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The name India is derived from Indus, which originates from the Old Persian word Hindu. The latter term stems from the Sanskrit word Sindhu, which was the historical local appellation for the Indus River. The ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi), which translates as

Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Archived PDF from the original on 11 August Mehta, Nalin 30 July , Television in India: The Indian national hockey team won the Hockey World Cup and have, as of [update] , taken eight gold, one silver, and two bronze Olympic medals, making it the sport's most successful team in the Olympics.

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The name India is derived from Indus, which originates from the Old Persian word Hindu. The latter term stems from the Sanskrit word Sindhu, which was the historical local appellation for the Indus River. The ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi), which translates as

Indian movies, music, and spiritual teachings play an increasing role in global culture. India comprises the bulk of the Indian subcontinent, lying atop the Indian tectonic plate , and part of the Indo-Australian Plate. The original Indian plate survives as peninsular India , the oldest and geologically most stable part of India. It extends as far north as the Satpura and Vindhya ranges in central India.

These parallel chains run from the Arabian Sea coast in Gujarat in the west to the coal-rich Chota Nagpur Plateau in Jharkhand in the east. Major Himalayan-origin rivers that substantially flow through India include the Ganges and the Brahmaputra , both of which drain into the Bay of Bengal. The Indian climate is strongly influenced by the Himalayas and the Thar Desert, both of which drive the economically and culturally pivotal summer and winter monsoons.

India lies within the Indomalaya ecozone and contains three biodiversity hotspots. Between these extremes lie the moist deciduous sal forest of eastern India; the dry deciduous teak forest of central and southern India; and the babul -dominated thorn forest of the central Deccan and western Gangetic plain. The luxuriant pipal fig tree, shown on the seals of Mohenjo-daro , shaded Gautama Buddha as he sought enlightenment.

Many Indian species descend from taxa originating in Gondwana, from which the Indian plate separated more than million years before present. Epochal volcanism and climatic changes 20 million years ago forced a mass extinction. India contains IUCN -designated threatened animal species , or 2. The pervasive and ecologically devastating human encroachment of recent decades has critically endangered Indian wildlife. In response, the system of national parks and protected areas , first established in , was substantially expanded.

In , India enacted the Wildlife Protection Act [] and Project Tiger to safeguard crucial wilderness; the Forest Conservation Act was enacted in and amendments added in India is the world's most populous democracy. Since then, however, it has increasingly shared the political stage with the BJP, [] as well as with powerful regional parties which have often forced the creation of multi-party coalition governments at the centre.

In the Republic of India's first three general elections, in , , and , the Jawaharlal Nehru -led Congress won easy victories. On Nehru's death in , Lal Bahadur Shastri briefly became prime minister; he was succeeded, after his own unexpected death in , by Indira Gandhi , who went on to lead the Congress to election victories in and Following public discontent with the state of emergency she declared in , the Congress was voted out of power in ; the then-new Janata Party , which had opposed the emergency, was voted in.

Its government lasted just over two years. Voted back into power in , the Congress saw a change in leadership in , when Indira Gandhi was assassinated; she was succeeded by her son Rajiv Gandhi , who won an easy victory in the general elections later that year.

The Congress was voted out again in when a National Front coalition, led by the newly formed Janata Dal in alliance with the Left Front , won the elections; that government too proved relatively short-lived, lasting just under two years.

The Congress, as the largest single party, was able to form a minority government led by P. A two-year period of political turmoil followed the general election of Several short-lived alliances shared power at the centre. The BJP formed a government briefly in ; it was followed by two comparatively long-lasting United Front coalitions, which depended on external support. The UPA returned to power in the general election with increased numbers, and it no longer required external support from India's communist parties.

India is a federation with a parliamentary system governed under the Constitution of India , which serves as the country's supreme legal document. It is a constitutional republic and representative democracy , in which " majority rule is tempered by minority rights protected by law ". Federalism in India defines the power distribution between the union, or central, government and the states.

The government abides by constitutional checks and balances. The Constitution of India , which came into effect on 26 January , [] states in its preamble that India is a sovereign , socialist , secular , democratic republic. The Government of India comprises three branches: India is a federal union comprising 29 states and 7 union territories. The remaining five union territories are directly ruled by the centre through appointed administrators. In , under the States Reorganisation Act , states were reorganised on a linguistic basis.

Each state or union territory is further divided into administrative districts. The districts are further divided into tehsils and ultimately into villages. Since its independence in , India has maintained cordial relations with most nations. In the s, it strongly supported decolonisation in Africa and Asia and played a lead role in the Non-Aligned Movement.

India has tense relations with neighbouring Pakistan; the two nations have gone to war four times: Three of these wars were fought over the disputed territory of Kashmir , while the fourth, the war, followed from India's support for the independence of Bangladesh.

Aside from ongoing special relationship with Russia , India has wide-ranging defence relations with Israel and France. The nation has provided , military and police personnel to serve in 35 UN peacekeeping operations across four continents. China's nuclear test of , as well as its repeated threats to intervene in support of Pakistan in the war, convinced India to develop nuclear weapons. Despite criticism and military sanctions, India has signed neither the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty nor the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty , considering both to be flawed and discriminatory.

Since the end of the Cold War , India has increased its economic, strategic, and military co-operation with the United States and the European Union. Although India possessed nuclear weapons at the time and was not party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it received waivers from the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Suppliers Group , ending earlier restrictions on India's nuclear technology and commerce.

As a consequence, India became the sixth de facto nuclear weapons state. The President of India is the supreme commander of the nation's armed forces; with 1. Widespread state intervention and regulation largely walled the economy off from the outside world. An acute balance of payments crisis in forced the nation to liberalise its economy ; [] since then it has slowly moved towards a free-market system [] [] by emphasising both foreign trade and direct investment inflows. Averaging an economic growth rate of 7.

However, it is higher than Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and others. According to the Worldwide Cost of Living Report released by the Economist Intelligence Unit EIU which was created by comparing more than individual prices across products and services, four of the cheapest cities were in India: Bangalore 3rd , Mumbai 5th , Chennai 5th and New Delhi 8th. India's telecommunication industry , the world's fastest-growing, added million subscribers during the period —11, [] and after the third quarter of , India surpassed the US to become the second largest smartphone market in the world after China.

The pharmaceutical industry in India is among the significant emerging markets for the global pharmaceutical industry. Despite economic growth during recent decades, India continues to face socio-economic challenges. According to a Walk Free Foundation report in , there were an estimated Since , economic inequality between India's states has consistently grown: According to Corruption Perceptions Index , India ranked 76th out of countries in , from 85th in With 1,,, residents reported in the provisional census report , [] India is the world's second-most populous country.

Its population grew by Life expectancy in India is at 68 years, with life expectancy for women being The number of Indians living in urban areas grew by The slowing down of the overall growth rate of population was due to the sharp decline in the growth rate in rural areas since The improvement in literacy rate in rural area is two times that in urban areas.

India is home to two major language families: Other languages spoken in India come from the Austroasiatic and Sino-Tibetan language families. India has no national language.

Each state and union territory has one or more official languages, and the constitution recognises in particular 22 "scheduled languages". The census reported that the religion in India with the largest number of followers was Hinduism Indian cultural history spans more than 4, years.

Much of Indian architecture , including the Taj Mahal , other works of Mughal architecture , and South Indian architecture , blends ancient local traditions with imported styles. Vastu shastra , literally "science of construction" or "architecture" and ascribed to Mamuni Mayan , [] explores how the laws of nature affect human dwellings; [] it employs precise geometry and directional alignments to reflect perceived cosmic constructs.

This period was characterised by a varied and wide spectrum of thought and expression; as a consequence, medieval Indian literary works differed significantly from classical traditions. In the 20th century, Indian literature was influenced by the works of Bengali poet and novelist Rabindranath Tagore , [] who was a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Indian music ranges over various traditions and regional styles. Classical music encompasses two genres and their various folk offshoots: Indian dance also features diverse folk and classical forms.

Among the better-known folk dances are the bhangra of Punjab, the bihu of Assam, the chhau of Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand, garba and dandiya of Gujarat, ghoomar of Rajasthan, and the lavani of Maharashtra. Eight dance forms, many with narrative forms and mythological elements, have been accorded classical dance status by India's National Academy of Music, Dance, and Drama. The Indian film industry produces the world's most-watched cinema. Television broadcasting began in India in as a state-run medium of communication and had slow expansion for more than two decades.

Indian cuisine encompasses a wide variety of regional and traditional cuisines, often depending on a particular state such as Maharashtrian cuisine. Lentils may be used whole, dehusked—for example, dhuli moong or dhuli urad — or split. Split lentils, or dal , are used extensively. Traditional Indian society is sometimes defined by social hierarchy. The Indian caste system embodies much of the social stratification and many of the social restrictions found in the Indian subcontinent.

At the workplace in urban India and in international or leading Indian companies, the caste related identification has pretty much lost its importance. Family values are important in the Indian tradition, and multi-generational patriarchal joint families have been the norm in India, though nuclear families are becoming common in urban areas. Many Indian festivals are religious in origin. Other sets of holidays, varying between nine and twelve, are officially observed in individual states.

Cotton was domesticated in India by BCE. Traditional Indian dress varies in colour and style across regions and depends on various factors, including climate and faith.

Popular styles of dress include draped garments such as the sari for women and the dhoti or lungi for men. Stitched clothes, such as the shalwar kameez for women and kurta — pyjama combinations or European-style trousers and shirts for men, are also popular.

In India, several traditional indigenous sports remain fairly popular, such as kabaddi , kho kho , pehlwani and gilli-danda. Some of the earliest forms of Asian martial arts , such as kalarippayattu , musti yuddha , silambam , and marma adi , originated in India.

The improved results garnered by the Indian Davis Cup team and other Indian tennis players in the early s have made tennis increasingly popular in the country. Field hockey in India is administered by Hockey India. The Indian national hockey team won the Hockey World Cup and have, as of [update] , taken eight gold, one silver, and two bronze Olympic medals, making it the sport's most successful team in the Olympics.

India has also played a major role in popularising cricket. Thus, cricket is, by far, the most popular sport in India. India has hosted or co-hosted several international sporting events: The first Formula 1 Indian Grand Prix featured in late but has been discontinued from the F1 season calendar since India has traditionally been the dominant country at the South Asian Games.

An example of this dominance is the basketball competition where the Indian team won three out of four tournaments to date. The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and the Arjuna Award are the highest forms of government recognition for athletic achievement; the Dronacharya Award is awarded for excellence in coaching.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the Republic of India. For other uses, see India disambiguation. Country in South Asia. Area controlled by India shown in dark green; claimed but uncontrolled regions shown in light green. Hindi English [b] [6]. State level and Eighth Schedule [7]. History of India and History of the Republic of India. Government of India and Constitution of India. Administrative divisions of India. Political integration of India. Foreign relations of India and Indian Armed Forces.

Economic History of India and Economic development in India. Textile industry in India. Music of India and Dance in India.

Cinema of India and Television in India. India portal Asia portal. English is an additional official language for government work alongside Hindi. However, this is disputed , and the region bordering Afghanistan is administered by Pakistan. Archived from the original PDF on 17 March Retrieved 1 September Archived from the original on 4 February Retrieved 1 March Archived from the original on 30 August Retrieved 23 August National Informatics Centre in Hindi. Archived from the original on 8 November Retrieved 1 December Archived from the original PDF on 8 July Retrieved 26 December The Times of India.

Archived from the original on 18 March Retrieved 5 May India doesn't have any 'national language ' ". Archived from the original on 10 October Archived from the original on 4 July Retrieved 23 December Archived from the original on 25 August Retrieved 25 August Archived from the original PDF on 9 October Retrieved 27 September Retrieved 10 September Archived from the original on 22 May Retrieved 17 June Archived PDF from the original on 30 April Archived from the original on 31 January Retrieved 1 April United Nations Development Program.

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