India Basic Information

By | July 21, 2022

Basic information about the territory

India Basic Information

Subchapters:

  • System of governance and political tendencies in the country
  • Foreign policy of the country
  • Population

The system of governance and political tendencies in the country

India (official name “Republic of India”) is a federal parliamentary republic with a pluralist political party system and an independent judiciary. The Indian constitution defines it as a “sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic” republic. The head of state is President Ram Nath Kovind, who was elected for a five-year term in 2017. He is represented by Vice President and Speaker of the Upper House of Parliament Venkaiah Naidu. The government is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who chairs the Council of Ministers selected from among members of Parliament. India has 28 union states and 8 union territories. The Indian Union States are: Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The states of the Union have significant competences given by the constitution. The Indian Union Territories are: Andamans and Nicobars, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Laccadives, Puducherry and the Capital Territory of Delhi. The head of each union state is a governor appointed by the President of India, and the head of government of all union states and some union territories is the president, the so-called Chief Minister. Each federal state has its own Legislative Assembly. The ruling party since 2015 is the Indian People’s Party (Bharti Janata Party, BJP – BJP), which is the dominant force in the government coalition called the National Democratic Alliance. The BJP last defended its position in the elections to the lower house of the Indian Parliament in 2019 by winning 287 seats. The Parliament of the Republic of India (Bharti Sansad) has an upper chamber, the Raj Sabha (Council of States) and a lower chamber, the Lok Sabha (Council of the People). The upper house has 245 members, of which 233 are elected by the legislatures of individual union states and territories (proportional system with the conversion of votes to mandates), and the remaining 12 members are appointed by the president of the republic from among prominent Indian personalities. The Lower House has 545 members, of whom 543 are directly elected by the Indian public in 543 constituencies, and 2 members from the Anglo-Indian community are appointed by the President. India’s largest political party is the ruling BJP, which is a centre-right conservative party. Its political program is based on nationalism and the defense of traditional Hindu values. The BJP has a policy of liberalizing the economy, privatization and promoting foreign investment in its agenda. Check equzhou to learn more about India political system.

Foreign policy of the country

The main objective of India’s foreign policy is to maintain long-term peace and stability in the Asian region and the world, and to create favorable conditions and environment for economic growth and development. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) headed by Minister S. Jaishankar is responsible for India’s foreign policy. Foreign policy priorities include strengthening India’s position, influence and image in the world, ensuring India’s territorial integrity and promoting economic transformation. Strengthening bilateral, regional and multilateral partnerships and striving to gain influence in key global forums are among the main tools for realizing these goals. India’s biggest ambitions include reforming the UN Security Council and gaining a permanent seat in this important institution. In recent years, India’s relations with the US have deepened, France, Japan, Australia, China, Russia, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Central Asian countries, but also with the EU. India is also focusing more intensively on the Pacific region (the so-called “Indo-Pacific”), with the aim of strengthening security and economic growth in the region. India is very active in international climate policy and the fight against global warming. He is one of the founders of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI). Check recipesinthebox for India defense and foreign policy.

The main priorities of India’s foreign policy continue to be the Neighborhood First Policy, aimed at improving the infrastructure and economic level of neighboring countries. India implements joint projects with its neighbors in railway, road, port, inland water transport, shipping and energy. These are projects with Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Seychelles and Sri Lanka. India’s endeavor is to strengthen regional infrastructural connectivity and promote cooperation – including trade and economic – between India and its immediate neighbours. India renewed cooperation with the countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), and in March 2020 initiated the establishment of an Emergency Fund to fight against Covid-19, to which she contributed USD 10 million. It also delivered medical supplies, equipment and humanitarian aid to SAARC countries.

India continues its proactive approach and engagement with all major world powers, with the aim of maintaining strategic autonomy and decision-making independence. It is in this context that initiatives such as the informal Indo-China summit in 2016 in Chennai, India and the trilateral Russian-Indian-Chinese summit in Moscow should be seen. However, relations with China have cooled significantly following repeated military incidents on the Sino-Indian border in Ladakh in recent years. India and the US continued to cement their comprehensive global strategic partnership through their leaders’ meetings in the US in September 2019 and in India in February 2020. High-level engagement continued in 2022, with a virtual meeting between Prime Minister Modi and President Biden in April. The partnership was confirmed despite disagreements over Russian aggression towards Ukraine, where India is trying to maintain a neutral stance and its relationship with Russia, despite increasing pressure from its Western partners. India reaffirmed its commitment to the Quad (India, USA, Japan and Australia) and JAI (Japan, America, India). 2020 saw the first trilateral meeting of India, France and Australia aimed at strengthening cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. India has long-term cooperation with the countries of the Indo-Pacific region – one of the main areas of cooperation is, for example, defense and security, including the fight against terrorism and other cross-border criminal activities. Intensive cooperation is taking place between India and the association of countries of the South Asian region ASEAN. The countries of the Persian Gulf and the Middle East have also become an important pillar of Indian foreign policy, as well as contact with Africa, both from a political,

Population

According to the latest published data of 2022, India’s population is estimated at 1,407 million. Although India is among the countries with high population growth, the population growth rate has been steadily decreasing, from 1.6% in 2004 to 1.2% in 2014. The population density is 411 inhabitants per square kilometer. The most numerous age group is children and young people (0-29 years), comprising 705 million people, more than half of India’s population. India is a multi-ethnic state dominated by the Indo-Aryan group (72% Hindustanis, Bengalis, Gujaratis, Punjabis, Uriyas, Marathas). Another large group is the Dravidian group (25% Tamils, Telugus, Kannadas, Malayalams, etc.), the Mundú ethnic group and mountain groups in the Himalayas. In India, the predominant religion is Hinduism (80.5%), followed by Islam (13.4%), Christianity.