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A nuclear weapons state and a regional power, it has the third-largest standing army in the world and ranks sixth in military expenditure among nations.
India is a federal republic governed under a parliamentary system and consists of 29 states and 7 union territories.
India is a pluralistic, multilingual, and a multi-ethnic society.
It is also home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats.
It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country (with over 1.2 billion people), and the most populous democracy in the world.
Four religions—Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism—originated here, whereas Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam arrived in the 1st millennium CE and also shaped the region's diverse culture.
is used by many Indian languages in its variations. It was introduced into India by the Mughals and widely used since then.
Gradually annexed by and brought under the administration of the British East India Company from the early 18th century and administered directly by the United Kingdom after the Indian Rebellion of 1857, India became an independent nation in 1947 after a struggle for independence that was marked by non-violent resistance led by Mahatma Gandhi.
In 2015, the Indian economy was the world's seventh-largest by nominal GDP and third-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP).
In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives; in addition, India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.