About India

India, officially the Republic of India (Bharat Ganrajya), is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the south-west, and the Bay of Bengal on the south-east, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north-east; and Burma and Bangladesh to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives; in addition, India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.

The Indian economy is the world's tenth-largest by nominal GDP and third-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the fastest-growing major economies; it is considered a newly industrialised country. However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, corruption, malnutrition, inadequate public healthcare, and terrorism. A nuclear weapons state and a regional power, it has the third-largest standing army in the world and ranks eighth in military expenditure among nations. India is a federal constitutional republic governed under a parliamentary system consisting of 29 states and 7 union territories. India is a pluralistic, multilingual, and a multi-ethnic society. It is also home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as of 2013, the Indian economy is nominally worth US$1.842 trillion; it is the eleventh-largest economy by market exchange rates, and is, at US$4.962 trillion, the third-largest by purchasing power parity, or PPP. With its average annual GDP growth rate of 5.8% over the past two decades, and reaching 6.1% during 2011–12, India is one of the world's fastest-growing economies. However, the country ranks 140th in the world in nominal GDP per capita and 129th in GDP per capita at PPP. Until 1991, all Indian governments followed protectionist policies that were influenced by socialist economics. Widespread state intervention and regulation largely walled the economy off from the outside world. An acute balance of payments crisis in 1991 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. India's recent economic model is largely capitalist. India has been a member of WTO since 1 January 1995.

The 486.6-million worker Indian labour force is the world's second-largest, as of 2011. The service sector makes up 55.6% of GDP, the industrial sector 26.3% and the agricultural sector 18.1%. Major agricultural products include rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, and potatoes. Major industries include textiles, telecommunications, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, food processing, steel, transport equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, and software. In 2006, the share of external trade in India's GDP stood at 24%, up from 6% in 1985. In 2008, India's share of world trade was 1.68%. In 2011, India was the world's tenth-largest importer and the nineteenth-largest exporter. Major exports include petroleum products, textile goods, jewellery, software, engineering goods, chemicals, and leather manufactures. Major imports include crude oil, machinery, gems, fertiliser, and chemicals. Between 2001 and 2011, the contribution of petrochemical and engineering goods to total exports grew from 14% to 42%.

Averaging an economic growth rate of 7.5% for several years prior to 2007, India has more than doubled its hourly wage rates during the first decade of the 21st century. Some 431 million Indians have left poverty since 1985; India's middle classes are projected to number around 580 million by 2030. Though ranking 51st in global competitiveness, India ranks 17th in financial market sophistication, 24th in the banking sector, 44th in business sophistication, and 39th in innovation, ahead of several advanced economies, as of 2010. With 7 of the world's top 15 information technology outsourcing companies based in India, the country is viewed as the second-most favourable outsourcing destination after the United States, as of 2009. India's consumer market, currently the world's eleventh-largest, is expected to become fifth-largest by 2030.

India's telecommunication industry, the world's fastest-growing, added 227 million subscribers during the period 2010–11, and after the first quarter of 2013, India surpassed Japan to become the third largest smartphone market in the world after China and the U.S.

Despite impressive economic growth during recent decades, India continues to face socio-economic challenges. India contains the largest concentration of people living below the World Bank's international poverty line of US$1.25 per day, the proportion having decreased from 60% in 1981 to 42% in 2005, and 25% in 2011 44% of India's children under the age of five are underweight, half the children under five suffer from chronic malnutrition, and in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkand, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh, which account for 50.04% of India's population, 70% of the children between the ages of six months and 59 months are anaemic.The Mid-Day Meal Scheme attempts to lower these rates.Since 1991, economic inequality between India's states has consistently grown: the per-capita net state domestic product of the richest states in 2007 was 3.2 times that of the poorest.Corruption in India is perceived to have increased significantly, with one report estimating the illegal capital flows since independence to be US$462 billion.

Driven by growth, India's nominal GDP per capita has steadily increased from US$329 in 1991, when economic liberalisation began, to US$1,265 in 2010, and is estimated to increase to US$2,110 by 2016; however, it has remained lower than those of other Asian developing countries such as Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, and is expected to remain so in the near future. While it is currently higher than Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and others.

According to a 2011 PricewaterhouseCoopers report, India's GDP at purchasing power parity could overtake that of the United States by 2045. During the next four decades, Indian GDP is expected to grow at an annualised average of 8%, making it potentially the world's fastest-growing major economy until 2050.The report highlights key growth factors: a young and rapidly growing working-age population; growth in the manufacturing sector because of rising education and engineering skill levels; and sustained growth of the consumer market driven by a rapidly growing middle class. The World Bank cautions that, for India to achieve its economic potential, it must continue to focus on public sector reform, transport infrastructure, agricultural and rural development, removal of labour regulations, education, energy security, and public health and nutrition.

Citing persistent inflation pressures, weak public finances, limited progress on fiscal consolidation and ineffectiveness of the government, rating agency Fitch revised India's Outlook to Negative from Stable on 18 June 2012. Another credit rating agency S&P had warned previously that a slowing GDP growth and political roadblocks to economic policy-making could put India at the risk of losing its investment grade rating. However, Moody did not revise its outlook on India keeping it stable, but termed the national government as the "single biggest drag" on business activity.

Taj Mehal

One of the Seven Wonders of the World:- TAJ MAHAL, Agra, (UP). On 1st October 2015, we will be visiting Agra, the erstwhile city of the Mughals. Taj Mahal is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and symbolizes India. Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage". Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is regarded as the finest example of Mughal architecture. This Seven Wonders of the World shines like silver in the evening.

Kashmir

The Paradise on Earth, Kashmir's major attraction lies in its scenic beauty, snow clad peaks, lush green valleys, Alpine villages, cascading waterfalls, flower gardens etc. Kashmir is a destination worth visiting, during winter season where you can enjoy the boat ride on picturesque Dal Lake. The other major attractions are Gulmarg, Srinagar, Sonmarg, Nagin Lake, Pari Mahal, Shankracharya shrine and Pehalgam.

GOA

Goa, the smallest state of India is known for its exotic beaches with amazing sunset view, golden sand and coconut palms playing with the wind. If having a great time with a dear one is on your mind, Goa is the perfect place for togetherness. Tasty seafood, parasailing, wind surfing and water-skiing facilities make the beaches of Goa a core fun place. Alorna Fort, Ancestral Goa Museum, Arvalam Waterfalls, Chapora Fort and Calangute beach are some of the popular destinations in Goa.

Kanyakumari

Kanyakumari (or Kanniyakumari) which is also known as Cape Comorin is the place where the three humungous water bodies namely, Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal meet up. People cannot stop gazing at the darkening horizon and enjoy the moments of solitude. Sunset is more spectacular than a sunrise here and witnessing the setting of the sun makes up for a serene holiday. Lakhs of tourist, round the year are lured by the serene beauty of this place and the spectacles of sunrise and sunset.

Jaipur and Udaipur

Jaipur and Udaipur, located in Rajasthan give us an insight into the rich cultural and artistic traditions of the state. Hawa Mahal or 'Palace of Winds', located in Jaipur, designed in the form of the crown of Lord Krishna is a beautiful construction, which draws tourists from all over the country. This pyramid shaped monument with 953 small windows stands as the entrance to the City Palace, Jaipur and is a notable sight here. The Lake Place of Udaipur is one of the most beautiful palaces in the world, which is now converted into a hotel equipped with 66 rooms .

Kerala

The enchanting backwaters of Kerala, the mesmerizing waterfalls, the hill stations and the serene atmosphere make the state one of the most preferred tourist destinations. Kerala Backwaters comprises of a chain of lagoons and lakes which lies parallel to the Arabian Sea. A cruise in the House boats gives tourists a unique and exciting chance to experience the beauty of the surrounding greenery and nearby villages. Munnar, Thekkady, Wayanad, Athirapally waterfalls, Varkala beach and Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple are the most preferred

Darjeeling

Darjeeling is fondly called the ''Queen of the Hills'' and is at an altitude of 2134 meters above mean sea level, nestled among the rolling mountains. Darjeeling produces most popular teas in the world and one can admire clear view of the world's third highest peak, Kanchenjunga from here. Darjeeling hosts some of the most popular hill resorts in India and the sight of sunrise is simply spectacular.

Mysore

The cultural capital of Karnataka, Mysore is located at the base of Chamundi Hills and is noted for its palaces, mainly the Mysore Palace. This palace, also known as the Amba Vilas Place is one of the most famous tourist attractions in India after Taj Mahal and is visited by more than 2.7 million visitors annually. Mysore Dasara festival, celebrated here during the season of autumn attracts people from various parts of the world. Chamundeswari Temple, Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, St. Philomena's Church and Brindhavan garden are the popular .

Ajanta Ellora

The Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra are 30 rock-cut cave monuments and these splendid architectural wonders portray the rich heritage of India. The paintings and sculptures in these caves are supposed to be masterpieces of Buddhist religious art. The cave temples are positioned in a horse-shoe shaped cliff.
The cave temples of Ellora located in the Deccan Plateau were excavated between 600 AD and 900 AD. There are numerous Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain temples here and all of them are made from solid rock. The Kailas (heaven of Siva) temple in Ellora is one of the most interesting and attractive cave temples here. Ellora, also known as Ellooru, represents the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture..