Saturday, July 17
A country in South Asia, the Republic of India is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with 1.18 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world.
Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism originated here, while Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam arrived in the first millennium CE and contributed to the region's diverse culture. Gradually annexed by the British East India Company from the early 18th century and colonized by the United Kingdom from the mid-19th century, India became an independent nation in 1947 after a struggle for independence that was marked by nonviolent resistance.
India is a federal constitutional republic consisting of 28 states and seven union territories with a parliamentary system of democracy. The Indian economy is the world's 11th largest economy by nominal GDP and the fourth largest by purchasing power parity. Economic reforms since 1991 have transformed it into one of the fastest growing economies in the world. India is a nuclear state and has the third-largest standing army in the world. A pluralistic, multilingual and multiethnic society, India is also home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats.
The culture of India has been shaped not only by its long history, unique geography and diverse demography, but also by its ancient heritages, building upon diverse sub-cultures and traditions that are several millennia old.