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Few countries in the world have such an ancient and diverse culture as India's. Stretching back in an unbroken sweep over 5000 years, India's culture has been enriched by successive waves of migration which were absorbed into the Indian way of life. It is this variety which is a special hallmark of India. Its physical, religious and racial variety is as immense as its linguistic diversity. Underneath this diversity lies the continuity of Indian civilization and social structure from the very earliest times until the present day. Modern India presents a picture of unity in diversity to which history provides no parallel.

India is the fourth largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity, and the tenth largest by absolute GNP. It is the second most populous country, with a population of over one billion, and the seventh largest by geographical area. It is home to the Indus Valley Civilisation one of the most ancient civilizations in recorded history and a centre of important historic trade routes. Four major world religions Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism have Indian origins.

Population : 1 billion (2001 Census)
Area : 3.3 million square kilometers
Geographical Location : Lies between latitudes 8 4' and 37 6 ' north and longitudes 68 7 ' and 97 25' east
Coastal Length : 7,600 kilometers
Languages : 17 major languages, 844 dialects
Religions : Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism
National Anthem : Jan gana mana written by Rabindranath Tagore
Natioanl Emblem : Replica of the Lion Capital of Sarnath
National Flag : Horizontal tricolor in equal proportion of deep saffron on the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom. In the center of the white band is a wheel in navy blue color.
National Animal : Tiger, Panthera tigris
National Bird : Peacock
National Flower : Lotus
National Tree : Banyan
National Fruit : Mango
National Currency : Rupees (One Rupees=100 paise)
Political Structure : Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic
Indian Union : 29 States and six centrally administered Union Territories
Legislature : Parliament, consists of President and the two Houses, known as Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and Lok Sabha (House of the People )
Executive : Consists of President, Vice-President and Council of Ministers led by the Prime Minister
Judiciary : Independent of executive
Major Holidays : January 26 - Republic Day
August 15 - Independence Day
October 2 - Birthday of Mahatma Gandhi
Father of the Nation : Mahatma Gandhi
President : Pratibha Patil
Prime Minister : Dr Manmohan Singh
 
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