Country of the World India

About the country India, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.




Lay of the Land: India is the large, central portion of the Indian subcontinent, traversed on the northeast by the Himalayas. Modern India consists of four major geographic regions: the northern mountains, including sections of the Himalayas; the Ganges and Brahmaputra river valleys, sometimes known as Hindustan; the Deccan tableland in central India; and the coastal plains of the Indian Peninsula, sometimes called Tamil Land. Climate varies from tropical monsoon in southern India to temperate in the north. The eastern Assam Hills receive 400 in. of rain annually, while sections of the western Rajasthan Desert get less than 5 in.

Size: 1,269,338 sq. mi. (3,287,590 sq. km.).

Population: 636.5 million.

Who Rules: India's political system is modeled after Great Britain's, but because of its size and diversity it has developed a federal system with similarities to that of the U. S. The popularly elected central parliament selects the prime minister and cabinet, and periodically, in conjunction with the state legislatures, it elects the president--the chief of state.

Presently India has 22 states and 9 "union territories," which are governed directly by the central government. The federal government is also empowered to assume control of state governments in crisis situations. This is called "presidential rule."

Who REALLY Rules: India, for the foreseeable future, will be ruled by its long-standing civilian bureaucracy and economic elite, who respond only occasionally to pressures from workers, peasants, and other dissenters. As the world's number-one recipient of foreign assistance grants and loans, India must frequently do the bidding of its supporters. Since 1958 the World Bank-led "Aid India Consortium" has imposed economic policies upon India on behalf of Western donors. Furthermore, in particular sectors of the economy, specific donor nations dominate development; e.g., the U.S.S.R. in heavy industry and petroleum and the U.S. in agriculture and rural development. India's military leadership does not get involved in domestic affairs, and the civilian leadership allows the military to exercise control over most of its own activities.

The government shut down the Indian operations of Coca-Cola, which had marketed Coke there since the early 1950s and employed 250,000 workers at 22 bottling plants. The Atlanta-based company ran afoul of Indian regulations calling for the transfer of technology to India by foreign investors. As is its policy elsewhere, Coke refused to turn over the formula for its concentrate.

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