India is a nation in South Asia. Its official name is the Republic of India. It is the seventh-largest nation in terms of land area, the second-largest in terms of population (with over 1.2 billion people), and the world’s most populous democracy. It is bounded on the south by the Indian Ocean, on the west by the Arabian Sea, and on the east by the Bay of Bengal. It has land boundaries with Pakistan on the west, China, Nepal, and Bhutan on the north, and Myanmar (Burma) and Bangladesh on the east. India lies next to Sri Lanka and the Maldives in the Indian Ocean; furthermore, India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands have a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia. New Delhi serves as the capital of India; other major cities include Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, and Kolkata.
For most of its lengthy history, the Indian subcontinent has been associated with its economic and cultural richness as the home of the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation and a location of historic trade routes and great empires. Four faiths developed here: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism; Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam came in the first century CE and influenced the region’s varied culture as well. From the early 18th century, India was gradually annexed and brought under the administration of the British East India Company, before being administered directly by the United Kingdom following the Indian Rebellion of 1857. India gained independence in 1947, following a struggle for independence marked by nonviolent resistance led by Mahatma Gandhi.
In 2015, India’s economy was the seventh biggest in the world in terms of nominal GDP and third largest in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP). India became one of the fastest-growing global economies in 1991, after market-based economic reforms; it is classified as a newly industrialized nation. Nonetheless, it continues to suffer poverty, corruption, hunger, and insufficient public healthcare. As a nuclear weapons state and regional power, it possesses the world’s third biggest standing army and ranks sixth in terms of military spending. India is a federal republic with a parliamentary system, including 29 states and seven union territories. India is a multiethnic, pluralistic, and multilingual society. Additionally, it is home to a diverse range of species that thrives in a variety of protected environments.