is one of the oldest civilizations in the world with a
kaleidoscopic variety and rich cultural heritage. It has
achieved multifaceted socio-economic progress during the last 59
years of its Independence. India has become self-sufficient in
agricultural production, and is now the tenth industrialized
country in the world and the sixth nation to have gone into
outer space to conquer nature for the benefit of the people. It
covers an area of 32,87,263 sq km, extending from the
snow-covered Himalayan heights to the tropical rain forests of
the south. As the seventh largest country in the world, India
stands apart from the rest of Asia, marked off as it is by
mountains and the sea, which give the country a distinct
geographical entity. Bounded by the Great Himalayas in the
north, it stretches southwards and at the Tropic of Cancer,
tapers off into the Indian Ocean between the Bay of Bengal on
the east and the Arabian Sea on the west.
entirely in the northern hemisphere, the mainland extends
between latitudes 8°4' and 37°6' north, longitudes 68°7' and
97°25' east, and measures about 3,214 km from north to south
between the extreme latitudes and about 2,933 km from east to
west between the extreme longitudes. It has a land frontier of
about 15,200 km. The total length of the coastline of the
mainland, Lakshadweep Islands, and the Andaman and Nicobar
Islands is 7,516.6 km. India's population, as on 1 March
2001 stood at 1,028,000,000.
is divided in to 28 States and 7 Union Territories.
There are 604 Districts in India administered by their
respective State/UT Government. The Districts are further
divided into approximately 6,170 Block Panchayats, and 240,940
Village Panchayats for administrative reasons. There are
approximately 4,379 Cities and Towns in India.