+91 is the dialing code for India.
India is usually called the world’s largest democracy, with over one billion residents. The country, which is rather a whole continent, is teeming with different cultures, languages and religions. Here, modern mega-cities with age-old villages are crowded, and a world-leading IT industry has developed in a country still characterized by an ancient caste system. India is in conflict with neighboring Pakistan over the area of Kashmir. Both countries have nuclear weapons.
- Abbreviationfinder: Brief profiles of India, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
India (Bharat in Hindi) is one of the world’s largest surface countries, with three geographical areas and two climate zones. In many parts of the country, heavy monsoon rains each year cause severe flooding that sometimes affects millions of people.
India is more than seven times the size of Sweden. From north to south the distance is about 320 miles; from west to east it is about 300 km.
India borders on the north to Tibet (now an autonomous region of China), Nepal and Bhutan, on the east to Bangladesh and Myanmar (Burma), and on the west and northwest to Pakistan. Off the southwestern and southeastern coasts are the island states of the Maldives and Sri Lanka. The border with Pakistan goes partly through the disputed area of Kashmir, where a 1949 standstill line (some changes were made in 1971) has come to form an actual border. The border with China, at Arunachal Pradesh in northeastern India, is also contentious.
To the west of the Indian Peninsula lies the Arabian Sea, to the east of the Bay of Bengal. Both are parts of the Indian Ocean and meet at the southern tip of India, Cape Komorin (Kanniyakumari). The west coast of India is called the Malabar Coast, the East Coast of the Koromandel Coast. India includes the Lakhadiver Islands in the Arabian Sea and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal. The latter two, like India’s east coast (southern Tamil Nadu), were hit hard in the tsunami disaster of Christmas 2004; a total of about 15,000 people are estimated to have perished in these areas.
|Cultivated land||60.5 %|
|Land area||3287263 km 2|
Population and health
|Population development||1.22 m|
|Urban population (Urbanization)||32.7 %|
|Death rate||7.32 per 1000 residents|
|Life expectancy: Women||69.42 years|
|Life expectancy: Men||66.97 years|
|Birth rate||19.55 births per 1000 residents|
|Infant mortality||41.81 deaths / 1000 births|
Population Graph Source: Countryaah.com
|Electricity, production||1052000 million kWh|
|Energy consumption per inhabitant||623.7 kg. oil per resident|
|Natural gas, production||31700 million cubic meters|
|Crude oil, production||41 million tons|
|Internet users||19.2 per 100 residents|
|Mobile subscriptions||76 per 100 residents|
|Passenger cars||118 per 1000 residents|
Business and economics
|Unemployment||7.1% of the workforce|
|GDP||6200 per resident|
|Primary occupations||53 %|
|Secondary profession||19 %|
|Tertiary professions||28 %|
Himalayas, Hindustan and Deccan
Geographically, India can be divided into three areas: the Himalayan mountain ranges in the north (hima = snow; laya = dwelling), the north Indian plain immediately south of the Himalayas and the plateau of the actual Indian peninsula to the south. As a special part one can count the coastal areas. About 60 percent of India’s land is used for cultivation. The rest is made up of forest, desert, urban areas, pasture and land in the woods.
The Himalayas consist of parallel mountain ranges and between them are fertile valleys, such as the Kashmir valley. The plains south of it consist largely of clay plains, which are pierced by a dense network of rivers and canals and swamped by bamboo groves. Here are India’s most fertile agricultural areas, irrigated by the country’s most powerful rivers – Indus (which, for the most part, flows through neighboring Pakistan), Ganges, Brahmaputra and their tributaries. These parts of India are also usually called Hindustan: here the population speaks mainly Hindi and related languages. At the far west of the state of Rajastan lies the sparsely populated Thar desert and the large salt marsh Rann of Kutch.
The plateau country in the south, Deccan, consists largely of a soft, hilly landscape with shrub and savanna vegetation. The Deccan Plateau is dominated by highlands and slopes slowly towards the east, which means that most of the area’s rivers flow east towards the Bay of Bengal. The Deccan is bounded by the eastern and western Ghats. These two meet in the south, where the Nilgiri and Cardamumm mountains rise. The state of Kerala at the bottom of the southwest is a fertile tropical area whose coastal lands are intersected by canals. The coasts of India are generally shallow with few natural ports.
India has a rich animal and plant life. The Indian elephant, which is recognized to have smaller ears than the African one, is scattered across the country. The Indians catch wild elephants and tame them into working animals. Especially in the south, it is also common for the Hindu temples to have their own elephant, which is adorned at ceremonies and celebrations and which is dressed to receive money gifts from temple visitors.
Despite extensive efforts to save the endangered Bengali tiger more than halved, India’s tiger population in the first decade of the 21st century. Subsequently, an improvement has taken place. In an inventory in 2019, it was estimated that there were 2,967 wild tigers in India, which is 70 percent of all tigers in the world and around 30 percent more tigers than in the 2014 inventory when the number of individuals was estimated at 2,226. India inventory its tiger population every five years. Professional poaching (mainly for the Chinese market) and increasing pressure on forests where the tigers live from a growing population still make the future uncertain for the tigers.
There are more than 200 types of snakes, of which a quarter are poison worms, including the world’s largest: king cobra. There are an incredible amount of birds. The peacock originates from India and is its national bird, just as the tiger is its national animal.
The banyan tree has gained an important place in Indian mythology. Its branches form new roots from which new stems and branches then grow. A banyan tree can thus be extensive and because it also becomes very old it is considered immortal. The banyan tree is often a gathering point for the people in the villages.
The mango tree is the Hindu sacred tree. In addition to the good fruit, its leaves are also used, among other things, for decoration at holidays. You make boats and furniture from the wood. The beautiful lotus flower is considered India’s national flower. It is considered sacred and around it revolves around many religious stories and myths. The lotus is also the Hindu nationalist BJP’s symbol.
The Cancer tropic runs across northern India and is an approximate border between two climate zones: a smaller, temperate in the north and a larger, tropical in the south. In the north, the temperature switches between about 15 degrees in January and 30-40 degrees in May. In the south, the differences are small, where the average temperature is 26-35 degrees year-round.
Southern India has a pronounced monsoon climate. After a dry and hot spring (April – May), the humid southwest monsoon usually blows during the summer (June – September), when heavy rain falls mainly on the western and southern slopes of the mountains. Deccan’s inland, on the other hand, lies in the rain shadow. If the monsoon here, like the North Indian plain, becomes weak for a year, it easily leads to catastrophic drought. However, on the east coast, rainfall also falls during winter (October – December).
In spring, when the monsoon turns, and especially in the fall, tropical cyclones often occur on the coasts. Every year, many, sometimes millions, of Indians in especially the northeastern part of the country, on the west coast, in the eastern states of Orissa and Bihar, and in northern Uttar Pradesh, are affected when monsoon rains with heavy rainfall cause severe flooding and landslides. Kashmir has also suffered extensive flooding as a result of heavy monsoon rains.
While in northern India, in recent decades, generally more severe rainfall, the drought has increased in Deccan with water shortages and lowered groundwater levels as a result. Many analysts believe that this is due to climate change, but undoubtedly an extensive logging also plays a big role.
About our sources
FACTS – GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
3 288 000 km2 (2018)
Swedish + 4.5 hours
Adjacent country (s)
Pakistan, China (Tibet), Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar (formerly Burma), Bangladesh
Capital with number of residents
New Delhi 142,000 (Sources: Allcitypopulation.com)
Other major cities
Mumbai (Mumbai) 12.5 million (with suburbs), Delhi 11 million, Bangalore 8.4 million, Hyderabad 6.8 million, Ahmedabad 5.6 million, Madras (Chennai) 4.7 million, Calcutta (Kolkata) 4, 5 million (census 2011)
Kanchenjunga (8,598 m asl)
Ganges, Brahmaputra, Indus
Average Precipitation / month
New Delhi 180mm (July), 4mm (Nov); Mattress 309 mm (Nov), 7 mm (Feb)
Average / day
New Delhi 35 °C (June), 14 °C (Jan); Mattress 33 °C (May), 25 °C (Jan)
- New Delhi is a district in the metropolis of Delhi but is traditionally considered as the capital of India.Sources
Anti-corruption activist criticizes new bill
Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare is also critical of the new tougher anti-corruption bill (see September 2011). He demands that it be amended to allow an examination of India’s highest anti-corruption authority. Hazare threatens to launch a campaign of civil disobedience if he is not heard for his demands.
Trials begin in the telecom scandal
Trials are initiated in Delhi against persons charged with, among other things, bribery in connection with the sale of mobile licenses in 2008 (see also November 2010 and July 2011). The deal is considered India’s biggest corruption scandal ever and is estimated to have cost the Indians nearly $ 40 billion in lost revenue, which corresponds to the country’s annual defense budget. Among the defendants is the former Minister of Telecommunications and several high ranking people in the Government Offices and Business. The dismissed telecommunications minister is being prosecuted for, for example, forgery, bribery and abuse of power.
Lifetime convictions for the rattles in Gujarat 2002
Thirty-three people, mostly Hindus, are sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, attempted murder, arson, riots and other crimes directed against Muslims during the riots in Gujarat in 2002 (see Modern History and March 2011).
Strike with demands for new state
In the Telangana region of the state of Andhra Pradesh, around 800,000 public servants strike for the region to become its own state. The strike lasts for several weeks and causes schools to be closed, public communications stand still and a number of electricity outages occur. A large part of Telangana’s population wants the region to break out of Andhra Pradesh, while the current state government is divided.
Many dead in blast in Delhi
At least 14 people are killed and nearly 80 injured when an explosive charge detonates outside a Delhi court. A number of people with connections to an internet cafe in Indian Kashmir are arrested. A government official says the deed has probably been planned in India.
Protests and hunger strike against corruption
Around 1,500 people are arrested around the country in connection with mass protests against the corruption. The demonstrations are held after the Mahatma Gandhi-inspired activist Anna Hazare was arrested during her anti-corruption campaign. The demonstrations are taking place at the same time as a bill on combating corruption is being considered in Parliament. Hazare and the other protesters consider the proposal too watered down. Hazare leaves the jail after a few days and continues the hunger strike he initiated there in a park in Delhi; Thousands of followers gather in the park. When Hazare’s hunger strike for twelve days, Parliament decides to tighten the bill and with this promise Hazare ends its hunger strike.
Indian mujahedin is suspected of the deed in Mumbai
The interior minister says there was probably a domestic group behind the Mumbai attacks in July 2011. During the course of the investigation, the suspicions were directed at the Indian mujahedin.
Many dead in terrorist act in Mumbai
Mumbai – India’s economic heart – is subjected to a terrorist attack that requires 26 people’s lives and injures more than 130. Within 15 minutes, during rush hour, in the evening, three concerted explosions are carried out at three crowded places in the city. Police suspect militant Islamist groups who have previously conducted similar attacks in India. The last major terrorist attack that hit Mumbai happened in November 2008 and claimed 165 lives (see Modern History).
Another minister resigns in the telecom scandal
The Minister of Textiles, who belongs to an alliance party to the Congress Party, resigns after being accused of involvement in the corruption scandal surrounding the sale of mobile licenses in 2008 (see November 2010).
The judgment of Babri Mosque is being torn down
India’s highest court rescinded the ruling by the Uttar Pradesh Regional Court in September 2010 that the ownership of the land at Babrimoski should be divided into three parts. Both Muslims and Hindus had appealed the decision.
The head of the anti-corruption unit is suspected of corruption
The head of India’s anti-corruption unit is forced to resign after the Supreme Court found that he himself is suspected of corruption in connection with a 1992 deal. The incident puts a burden on Prime Minister Singh’s government who has been forced to deal with a series of corruption scandals over the past year.
Eleven Muslims are sentenced to death
A court in the state of Gujarat sentenced eleven Muslim men to death for the train fire in the city of Godhra in February 2002, when a Muslim mob set fire to a railway wagon with Hindu pilgrims and activists on their way home from Ayodhya, where they were preparing a temple building. At least 58 people were burned inside (see Modern History). At the trial, 20 Muslim men are also sentenced to life imprisonment.