All the information you need about
India – find it here. Things you need to know about India when you are
traveling to the Incredible India.
– A climatic potpourri
India's topography varies wildly,
so do the climatic conditions. Considered as a hot tropical country by
many, a fact that is true for most, of but not all of India. Exceptions
include the northern states of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir
in the north and Sikkim in the northeastern hills.
In most of India, summer is hot. It
begins in April and continues till the beginning of October. The heat
peaks in June with temperatures in the northern plains and the west soaring
above 46° C. The monsoons hit the country during this period too, beginning
1st of June when they are supposed to reach the Kerala coast. Moisture
laden trade winds sweep the country bringing relief to a parched northern
India but devastation in the east where the rivers Brahmaputra and Ganga
flood annually. Tamil Nadu in the south receives rainfall between October
and December, in the wake of retreating or winter monsoons. India’s extensive
coastline lies almost entirely below the Tropic of Cancer. The coast is
usually warm and moist, prone to heavy rains in the monsoons and high
summer temperatures. The eastern coast is vulnerable to cyclones. Winters
here are mild and pleasantly sunny.Hill Stations are the happy peculiarity
that came up here when British wives and officers needed to flee the oppressive
heat and malaria of the plains. Quaint towns that buzz along "mall roads",
tucked away in hills all over India, they are now weekend getaways at
the height of summer for families and couples from India’s cities.
The plains in the north and even the
barren countryside of Rajasthan reel under a cold wave every year in December-January.
Minimum temperatures could dip below 4° C but maximum temperatures usually
do not fall lower than 12° C. In the northern high altitude areas of Himachal
Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Sikkim, and parts of Uttar Pradesh, it snows
through the winter and even summer months are only mildly warm.The east
receives rain from April to August. September to November is relatively
dry and the region only has sporadic showers. There are winter rains in
December and January. This abates for two months and then it’s time for
the monsoon season yet again. The central plateau has similar climate
to the north but the mercury does not dip as low in winter. It rains from
mid-June to September.
India is a federal republic with a
very strong centre. The world’s largest democracy, it has universal adult
suffrage above 18 years. General elections are scheduled every 5 years
when the entire country participates in electing members to the Lower
House of Parliament called the Lok Sabha. Members to the upper house are
elected indirectly. The head of state is the President. The head of government
is the Prime Minister. After almost 50 years of governance by a single
dominant political party, the Congress, an era of coalition politics seems
to have begun. Regional parties are gaining prominence and have increasing
clout at the central level. They form a large part of the current ruling
coalition where the Bharatiya Janata Party is the largest group.
Though the constitution proclaims
India to be a socialist country, it is in truth a mixed economy with a
strong and influential private sector. Public sector undertakings controlled
by the state are involved in many industries though the need for disinvestment
is being increasingly felt. India has a planned economy. It is largely
an agrarian economy. Rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, coffee,
rubber, sugarcane and potatoes are the bulk of the produce. Livestock
include cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats and poultry. Coastal communities
and those who live on riverbanks are often dependent on fishing for livelihood.
The major foreign exchange earner for India is textile, followed by Information
Technology. With Indian IT professionals making it big in the United States
and Indian IT companies proving to be among the best in the crop, there
is new international interest in Indian professionals. Precious and semiprecious
stones, leather products, engineering goods and chemicals are also exported.
Major trading partners: US, UK, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and the UAE.
Major industries: steel, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation
equipment, cement, mining, petroleum and machinery.
GDP: $1.805 trillion (purchasing power parity)
Per Capita income: $1800 (purchasing power parity)
Over 35% of the population lives below the poverty line.
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