Bharat | India

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Bharat | India

Useful information on a civilisation 8000 years young!


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    • | Physical
      • India is a South Asian nation. By landmass, India is the seventh-largest country (after Russia, Canada, China, USA, Brazil and Australia). India’s total area is of 3,287,263 square kilometres (=32 lac sq.km. approx.), while Russia’s is 1.7 crore sq.km., and entire Earth’s is 51 crore sq.km. India’s coastline is 7,517 km long (and total land frontier is 15,200 km), including the entire mainland, the coastlines of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal and Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea. The Andaman and Nicobar islands group is a strategic location for India, located near the Malacca Strait. India lies on the Indian tectonic plate, which is the northern portion of the Indo-Australian Plate, whose continental crust forms the Indian subcontinent. The coordinates of India are - north of the equator between 6°4' (8°4' for mainland) to 37°6' north latitude and 68°7' to 97°25' east longitude. India's dimensions are 3,214 km from north to south and 2,933 km from east to west. On the northern frontiers of India lie the majestic Himalayan mountain range (home of snow) which protects India from the frigid winds from the north, and here India borders China, Bhutan, and Nepal. Its western border has the Punjab Plain and the Thar Desert. In the far northeast are forested regions (the Chin Hills and Kachin Hills), adjoining Burma. On the east, its border with Bangladesh is defined by the Khasi and Mizo Hills, and the huge watershed region of the Indo-Gangetic Plain (the largest delta in the world is the Sundarbans). The Indian peninsula projects into the southern direction and is bound by the Indian Ocean (Arabian Sea to the southwest, Lakshadweep Sea to the south, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast). India is separated from Sri Lanka by the Palk Strait and Gulf of Mannar. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are 1,200 km southeast of the mainland, and share maritime borders with Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia. The southernmost tip of India is Kanyakumari (8°4′41″N and 77°32′28″E), and the 'southernmost point' in India is Indira Point on Great Nicobar Island. Northernmost point which is under Indian administration is Siachen Glacier. India's territorial waters extend into the sea to a distance of 12 nautical miles.
    • | Rivers of India
      • While the Sindhu river (Indus river) defined the earliest civilisation in the Indian subcontinent (the Indus Valley Civilisation), the Ganga is the longest river with a deep cultural story, the most holy of rivers for Hindus, and originating in India. The symbolism of Ganga is very strong, and for Hindus, it is the source where they can liberate from the endless cylce of life-death-life and attain Moksha. The river is 2,525 km long, rises in the western Himalayas (Uttarakhand) flowing south and east. Gomukh of the Gangotri Glacier (height 13,200 ft in Uttarkashi district) , from where Bhagirathi River originates, is one of the primary sources. It then flows through the Gangetic Plains of north India into Bangladesh, where it empties into the Bay of Bengal forming the largest delta - Sundarbans - in the world. Globally, it's the third largest river by discharge. The Ganga-Brahmaputra river system occupies the northern, central, and eastern Indian regions. The massive Deccan Plateau occupies most of southern India, and bears huge lava deposits that took place during eruptions that lasted more than 30,000 years when Indian plate transited from the southern hemisphere till its clashing into the Eurasian plate. Kanchenjunga (world's third highest peak), on the border between Nepal and Sikkim, is the highest point in India at 8,598 m (28,209 ft). Continued extraction of ground-water for micro-irrigation purposed by individual farmers across India has resulted in a crisis-like situation in many regions, with aquifers not refilling adequately. Water stress is growing. A challenge posed is the unpredictability of El Nino and La Nina, as proper monsoons form the lifeline for Indian subcontinent. Read a Bodhi on the conflict on Indus Water Treaty between India and Pakistan, here.
        For the most comprehensive learning on this topic, welcome here - Rivers of India and the World  ##link##
    • | Population
      • India is the second most populous nation in the world with approximately 20% of human population. India's present population is at least 132 crores (Sex ratio 944 females for 1000 males), with Census 2011 projecting it at 121 crores (1.21 billion). By 2022, India may surpass China and become the largest nations in the world. Present population growth rate of India is 1.2% (94th worldwide). In 1998, India crossed the 100 crore mark, and the beauty of it is that half the population is below 25 years of age. India's favourable demographics has given rise to the term "Demographic Dividend" as it is said that the average age of an Indian by 2020 will be 29 years (37 for China and 48 for Japan). India is also called an "Ethnological Museum" as the number of races and ethnic groups is huge. Every major religion on the planet is represented in India. It is visible that only Africa exceeds the overall diversity that India is! Here is a comprehensive collection of analyses on demography and prosperity related issues, for the inquisitive minds.
    • | Bordering countries
      • On the North - China, Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. On the East - Bangladesh and Myanmar. On the South - Sri Lanka (separated by a narrow water channel). On the West - Pakistan and Afghanistan. Historically, India has maintained good relations with its neighbours. The antagonistic attitude of Pakistan, and later China, has created persistent troubles over the borders forcing India to develop its own defence systems, including an ultra-modern and capable missile defence system. China has started asseting itself in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) which it thinks it can lay claim to, ultimately, in addition to it being a natural backyard of India. The ambitious One Belt One Road (OBOR) project of China's Communist regime is creating huge tensions in south Asia, as the CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) passes through India's territory illegally occupied by Pakistan - including Gilgit Baltistan regions. Russian influence on Afghanistan, and the US - ISAF winding down there is complicating matters further. India is now a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and has always strived to deepen relationships with central Asian "stans".
        Here are multiple resources for you to delve into : 1. India - China - Pakistan issues, 2. Central Asia, SCO, India, 3. Emerging world political equations, 4. Warfare, defence, weapons etc.
    • | Political system
      • The Government of India (GoI) is a quasi-federal type of government, which derives its structure and powers through the Constitution of India which came into effect on the 26th January, 1950. Unlike its neighbours Pakistan or even China, India has had only one constitution made by the only Constituent Assembly ever, that has been used to run the nation in seven decades. India is a Union of 29 states and seven union territories (UTs). It is a parliamentary democratic republic, officially called the Republic of India. The 'federal' government is made of the three pillars - executive, legislative, and judiciary - with a clear separation of powers. The system in the states mirrors the one at the Centre.  ##play-circle-o## Watch many video analyses regarding Indian Politics, on our Bodhi Shiksha channel.  The President of India is India's Head of State and the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces while the Prime Minister is the Head of Government. He is the Chief Political Executive of India, enjoying all powers to run the government. India has a bicameral Parliament in which Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha act as the lower and upper houses respectively. The Judiciary is made of the apex Supreme Court, 24 high courts, and several district courts, in a unitary system. The judiciary enjoys powers like "judicial review" to ascertain if the political executive's actions are withing the boundaries set by the constitution or not. The Panchayati Raj system enshrined a huge local body govenrment in rural and urban areas of India, constituting the third tier of government, with the 14th Finance Commission ensuring a large financial support to the same. India has been actively engaging with world organisations, starting with the GATT in late 1940s. India is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation), the NAM (Non-Aligned Movement), the G20 group, the IMF (International Monetary Fund), the World Bank, the WTO (World Trade Organisation), the UN (United Nations), the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation), the NDB (New Development BRICS Bank), the AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) and the MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime). 
        Here are multiple resources for you to delve into : 1. Institutions and bodies in Indian political system2. Parliament and assemblies3. State of Indian economy and politics4. Post-independence India.
    • | National Symbols
      • India's national motto is "Satyamev Jayate" or सत्यमेव जयते - which means "Truth alone triumphs". This mantra from the ancient Indian scripture Mundaka Upanishad was adopted as the national motto after independence. It is inscribed in script at the base of the national emblem, the Lion Capital of Ashok. The sculpture of four Asiatic lions standing back to back, on a base which includes other animals (bull, horse etc.) was originally placed atop the Ashok pillar at the Buddhist site of Sarnath, in about 250 BCE. The pillar (Ashok Stambh) is in its original location, but the Lion Capital is in the Sarnath Museum, in UP, India. This motto and emblem appears on government documents and currency notes today. The motto reads - सत्यमेव जयते नानृतं सत्येन पन्था विततो देवयानः । येनाक्रमन्त्यृषयो ह्याप्तकामा यत्र तत् सत्यस्य परमं निधानम् ॥ which translated, means, Truth alone triumphs; not falsehood; Through truth the divine path is spread out; by which the sages whose desires have been completely fulfilled, reach where that supreme treasure of Truth resides. [ China's motto is - Wèi rén mín fú wù (Serve the People); Nepal's motto is - जननी जन्मभूमिष्च स्वर्गादपि गरियसि (Sanskrit: "Mother and motherland are greater than heaven"); Pakistan's motto is - Iman, Ittihad, Nazm (Urdu: "Faith, unity, discipline"); the Russian Federation has no motto, but the Soviet Union's motto was - Proletarians of all countries, unite!; US's motto is - In God We Trust ]
    • | Economy
      • The Indian economy is huge, ranked seventh on nominal GDP and third on PPP GDP in the world. India is part of the G-20 economies and is a leading member of the BRICS association of nations (of which some members have faltered lately). In the past few years, India has shown a high rate of growth (7% and more) when the world economy was struggling. The most industrialised and wealthy state of India is Maharashtra followed by the states of Tamil Nadu and UP. India's economy bagged the tag of the "fastest growing economy" in 2014, and has remained there despite multiple hiccups, including demonetisation!  ##play-circle-o## Here are many video analyses of excellent ideas related to Indian Economy.   The favourable factors for India for the coming decades are (a) favourable demographics (a young population), (b) a habit of savings, (c) intense integration into the world economy post LPG reforms of 1991, (d) relative peace and calm, (e) strong institutional infrastructure, (f) strong and widespread Indian diaspora globally. The IMF calls the Indian economy a "bright spot". The GDP of India is heavily skewed in favour of the Services Sector that has grown at a feverish pace in the past decade, with Industry and Agriculture contributing less than 40% overall. The regional inequalities in India are prominent despite seven decades of government efforts. The Indian diaspora across the world is a source of large-scale foreign exchange earnings for India. Read all latest updates on Demonetisation and GST in India, here! Through the LPG reforms of 1991, India is developing into an open-market economy. Economic liberalization measures, including industrial deregulation, privatization of state-owned enterprises, and reduced controls on foreign trade and investment, began in the early 1990s and accelerated the GDP growth rates, which averaged under 7% per year from 1997 to 2011. Read many Bodhi Saars on India's GDP-GNP etc.  India's diverse economy is made up of traditional village farming, modern agriculture, handicrafts, a wide range of modern manufacturing industries, and a multitude of services. The fact that India largely remains an informal economy is a grave concern, as more than 75% of workforce earns no regular salaries or benefits. Here is a list of analyses on this theme. Services are the major source of economic growth, accounting for nearly two-thirds of India's output with less than one-third of its labor force. That is a huge concern. India has a large educated English-speaking population which has powered it to evolved as a major exporter of information technology services, business outsourcing services, and software workers. Internet Commerce too has picked up in a big way in India, though it made up less than 10% of total retail in 2017. Here's a list of analyses on Internet Commerce. Post 2011, India hit a rough patch because of a decline in investment, caused by high interest rates, rising inflation, and investor pessimism about the government's commitment to further economic reforms and about the global situation. The Modi government post 2014 has tried multiple policy measures to turn things around. But challenges are huge, including corruption, poverty and discrimination against women and girls. Structural challenges include inefficient power generation and distribution system, ineffective enforcement of intellectual property rights, decades-long civil litigation dockets, inadequate transport and agricultural infrastructure, limited non-agricultural employment opportunities, high spending and poorly-targeted subsidies, inadequate availability of quality basic and higher education, and accommodating rural-to-urban migration. A surge of inbound capital flows through 2014, 2015 and 2016 and stabilization of the rupee has buoyed investor sentiments lately. The coming of the GST regime is further pushing a "One Market" agenda. Here is a comprehensive list of analyses based on "Features of Indian Economy".


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