India is a constitutional democracy with 28 states and its capital is New Delhi. They hold elections, and they have a president and prime minister. The President takes care of major decisions, such as going to war, while the Prime Minister runs everyday things. India was originally a monarchy, with a long line of kings. Then, the British took over, and after they gained their independence, they adjusted to become a constitutional democracy.
India's growing economy is mainly agriculture based. India is the leading producer of peanuts, rice, cheese, tobacco, wheat, cotton, milk, sugarcane, and rubber, and its main exports include tea, coffee, iron ore, fish products, and manufactured items. Tourism is becoming more important, as is their technology industry. However, with the growing economy, the gap between the rich and poor is growing as well. The currency of India is the Indian Rupee (INR).
With a population of 1,220,800,359, India is the 2nd most populous country in the world, and one of the most diverse.There are several hundred languages spoken in India, 23 of which have official status. Hindi is the most common language. There are also several different religions. Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism originated in India, and Christianity and Islam are dominant as well. Religious holidays are often celebrated by people of different religions, such as Holi and Diwali, the Hindu Festivals of Color and Light, and Christmas. Meals also depend on religion and region. For instance, in Southern India, ground rice is used to cook many different foods, and Hindus consider cows sacred and will not eat beef.
India uses both old-fashioned and modern ways of transportation and communication. Buses, cars, motor scooters, and even motorized rickshaws are widely used. Trains are most common for traveling between cities and states. TVs, radios, and newspapers are plentiful, and cell phones and internet use is spreading. India is also becoming a major IT hub, and computer science and engineering is becoming extremely popular.
With a land area of 2,973,190 sq. kilometers (1,147,955 sq. miles), India is the seventh-largest country in the world, and has an extremely varying landscape and climate. There are sandy beaches, snowy mountains, arid deserts, and everything in between. Major landforms include the Ganges and Indus Rivers, and the Himalayas and Ghats (mountain ranges). There are 3 main seasons, hot, rainy (monsoon), and cool, although each region varies slightly. For instance, Northern India will get snow every so often, and Southern India has never experienced snow.
By Hima Joseph