(Bhārat Juktarashtra; Republic of India or Indian Union). South Asian state (3,287,469 km²). Capital: New Delhi. Administrative division: federated states (29) and territories (7). Population: 1,258,350,971 (2012 estimate). Language: Hindī and English (official), bengālī, marāṭhī, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu. Religion: Hindus 72%, Muslims (Sunni 8.1%, Shia 4.2%), Animists / Traditional Beliefs 3.8%, Sikhs 1.9%, Catholics 1.6%, Protestants 1.7%, Buddhists 0, 7%, Jains 0.5%, non-religious / atheists 1.4%, others 4.1%). Currency unit: Indian rupee (100 paise). Human Development Index: 0.586 (135th place). Borders: China, Nepal and Bhutan (N), Myanmar (Burma) and Bangladesh (NE), Bay of Bengal (E), Indian Ocean (S), Arabian Sea (W), Pakistan (NW). Member of: Commonwealth, UN and WTO.
Independent since August 15, 1947, following the break-up of the British Empire of the Indies into two states of Pakistan, with an Islamic majority, and the Indian Union, with a Hindu majority. According to the Constitution of January 26, 1950, amended several times, India is a Federal Republic within the Commonwealth. According to carswers, the states that compose it have their own legislative assemblies and governments, they are governed by a governor appointed for 5 years by the President of the Republic. Head of State is the President of the Republic, who remains in office for 5 years and is elected by the two branches of the Federal Parliament and by the State Assemblies. He exercises executive power together with the Council of Ministers of which he appoints the Prime Minister in the person of the leader of the majority party. The federal government, which is responsible for foreign policy, defense, planning and administration of the nationalized sectors of the economy, is accountable to Parliament, which is responsible for exercising legislative power. It is made up of two Chambers: the Upper House or Council of States (Rājya Sabhā), made up of 245 members (of which 233 are elected by the State Assemblies in proportion to their respective residents and renewed for a third every two years and 12 by presidential nomination.) and the House of the People (Lok Sabhā), made up of 543 members elected by direct universal suffrage for 5 years (in addition to 2 representatives of the Anglo-Indian community appointed by the president). Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces is the President of the Republic.
The judicial system in use in the country is based on the Common Law British; international jurisdiction is accepted but with reservations. The Supreme Court represents the last instance of judgment and also has the functions of the Constitutional Court. The death penalty is in effect. The Indian armed forces are among the first in the world for the number of personnel. They are also flanked by a Coast Guard and several paramilitary corps. India has numerous nuclear warheads and has not joined the Atomic Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty. Military service is carried out on a voluntary basis from the age of 16. Western-style education began in the country in the 12th century. XVIII, when the English East India Company: received a mandate from Great Britain (1813) to organize the educational system. Set up according to the English model, the system favored until the beginning of the twentieth century. secondary and university education, functional for the recruitment of local officials. The development of technical schools began in the early decades of the twentieth century, while the first Indian national schools appeared after the First World War. The nationalization of education, which followed the proclamation of independence, made the fight against illiteracy a priority (at the end of the 1940s, the rate concerned more than three quarters of the population), the reduction of territorial disparities due to the enormous distances and the composition of the linguistic and religious differences present in the territory (there are 18 official languages, those spoken in the country, including dialects, more than 800). The literacy campaigns launched in the country in the second part of the twentieth century. they have brought the illiteracy rate to a significant reduction (34% in 2007) even if evidently the country is still far from having solved the problem. The school system is divided into 4 study cycles: elementary school (lasting 5 years starting from the age of 6 and up to 11, free of charge); middle school (with a three-year duration, from 11 to 14 years); secondary school (also three-year, from 14 to 17 years of age) and high school,country college. Among the most important universities are: Agra (1927), Aligarh (1875), Vadodara (1949), Bihar (1952), Bombay (1857), Calcutta (1857), Delhi (1922), Chennai (1857), Nagpur (1923), Osmania (Hyderābād, 1918), Varanasi (1916).
India has a complex party system. Important parties are the social-liberal Indian National Congress (INC; founded 1885), carrier of the independence movement and for decades a defining political force of independent India; the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP; German Indian People’s Party; founded 1979); the Shiv Sena (SS; German Shiva’s army; militant Hindu party; founded in 1966), the Janata Dal / United (JD / U; German People’s Party / United; founded in 2000 in the course of the split between the Janata Dal, founded in 1988); the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPIM; founded 1964); the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP; founded in 1999 as a spin-off from INC); the moderate Communist Party of India (CPI; founded 1920) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP; German majority party; representing the interests of the “untouchables”; founded 1984). In addition, there are numerous regionally oriented political parties and groups.