INDIA (also known as Bharath) is in Southern
Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and
The name `India’ is derived from the River Indus, the valleys around which
were the home of the early settlers. The Aryan worshippers referred to the
river Indus as the Sindhu.
The Persian invaders converted it into Hindu. The name `Hindustan’ combines
Sindhu and Hindu and thus refers to the land of the Hindus.
The number system was invented by India. Aryabhatta was the scientist who
invented the digit zero.
Sanskrit is considered as the mother of all higher languages. This is because
it is the most precise, and therefore suitable language for computer software.
( a report in Forbes magazine, July 1987 ).
Chess was invented in India.
Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus are studies which originated in India.
The' place value system' and the 'decimal system' were developed in 100 BC
There are 28 states and 7 union territories*; Andaman and Nicobar Islands*,
Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh*, Chhattisgarh,
Dadra and Nagar Haveli*, Daman and Diu*, Delhi*, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana,
Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep*,
Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa,
Puducherry*, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh,
Uttaranchal, West Bengal
Languages: English enjoys associate status but is the most
important language for national, political, and commercial communication;
Hindi is the national language and primary tongue of 30% of the people;
there are 14 other official languages: Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil,
Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri,
Sindhi, and Sanskrit; Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken
widely throughout northern India but is not an official language
One of the earliest civilizations, the Indus Valley civilization flourished
on the Indian subcontinent from c. 2600 B.C. to c. 2000 B.C. It is generally
accepted that the Aryans entered India c. 1500 B.C. from the northwest, finding
a land that was already home to an advanced civilization. They introduced
Sanskrit and the Vedic religion, a forerunner of Hinduism. Buddhism was founded
in the 6th century B.C. and was spread throughout northern India, most notably
by one of the great ancient kings of the Mauryan dynasty, Asoka (c. 269–232
B.C.), who also unified most of the Indian subcontinent for the first time.
In 1526, Muslim invaders founded the great Mogul Empire, centered on Delhi,
which lasted, at least in name, until 1857. Akbar the Great (1542–1605) strengthened
and consolidated this empire. The long reign of his great-grandson, Aurangzeb
(1618–1707), represents both the greatest extent of the Mogul Empire and the
beginning of its decay.
Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer, landed in India in 1498, and for
the next 100 years the Portuguese had a virtual monopoly on trade with the
subcontinent. Meanwhile, the English founded the East India Company, which
set up its first factory at Surat in 1612 and began expanding its influence,
fighting the Indian rulers and the French, Dutch, and Portuguese traders simultaneously.
Bombay, taken from the Portuguese, became the seat of English rule in 1687.
The defeat of French and Mogul armies by Lord Clive in 1757 laid the foundation
of the British Empire in India. The East India Company continued to suppress
native uprisings and extend British rule until 1858, when the administration
of India was formally transferred to the British Crown following the Sepoy
Mutiny of native troops in 1857–1858.
After World War I, in which the Indian states sent more than 6 million troops
to fight beside the Allies, Indian nationalist unrest rose to new heights
under the leadership of a Hindu lawyer, Mohandas K. Gandhi, called Mahatma
Gandhi. His philosophy of civil disobedience called for nonviolent noncooperation
against British authority. He soon became the leading spirit of the Indian
National Congress Party, which was the spearhead of revolt. In 1919, the British
gave added responsibility to Indian officials, and in 1935, India was given
a federal form of government and a measure of self-rule. Finally India got
freedom on 15th August, 1947.