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Facts about India: Basic Facts -Study Notes

Facts About India: Basic Facts - Study Notes

1. India is the seventh-largest country in the world 
(after Russia, Canada, China, USA, Brazil and Australia).

2. The area of India is 2.4 % or 1/42 of the land area of the World.

3. As far as the whole globe is concerned, the area of India is 0.57%.

Geographical Facts
4. The Indian subcontinent is in Asia.

5. It is a peninsula and the three sides are surrounded by the Arabian Sea in the southwest, the Bay of Bengal in the southeast and the Indian Ocean in the South.

6. Lying entirely in the northern hemisphere, the mainland extends between latitudes 8° 4' and 37° 6' north, longitudes 68° 7' and 97° 25' east and measures about 3,214 km from north to south between the extreme latitudes and about 2,933 km from east to west between the extreme longitudes

7. The area of India is 32,87,263 sq. km(12.26 lakh sq. miles), of which 90.44% island and 9.56% is water.

8. The highest point in undisputed Indian territory is Kanchenjunga (8598m) in Sikkim.

9. Kuttanad in the Alappuzha district in Kerala is the lowest point. 

10. The land frontier of India is 15200 km.

11. The international boundary of India passes through 17 states.

12. Five states in India do not have coastline or border with foreign countries.

13. These are Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand, Haryana and Telangana.

14. The number of Indian States that share a land frontier with other countries is 17.

15. The westernmost point of the Indian Union is Guhar Moti in Kutch, near Sir Creek in Gujarat.

16. Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh is the easternmost point.

17. Kanyakumari (8.4 degrees) in Tamil Nadu is the southernmost point of the mainland of India.

18. The Indira Point in Nicobar is the southernmost point of the Indian Union (6°4' degree).

19. The length of the coastline of the Indian Union, which includes the mainland and the Island Territories, is 7516.6 km.

20. The length of the coastline of the mainland is 6100 km.

21. There are 9 states with a coastline. These are Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal.

22. Gujarat has the longest coastline.

23. Seven countries share a border with India.

24. Bangladesh shares the longest border with India (4096.7 km).

25. Other neighbouring countries are China (3488), Pakistan (3323), Nepal (1751),
Myanmar ( 1643  ), Bhutan (699) and Afghanistan (106km).

26. India comes under the vicinity of three island nations, namely Maldives, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

27. Geographically China is the largest neighbouring country of India (area and population).

28. Bhutan is the smallest among the neighbours that share a border with India.

29. Maldives is the smallest among the neighbouring countries in both area and population.

30. The nearest country to the Andaman group of islands is Myanmar and that of the Nicobar group in Indonesia.

31.  Sri Lanka is separated from India by a narrow channel of sea, formed by Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar.

32. The important geographical line passing through India is the Tropic of Cancer.

33. It passes through the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Tripura and Mizoram (8 states).

States &  Union Territories
(Currently, only two Union Territories – Delhi and Puducherry – have Legislative Assemblies; with the addition of Jammu and Kashmir, the number will go up to three.)
34. There are 28 States and 9 Union Territories in India.

35. The largest state in Rajasthan and the smallest is Goa.

36. Jammu and Kashmir will be the largest Union Territory (UT) in the country in terms of the area once it is carved out, following the Centre’s move to bifurcate the State. Ladakh will be the second-largest UT after it comes to force.

37. The desert region is located in the western part and northwestern part of the country.

38.It lies mostly in the Indian state of Rajasthan and extends into the southern portion of Haryana and Punjab states and into northern Gujarat state

39.. In Pakistan, the desert covers eastern Sind province and the southeastern portion of Pakistan’s Punjab province. 

40. The climate of India can broadly be classified as a tropical monsoon one. But, in spite of
much of the northern part of India lying beyond the tropical zone, the entire country has a tropical climate marked by relatively high temperatures and dry winters. There are four seasons:
41.winter (December-February)
42.summer (March-June)
43.south-west monsoon season (June- September) monsoon season (October-November)

Population Facts
45. India is the second-most populous country in the world (The five most populated countries in the world are China, India, USA, Indonesia and Brazil). 

Status as per the Constitution
46. India is the nation with the largest written constitution in the world.

47. The Preamble of the Constitution defines India as a sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic republic.

48. President is the Head of the state in India.

49. Constitutionally his position is similar to British Monarch.

50. President is the executive head of the state as well as the constitutional head of the state.

51. He is regarded as the first citizen of the country.

52. Prime minister is the head of the government or functional head of the state.

53. His position is similar to that of the British prime minister.

54. The Prime minister is appointed by the president.

55. By convention, he is supported by the party or political alliance holding a majority in the Lower House.

56. The Prime Minister and his council are directly responsible to the Lower House of Parliament.

57. The Executive of India includes the President, Vice President, Prime Minister and Council of Ministers.

58. The Parliament of India has two houses, namely Lok Sabha or House of People (Lower
House) and Rajya Sabha or Council of States (Upper House).

59. The Indian Legislative system closely follows the Westminster style (Britain).

60. The form of Government is technically designated as ‘quasi-federal, a system with a strong centre and weaker states.

61. As per the provisions of the Constitution of India, the maximum number of members in Lok Sabha is 552, i.e. 530 from the States, 20 from the Union Territories and 2 from Anglo -Indian community so as to ensure representation of that community.

62. At present, there are 545 members in the Lok Sabha, of which 530 represent the States and 13 represent Union Territories and 2 represent Anglo -Indian community. So, the total number of Elected Members in the Lok Sabha is 543.

63. As per the provisions of the Constitution, the maximum number of members in the Rajya Sabha is 250. At present, there are 245 members. 229 members represent the States and 4 represent the Union Territories. 12 Members are nominated from eminent persons in the fields of arts, science and literature.

64. So at present, the total number of members in Parliament is 790. The total elected members are 776. There are 14 nominated (12+2) members in the Parliament. 

65. All Indian States have Legislative Assemblies.

66. Six states have Legislative Council as the upper house of the Legislature. These States Uttar Pradesh (100), Bihar(75), Maharashtra(78), Andhra Pradesh (50) Telangana (40) and Karnataka(75).

67. Currently, only two UTs -- Delhi and Puducherry -- have Legislative Assemblies. With the addition of Jammu and Kashmir, the number will go up to three. 

68. There is a total of 4120 members in the Legislative Assemblies in India.

69. India has a three-tier judiciary, consisting of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice of India,

70. 24 High Courts and a large number of trial courts. 

National Symbols National flag:
72. The national flag of India is a horizontal tricolour of deep saffron at the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion.

73. The ratio of the Length of the flag to its width is 3:2 In the centre of the white band is a navy-blue wheel which represents the Chakra.

74. Its design is that of the wheel which appears on the abacus of the Saranath Lion Capital of Ashoka.

75. Its diameter approximates the width of the white band and has 24 spokes.

76. The design of the national flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of  India on 22 July 1947. 

History of the national flag:
77. The design of the flag was originally mooted by Madam Bhikaji Cama in 1907 and was unfurled for the first time at Stuttgart (Germany) for the second International Socialist Congress held in August 22, 1907.

78. Pingali Venkaiah, an Andhra youth suggested the current design.

79. Saffron represents courage and sacrifice.

80. White represents peace and truth.

81. Green represents faith and chivalry.

82. The Flag Code of India, 2002, takes effect from

26 January 2002 supersedes the ‘Flag Code Indias’ as it existed.

83. The person who headed the Committee  appointed by Constituent Assembly to select the national flag- Dr Rajendra Prasad

84. The ratio of length: breadth of National flag- 3:2

85. The number of dimensions prescribed in the Flag Code of India, 2002- Nine. The largest is 6300X4200mm and the smallest is 150x100mm. 

National Emblem:
86. The state emblem was adopted from the Saranath Lion Capital of Ashoka.

87. In the original there were four lions, standing back to back, mounted on an abacus with a frieze carrying sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull, and a lion separated by intervening wheels over a bell-shaped lotus.

88. It was adopted by the Govt. of  India on 26 January 1950.

89. In the emblem three lions are visible, a fourth being hidden from view.

90. The wheel appears in the centre of the abacus with a bull on right and a horse on left.

91. The words ‘Sathyameva Jayate’ from Mundaka Upanishad, meaning ‘Truth Alone Triumphs’, are inscribed below the abacus in Devanagari Script.

National Anthem:
92.  The song ‘Jana-Gana-mana’, composed originally in Bengali by Rabindranath Tagore was adopted in its Hindi version by the Constituent Assembly as National Anthem of India on 24 January 1950.

93. It was first sung in a political occasion on 27 December 1911 at the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress.

94.  The complete song consists of five stanzas.

95. The first stanza contains the full version of the National Anthem.

96. Playing time of the full version of the national anthem is approximately 52 seconds.

97. A short version consisting of the first and last lines of the stanza (playing time approximately 20 seconds) is also played on certain occasions.

Name and Meaning
Andhra Pradesh Land of the Andhras
Assam Unequalled, peerless or uneven
Bihar From vihara (“Buddhist monastery”)
Chhattisgarh Thirty-six forts
Gujarati) Land of the “Gurjars
Haryana Abode of God
Himachal Pradesh Land of the snow-clad mountains
Jammu&Kashmir Land desiccated by water From
Sanskrit Ka(water) and shimeera (to desiccate)
Jharkhand Land of jhari Jhari means short bushes
Karnataka Lofty Land
Kerala Land of the coconut trees
Madhya Pradesh Middle Province
Maharashtra Great State
Manipur Jewelled Land
Mizoram Land of the highlanders: Mi means people and zo means highlander
Meghalaya The abode of clouds
Nagaland Land of the Nagas
Orissa Land of the Oriyas
Punjab Land of the five rivers.
Sikkim New Palace
Rajasthan Land of Kings
Tamil Nadu Tamil country
Uttar Pradesh Northern Province
West Bengal Land of the Bengalis

98. The English version of the national anthem was rendered by Tagore begins with the lines ‘Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people’.

99. Janaganamana is composed in the raga ‘Sankarabharana’.

100. The present music is given by Captain Ram Singh Thakur

National Song:
101. The song Vande Mataram, composed in Sanskrit by Bankimchandra Chatterji has an equal status with Jana-Gana-Mana.

102. The first political occasion it was sung was the 1896 session of the INC.

103. The first stanza begins with the words ‘Vande Mataram Sujalam, suphalam, Malayaja

104. The translation was rendered by Aurobindo Ghosh. It begins with ‘I bow to thee, Mother, richly-watered, richly fruited....”.

105. Vande Mataram is a part of the Bengali novel named ‘Anand Math’ written by
Bankimchandra Chatterji.

106. The Sanskrit song was sung by a character named Bhavanandan.

107. Vande Mataram is dedicated to Durga.

108. On 15th August 1947, Sucheta Kripalani sang Vande Mataram in the Constituent

National Calendar:
109. The national calendar based on Saka Era, with Chaitra as its first month and a normal year of 365 days was adopted from 22 March 1957 (Chaitra 1, 1879) along with the Gregorian calendar.

110. Dates of the national calendar have a permanent correspondence with the dates of the
Gregorian calendar, 1 Chaitra falling on 22 March normally and 21 March in a leap year.

111. The last month of Saka Calendar is Phalguna.

112. Saka Era was started during the period of Kanishka, the greatest ruler of the Kushana

National Animal:
113. The Royal Bengal Tiger is the national animal
of India.

114. It is found throughout the country except for the northwestern region.

115. Panthera tigris is the scientific name.

116. It was adopted as the national animal in 1972.

117. Before that lion was the national animal.

118. To check the dwindling population of tigers in India, ‘Project Tiger’ was launched in April 1973.

119. Several tiger reserves have been established in the country under this project. Nagarjuna Srisailam sanctuary is the largest tiger reserve in India.

120. National Bird: Indian Peacock is the national bird of India.

121. Its scientific name is Pavo cristatus. It given this status is 1963.

122. National flower: Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is the national flower of India.

123. National Tree: Banyan Tree (Ficus bengalensis) is the national tree of India.

124. It is also known as Fig tree or Peepal tree.

125. National Sports: Field Hockey is the national game. It has 11 players in a team.

126. National Honours: The highest civilian honour in the country is Bharat Ratna.

127. The other highest national civilian honours are Padmavibhushan, Padmabhushan and

128. The highest decoration for valour is Param Veer Chakra (PVC).

129.  Ashok Chakra is the highest peacetime gallantry award which is equivalent to PVC.

130. Mahavir Chakra is the second-highest decoration and Vir Chakra is the third highest.

131. National River is Ganga (2008).

132. National Aquatic Animal is  River Dolphin(2009).

133. National Heritage animal is Elephant.

Standard Time:
134. Standard Time: Indian Standard Time(IST) is based on 82.5-degree longitude which divides the country into two halves and passes through Allahabad (UP) and Kakinada (AP).

135. The IST is 5.5 hours ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

136. It is 4.5 hours behind Australian Eastern Standard Time and 10.5 hours ahead of American Eastern Standard Time 

137. India is the birthplace of four religions- Hinduism, Jainism,  Buddhism and Sikh religion.

138. The religions that came to Indian soil are Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam.

139. The largest religion in India is Hinduism, which is one of the oldest religions in the world.

140. Sikh religion is the youngest religion in India. 

Official Languages
142. Hindi is an official language of the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and the National Capital, the Territory of Delhi.

143. Bengali is the official language of West Bengal, Tripura and certain other parts of the Northeast.

144. Marathi is the official language of Maharashtra.

145. Punjabi is the official language of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and the National Capital, the Territory of Delhi.
States Capital
Andhra Pradesh - Hyderabad
Arunachal Pradesh - Itanagar
Assam - Dispur
Bihar - Patna
Chhatisgarh - Raipur
Goa - Panaji
Gujarat - Gandhinagar
Haryana - Chandigarh
Himachal Pradesh - Shimla
Jharkhand - Ranchi
Karnataka - Bangalore
Kerala - Thiruvananthapuram
Madhya Pradesh - Bhopal
Maharashtra - Mumbai
Manipur - Imphal
Meghalaya - Shillong
Mizoram - Aizawl
Nagaland - Kohima
Orissa - Bhubaneswar
Punjab - Chandigarh
Rajasthan - Jaipur
Sikkim  - Gangtok
Tamil Nadu - Chennai
Telangana - Hyderabad
Tripura - Agartala
Uttar Pradesh - Lucknow
Uttaranchal - Dehradun
West Bengal - Kolkata
Union Territory Capital
Andaman & Nicobar Islands - Port Blair
Chandigarh - Chandigarh
Dadra & Nagar Haveli - Silvasa
Daman & Diu - Daman
Delhi - Delhi
Lakshadweep - Kavaratti
Puducherry - Puducherry
Jammu and Kashmir - Srinagar (May–October). Jammu (Nov-April)
Ladakh - Leh, Kargil

146. Gujarati is the official language of Gujarat.

147. Tamil is the official language of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and the Andaman and Nicobar

148. Malayalam is the official language of Kerala and Lakshadweep.

149. Kannada is the official language of Karnataka.

150. Telugu is the official language of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

151. Oriya is the official language of Orissa; Oriya has spoken also in parts of West Bengal,
Chattishgarh and Jharkhand.

152. Assamese is the official language of Assam; it is spoken widely in many of the seven
northeastern states.

153. English is the co-official language of the Indian Union and each of the several states
mentioned above may also have another co-official language.

154. The government of India has included 22 languages in the 8th Schedule”.

155. When the Constitution was brought into effect (1950), the number of languages in 8th
The schedule was 14.

156. Sindhi was added through the 21st amendment in 1967.

157. Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali were added through the 71st amendment in 1992.

158. Bodo, Dogri, Maithili and Santhali were added through 92nd amendment in 2003.

159. For cultural/historical reasons Sanskrit is on the official schedule, though only 14 thousand people claim it to be their language, many more studies it in school as the classical language of India.

160. In January 2010,  Sanskrit was given the status of second official language in Uttarakhand.

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