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India:
Government

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Country name
Definition
conventional long form: Republic of India
conventional short form: India
local long form: Republic of India/Bharatiya Ganarajya
local short form: India/Bharat
Government type
Definition
federal republic
Capital
Definition
name: 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 divisions
Definition
28 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, Orissa, Puducherry*, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal
Independence
Definition
15 August 1947 (from UK)
National holiday
Definition
Republic Day, 26 January (1950)
Constitution
Definition
26 January 1950; amended many times
Legal system
Definition
based on English common law; judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; separate personal law codes apply to Muslims, Christians, and Hindus
Suffrage
Definition
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
Definition
chief of state: President Pratibha PATIL (since 25 July 2007); Vice President Hamid ANSARI (since 11 August 2007)
head of government: Prime Minister Manmohan SINGH (since 22 May 2004)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: president elected by an electoral college consisting of elected members of both houses of Parliament and the legislatures of the states for a five-year term (no term limits); election last held 21 July 2007 (next to be held in July 2012); vice president elected by both houses of Parliament for a five-year term; election last held 12 August 2002 (next to be held August 2007); prime minister chosen by parliamentary members of the majority party following legislative elections; election last held April - May 2004 (next to be held May 2009)
election results: Pratibha PATIL elected president; percent of vote - 65.8%; Bhairon Singh SHEKHAWAT - 34.2%
Legislative branch
Definition
bicameral Parliament or Sansad consists of the Council of States or Rajya Sabha (a body consisting of not more than 250 members up to 12 of whom are appointed by the president, the remainder are chosen by the elected members of the state and territorial assemblies; members serve six-year terms) and the People's Assembly or Lok Sabha (545 seats; 543 elected by popular vote, 2 appointed by the president; members serve five-year terms)
elections: People's Assembly - last held 20 April through 10 May 2004 (next must be held by May 2009)
election results: People's Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - INC 147, BJP 129, CPI (M) 43, SP 38, RJD 23, DMK 16, BSP 15, SS 12, BJD 11, CPI 10, NCP 10, JD (U) 8, SAD 8, PMK 6, JMM 5, LJSP 4, MDMK 4, TDP 4, TRS 4, independent 6, other 29, vacant 13; note - seats by party as of December 2006
Judicial branch
Definition
Supreme Court (one chief justice and 25 associate justices are appointed by the president and remain in office until they reach the age of 65 or are removed for "proved misbehavior")
Political parties and leaders
Definition
Bahujan Samaj Party or BSP [MAYAWATI]; Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP [Rajnath SINGH]; Biju Janata Dal or BJD [Naveen PATNAIK]; Communist Party of India or CPI [Ardhendu Bhushan BARDHAN]; Communist Party of India-Marxist or CPI-M [Prakash KARAT]; Dravida Munnetra Kazagham or DMK [M. KARUNANIDHI]; Indian National Congress or INC [Sonia GANDHI]; Janata Dal (United) or JD(U) [Sharad YADAV]; Jharkhand Mukti Morcha or JMM [Shibu SOREN]; Left Front (an alliance of Indian leftist parties); Lok Jan Shakti Party or LJSP [Ram Vilas PASWAN]; Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or MDMK [V. Gopalswamy VAIKO]; Nationalist Congress Party or NCP [Sharad PAWAR]; Pattali Makkal Katchi or PMK [S. RAMADOSS]; Rashtriya Janata Dal or RJD [Laloo Prasad YADAV]; Samajwadi Party or SP [Mulayam Singh YADAV]; Shiromani Akali Dal or SAD [Parkash Singh BADAL]; Shiv Sena or SS [Bal THACKERAY]; Telangana Rashtriya Samithi or TRS [K. Chandrashekhar RAO]; Telugu Desam Party or TDP [Chandrababu NAIDU]; United Progressive Alliance or UPA [Sonia GANDHI] (India's ruling party coalition of 12 political parties); note - India has dozens of national and regional political parties; only parties or coalitions with four or more seats in the People's Assembly are listed
Political pressure groups and leaders
Definition
All Parties Hurriyat Conference in the Kashmir Valley (separatist group); Bajrang Dal (religious organization); National Socialist Council of Nagaland in the northeast (separatist group); Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (religious organization); Vishwa Hindu Parishad (religious organization
other: numerous religious or militant/chauvinistic organizations; various separatist groups seeking greater communal and/or regional autonomy
International organization participation
Definition
ADB, AfDB (nonregional members), ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIMSTEC, BIS, C, CERN (observer), CP, EAS, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAS (observer), MIGA, MONUC, NAM, OAS (observer), OPCW, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC, SACEP, SCO (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNITAR, UNMEE, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
Definition
chief of mission: Ambassador Ranendra SEN
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
FAX: [1] (202) 265-4351
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, New York, San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the US
Definition
chief of mission: Ambassador David C. MULFORD
embassy: Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [91] (011) 2419-8000
FAX: [91] (11) 2419-0017
consulate(s) general: Chennai (Madras), Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay)
Flag description
Definition
three equal horizontal bands of saffron (subdued orange) (top), white, and green with a blue chakra (24-spoked wheel) centered in the white band; similar to the flag of Niger, which has a small orange disk centered in the white band


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