Brief Discussion Of The Countrys Relevant History History Essay
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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016
India is a country of Indian subcontinent in South Asia, by the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. It has the seventh-largest area and the second-most population in the world. India abuts Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma and Bangladesh on land, and Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Thailand and Indonesia on sea.
Indian culture is highly affected by the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, which is one of the most ancient civilizations in the whole human history. The Indian subcontinent cultivated several major religious of the world, including Hinduism and Buddhism. After ruled and affected by the United Kingdom from the mid-19th century, India struggled for independence and eventually became an independent nation in 1947.
Nowadays, the GDP of India is the tenth-largest, and the purchasing power parity of India is the third-largest of the world. India is also one of the fastest-growing economies. However, there are also many challenges of India, including poverty, illiteracy, corruption, malnutrition, and public healthcare, etc.
India is a federal constitutional republic. The Constitution of India states that India is a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic. There are totally 28 states and 7 union territories in India.
II. Brief discussion of the country’s relevant history
India is country with a long history. Indian civilization is one of the most ancient civilizations of the world. The earliest modern human found in South Asia date from approximately 30,000 years ago. Around 7000 BC, the first known Neolithic settlements appeared in this region and gradually developed into the Indus Valley Civilization. Around the 5th century BC, the emerging urbanization and the orthodoxies of this age created the religious reform movements of Buddhism and Jainism.
After the 10th century, Muslim Central Asian nomadic clans invaded north-western plains, leading eventually to the establishment of the Islamic Delhi Sultanate in 1206. Meanwhile, Vijayanagara Empire came to control much of peninsular India, and was to influence South Indian society for long afterwards. In the early 16th century, a new generation of Central Asian warriors invaded and united the whole Indian subcontinent, resulting Mughal Empire.
By the early 18th century,a number of European trading companies, including the English East India Company, had established coastal outposts. East India Company eventually subdued most of India by the 1820s, starting India’s colonial period.
India’s modern age began sometime between 1848 and 1885. In 1885, one of the most important political parties, the Indian National Congress was founded. After World War I, the non-violent movement of non-cooperation started to struggle against the ruling of the United Kingdom. After World War II, the decline of the United Kingdom, the movement of non-cooperation, and an upsurge of Muslim nationalism, together resulted not only the independence of the country in 1947, but also the partition of the original India into two separate states India and Pakistan.
Completed in 1950, the constitution of India states India as a sovereign, secular, and democratic republic. In the following 60 years, India has maintained this political system till now. Also, the economic liberalization of the 1990s has made India one of the fastest-growing economies of the world.
III. Geographical setting
The total land area of India is 2,973,190 square kilometers. The claimed total area (including territorial seas) is 3,287,590 square kilometers. The actually controlled area (including territorial seas) is 3,201,446 square kilometers.
India lies in Indian subcontinent of South Asia, to the north of the equator, between 6° 44′ and 35° 30′ north latitude and 68° 7′ and 97° 25′ east longitude, by the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan.
Climate of India varies significantly from north to south. In winters, the Himalayas to the north of India prevent cold Central Asian winds from blowing in, keeping the Indian subcontinent warm. In summers, the Thar Desert attracts the south-west monsoon winds that provide the majority of India’s rainfall. There are four major climatic groupings (tropical wet, tropical dry, subtropical humid, and mountain region) and four seasons (dry, cool winter from December to February; dry, hot summer from March to May; southwest monsoon from June to September; and northeast monsoon from October and November).
There are three main geological regions in India: Himalayas, Indo-Gangetic Plain and Peninsula with Deccan Plateau. Himalayas and Indo-Gangetic Plain are collectively known as North India, and Peninsula region is known as South India. The Himalayas abut India in the north and the north-east. the Indo-Gangetic Plain lies to the south of the Himalayas. The Thar Desert is to the west of India. The peninsula region is the oldest and geologically most stable part of India, which is also considered as the central India. The Deccan Plateau lies to the south of the peninsular landmass.
IV. Social institutions
The 2011 provisional census of India reported a total population of 1,210,193,422, making India the second-most populous country of the world. During the last decade (2001-2011), the population growing rate is 1.76% annually on average, down from 2.13% annually in the previous decade (1991-2001). The sex ratio is 940 (females per 1,000 males).
According to the 2001 census of India, the number of Indians living in urban areas has grown by 31.2% between 1991 and 2001, but there were still over 70% Indians lived in rural areas. In 2001, there were 27 million-plus cities in India, among which Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad are the most populous metropolitan areas.
Indians hold a strong family-oriented culture. The family values are very important in India traditions as well as the social life of Indians. Family is responsible for the transmission of beliefs, traditions and core values of the family itself as well as the culture of India.
1. The nuclear family
Economy development, westernization and urbanization make traditional large families difficult for modern rapid life style. Traditional joint families start to split into nuclear families, especially in urban area. In a nuclear family, a couple live with their unmarried children. The emerging of nuclear family can be a reaction to a variety of conditions, such as the requirement for some members to move from one place to another. However, the relative connections are still strong. When crucial decision and emergencies have to be made, family support are still the most important and one of the first considerations. Kinships and loyalty to family is still important principle of family members.
2. The extended family
The common presence of extended family in India is joint Hindu family, which is also called a “Hindu Undivided Family”, a normal condition of Hindu society. A joint family composes of all persons lineally descended and their wives as well as unmarried daughters. A married daughter becomes a member of her husband’s family, but still retains bond with her natal family.
Clear lines of hierarchy and authority exist under this family structure. Higher position in the hierarchy earns more respects. In general, elders rank above juniors, males rank above females.
The entire business of the joint family is operated by the oldest male member of the family, usually the grandfather, who is the head and manager of the family, called “Karta”. He has the authority over the whole family, especially in important decision making and family discipline creation. In some cases, grandmother can also have certain authority over young females of the family
3. Dynamics of the family
a. Parental roles
Indian culture emphasizes respects for parents and other elders in the family, whom are always be consulted with major decision making. It is common that a child have to consult their parents before accepting a job offer or traveling abroad.
In an Indian family, giving birth to a child is a socio-religious obligation of Indian women, which is an accomplishment and a fulfillment to the social roles. Age 30 is considered an old age to have first child. Mothers usually take great effort on taking care of the food and other aspects of their children.
Most of fathers are in charge of family business and being the main incoming source of the family, especially in joint families. Meanwhile, more and more women are taking part in work force. Family education plays an important role in children education.
b. Marriage and courtship
The arranged marriage is overwhelmingly common in India, which can be considered as another emphasis to family importance. Most marriages of Indians today are arranged by their parents or other family members, under their own agreements. Marriage in India is thought to be for life, resulting in a fairly low divorce rate. Children marriages are still common in rural areas, where more than half Indian females get married before the legal marriage age 18.
Female/male roles (changing or static?)
In India, male is still dominant in society. But women status in India has changed greatly due to the promotion of equal rights. In modern India, women have played more important roles in politics than ever before, including the roles of the President, Prime minister, Speaker of the Lok Sabha and Leader of the Opposition. However, women in India are still exposed to lots of social issues, such as education, work, land and property rights, child marriage, domestic violence, etc.
1. The role of education in society
Education in India is provided by the public sector and the private sector. The control and funding of education mainly come from three levels: central, state, and local.
The education system of India is supervised by Department of Education, which is part of Ministry of Human Resource Development. India holds a twelve-year education system, including mandatory primary and middle levels, optional secondary and higher education. Free and compulsory education has been provided to all children up to age fourteen by 1995. High drop-out rate in India is very common, even at compulsory levels. The overall dropout rate of primary schools in 2003-2004 was 10.64%. In 2006-07, the dropout rate in Delhi is 23.49% for classes I to VIII.
At local levels, education programs are coordinated by the state ministries of education. Both the state education ministry and the municipal government hold responsibilities to supervise city school boards. In rural areas, the school board is supervised by either the district board or the village council.
Most of the educational funding is provided by State governments. An average 3 percent of the GNP of India was spent on education, more than 90 percent of which was spent on the salaries of teachers and the administration.
a. Primary education (quality, levels of development, etc.)
Primary education up to the age of fourteen years is free and compulsory in India, including primary school and middle school. Primary school includes children from age six to age eleven, correspondingly referring classes one to five. Middle school pupils aged eleven to fourteen are organized into classes six to eight.
Despite the free and compulsory primary education and a relatively high gross enroll rate, only about 50 percent of children of corresponding ages actually attend school. Most of the children were enrolled but dropped out during the middle of study. School attendance patterns changed in regions and are different in genders.
b. Secondary education (quality, levels of development, etc.)
Secondary education, also known as high school education, covers children ages fourteen to seventeen, enrolled in classes nine through twelve. According to the 2001 census of India, secondary education covers 88.5 million children, only 31 million of whom, however, were attending schools in 2001-02.
c. Higher education (quality, levels of development, etc.)
India owns the third largest higher education system in the world. The main governing department of higher education is the University Grants Commission. UGC establishes and execute the standards, provides advisory to the government, and coordinates the centre and the states. Higher education in India includes technical schools, colleges, and universities. Till 2009, India had 20 central universities, 215 state universities, 100 deemed universities. Besides universities, there are 16000 colleges, including 1800 exclusive women’s colleges.
2. Literacy rates
The national literacy rates of India increased from 43.7 percent in 1981 to 52.2 percent in 1991 (male 63.9 percent, female 39.4 percent). According to the 2011 provisional census, the literacy rate in 2011 was 74.04% (65.46% among females and 82.14% among males). Kerala is the most literate state while Bihar is the least.
C. Political system
1. Political structure
Came into effect on 26 January 1950, the Constitution of India states that India is a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic. With a multi-party system, India is a parliamentary republic and the most populous democracy of the world. Federalism in India distributes the power between the federal government and the states.
The federal government comprises three branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. The Executive branch include the President, the vice-President and the Prime minister with the council of ministers. The Legislative branch is the bicameral parliament. The Judicial branch is a unitary three-tier independent judiciary, including the Supreme Court, 21 High Courts, and a large number of trial courts.
In the central government, the President of India is the head of state, who is elected for a five-year term indirectly by a national election. The Prime Minister of India, appointed by the president, is the head of government and holds most of the executive power. The Council of Ministers, whose executive committee is the cabinet, is headed by the prime minister. Any minister in this council must be a member of one of the houses of parliament. The executive system is subordinate to the legislature system, the prime minister and the council are directly responsible to the lower house of the parliament.
There are 28 states and 7 union territories of India. All states and the union territories of Pondicherry and the National Capital Territory of Delhi have elected legislatures and governments. Other five union territories are directly ruled by the centre government by appointing administrators. Every state or union territory is composed of administrative districts. The districts are composed of tehsils (tax zone in India) and ultimately into villages.
2. Political parties
In India, A party recognized in four or more states is declared as a national party by the Election Commission of India (EC). Other parties are known as state parties. Till 2011, India totally has recognized eight national parties, the most famous two of which are Indian National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). There are also more than 40 regional parties. From 1950s to the late 1980s, the Congress mostly held a majority in the parliament. After 1980s, however, BJP started to share the political stage. Powerful regional parties also started to play an important part with the foundation of multi-party coalitions at the centre.
3. Stability of government
Because no party had won an absolute majority in Parliament, India suffered a few years’ political instability until the general election in 1999. Economic liberalization has been accepted as a necessity by all parties, and no policy proposed by a past government had been reversed by any successive government so far, so political instability posed little risk to economic and business development. Provided overall economic policy remains unchanged, even if political instability were to return in the future, a reversal in economic policy would not happen.
4. Special taxes
India owns a three-tier tax structure, in which the central government levies income tax, tax on capital transactions, sales tax, service tax, customs and excise duties, and the state governments levies taxes of their own states, including sales tax, tax on entertainment and professions, excise duties on alcohol manufacture, stamp duties on transfer of property and collect land revenue. State government empowers corresponding local governments to levy property tax as well as to charge users for public utilities such as water supply and sewage.
The tax reforms that started in 1991 were aimed to reform the tax structure and increase compliance. The reforms include reducing the rates of individual and corporate income taxes, excises, customs, reducing exemptions and concessions, simplification of laws and procedures, and introduction of permanent account number. 21 states introduced value added tax in 2005 to replace the complex and multiple sales tax system.
Basic taxes toward corporations include Corporation Income Tax, Dividend Distribution Tax and Minimum Alternate Tax. Indirect taxes include sales tax (CST and VAT), customs duty, CENVAT (excise duty) and service tax. Other special taxes include wealth tax, which is charged both on individuals and companies annually, and other personal taxes.
5. Role of local government
The government form of India used to be described as kind of a strong centre and weak states. Since the late 1990s, the government form has grown increasingly federal as a result of political, economic, and social changes.
D. Legal system
1. Organization of the judiciary system
The bicameral parliament is the legislature of India. The parliament is a Westminster-style parliamentary system, which comprises the upper house (the Rajya Sabha, means “Council of States”) and the lower house (the Lok Sabha , means “House of the People”). The Rajya Sabha has 245 members with six-year terms, 233 members of whom are elected indirectly by the state and territorial legislatures in numbers proportional to the population of each state, the other 12 members are appointed by the president. All but two of the 545 members of Lok Sabha are directly elected by open voting, who represent individual constituencies and have five-year terms; the president nominates the other two members of Lok Sabha. from among the Anglo-Indian community.
India has a three-tier judiciary system. The top-tier department is the Supreme Court, which is headed by the Chief Justice of India and is the ultimate interpreter of the constitution. The Supreme Court holds the original jurisdiction of cases that involve fundamental rights and over disputes between states and the central government. The middle-tier departments include 21 High Courts. The Supreme Court performs appellate jurisdiction over the High Courts and can both declare the law and to strike down union or state laws that conflict the constitution. The bottom-tier departments compose of a large number of trial courts.
2. Code, common, socialist, or Islamic-law country?
India is a federation with a parliamentary system under the Constitution of India, which is the country’s supreme legal document. The Constitution of India states that India is a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic.
3. Participation in patents, trademarks, and other conventions
The Indian Patent Office administers the law of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks in India. This office is administered by the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks (CGPDTM). India has the Patents Act, the Designs Act, and the Trade Mark’s Act, which are all under administration of the Controller General, who also advises the government on related matters.
4. Marketing Laws
Since 1969, India has owned a competition law, the Monopolies & Restrictive Trade Practices (MRTP) Act, which was enacted to prevent concentration of economic power, control monopolies, and prohibit monopolistic and restrictive trade practices. The amendment on this act in 1984 brought unfair trade practices, a consumer protection provision of deception and misleading claims and advertising. However, this act became too old to deal with the modern market, so in 2002, The new Competition Act became a improvement of relative legislation. The new law provides a modern framework of competition, which emphasizes on four core areas: anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominance, combinations regulation and competition advocacy.
E. Social organizations
1. Group behavior
Because of the diversity of religions, group behaviors in india is highly related to religious group and activities. (see also in “Religion and aesthetics”) Meanwhile, Indians have a cultural unity in philosophy of life, custom, creed and tradition.
2. Social classes
A relatively strict social hierarchy is applied to traditional Indian society. Thousands of endogamous hereditary groups in Indian society result in different social classes, making social class segmentation and discrimination very common. Although India enacted many anti-discriminatory laws and social welfare initiatives, numerous Dalits (“ex-Untouchables”) and other low social status people continue living in segregation and facing persecution and discrimination, especially in rural area.
3. Clubs, other organizations
There are various social organizations in India, most of which are normal organizations and clubs, such as sports clubs, NGOs, charities and fundations. These organizations play important roles in Indian’s social networks and social lives, not unlike other western countries. Howevers, what has to especially notice is that, with Afghanistan and Pakistan to the west and Bangladesh and Burma to the east, India is at the geographical center of a series of terrorist organizations, which have some activeties even in India.
4. Race, ethnicity, and subcultures
India is a multiracial country. The Indo-Aryan account for 72 percent of the population. Other races include Dravidian (25 percent), Mongoloid and other (3 percent). Different races have their own special culture and customs that have to be take care of in some social conditions. Caste system prevails, but is no longer sanctioned by government.
F. Business customs and practices
The business culture of India is a reflection of the various norms and standards followed by its people. An important part of traditional Indian etiquette, the “namaste”, is generally used with greetings and good-byes. Accompanied with a bow, the gesture is formed by pressing the palms of both hands together with fingers upwards and placed the folded hands below the chin. Educated Indians acquainted with western customs prefer hands-shaking. use Always use one’s title while greetings, and may also add “ji” after the name of a person to show respect. In India guests are treated with respect and courtesy. Indians have difficulty in saying no due to culture or politeness, which should be considered in negotiations and contracts. The time management of Indian is not very precise, which is affected by Indian culture. Meetings might be postponed, rescheduled, cancelled or organized at a very short notice, so try to keep in touch with Indian business partner can be very important.
Hierarchy in India affects business as well as individuals. Business process worked within the government circles could result in delays and other surprising problems, which means patience is very important for any business in India. Companies with hierarchical systems usually make decision from the top to bottom, so the process could be time consuming. The lack of infrastructure and inadequate supply chain management might also become problems of foreign investments.
V. Religion and aesthetics
A. Religion and other belief systems
India has diversified religions, including major religions Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity, and Jainism. Hinduism is the predominant religion, which is very historical and has been shaped by various thoughts from many kinds of movements, as well as by Buddhist philosophy. According to the 2001 census, Hinduism has over 800 million adherents (80.5% of the population). Other religions include Islam (13.4%), Christianity (2.3%), Sikhism (1.9%), Buddhism (0.8%), Jainism (0.4%), Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and the Bahá’í Faith. India also owns the third-largest Muslim population, making it the largest Muslim population in a non-Muslim majority country
1. Orthodox doctrines and structures
Unlike other religions, Hinduism does not claim any rophet or worship any God. Hinduism does not include any religious rites or performances. It is more a way of life than a religion with strict orthodox doctrions. Basic beliefs of Hinduism include Dharma (ethics/duties), SamsÄra (the continuing cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth), Karma (action and subsequent reaction), Moksha (liberation from samsara), and all kinds of Yogas.
2. Relationship with the people
With rituals, worship, and other religious activities, religion plays an important role in the Indian individual life as well as social life. The degree of religiosity varies among individuals. In recent years, religious orthodoxy and observances have become less common, particularly among young generations. Most of Indians perform religious rituals daily. Most Hindus observe religious rituals at home. Specific activities vary among regions, villages, and individuals.
Religion also significantly influence dietary habits. About one-third of Indians are lacto-vegetarians. Hinduism worship cows and beef consumption is forbidden.
In Hinduism, Birth, marriage, and death are often involved in different religious customs. Major rituals include annaprashan (first intake of solid food), upanayanam (“sacred thread ceremony” undergone by upper-caste youths), and shraadh (paying homage to a deceased individual). For most people in India, the important events of the wedding, including time and date, are decided by the parents with consultation of astrologers.
3. Which religions are prominent?
Hinduism was the largest religion in India, accounting for more than 80% of the population.
4. Membership of each religion
One seeking to enter Hinduism must reject the beliefs that the previous religion or philosophy different from that of Hinduism. Ethical conversion involves one’s family and societal recognition, as well as initiation, vow-taking and legal change on all official documents. Hinduism has formal ceremonies and soul-searching requirements.
5. Any powerful or influential cults?
Many Indian festivals originate in religions, including Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Thai Pongal, Navaratri, Holi, Durga Puja, Eid ul-Fitr, Bakr-Id, Christmas, and Vaisakhi.
Allahabad, Haridwar, Varanasi, Ujjain, Rameshwaram and Vrindavan are Hinduism holy cities; Puri, Tirumala – Tirupati, and Katra are Notable temple cities of Hinduism. The Char Dham pilgrimage circuit is composed of cities Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. Every four years, the Kumbh Mela (the “pitcher festival”),one of the holiest of Hindu pilgrimages is held, whose location rotates among four cities Allahabad, Haridwar, Nashik and Ujjain.
Beside Hinduism, there are also other important sites of other religions. Seven of the Eight Great Places of Buddhism are in India. The Dargah Sharee is a major pilgrimage site of Muslims. Dilwara Temples in Mount Abu, Palitana, Pavapuri, Girnar and Shravanabelagola are pilgrimage sites of Jainism. The Harmandir Sahib is the sacred gurdwara of Sikhism. The Lotus Temple in Delhi is the house of worship of the Bahá’í faith.
1. Visual arts (fine arts, plastics, graphics, public art, colors, etc.)
Architecture art of India is very famous locally as well as in the world. One of the most famous ancient architecture, the Taj Mahal, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. Other works include Mughal architecture, South Indian architecture and Vernacular architecture, etc.
Painting is also an important art form in India, particularly in the wall decoration. However, because of the climate, only a few examples remained till now. The subject matter of Indian painting is generally religious and literary.
2. Drama, ballet, and other performing arts
Indian music comes from highly diversified traditions and regional styles. Classical music mainly includes two schools, the northern Hindustani and southern Carnatic schools, and their folk branches. Filmi and folk music are very popular forms in India.
Like music, Indian dance also has diversified folk and classical forms. Folk dances include the bhangra of the Punjab, the bihu of Assam, the chhau of West Bengal and Jharkhand, the sambalpuri of Orissa, the ghoomar of Rajasthan, and the lavani of Maharashtra, etc. Classical dance status includes eight dance forms, which were recognized by India’s National Academy of Music, Dance, and Drama.
Theatre in India is a compound of music, dance, and dialogue, which is mainly based on Hindu mythology, but has some features coming from medieval romances or social and political events.
In India, the film industry is very famous, which produces the most-watched cinema of the world. Mumbai (used to be named Bombay) has the most mature and famous film industry of India, also known as Bollywood, whose name is a combination of “Bombay” and “Hollywood”.
3. Folklore and relevant symbols
The subcontinent of India with a wide diversity cannot be easy to generalize all the folklores as a unit. India has a large quantity of heroic ballads and epic poetry passed along in oral tradition. In Indian subcultural systems, folk heroes are very popular. The castes and tribes developed with memories of regional heroes and local folk and tribal heroes as well as the national heroes.
VI. Living conditions
India is still facing several public health challenges. According to the World Health Organization, 900,000 Indians die from contaminated water or polluted air per year. The proportion of physician in India is 50 physicians per 100,000 Indians.
A. Diet and nutrition
1. Meat and vegetable consumption rates
In 2011, The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported that per capita consumption of meat in India is at 5.0 to 5.5 kilograms a year. A report in 2007 indicated that the vegetable and fruit consumption rate in 1999/2000 is 15.20 kilograms per 30 days in urban area and 10.20 kilograms per 30 days in rural area.
2. Typical meals
In India, A normal diet composes of fruit, vegetables, grain, dairy products, honey, and meat. The staple foods in India are wheat (the north), rice (the south and the east), and lentils. Herbs and spices play important roles in Indian cuisines with large quantity of condiments, making Indian food special and different from food of other countries..
3. Malnutrition rates
According to the World Bank in 1998, India had the second largest quantity of children suffering from malnutrition, where the malnutrition rate of children was 47%. In the Global Hunger Index (GHI) Report 2011, India was ranked 15th leading countries with hunger situation. The data coming from the National Family Healthy Survey (NFHS-
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