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India Government Profile 2017

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Country nameconventional long form: Republic of India
conventional short form: India
local long form: Republic of India/Bharatiya Ganarajya
local short form: India/Bharat
etymology: the English name derives from the Indus River; the Indian name "Bharat" may derive from the "Bharatas" tribe mentioned in the Vedas of the second millennium B.C.; the name is also associated with Emperor Bharata, the legendary conqueror of all of India
Government typefederal parliamentary republic
Capitalname: New Delhi
geographic coordinates: 28 36 N, 77 12 E
time difference: UTC+5.5 (10.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions29 states and 7 union territories*; Andaman and Nicobar Islands*, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh*, Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli*, Daman and Diu*, Delhi*, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep*, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Puducherry*, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal
note: although its status is that of a union territory, the official name of Delhi is National Capital Territory of Delhi
Independence15 August 1947 (from the UK)
National holidayRepublic Day, 26 January (1950)
Constitutionhistory: previous 1935 (preindependence); latest draft completed 4 November 1949, adopted 26 November 1949, effective 26 January 1950
amendments: proposed by either the Council of States or the House of the People; passage requires majority participation of the total membership in each house and at least two-thirds majority of voting members of each house, followed by assent of the president of India; proposed amendments to the constitutional amendment procedures also must be ratified by at least one-half of the India state legislatures before presidential assent; amended many times, last in 2016 (2017)
Legal systemcommon law system based on the English model; separate personal law codes apply to Muslims, Christians, and Hindus; judicial review of legislative acts
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; non-party state to the ICCt
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of India
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Pranab MUKHERJEE (since 22 July 2012); Vice President Mohammad Hamid ANSARI (since 11 August 2007)
head of government: Prime Minister Narendra MODI (since 26 May 2014)
cabinet: Union Council of Ministers recommended by the prime minister, appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by an electoral college consisting of elected members of both houses of Parliament and state legislatures for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 19 July 2012 (next to be held on 17 July 2017); vice president indirectly elected by an electoral college consisting of elected members of both houses of Parliament and state legislatures for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 7 August 2012 (next to be held by 10 August 2017); following legislative elections, the prime minister is elected by parliamentary members of the majority party
election results: Pranab MUKHERJEE elected president; percent of vote - Pranab MUKHERJEE (INC prior to election) 69.3%, Purno SANGMA (independent) 30.7%; Mohammad Hamid ANSARI reelected vice president; electoral college vote - Mohammad Hamid ANSARI 490, Jaswant SINGH 238
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral Parliament or Sansad consists of the Council of States or Rajya Sabha (245 seats; 233 members indirectly elected by state and territorial assemblies by proportional representation vote, and 12 members appointed by the president; members serve 6-year terms) and the House of the People or Lok Sabha (545 seats; 543 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 2 appointed by the president; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: People's Assembly - last held April-May 2014 in 10 phases; (next to be held by May 2019)
election results: People's Assembly - percent of vote by party - BJP 31.0%, INC 19.3%, AITC 3.8%, SP 3.4%, AIADMK 3.3%, CPI(M) 3.3%, TDP 2.6%, YSRC 2.5%, AAP 2.1%, SAD 1.8%, BJD 1.7%, SS 1.7%, NCP 1.6%, RJD 1.3%, TRS 1.3%, LJP 0.4%, other 15.9%, independent 3.0%; seats by party - BJP 282, INC 44, AIADMK 37, AITC 34, BJD 20, SS 18, TDP 16, TRS 11, CPI(M) 9, YSRC 9, LJP 6, NCP 6, SP 5, AAP 4, RJD 4, SAD 4, other 33, independent 3
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court (the chief justice and 25 associate justices)
judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the president to serve until age 65
subordinate courts: High Courts; District Courts; Labour Court
note: in mid-2011, India’s Cabinet approved the "National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reform" to eliminate judicial corruption and reduce the backlog of cases; as of mid-July 2015, the Indian Government was considering the introduction of pre-trial hearing as a method for reducing the backlog
Political parties and leadersAam Aadmi Party or AAP [Arvind KEJRIWAL]
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or AIADMK [J. JAYALALITHAA]
All India Trinamool Congress or AITC [Mamata BANERJEE]
Bahujan Samaj Party or BSP [MAYAWATI]
Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP [Amit SHAH]
Biju Janata Dal or BJD [Naveen PATNAIK]
Communist Party of India-Marxist or CPI(M) [Prakash KARAT]
Indian National Congress or INC [Sonia GANDHI]
Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) [Ram Vilas PASWAN]
Nationalist Congress Party or NCP [Sharad PAWAR]
Rashtriya Janata Dal or RJD [Lalu Prasad YADAV]
Samajwadi Party or SP [Mulayam Singh YADAV]
Shiromani Akali Dal or SAD [Parkash Singh BADAL]
Shiv Sena or SS [Uddhav THACKERAY]
Telegana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) [K. Chandrashekar RAO]
Telugu Desam Party or TDP [Chandrababu NAIDU]
YSR Congress (YSRC) [Jaganmohan REDDY]
note: India has dozens of national and regional political parties
Political pressure groups and leadersAll Parties Hurriyat Conference in the Kashmir Valley (separatist group)
Bajrang Dal (militant religious organization)
Jamiat Ulema-e Hind [Mahmood MADANI] (religious organization)
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh [Mohan BHAGWAT] (nationalist organization)
Vishwa Hindu Parishad [Pravin TOGADIA] (militant religious organization)
other: hundreds of social reform, anti-corruption, and environmental groups at state and local level; numerous religious or militant/chauvinistic organizations; various separatist groups seeking greater communal and/or regional autonomy
International organization participationADB, AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIMSTEC, BIS, BRICS, C, CD, CERN (observer), CICA, CP, EAS, FAO, FATF, G-15, G-20, G-24, G-5, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAS (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC, SACEP, SCO (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNISFA, UNITAR, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Navtej Singh SARNA (since January 2017)
chancery: 2107 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; note - Consular Wing located at 2536 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; telephone: [1](202) 939-7000
telephone: [1] (202) 939-7000
FAX: [1] (202) 265-4351
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, New York, San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires MaryKay L. Carlson (since 20 January 2017)
embassy: Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [91] (11) 2419-8000
FAX: [91] (11) 2419-0017
consulate(s) general: Chennai (Madras), Hyderabad, Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay)
Flag descriptionthree equal horizontal bands of saffron (subdued orange) (top), white, and green, with a blue chakra (24-spoked wheel) centered in the white band; saffron represents courage, sacrifice, and the spirit of renunciation; white signifies purity and truth; green stands for faith and fertility; the blue chakra symbolizes the wheel of life in movement and death in stagnation
note: similar to the flag of Niger, which has a small orange disk centered in the white band
National symbol(s)the Lion Capital of Ashoka, which depicts four Asiatic lions standing back to back mounted on a circular abacus, is the official emblem; Bengal tiger; lotus flower; national colors: saffron, white, green
National anthemname: "Jana-Gana-Mana" (Thou Art the Ruler of the Minds of All People)
lyrics/music: Rabindranath TAGORE
note: adopted 1950; Rabindranath TAGORE, a Nobel laureate, also wrote Bangladesh's national anthem

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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