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currency: Indian Rupee (INR)
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India profile
dominates South Asian subcontinent; near important Indian Ocean trade routes; Kanchenjunga, third tallest mountain in the world, lies on the border with Nepal
India history
The Indus Valley civilization, one of the world's oldest, flourished during the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C. and extended into northwestern India. Aryan tribes from the northwest infiltrated the Indian subcontinent about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier Dravidian inhabitants created the classical Indian culture. The Maurya Empire of the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. - which reached its zenith under ASHOKA - united much of South Asia. The Golden Age ushered in by the Gupta dynasty (4th to 6th centuries A.D.) saw a flowering of Indian science, art, and culture. Islam spread across the subcontinent over a period of 700 years. In the 10th and 11th centuries, Turks and Afghans invaded India and established the Delhi Sultanate. In the early 16th century, the Emperor BABUR established the Mughal Dynasty which ruled India for more than three centuries. European explorers began establishing footholds in India during the 16th century. By the 19th century, Great Britain had become the dominant political power on the subcontinent. The British Indian Army played a vital role in both World Wars. Years of nonviolent resistance to British rule, led by Mohandas GANDHI and Jawaharlal NEHRU, eventually resulted in Indian independence, which was granted in 1947. Large-scale communal violence took place before and after the subcontinent partition into two separate states - India and Pakistan. The neighboring nations have fought three wars since independence, the last of which was in 1971 and resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. India's nuclear weapons tests in 1998 emboldened Pakistan to conduct its own tests that same year. In November 2008, terrorists originating from Pakistan conducted a series of coordinated attacks in Mumbai, India's financial capital. Despite pressing problems such as significant overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and widespread corruption, economic growth following the launch of economic reforms in 1991 and a massive youthful population are driving India's emergence as a regional and global power.
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Conventional long form: Republic of India
Conventional short form: India
Local long form: Republic of India/Bharatiya Ganarajya
Local short form: India/Bharat
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India's capital city is New Delhi
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India Constitution:

26 January 1950;
amended many times
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India population growth rate: 1.28%
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India highest point: Kanchenjunga 8,598 m
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India lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
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About 48% of India's land is arable.
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Ganga River (Ganges) is the Longest River in India
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India birth rate is 20 births/1,000 population
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India infant mortality rate is 45 deaths/1,000 live births
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India fertility rate is 2.55 children born/woman
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India climate:

varies from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north
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Top 10 cities of India with populations (2012 est.) are:
1. Mumbai: 12,478,447
2. Delhi: 11,007,835
3. Bangalore: 8,425,970
4. Hyderabad: 6,809,970
5. Ahmedabad: 5,570,585
6. Chennai: 4,681,087
7. Kolkata: 4,486,679
8. Surat: 4,462,002
9. Pune: 3,115,431
10. Jaipur: 3,073,350
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India ethnic groups:

Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3%
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India Exports:

petroleum products, precious stones, machinery, iron and steel, chemicals, vehicles, apparel
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India Imports:

crude oil, precious stones, machinery, fertilizer, iron and steel, chemicals
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bicameral Parliament or Sansad consists of the Council of States or Rajya Sabha (a body consisting of 245 seats up to 12 of which are appointed by the president, the remainder chosen in staggered elections by the elected members of the state and territorial assemblies; members serve six-year terms) and the People's Assembly or Lok Sabha (545 seats; 543 members elected by popular vote, 2 appointed by the president; members serve five-year terms)

Administrative Divisions:
28 states

1. Andhra Pradesh
2. Arunachal Pradesh
3. Assam
4. Bihar
5. Chhattisgarh
6. Goa
7. Gujarat
8. Haryana
9. Himachal Pradesh
10. Jammu and Kashmir
11. Jharkhand
12. Karnataka
13. Kerala
14. Madhya Pradesh
15. Maharashtra
16. Manipur
17. Meghalaya
18. Mizoram
19. Nagaland
20. Odisha
21. Punjab
22. Rajasthan
23. Sikkim
24. Tamil Nadu
25. Tripura
26. Uttar Pradesh
27. Uttarakhand
28. West Bengal

and 7 union territories:

1. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
2. Chandigarh
3. Dadra and Nagar Haveli
4. Daman and Diu
5. Delhi
6. Lakshadweep
7. Puducherry
Political parties and leaders:
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) - Arvind KEJRIWAL

All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) - J. JAYALALITHAA

All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) - Mamata BANERJEE

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) - MAYAWATI

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - Rajnath SINGH

Biju Janata Dal (BJD) - Naveen PATNAIK

Communist Party of India (CPI) - A.B. BARDHAN

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI(M)) - Prakash KARAT

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) - M.KARUNANIDHI

Indian National Congress (INC) - Sonia GANDHI

Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)) - Sharad YADAV

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) - Sharad PAWAR

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) - Lalu Prasad YADAV

Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) - Ajit SINGH

Samajwadi Party (SP) - Mulayam Singh YADAV

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) - Parkash Singh BADAL

Shiv Sena (SS) - Uddhav THACKERAY

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) - Chandrababu NAIDU

note -

India has dozens of national and regional political parties;

only parties with four or more seats in the People's Assembly are listed