Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, along with his finance minister Manmohan Singh, initiated the economic liberalisation of 1991. The reforms did away with the Licence Raj, reduced tariffs and interest rates and ended many public monopolies, allowing automatic approval of foreign direct investment in many sectors.[HP Pavilion DV8  battery]

Since then, the overall thrust of liberalisation has remained the same, although no government has tried to take on powerful lobbies such as trade unions and farmers, on contentious issues such as reforming labour laws and reducing agricultural subsidies.[57] By the turn of the 20th century, HP Pavilion DV6-1215SA  battery

India had progressed towards a free-market economy, with a substantial reduction in state control of the economy and increased financial liberalisation.[58] This has been accompanied by increases in life expectancy, literacy rates and food security, although the beneficiaries have largely been urban residents.[HP Compaq 490306-001  battery]

While the credit rating of India was hit by its nuclear weapons tests in 1998, it has since been raised to investment level in 2003 by S&P and Moody's.[60] In 2003, Goldman Sachs predicted that India's GDP in current prices would overtake France and Italy by 2020, Germany, UK and Russia by 2025 and Japan by 2035,Compaq Presario CQ50  battery

making it the third largest economy of the world, behind the US and China. India is often seen by most economists as a rising economic superpower and is believed to play a major role in the global economy in the 21st century.HP Pavilion DV6-1223EO  battery

Industry and services

Industry accounts for 28% of the GDP and employ 14% of the total workforce.[17] In absolute terms, India is 12th in the world in terms of nominal factory output.[65] The Indian industrial sector underwent significant changes as a result of the economic reforms of 1991, which removed import restrictions, brought in foreign competition, HP Compaq 490306-001  battery

led to privatisation of certain public sector industries, liberalised the FDI regime, improved infrastructure and led to an expansion in the production of fast moving consumer goods.[66] Post-liberalisation, the Indian private sector was faced with increasing domestic as well as foreign competition, including the threat of cheaper Chinese imports. Compaq Presario CQ35-100   battery

It has since handled the change by squeezing costs, revamping management, and relying on cheap labour and new technology. However, this has also reduced employment generation even by smaller manufacturers who earlier relied on relatively labour-intensive processes.[HP Compaq HSTNN-LB51  battery]

Textile manufacturing is the second largest source of employment after agriculture and accounts for 20% of manufacturing output, providing employment to over 20 million people.[68] Ludhiana produces 90% of woollens in India and is known as the Manchester of India. HP Pavilion ZE4500  battery

Tirupur has gained universal recognition as the leading source of hosiery, knitted garments, casual wear and sportswear.[69]

India is 13th in services output. The services sector provides employment to 23% of the work force and is growing quickly, with a growth rate of 7.5% in 1991–2000, up from 4.5% in 1951–80. HP G62-100EB  battery

It has the largest share in the GDP, accounting for 55% in 2007, up from 15% in 1950.[17] Information technology andbusiness process outsourcing are among the fastest growing sectors, having a cumulative growth rate of revenue 33.6% between 1997–98 and 2002–03 and contributing to 25% of the country's total exports in 2007–08.[HP Pavilion DV6-1211AX  battery]

The growth in the IT sector is attributed to increased specialisation, and an availability of a large pool of low cost, highly skilled, educated and fluent English-speaking workers, on the supply side, matched on the demand side by increased demand from foreign consumers interested in India's service exports, or those looking to outsource their operations. HP EliteBook 6930P   battery

The share of the Indian IT industry in the country's GDP increased from 4.8 % in 2005–06 to 7% in 2008.[71] In 2009, seven Indian firms were listed among the top 15 technology outsourcing companies in the world.[72]

Mining forms an important segment of the Indian economy, with the country producing 79 different minerals (excluding fuel and atomic resources) in 2009–10,HP Pavilion DV9500  battery

including iron ore, manganese, mica,bauxite, chromite, limestone, asbestos, fluorite, gypsum, ochre, phosphorite and silica sand.[73] Organised retail supermarkets accounts for 24% of the market as of 2008.[74] Regulations prevent most foreign investment in retailing. Compaq Evo N610C  battery

Moreover, over thirty regulations such as "signboard licences" and "anti-hoarding measures" may have to be complied before a store can open doors. There are taxes for moving goods from state to state, and even within states.[74] Tourism in India is relatively undeveloped, but growing at double digits. Some hospitals woo medical tourism.[HP Pavilion DM3-1050EO battery]

Agriculture

India ranks second worldwide in farm output. Agriculture and allied sectors like forestry, logging and fishing accounted for 15.7% of the GDP in 2009–10, employed 52.1% of the total workforce, and despite a steady decline of its share in the GDP, is still the largest economic sector and a significant piece of the overall socio-economic development of India.[Compaq Presario 1245  battery]

Yields per unit area of all crops have grown since 1950, due to the special emphasis placed on agriculture in the five-year plans and steady improvements in irrigation, technology, application of modern agricultural practices and provision of agricultural credit and subsidies since the Green Revolution in India. HP G6000  battery

However, international comparisons reveal the average yield in India is generally 30% to 50% of the highest average yield in the world.[79]

India receives an average annual rainfall of 1,208 millimetres (47.6 in) and a total annual precipitation of 4000 billion cubic metres,HP Compaq 451086-661  battery

with the total utilisable water resources, including surface and groundwater, amounting to 1123 billion cubic metres.[80]546,820 square kilometres (211,130 sq mi) of the land area, or about 39% of the total cultivated area, is irrigated.[81] India's inland water resources including rivers, HP Pavilion DV2166EA  battery

canals, ponds and lakes and marine resources comprising the east and west coasts of the Indian ocean and other gulfs and bays provide employment to nearly six million people in the fisheries sector. In 2008, India had the world's third largest fishing industry.[HP Compaq 464119-143  battery]

India is the largest producer in the world of milk, jute and pulses, and also has the world's second largest cattle population with 175 million animals in 2008.[76] It is the second largest producer of rice, wheat, sugarcane, cotton and groundnuts, as well as the second largest fruit and vegetable producer, Compaq Presario CQ71  battery

accounting for 10.9% and 8.6% of the world fruit and vegetable production respectively.[76] India is also the second largest producer and the largest consumer of silk in the world, producing 77,000 million tons in 2005.[83]

Banking and finance

The Indian money market is classified into the organised sector, HP Pavilion DV9565EA  battery

comprising private, public and foreign owned commercial banks and cooperative banks, together known as scheduled banks, and the unorganised sector, which includes individual or family owned indigenous bankers or money lenders and non-banking financial companies.[HP Pavilion DV6203TX battery]

The unorganised sector and microcredit are still preferred over traditional banks in rural and sub-urban areas, especially for non-productive purposes, like ceremonies and short duration loans.[85]

Prime Minister Indira Gandhi nationalised 14 banks in 1969, followed by six others in 1980,HP Pavilion DV7-1290EO  battery

and made it mandatory for banks to provide 40% of their net credit to priority sectors like agriculture, small-scale indust

ry, retail trade, small businesses, etc. to ensure that the banks fulfill their social and developmental goals.HP HSTNN-OB51  battery

Since then, the number of bank branches has increased from 8,260 in 1969 to 72,170 in 2007 and the population covered by a branch decreased from 63,800 to 15,000 during the same period. The total bank deposits increased from Indian Rupee symbol.svg5,910 crore (US$1.31 billion) in 1970–71 to Indian Rupee symbol.svg3,830,922 crore (US$850.46 billion) in 2008–09.HP Pavilion DV7-2185DX  battery

Despite an increase of rural branches, from 1,860 or 22% of the total number of branches in 1969 to 30,590 or 42% in 2007, only 32,270 out of 500,000 villages are covered by a scheduled bank.

India's gross domestic saving in 2006–07 as a percentage of GDP stood at a high 32.7%.HP Compaq Business  6830S  battery

More than half of personal savings are invested in physical assets such as land, houses, cattle, and gold.[89] The public sector banks hold over 75% of total assets of the banking industry, with the private and foreign banks holding 18.2% and 6.5% respectively. Since liberalisation, the government has approved significant banking reforms. HP PP2200   battery 

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