INDIA

 

 
The Republic of India, commonly known as India (locally also as Bharat; see also other names), is a sovereign country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second most populous country, and the most populous liberal democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the west, and the Bay of Bengal on the east, India has a coastline of over 7500 kilometres. It borders Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north-east; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Indonesia.

 
  Home to the Indus Valley civilization and a region of historic trade routes and vast empires, the Indian subcontinent was identified with its commercial and cultural wealth for much of its long history. Four major world religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism originated here, while Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism arrived in the first millennium CE and shaped the region's variegated culture. Gradually annexed by the British East India Company from the early eighteenth century and colonised by the United Kingdom from the mid-nineteenth century, India became a modern nation-state in 1947 after a struggle for independence that was marked by widespread use of nonviolent resistance as a means of social protest.

 
  With the world's twelfth largest economy by market exchange rates and the fourth largest in purchasing power, India has made rapid economic progress in the last decade. Although the country's standard of living is projected to rise sharply in the next half-century, it currently battles high levels of poverty, illiteracy, persistent malnutrition, and environmental degradation. In addition to being a pluralistic, multi-lingual, and multi-ethnic society, India is also home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats and national parks.

 
     
     
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