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Overview
Relations with China
 
 
 
 
   
The Republic of India
Information from Embassy of  India in China
 

                                                          Introduction
India is one of the largest and fastest developing countries in the world, with the second largest population that reached 1.02 billion in 2001.

Sweeping economic reforms and liberalization, which were introduced in 1991 and continued by successive governments, have radically changed the course of the economy. Today the Government's policies are relatively simple, transparent and geared towards promoting domestic and foreign private investment. External trade has been liberalized through lowering of tariffs and progressive reduction of import controls. Tax rates, both corporate and personal, have been rationalized and compare favorably with other major world economies. There exists a strong political consensus amongst ruling parties across the nation on the logic and need for economic liberalization. This augurs well for the continuation and progressive strengthening of investor friendly policies.

Benefits of the reform process are visible in the form of better growth rates, higher investment and trade flows in the post liberalization era. The inherent strength of the economy is borne out by the fact that it has achieved an annualized average rate of growth of 6.5% over the past decade. This is targeted to grow to 8% over the course of the Tenth Five Year Plan, with the aim of doubling the GDP within the next decade. India today presents immense market and development opportunities. It is envisaged that these opportunities would be harnessed through a successful collaboration of economic policies, private investment and focused government participation. 
 

                                                        Politics

Political Structure

India    Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic
   
The Indian Union 28 States and 7 Union Territories
   
Form of government Parliamentary democracy, based on universal adult franchise
 
   
Legislature Parliament, consists of President and the two Houses, known as Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and Lok Sabha (House of the People)
 
   
Executive Consists of President, Vice-President and Council of Ministers led by the Prime Minister
   
Judiciary Independent of executive
Political System
 

President

The President is elected by members of an Electoral College consisting of elected members of both Houses of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies of the states, with suitable weightage given to each vote. His term of office is five years.

Among other powers, the President can proclaim an emergency in the country if he is satisfied that the security of the country or of any part of its territory is threatened whether by war or external aggression or armed rebellion. When there is a failure of the constitutional machinery in a state, he can assume to himself all or any of the functions of the government of that state

Council of Ministers
The Council of Ministers comprises Cabinet Ministers, Minister of State (independent charge or otherwise) and Deputy Ministers. Prime Minister communicates all decisions of the Council of Ministers relating to administration of affairs of the Union and proposals for legislation to the President. Generally, each department has an officer designated as secretary to the Government of India to advise Ministers on policy matters and general administration. The Cabinet Secretariat has an important coordinating role in decision-making at highest level and operates under direction of Prime Minister.

The Legislative arm of the Union, called Parliament, consists of the President, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. All legislation requires consent of both houses of parliament. However, in case of money bills, the will of the Lok Sabha always .

The Parliament

Rajya Sabha

The Rajya Sabha consists of 245 members. Of these, 233 represent states and union territories and 12 members are nominated by the President. Elections to the Rajya Sabha are indirect; members are elected by the elected members of Legislative Assemblies of the concerned states. The Rajya Sabha is not subject to dissolution, one third of its members retire every second year.

Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha is composed of representatives of the people chosen by direct election on the basis of universal adult suffrage. The current Lok Sabha consists of 545 members with two members nominated by the President to represent the Anglo-Indian Community. The term of the Lok Sabha is five years.
Political parties are classified into either National Parties or State Parties. If a political party is recognized in four or more states, it is considered as a National Party.

Political Parties
The Indian National Congress (Congress), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Janata Dal, Communist Party of India and Communist Party of India (Marxist) are the prominent National Parties in the Country.

Telugu Desam in Andhra Pradesh, Asom Gana Parishad in Assam, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) in Bihar, Maharashtrwad Gomantak Party in Goa, National Conference in Jammu and Kashmir, Muslim League in Kerala, Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, Akali Dal in Punjab, All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu, Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh and All-India Forward Block in West Bengal are the prominent state-level parties.

legislation
Under the Constitution, Parliament has the power to make laws for the whole of or any part of the territory of India. The State Legislatures have the power to make laws for the States. The subjects on, which legislation can be enacted are specified in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution.

Parliament has the exclusive right to legislate in respect of items appearing in List I, called the "Union List''. This list includes area such as defense, foreign affairs, currency, income tax, excise duty, railways, shipping, posts and telegraphs, etc.

State Legislatures have the exclusive power to make laws in relation to items appearing in List II called the "State List''. This includes items like public order, police, public health, communications, agriculture, lotteries, taxes on entertainment and wealth, sales tax and octroi etc.

Both Parliament and the State Legislatures have the power to legislate in items appearing in List III of the Constitution which is known as "Concurrent List''. This list includes items like electricity, newspapers, criminal law, marriage and divorce, stamp duties, trade unions, price controls, etc.

                                                                           Economy

India's Competitive Advantages
India welcomes foreign investment and most sectors are open for investors. What is paramount to the potential investor is the competitive advantage of a country, and India offers many such, including -

• One of the largest economies of the world in terms of purchasing power parity;

• English as the preferred business language;

• Large and rapidly growing consumer market - upto 300 million people constitute the market for branded consumer products;

• Large and diversified infrastructure spread across the country;

• Strong and mature private sector accounting for 75% of the GDP;

• Large manufacturing capability, spanning almost all areas of manufacturing activities;

• Well-developed R&D infrastructure and technical and marketing services;

• An abundance of natural resources, a rich mineral base and agricultural self-sufficiency;

• Developed banking system, commercial banking network of over 63,000 branches, supported by a number of national and state level financial institutions;

• Vibrant capital market with Foreign Institutional Investor (FII) inflows amounting to over US$ 2 billion within 2001 itself;

• Skilled manpower and professional management including engineers, managerial personnel, accountants, lawyers, etc. at competitive costs;

• Conducive foreign investment environment that provides freedom of entry, investment, location, choice of technology, import and export;

• Current account convertibility, capital account convertibility for foreign investors;

• Well-balanced package of fiscal incentives;

• Stable democratic environment;

• Established independent judiciary with a hierarchy of courts as one of the three pillars of Indian democracy

The Indian Market
One of the important factors for the strong interest of foreign investors in India is the size and the potential for growth of the domestic market. Marked sociological changes brought about by rapid urbanization, explosion of the electronic media, education and increasing domestic and foreign travel are changing the nature and composition of expenditure, with growing emphasis on brands, product quality, features and convenience.

The vast and growing Indian market is a reality. The increase in the number of households headed by salary earners, professionals and businesspersons, along with the emergence of a thriving consumer finance business, have led to a steep rise in the number of consumers with greater disposable incomes. Expenditure on consumer durables like washing machines, refrigerators and color televisions has shown an impressive growth during the 1990s. Private consumption expenditure in services such as hotels and restaurants, home products like furniture and furnishings, consumer durables and personal transport has been steadily increasing, making India one of the larger consumers of white goods as also in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) segment. India offers one of the largest markets in the world for manufactured items of mass consumption such as clothing, footwear, detergents, cooking oil, etc. Markets for most manufactured products have exhibited strong growth rates over the past few years.

Rural areas, where over 70% of Indians live, have witnessed rapid market growth in recent times, driven largely by agricultural growth, income redistribution, and inroads made by the audio-visual media. The rural share of the market for durable goods has grown steadily over the last few years. The rural consumer in India does not limit himself to basic goods, and has been increasingly known to patronize goods earlier assumed to be higher up in the consumer chain, with white goods being a priority, and personal vehicles consumption also showing an upturn.

India has an extensive sales and distribution network. It is estimated that there are over one million market intermediaries - wholesalers, stockists' transporters and retailers - involved in the distribution of a variety of consumer goods. Marketers use this network to access nearly 3,800 cities and towns and over half a million villages. While urban areas have a range of distribution outlets, from large supermarkets and superstores to the smaller neighborhood retail stores, small shops that are part of the local supply network cater to almost every village in India.

The widespread sales and distribution network is supported by an equally extensive banking network. Consumer financing is an accepted form of consumer goods marketing in India. The presence of several non-banking finance companies engaged in leasing and hire purchase activities has given a fillip to consumer goods sales. The credit card market too has shown tremendous growth in recent years. The products of several international companies like Diners Club, Visa International, Master Card and American Express Bank are widely used in the country along with the cards offered by several domestic banks.

                                                                             Culture
Few countries in the world have such an ancient and diverse culture as India's. Stretching back in an unbroken sweep over 5000 years, India's culture has been enriched by successive waves of migration which were absorbed into the Indian way of life.

It is this variety, which is a special hallmark of India. Its physical, religious and racial variety is as immense as its linguistic diversity. Underneath this diversity lies the continuity of Indian civilization and social structure from the very earliest times until the present day.

Modern India presents a picture of unity in diversity to which history provides no parallel. Here is a catalogue of everything India. Indian religions, festivals, rituals, artifacts, monuments, costumes, music and dance, language and literature. Come and discover a little more of India's culture by selecting any of these topics at http://www.meadev.nic.in/culture/overview.htm.

                                                          Society

India's process of development since 1947 has been accompanied by significant social changes and an increasing awareness about issues affecting the poor, the women and the children in India. This period has also seen the burgeoning of the voluntary movement in India and the establishment of several NGOs to protect and promote the interests of women, children and others.

The Government has made constant attempts to promote values like democracy, freedom from discrimination, self-reliance and independence of thought. It has also endeavored to improve the lot of the poor and weaker sections of society. Women and children have figured prominently in the government's agenda of social reforms and initiatives.

Today, India is working towards a society where the poor, marginalized and underprivileged have equal opportunities in all spheres of life. Partnership and collective action by the voluntary agencies, government and other like-minded institutions and individuals has been the key to a meaningful thrust in this direction.

                                                         Science and Technology
Starting with the Indus Valley civilization around 2500 BC, India has been the site for significant historical and philosophical developments intermeshed with several facets of scientific and technological activities. The relatively recent excavations at Kalibangan (Rajasthan) and Lothal (Gujarat) have underlined the singular achievements of this period in history, especially in the spheres of town planning and building of houses using standard burnt bricks, interlinked drainage system, wheel - turned ceramics, solid wheel carts and the use of copper and bronze in various products.

In the field of medicine and surgery, Charak Samhita and Sushruta, classics on Ayurveda are acknowledged as important milestones of the sixth century BC. As far as metallurgy was concerned, according to the Rasvatnakar, the very first batch of zinc to be distilled by man took place around 50 BC in Zawar, Rajasthan. The mastery of Madhuchusta Vidhanam or the lost wax process, led to the grand Chola bronze coins during 800 - 1400 AD. Indian mathematicians (the concept of zero) and astronomers have contributed immensely to the fundamental concept of celestial science. The discovery of coins and concrete evidence of maritime trade indicate a definite level of excellence in the fields of mathematics, geometry and astronomy. India's mastery of the science of pure mathematics goes back to ancient times. It is generally acknowledged that the concept of zero, crucial to the development of the science, is India's contribution to the world, which was given to Europe through the Arabs. In the Ganita Sara Samgraha, 850 A.D., Mahaviracharya, the greatest Jain mathematician mentions the significance of zero. In the fifth century BC Brahmagupta became the first mathematician to solve the Pellian equation.

A century later, Aryabhatta arrived at the most accurate value of the mathematical constant, Pi, in the Gitikapada. The Bakhsali manuscript, written in the third or fourth century BC, on 72 leaves of birch bark, is an exclusively mathematical text that presents rules, illustrated instances and solutions to geometric, algebraic and arithmetical problems. In the Kalpasutras, penned in 290 BC, Bhadrabahu solved the Pythagorean theorem. The mathematical genius of the Jains was so developed that their highest numeral was a forerunner of the Alef zero of modern-day mathematics.These were the earliest in a long tradition of great mathematicians and scientists that the country has produced. S.N. Bose, famous for Bose-Einstein statistics; Meghnad Saha, whose Saha theory of thermal ionisation is crucial to our understanding of spectra observed in astrophysics; Ramanujam and his singular contributions to Number Theory; Jayant Narlikar, who together with Hoyle made a tremendous contribution to the theories of the evolution of the Universe, are some of the internationally renown luminaries in the field of science.

Since 1947, with the metamorphosis of the country, as a new politically independent nation, India continues to pursue a programme of employing modern science and technology for national development. Contemporary India has made major strides in theoretical and applied research in diverse fields such as atomic energy, space remote sensing, biotechnology, electronics and oceanography. At present, the country spends about 0.83 percent of its GNP on scientific and technological development.

                                                                            Tourism

India's amazing diversity offers you everything you could ever want in a visit. From the moment that you set foot in India to be greeted by a graceful namaste, a gesture that denotes both welcome and respect, you are on the way to one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.

Bounded by the majestic Himalayan ranges in the north and edged by a spectacular coastline surrounded by three seas, India is a vivid kaleidoscope of landscapes, magnificent historical sites and royal cities, golden beaches, misty mountain retreats, colourful people, rich cultures and festivities.

At any part of the year Indian can offer you a dazzling array of destinations and experiences. In summer, when the subcontinent is sizzling, there are spectacular retreats amidst the heady beauty of the Himalayas or the lush heights o the Western Ghats with cool trekking trails, tall peaks to conquer stretches of white water for the adventure seekers. In the cool of an Indian winter, cities come alive with cultural feasts of music and dance. The balmy weather is an ideal time for you to visit India hopping through romantic cities studded with ancient and medieval forts and palaces. The sun-drenched beaches are inviting and wildlife sanctuaries with their abundance of flora and fauna are a buzz with the nurture of the young.

You can taste the delights of the Indian monsoon anywhere in the country-on a camel safari in the Rajasthan desert when nature comes alive and the peacocks dance, along the west coast where the relentless slant ingrain paints the countryside in brilliant greens or even trekking amidst the stark grandeur of mountain valleys lying in the rain shadow of the Himalayas.

Experience exotic India live like a maharaja in the rich ambiance of royal forts and palaces that are now heritage hotels; luxuriate in the serene beauty of a coral island with its turquoise lagoon; participate in the exuberance of a village fair or a colourful festival; day dream on a house boat drifting down the palm - fringed backwaters; delight in the grace of dancer or shop till you drop buying exquisite silks, carved figurines, brass and silver ware, marble inlaid with semi-precious stones, finely crafted jewellery, miniature paintings, carpets....at unbelievable prices.

As you travel across the length and breadth of this vast nation, you can see history unfold. You can see palaces, forts, temples, mosques and churches which have been witnesses to timeless pasts and which bring before you the glorious traditions, culture and richness which had made this sub-continent prime choice of destination for explorers down ages.

India, always warm and inviting, is a place of infinite variety - one that favours you with a different facet of its fascination every time you come on a visit.




INDIA TOURISM /TRAVEL WEB SITES

 
Department of Tourism http://tourismofindia.com/
   
Airlines
Air India http://www.airindia.com/
Indian Airlines http://indian-airlines.nic.in/
   
Railways http://www.indianrail.gov.in/index.html
   
Hotel Guide  http://www.la-inde.com/cityhotel.htm
   
Indian Map & Road Links   
http://www.indiatransportal.com/maps/states/itpc_click_india.asp

 

GUIDE FOR TRAVEL AND TOURISM STATE-WISE

 

Andhra Pradesh

http://www.aptourism.com/

Assam

http://assamgovt.nic.in/tourism.htm

Bihar

http://bihar.hypermart.net/tourism1.htm

Chattisgarh

http://www.chhattisgarhonline.com/

Delhi

http://www.delhitourism.nic.in/

Goa

http://travel.indiamart.com/goa/

Gujarat

http://www.gujarattourism.com/

Haryana

http://www.nic.in/htc/

Himachal Pradesh

http://www.himachaltourism.com/

Jammu & Kashmir

http://jammukashmir.nic.in/

Karnataka

http://www.karnatakatourism.com/

Kerala

http://www.keralatourism.com/

Madhya Pradesh

http://www.mptourism.com/

Maharastra

http://www.maharashtra.gov.in/english/tourism/index.html

Meghalaya

http://meghalaya.nic.in/frame_e.htm

Orissa

http://www.orissa-tourism.com/

Pondicherry

http://www.pondy.com/

Punjab

http://www.nic.in/ptdc/

Rajasthan

http://www.rajtourism.com/

Sikkim

http://sikkim.nic.in/sws/

Tamil Nadu

http://www.tamilnadutourism.com/

Uttar Pradesh

http://up-tourism.com/

Uttaranchal

http://www.uttaranchalpradesh.com/

West Bengal

http://www.wbtourism.com/




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