* India is the most populous nation (after China) and seventh largest in area. * Located in South Asia on the Indian subcontinent.
* About 3000 km ( 1865 mi) wide and has, 7000 km (4350 mi ) along the Bay of Bangal on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. * India’s land frontier of about 5700 km ( 3540 mi) is shared with Pakistan on the west; with China, Nepal, and Bhutan on the north; and with Bangladesh, and Burma on the east. India’s seventh neighbor is the island nation of Sri Lanka, located off the southern tip of peninsula. Northeast India is virtually is the isolated from the rest of the nation by the county of Bangladesh. Also part of India are the Laccative islands off the western coast and the Andaman and Nicobar islands, located in the eastern portion of the Bay of Bangal.
* Indian culture is a great antiquity. The earliest Indian civilization grew up in the Indus Valley from 4000 to 2500 B.C. Beginning about 1500 B.C , Aryan invaders entered India from the northeast and intermingled with local Dravidian population. * India can be divided into three main topographic regions: Himalayan Mountain systems on the north, Ganges, and Brahmaputra rivers in central India; and Peninsular India of the South. * The Himalayas from parts of India’s boarders with Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tibet in the west and with Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet in the east. The region is topographically complex and divided into prominent elongated valleys and mountain ranges. * The Northern Plains are part are vast lowland extending across the subcontinent from Pakistan in the west to Bangladesh in the east. * And in the rest of India by the Ganges and its many tributaries.
More than 200 languages are spoken in India, and linguistic diversity provides an important key to understanding Indian Civilization. Four major languages groups are represented. The most important of these are Indio-Arab branch of Indio-European group ( the major linguistic family of Europe) and Dravidian language group. Hindi, the fourth most widely spoken language in the world, is the language of 30 percent of the popular and the official language of India.
India is the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. Today, is the secular state, and its constitution guarantees religion tolerance to all group. Hinduism’s adherents constitute about 83% of the population. Another 11% are followers of Islam, and Jains and Buddhist less than 1%. Aside from the Sikh concentration in the Punjab and the Parsis ( who practice Zoroastrianism) in the Bombay area, there is no marked regional distribution of religious groups.
The Indian caste system, an important facet of Hinduism, is a major social system that groups people according to birth. Although caste should not be confused with class, lower caste groups do perform much of the manual labor and fill most unskilled jobs in the economy. Harijans, formerly known as Untouchables, have traditionally occupied the lowest rung of the social ladder. The Indian legislature provided employment of Harijans and tribal people, but caste consciousness remains important.
* Indians literacy rate was more than doubled between 1950 and 1988. * Literacy is higher among men than among women.
* Much higher in urban areas than in rural.
* Education is the responsibility of both the central and state government. * Education system is free and open to all children through university level. * Provides for eight years of primary education, two years of lower secondary education, and two years of upper secondary education. * Education is compulsory for children aged 6 – 14
* India’s universities are generally large, with clusters of affiliated colleges.
* The Constitution adopted in 1950 provides for a federal system with a...