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India Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Republic of India
    conventional short form: India

    Data code: IN

    Government type: federal republic

    Capital: New Delhi

    Administrative divisions: 25 states and 7 union territories*; Andaman and Nicobar Islands*, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh*, Dadra and Nagar Haveli*, Daman and Diu*, Delhi*, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep*, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Pondicherry*, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal

    Independence: 15 August 1947 (from UK)

    National holiday: Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Republic, 26 January (1950)

    Constitution: 26 January 1950

    Legal system: based on English common law; limited judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Kicheril Raman NARAYANAN (since 25 July 1997); Vice President Krishnan KANT (since 21 August 1997)
    head of government: Prime Minister Atal Behari VAJPAYEE (since 19 March 1998)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers 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; election last held 14 July 1997 (next to be held NA July 2002); vice president elected by both houses of Parliament; election last held 16 August 1997 (next to be held NA August 2002); prime minister elected by parliamentary members of the majority party following legislative elections; election last held NA March 1998 (next to be held NA March 2003)
    election results: Kicheril Raman NARAYANAN elected president; percent of electoral college vote—NA; Krishnan KANT elected vice president; percent of Parliament vote—NA; Atal Behari VAJPAYEE elected prime minister; percent of vote—NA

    Legislative branch: 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 which 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 16 February through 7 March 1998 (next to be held NA March 2003)
    election results: People's Assembly—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—BJP 178, Congress (I) Party 141, CPI/M 32, SP 20, ADMK 18, RJD 17, Telugu Desam 12, SAP 12, CPI 9, BJD 9, Akali Dal factions 8, Trinamool Congress 7, SHS 6, DMK 6, Janata Dal Party 6, BSP 5, RSP 5, independents and others 44, vacant 8, appointed by the president 2

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges are appointed by the president and remain in office until they reach the age of 65

    Political parties and leaders: Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP [Kushabhau THAKRE, president, L. K. ADVANI, A. B. VAJPAYEE]; Congress (I) Party [Sonia GANDHI, president]; Janata Dal Party [Sharad YADAV, president, I. K. GUJRAL]; Janata Dal (Ajit) [Ajit SINGH]; Rashtriya Janata Dal or RJD [Laloo Prasad YADAV]; Communist Party of India/Marxist or CPI/M [Harkishan Singh SURJEET]; Tamil Maanila Congress [G. K. MOOPANAR]; Dravida Munnetra Kazagham or DMK (a regional party in Tamil Nadu) [M. KARUNANIDHI]; Samajwadi Party or SP [Mulayam Singh YADAV (president), Om Prakash CHAUTALA, Devi LAL]; Telugu Desam (a regional party in Andhra Pradesh) [Chandrababu NAIDU]; Communist Party of India or CPI [Indrajit GUPTA]; Revolutionary Socialist Party or RSP [Tridip CHOWDHURY]; Asom Gana Parishad [Prafulla Kumar MAHANTA]; Congress (Tiwari) [Arjun SINGH and N. D. TIWARI]; All India Forward Bloc or AIFB [Prem Dutta PALIWAL (chairman), Chitta BASU (general secretary)]; Muslim League [G. M. BANATWALA]; Madhya Pradesh Vikas Congress [Madhavro SCINDIA]; Karnataka Congress Party [S. BANGARAPPA]; Shiv Sena or SHS [Bal THACKERAY]; Bahujan Samaj Party or BSP [Kanshi RAM]; Communist Party of India/Marxist-Leninist or CPI/ML [Vinod MISHRA]; Akali Dal factions representing Sikh religious community in the Punjab; National Conference or NC (a regional party in Jammu and Kashmir) [Farooq ABDULLAH]; Bihar Peoples Party [Lovely ANAND]; Samata Party or SAP (formerly Janata Dal members) [George FERNANDES]; Indian National League [Suliaman SAIT]; Kerala Congress (Mani faction) [K. M. MANI]; All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or ADMK [leader NA]; Biju Janata Dal or BJD [leader NA]; Trinamool Congress [leader NA]

    Political pressure groups and leaders: various separatist groups seeking greater communal and/or regional autonomy; numerous religious or militant/chauvinistic organizations, including Adam Sena, Ananda Marg, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

    International organization participation: AfDB, AsDB, BIS, C, CCC, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G- 6, G-15, G-19, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA (observer), IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, MIPONUH, MONUA, NAM, OAS (observer), OPCW, PCA, SAARC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNITAR, UNMIBH, UNOMIL, UNOMSIL, UNU, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Naresh CHANDRA
    chancery: 2107 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; note—Embassy located at 2536 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 939-7000
    FAX: [1] (202) 483-3972
    consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, New York, and San Francisco

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Richard F. CELESTE
    embassy: Shanti Path, Chanakyapuri 110021, New Delhi
    mailing address: use embassy street address
    telephone: [91] (11) 688-9033, 611-3033
    FAX: [91] (11) 419-0017
    consulate(s) general: Calcutta, Chennai (Madras), Mumbai (Bombay)

    Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of 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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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)