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INDIA :LAND AND THE PEOPLE
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 05:19

LAND AND THE PEOPLE

 

TOTAL AREA

32,87,263 km2 (7th largest country in the world)

LOCATION

8o 4’ N-37o6’ N & 68o7’ E-97o 25’ E

POPULATION (2001)

1,21,01,93,422

POPULATION DENSITY

382 ppsk

LITERACY MALE

82.14%

LITERACY FEMALE

65.46%

SEX RATIO

933 female / 1000 male

MOST LITERATE DISTRICT

Aizawl

STANDARD TIME

From 82 o30’ E

NORTH-SOUTH TOTAL LENGTH

3214 km

EAST-WEST TOTAL LENGTH

2933 km

TOTAL LAND BOUNDARY

15,200 km

TOTAL SEA BOUNDARY

7516 km

TOTAL MAINLAND BOUNDARY

6100 km

SOUTHERN POINT

Indira Point (6 o30’ N)

TOTAL NO. OF STATES

28

TOTAL NO. OF U.TS.

7

LARGEST STATE (AREA-WISE)

Rajasthan

SMALLEST STATE (AREA-WISE)

Goa

MOST POPULOUS STATE

U.P.

LEAST POPULOUS STATE

Sikkim

 

India is located between 8 o4’ and 37 o6’ north latitude 68 o7’ and 97 o25’ east longitude. Andaman and Nicobar islands in the Bay of Bengal and Lakshadweep in the Arabian Sea are parts of India.

The country shares its political borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan on the west and Bangladesh and Burma on the east. The northern boundary is made up of China, Nepal and Bhutan. India is separated from Sri Lanka by a narrow channel of sea formed by the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar.

PHYSICAL REGIONS

The mainland, in geographical terms is broadly divided into

(a) the great mountains

(b) the river the plains

(c) the desert and

(d) the peninsula

MOUNTAIN RANGES

The mountains extend for more than 2400 cm. They are seven:

1. The Himalayas,
2. The Patkai and other ranges bordering India in the north and north east,
3. The Vindhyas, which separate the Indo-Gangetic plain from the Deccan Plateau,
4. The Satpura
5. The Aravalli
6. The Sahyadri, which covers the eastern fringe of the West Coast plains and
7. The Eastern Ghats, irregularly scattered on the East Coast and forming the boundary of the East Coast   plains.

IMPORTANT MOUNTAIN PEAKS

HEIGHT IN METRE ABOVE MEAN SEA LEVEL

1.

K2*

8,611

2.

Kanchenjunga

8,598

3.

Naga Parbat

8,126

4.

Gasher Brum*

8,068

5.

Broad Peak*

8,047

6.

Disteghil Sar*

7,885

7.

Masher Brum E

7,821

8.

Nanda Devi

7,817

9.

Masher Brum W*

7,806

10.

Rakaposhi*

7,788

11.

Kamet

7,756

12.

Saser Kangri

7,672

13.

Skyang Kangri*

7,544

14.

Sia Kangri*

7,422

15.

Chaukhamba (Badrinath Peak)

7,138

16.

Trisul West

7,138

17.

Nunkun

7,135

18.

Pauhunri

7,125

19.

Kangto

7,090

20.

Dunagiri

7,065

*In Pak-occupied territory

NATURAL VEGETATION

  • India has six types of forests:

(a) Evergreen (Tropical Forests) is found in areas with 200 cm to 300 cm rainfall; av. Annual temp. 20oC to   27oC; av. Annual humidity >80%.

(b) Deciduous (Monsoon Forests) found in places with lesser rainfall between 150 to 200 cm; mean annual   temp. between 24oC and 28oC; humidity 5%.

(c) Dry Forest are found where rainfall is scanty between 75 to 100 cm; mean annual temp 23oC to 29oC; humidity 50 to 60%.

(d) Hill Forests are common in South India and Himalayas.

(e) Tidal Forests (Mangrove) are found in the coastal submerged plains of Ganges (Sunderbans), Mahanadi, Godavari and Kerala.

(f) Grasslands (hilly-Himalaya and Deccan hills) above 100 m, lowland as in Punjab, Haryana, U.P., Bihar, NW Assam and riverine grasslands found along rivers.

  • Available data places India in the tenth position in the world and fourth in Asia in plant diversity. From 70 per cent geographical area surveyed so far, 47,000 species of plants have been de-scribed by the Botanical Survey of India (BSI), Kolkata.

AGRICULTURE

  • India has two crops seasons.

(a) Kharif: Rice, Jowar, Bajra, Ragi, Maize, Cotton, Jute, Sowing – June/July, Harvest – Sep. / Oct.

(b) Rabi: Wheat, Barley, Peas, Rapeseed, Mustad, Gram, Sowing – Oct./Dec., Harvest – April/May.

HIMALAYAN RANGE

  • In Himalayas Kashmir and Kullu valley are fertile. Some of the highest peaks in the world are found in this range.Jelep La and Nathu La on the main Indo-Tibet trade route through the Chumbi Valley, north-east of Darjeeling and Shipki La in the Satluj valley, north-east of Kalpa. In the east, between India and Myanmar and India and Bangladesh, hill ranges are much lower. Garo, Khasi, Jaintia and Naga Hills, running almost east-west, join the chain to Mizo and Rkhine Hills running north-south.
  • The plains of the Ganga and the Indus, about 2,400 km long and 240 to 320 km broad, are formed by basins of thee distinct river systems: (i) the Indus, (ii) the Ganga and (iii) the Brahmaputra. They are one of the world’s   greatest stretches of flat alluvium and also one of the most densely populated areas on the earth.
  • The desert region can be divided into two parts: the greatest desert and the little desert. The great desert extends from the edge of the Rann of Kuchch beyond the Luni river northward. The little desert extends from the Luni between Jaisalmer and Jodhpur. Between great and little desert lies a sterile zone of limestone ridges.
  • The peninsular region is flanked by Eastern and Western ghats. Western ghat is more elevated than eastern ghats. The southern point of plateau is formed by the Nilgiri Hills where the Eastern and the Western Ghats meet. The Cardamom Hills lying beyond regarded as a continuation of the Western Ghat.
  • The geological regions broadly follow the physical features and may be grouped into three regions:

1. The Himalayas and their associated group of mountains,
2. The Indo-Ganga Plain and
3. The Peninsular Shield.

The Himalayan mountain belt to the north and the Naga-Lushai mountain in the east, are the regions of mountain-building movement, were under marine conditions about 60 crores years ago. The Indo-Ganga plains are a great alluvial track that separate the Himalayas in the north from the Peninsula in the south.

The river systems of India can be classified into four groups viz.

(i) Himalayan rivers,

(ii) Deccan rivers,

(iii) Coastal rivers, and

(iv) Rivers of the inland drainage basin.

The Himalayan rivers systems are those of the Indus and the Ganga-Brahmputra-Meghna are formed by melting snow and glaciers and therefore, continuously flow throughout the year. During the monsoon months, they causes floods. The Deccan rivers on the other hand are rainfed. The Indus, which is one of the great rivers of the world, rises near Mansarover in Tibet. It flows through India and thereafter through Pakistan and finally falls in the Arabian Sea near Karachi. Its important tributaries are the Beas, the Ravi, the Satluj, the Chenab and the Jhelum.

  • Bhagirathi and the Alaknanada which joint at Dev Prayag to form the Ganga. Yamuna meets Ganga at Allahabad. Also together with Saraswati they form Sangam in Allahabad. Chambal and Betwa are the important tributaries of Yamuna. The Ganga called as Padma in Bangladesh which meets with Brahmaputra and called as Meghna.
  • The Brahamaputra rises in Tibet, where it is known as Tsangpo. It runs a long distance and crosses over into India in Arunachal Pradesh under the name of Dihang. Near Passighat, the Debang and Lohit join the river Brahmaputra and the combined river runs all along the Assam in a narrow valley. It crosses into Bangladesh downstream of Dhubri. The principal tributaries of Brahmaputra in India are the Subansiri, Jia Bhareli, Dhansiri, Puthimari, Pagladiya and Manas. In the Deccan region, most of the major river systems flowing generally in east direction fall into Bay of Bengal.
  • The major east flowing rivers are Godavari, Krishna, Cauvery, Mahanadi, etc. Narmada and Tapti are major West flowing rivers. The Godavari in the southern Peninsula has the second largest river basin in the country. Next to it is the Krishna basin in the region, while the Mahanadi has the third largest basin. There are some desert rivers which flow for some distance and are lost in the desert in Rajasthan. These are Luni, Machhu, Rupen, Saraswati, Banas, Ghaggar and others.
  • The climate of India may be broadly described as tropical monsoon type. There are four seasons:

1. Winter (January to February);
2. Hot weather summer (March to May);
3. Rainy south-western monsoon (June to September) and
4. Post-monsoon, also known as north-east monsoon in the southern Peninsula (October to December).

  • India’s climate is affected by two seasonal winds – the north-east monsoon and the south-west monsoon. The north-east monsoon commonly known as winter monsoon. It flows from land to sea whereas south-west monsoon known as summer monsoon. It flows from sea to land after crossing the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. The south-west monsoon brings most of the rainfall.
  • The Botanical Survey of India (BSI), Kolkata so far, over 46,000 species of plants have been described by the BSI, Kolkata. It studies flora. BSI brings out an inventory of endangered plants in the form of a publication titled Red Data Book.
  • The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), with its headquarters in Kolkata and 16 regional stations is responsible for surveying the faunal resources of India. India has great variety of fauna numbering over 90,000 species.
  • A project for breeding crocodiles was started in 1974 for saving the crocodile from extinction.
  • The census of India 2001 is historic and epoch making, being the first census of the 21st century and the third millennium.
  • The population of India as recorded at each decennial census from 1901 has grown steadily except for a decrease during 1911-21, due to epidemic and drought.
  • Population density is defined as the number of persons per sq. km. The population density of India in 2001 was 324 per sq. km. The density of population was increased in all States and Union Territories between 1991 and 2001. West Bengal is on the top among states, Bihar is 2nd while Kerala is on 3rd.
  • Sex ratio, defined as the number of females per thousand males. It is always unfavourable, to females. It was 972 at the beginning of the 20th century and thereafter showed continuous decline until 1941. It is 933 in this census figure.
  • For the purpose of census 2001, a person aged seven and above, who can both read and write with understanding in any language, is treated as literate. In the censuses prior to 1991, children below five years of age were necessarily treated as illiterates. The literacy rate in the country is 64.84 per cent, 75.26 for males and 53.67 for females.
  • The 15th National Census exercise (census 2011) work has begun, every person aged over 15 will be   photographed and finger printed to create a biometric national database. The government has finally decided to add caste in the ongoing census process of 2011.
  • Populationwise, India is second in the world. On May 11, 2000 India’s population reached the one billion mark. The population increased to 1,027 million in March, 2001 (531.3 m. males and 495.7 m. females). India accounts for a meager 2.4% of the world surface area of 135.79 million sq. km. but it supports 16.7% of the world population. It is estimated that at the present rate of growth (1.93% during 1992 – 2001) India will overtake China by 2050.
  • The major tribes who inhabit in India are Abors – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam; Adi, Apatami – Arunachal Pradesh; Angami, Ao – Nagaland; Badagas – Tamil Nadu; Baiga – M.P., Rajasthan, Gujarat; Bhils – M.P., Gujarat, Rajasthan; Bhotias – U.P. (Garhwal and Kumaon); Bhutias – Sikkim; Birhor – Bihar; Bodos – Assam; Chenchus – A.P., Odisha; Chutia – Assam; Dangs – Gujarat; Gaddis – H.P.; Garos – Meghalaya; Gonds – M.P., Bihar, Odisha, A.P.; Great Andamanese – Andaman Is.; Irulas – Tamil Nadu; Jaintias – Meghalaya; Jarawas – Little Andamans; Kanis – Kerala; Kacharis, Karbi – Assam; Khampti – Arunachal Pradesh; Khasis – Maghalaya, Assam; Khonds – Odisha; Kol – M.P.; Kotas – Tamil Nadu; Kuki – Manipur; Lepchas or Rongpa – Sikkim; Lushais – Tripura; Meiteis – Manipur, Nagaland; Mina – Rajasthan; Miri – Arunachal Pradesh; Mishing – Assam; Murias – M.P., Mikirs – Assam; Mundas – Bihar; Oarons – Bihar, Odisha; Onges – Little Anda-mans; Rabhas – Assam; Rengma – Nagaland; Santhals – West Bengal, Bihar; Sema – Nagaland; Sentinelesse – Andaman & Nicobar Is.; Shompens – Great Nicobar Is.; Tagin – Arunachal Pradesh; Todas – Tamil Nadu; Uralis – Kerala; Zeliang – Nagaland.

INDIAN LANGUAGES

Although Hindi is the national language, India is believed to have 1652 mother tongues of which 33 are spoken by people numbering over a lakh. The officially recognized languages are 22. In fact, English is widely spoken and perhaps the link between North and South India.

Schedule Languages

A schedule the 8th Schedule was added to the Constitution to indicate all regional languages statutorily recognized. The Scheduled originally contained 14 languages as follows:

(1) Assamese

(2) Bengali

(3) Gujarati

(4) Hindi

(5) Kannada

(6) Kashmiri

(7) Malayalam

(8) Marathi

(9) Oriya

(10) Punjabi

(11) Sanskrit

(12) Tamil

(13) Telugue

(14) Urdu

 

  • Sindhi was added in 1962. By the 71st Amendment of the Constitution, Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali were added to the list in 1992. In 2003, four more languages were added: Bodo, Dogri, Maithili and Santhali. (92nd Amendment).

QUICK FACTS

Largest State

Rajasthan

(342,239 sq km)

Smallest State

Goa

(3,702 sq km)

Largest Union Territory

Andaman & Nicobar – Islands

(8,249 sq km)

Smallest Union Territory

Lakshadweep

(32 sq km)

Largest District

Kachchh (Gujarat)

(45,652 sq km)

Smallest District

Mahe (Pondicherry)

(9 sq km)

State with Highest Proportion of Urban Population

Goa

(49.76)

State with Lowest Proportion of Urban Population

Himachal Pradesh

(9.30)

UT with Highest Proportion of Urban Population

Delhi

(93.18)

UT with Lowest Proportion of Urban Population

Dadra & Nagar Haveli

(22.89)

States and UTs Literacy Rate by Sex

Features

Persons (%)

Males (%)

Females (%)

State with Highest Literacy Rate

Kerala (90.9)

Kerala (94.2)

Kerala (87.7)

State with Lowest Literacy Rate

Bihar (47.0)

Bihar (59.7)

Bihar (33.1)

UT with Highest Literacy Rate

Lakshadweep (86.7)

Lakshadweep (92.5)

Lakshadweep (80.5)

UT with Lowest Literacy Rate

Dadra & Nagar Haveli (57.6)

Dadra & Nagar Haveli (71.2)

Dadra & Nagar Haveli (40.2)

District with Highest Literacy Rate

Aizwal, Mizoram (96.5)

Mahe, Pondicherry (97.6)

Aizwal, Mizoram (96.26)

District with Lowest Literacy Rate

Dantewada Chhattisgarh (30.17)

Dantewada Chhattisgarh (39.75)

Shrawasti UP (7.7)