Amazing Facts about India (DOC)

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					              Amazing Facts about India

   India is the world’s largest, oldest, continuous civilization.
   India is the world’s largest democracy.
   India never invaded any country in her last 1000 years of history.
   India invented the number system. Zero was invented by Aryabhatta.
   When many cultures were only nomadic forest dwellers over 5000 years ago,
    Indians established Harappan culture in Sindhu Valley (Indus Valley
   There are 300,000 active mosques in India , more than in any other country,
    including the Muslim world
   Sanskrit is the mother of all the European Languages . Sanskrit is the most
    suitable language for computer software – a report in Forbes magzine July 1987.
   Chess (Shataranja or AshtaPada) was invented in India.
   India is one of the few countries in the world, which gain independence without
   India has the second largest pool of Scientist and Engineers in the World.
   India is the largest English speaking nation in the world.
   India is the only country other than US and Japan, to have built a super
    computer indeigenously.
   India has the largest number of Post Offices in the world
   The largest employer in the world is the Indian Railways , employing over a
    million people
   India was one of the richest countries till the time of British rule in the early
    17th Century. Christopher Columbus, attracted by India’s wealth, had come looking
    for a sea route to India when he discovered America by mistake.
   The Baily Bridge is the highest bridge in the world. It is located in the Ladakh
    valley between the Dras and Suru rivers in the Himalayan mountains. It was built by
    the Indian Army in August 1982
   The Vishnu Temple in the city of Tirupathi built in the 10th century, is the world’s
    largest religious pilgrimagedestination. Larger than either Rome or Mecca, an
    average of 30,000 visitors donate $6 million (US) to the temple everyday.
   Varanasi, also known as Benaras, was called "the Ancient City" when Lord
    Buddha visited it in 500 B.C., and is the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the
    world today.
   Martial Arts were first created in India, and later spread to Asia by Buddhist
   Yoga has its origins in India and has existed for over 5,000 years.

Jai Hind: - I Specially Need Comments on Following questions and later I will add top
answers on this website with your name and specifications of your answer, So be reliable
to your answer and let the world know about India:

Why are you proud to be an Indian?
What Makes you love India like crazy?
Do you think that Saying Mera Bharat Mahan is enough?
Answer at Comments below_

Let the world know about real India:

According the facts book of India and online Research, we have found some facts which
you may really want to know:

More than 3.22 Million Indians are working in America.

38% of Doctors in America are Indians
12% of Scientists in America are Indians.
36% of NASA employees are Indians.
34% of MICROSOFT employees are Indians.
28% of IBM employees are Indians.
17% of INTEL employees are Indians.
13% of XEROX employees are Indians.
All of above facts were published in a German Magazine, which world history facts.

India has invented the Number system.
Aryabhatta Invented Zero.
The world’s first university was established Takshila in 700BC. There were more than
10,500 students from all over the world who studied more than 60 subjects.
The University of Nalanda was built in the 4th century BC. It was one of the greatest
achievements of India in education.
Sanskrit is the mother of all European languages. It is also most suitable language for
computer software reported in Forbes magazine, July 1987.

Ayurveda is developed by Indians and known as earliest school of medicine. Charaka,
the father of medicine consolidated Ayurveda 25000 years ago.
India was the richest country on earth until the time of British invasion in early 17th
The art of Navigation was born in the River Sindh 6000 years ago.
The world navy is taken from Sanskrit ‘Nou’.

Bhaskaracharya an Indian calculated the time taken by the earth to orbit the sun
hundreds of years before the astronomer smart. Time taken by earth to orbit the sun:
5th century (365.258756484 Days).
Budhayana first calculated the value of pi, and also explained the concept of
Pythagorean Theorem in 6th century. It’s all been founded by Budhayana before the
European mathematicians algebra, trigonometry and calculus came from India.
The largest used number is Tera 1012 (10 to the power of 12). Sridhanaracharya found
these equations in the 11th century.

According to the Gemological Institute of Ameraica, up until 1896, India was the only
source for diamonds to the world.
  According to Saka King ruradaman I of 150 CE a beautiful lake called ‘Sudarshana’ was
  constructed on the hills of Raivataka during the Chanddragupta Maurya’s time.

  Chess (Also known as Shatranja or AshtaPada) was invented in India.

  The place value system and the decimal system were developed in India in 100 BC. India
  also established Harappan culture in Sindhu Valley (Indus Valley Civilization).

  And so on...the list is endless...

  We Just need to see at the glimpse of Great India that it really have, if it is not, then it
  means that we are not working up to the potentials and need something more to make
  India shine once again. Lets make India ever shining and inspiring country.


1. India is about 1/3 the size of the United States, yet it is the second most populous country in the
   world, with a population of 1,166,079,217. India is the seventh largest country in the world, at
   1.27 million square miles.

2. India is the largest democracy in the world.
3. The Kumbh Mela (or Grand Pitcher Festival) is a huge Hindu religious festival that takes place
     in India every 12 years. In 2001, 60 million people attended, breaking the record for the world’s
     biggest gathering. The mass of people was photographed from space by a satellite.

4. Many Indians find toilet paper repellent and consider it cleaner to splash water with the left
     hand in the appropriate direction. Consequently, the left hand is considered unclean and is
     never used for eating.

5. To avoid polluting the elements (fire, earth, water, air), followers of Zoroastrianism in India
     don’t bury their dead, but instead leave bodies in buildings called “Towers of Silence” for the
     vultures to pick clean. After the bones dry, they are swept into a central well.

6. It is illegal to take Indian currency (rupees) out of India.


     It is illegal for foreigners to import or export Indian
     currency (rupees)

8. India leads the world with the most murders (32,719), with Russia taking second at 28,904
     murders per year.

9. India has one of the world’s highest rates of abortion .
10. More than a million Indians are millionaires, yet most Indians live on less than two dollars a
   day. An estimated 35% of India’s population lives below the poverty line.

11. Cows can be found freely wandering the streets of India’s cities. They are considered sacred
   and will often wear a tilak, a Hindu symbol of good fortune. Cows are considered one of
   humankind’s seven mothers because she offers milk as does one’s natural mother.

12. Dancing is one of India’s most highly developed arts and was an integral part of worship in the
   inner shrines of every temple. It is notable for its expressive hand movements.

13. Rabies is endemic in India. Additionally, “Delhi Belly” or diarrhea is commonplace due to
   contaminated drinking water.

14. Many Indian wives will never say her husband’s name aloud, as it is a sign of disrespect. When
   addressing him, the wife will use several indirect references, such as “ji” or “look here” or
   “hello,” or even refer to him as the father of her child.

15. A widow is considered bad luck—otherwise, her husband wouldn’t have died. Elderly women
   in the village might call a widow “the one who ate her husband.” In some orthodox families,
   widows are not allowed near newlyweds or welcomed at social gatherings.

16. India is the birthplace of chess. The original word for “chess” is the Sanskritchaturanga,
   meaning “four members of an army”—which were mostly likely elephants, horses, chariots,
   and foot soldiers.

17. The Indian flag has three horizontal bands of color: saffron for courage and sacrifice, white for
   truth and peace, and green for faith, fertility, and chivalry. An emblem of a wheel spinning used
   to be in the center of the white band, but when India gained independence, a Buddhist dharma
   chakra, or wheel of life, replaced the spinning wheel.

      Khajuraho’s exotic art may suggest that sex was a step for
      attaining ultimate liberation or moksha

19. The temples of Khajuraho are famous for their erotic sculptures and are one of the most popular
      tourist attractions in India. Scholars still debate the purpose of such explicit portrayals of sexual
      intercourse, which sometimes involves animals.

20. The earliest cotton in the world was spun and woven in India. Roman emperors would wear
      delicate cotton from India that they would call “woven winds.” Mogul emperors called the
      fabrics “morning dew” and “cloth of running water.

21. In ancient and medieval India, suttees, in which a recently widowed woman would immolate
      herself on her husband’s funeral pyre, were common.

22. The Himalayas—from the Sanskrit hima, meaning “snow,” and alaya, meaning “abode”—are
      found in the north of India. They extend 1,500 miles and are slowly growing taller, by almost
      an inch (2.5 cm) a year. Several ancient Indian monasteries are found nestled in the grandeur of
      these mountains.

23. India is the world’s largest producer of dried beans, such as kidney beans and chickpeas. It also
      leads the world in banana exports; Brazil is second.
24. In India, the fold and color of clothing are viewed as important markers of social classification.
   Additionally, women will be viewed as either a prostitute or a holy person depending on the
   manner in which she parts her hair.

25. With 150,000 post offices, India has the largest postal network in the world. However, it is not
   unusual for a letter to take two weeks to travel just 30 miles.

26. In India, grasping one’s ears signifies repentance or sincerity.

27. The Bengal tiger is India’s national animal. It was once ubiquitous throughout the country, but
   now there are fewer than 4,000 wild tigers left.

28. Indians hold prominent places both internationally and in the United States. For example, the
   co-founder of Sun Microsystems (Vinod Khosla), the creator of the Pentium chip (Vinod
   Dahm), the founder/creator of Hotmail (Sabeer Bhatia), and the GM of Hewlett-Packard (Rajiv
   Gupta) are all Indian.

29. Alexander the Great of Macedon (356-323 B.C.) was one of the first important figures to bring
   India into contact with the West. After his death, a link between Europe and the East would not
   be restored until Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama (1460-1524) landed in Calicut, India, in

30. The British Raj, or British rule, lasted from 1858 to 1947 (although they had a strong presence
   in India since the 1700s). British influence is still seen in Indian architecture, education system,
   transportation, and politics. Many of India’s worst famines are associated with British rule in
31. Every major world religion is represented in India. Additionally, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism,
      and Sikhism all originated in India.

32. About 80% of Indians are Hindu. Muslims are the largest minority in India and form
      approximately 13% of the country’s population. In fact, India has the third largest population of
      Muslims in the world, after Indonesia and Pakistan.

33. India has the world’s largest movie industry, based in the city of Mumbai (known as the “City
      of Dreams”). The B in “Bollywood” comes from Bombay, the former name for Mumbai.
      Almost all Bollywood movies are musicals.l

34. Mumbai (Bombay) is India’s largest city, with a population of 15 million. In 1661, British
      engineers built a causeway uniting all seven original islands of Bombay into a single landmass.


      The Lotus temple is one of the most visited
      temples in the world, with over 50 million visitors
      per year

  36. Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948) is known around the world as Mahatma, which is an
  honorific title meaning “Great Soul” in the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit. He devoted his
  life to free India from British rule peacefully and based his campaign on civil disobedience. His
  birthday, October 2, is a national holiday. He was assassinated in 1948.
37. The lotus is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists. The Bahá’í house of worship in Delhi, known
   as the “Lotus Temple,” is shaped like a lotus flower with 27 gigantic “petals” that are covered
   in marble.

38. The banyan, or Indian fig tree, is considered a symbol of immortality and is mentioned in many
   Indian myths and legends. This self-renewing plant is India’s national tree.

39. Marigold flowers are used as decoration for Hindu marriages and are a symbol of good fortune
   and happiness.

40. The official name of India is the Republic of India. The name “India” derives from the River
   Indus, which most likely is derived from the Sanskrit sindhu, meaning “river.” The official
   Sanskrit name of India is Bharat, after the legendary king in the epicMahabharata.

41. Introduced by the British, cricket is India’s most popular sport. Hockey is considered the
   national sport, and the Indian field hockey team proudly won Olympic gold in 1928.

42. Indians made significant contributions to calculus, trigonometry, and algebra. The decimal
   system was invented in India in 100 B.C. The concept of zero as a number is also attributed to

43. The national fruit of India is the mango. The national bird is the peacock, which was initially
   bred for food.

44. Most historians agree that the first recorded account of plastic surgery is found in ancient
   Indian Sanskrit texts.
45. Hindi and English are the official languages of India. The government also recognizes 17 other
      languages (Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Nepali, Manipuri, Konkani, Kannada, Kashmiri,
      Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu). Apart from
      these languages, about 1,652 dialects are spoken in the country.


      Though the Ganges is one of the dirtiest
      rivers in the world, bathing in the river is
      thought to wash away one’s sins

47. India’s pastoral communities are largely dependent on dairy and have made India the largest
      milk-producing country in the world.

48. India has the world’s third largest road network at 1.9 million miles. It also has the world’s
      second largest rail network, which is the world’s largest civilian employer with 16 million

49. Rivers have played a vital role in India’s popular culture and folklore—they have been
      worshipped as goddesses because they bring water to an otherwise dry land. Bathing in the
      Ganges in particular is thought to take away a person’s sins. It is not unusual to spread a loved
      one’s ashes in the Ganges.
50. Raziya Sultana (1205-1240) was the first woman leader of India. She was considered a great
      leader, though she ruled for only three years before being murdered.

51. Most Indians rinse their hands, legs, and face before eating a meal. It is considered polite to eat
      with the right hand, and women eat after everyone is finished. Wasting food is considered a sin.

52. During the Vedic era in India, horse sacrifice sanctioned the sovereignty of the king.

53. It is traditional to wear white, not black, to a funeral in India. Widows will often wear white in
      contrast to the colorful clothes of married or single women.

54. All of India is under a single time zone.

55. On India’s Independence Day, August 15, 1947, the country was split into India and Pakistan.
      The partition displaced 1.27 million people and resulted in the death of several hundred
      thousand to a million people.


      According to legend, to prevent the builders from ever
      replicating the beauty of the Taj Mahal, their hands were
      cut off
57. In recent years, Indian authors have made a mark on the world with such novels as Salman
   Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses (1988), Vikram Seth’s Suitable Boy (1993), and Arundhati
   Roy’s The God of Small Things (1997).

58. India experiences six seasons: summer, autumn, winter, spring, summer monsoon, and winter

59. India is the world’s largest tea producer, and tea (chai) is its most popular beverage.

60. The Taj Mahal (“crown palace”) was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (1592-1666) for his
   beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal (1593-1631). This architectural beauty has been called “marbled
   embroidery” for its intricate workmanship. It took 22,000 workmen 22 years to complete it.

61. The first and greatest civilization in ancient India developed around the valley of the Indus
   River (now Pakistan) around 3000 B.C. Called the Indus Valley civilization, this early empire
   was larger than any other empire, including Egypt and Mesopotamia.

62. After the great Indus Civilization collapsed in 2000 B.C., groups of Indo-Europeans called
   Aryans (“noble ones”) traveled to northwest India and reigned during what is called the Vedic
   age. The mingling of ideas from the Aryan and Indus Valley religions formed the basis of
   Hinduism, and the gods Shiva, Kali, and Brahma all have their roots in Aryan civilization. The
   Aryans also recorded the Vedas, the first Hindu scriptures, and introduced a caste system based
   on ethnicity and occupation.

63. Alexander the Great invaded India partly because he wanted to solve the mystery of the
   “ocean,” which he had been told was a huge, continuous sea that flowed in a circle around the
   land. When he reached the Indian Ocean, he sacrificed some bulls to Poseidon for leading him
   to his goal.
64. Greek sculpture strongly influenced many portrayals of Indian gods and goddess, particularly
   after the conquest of Alexander the Great around 330B.C. In fact, early Indian gods had Greek
   features and only later did distinct Indian styles emerge.

65. Chandragupta Maurya (340-290 B.C.), a leader in India who established the Mauryan Empire
   (321-185 B.C.), was guarded by a band of women on horseback.

66. When the first independent prime minister of India, pacifist Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964), was
   featured in Vogue, his distinctive close fitting, single-breasted jacket briefly became an
   important fashion statement for the Mod movement in the West. Named the Nehru jacket, the
   prime minister’s coat was popularized by the Beatles and worn by such famous people as
   Johnny Carson (1925-2005) and Sammy Davis Jr. (1925-1990).n

                        Republic Day in India

  Many people throughout India celebrate the nation's Republic Day, which is a gazetted
  holiday on January 26 each year. It is a day to remember when India's constitution
  came into force on January 26, 1950, completing the country's transition toward
  becoming an independent republic.
Pictured above are Indian Army soldiers on parade during preparations for the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi, India. ©

What do people do?

Much effort is put towards organizing events and celebrations that occur on Republic
Day in India. Large military parades are held in New Delhi and the state capitals.
Representatives of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force and traditional dance troupes
take part in the parades.

A grand parade is held in New Delhi and the event starts with India's prime minister
laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate, to remember soldiers who
sacrificed their lives for their country. India's president takes the military salute during
the parade in New Delhi while state governors take the military salutes in state capitals.
A foreign head of state is the president's chief guest on Republic Day.
Awards and medals of bravery are given to the people from the armed forces and also
to civilians. Helicopters from the armed forces then fly past the parade area showering
rose petals on the audience. School children also participate in the parade by dancing
and singing patriotic songs. Armed Forces personnel also showcase motorcycle rides.
The parade concludes with a "fly past" by the Indian Air Force, which involves fighter
planes of flying past the dais, symbolically saluting the president. These leave trails of
smoke in the colors of the Indian flag.

There are many national and local cultural programs focusing on the history and culture
of India. Children have a special place in these programs. Many children receive gifts of
sweets or small toys. A prime minister's rally also takes place around this time of the
year, as well as the Lok Tarang – National Folk Dance Festival, which occurs annually
from January 24-29.

Public life

Republic Day is a gazetted holiday in India on January 26 each year. National, state
and local government offices, post offices and banks are closed on this date. Stores and
other businesses and organizations may be closed or have reduced opening hours.

Public transport is usually unaffected as many locals travel for celebrations. Republic
Day parades cause significant disruption to traffic and there may be increased security
on this date, particularly in areas such as New Delhi and state capitals.


India became independent of the United Kingdom on August 15, 1947. India did not
have a permanent constitution at this time. The drafting committee presented the
constitution's first draft to the national assembly on November 4, 1947. The national
assembly signed the final English and Hindi language versions of the constitution on
January 24, 1950.

India's constitution came into effect on Republic Day, January 26, 1950. This date
was chosen as it was the anniversary of Purna Swaraj Day, which was held onJanuary
26, 1930.The constitution gave India's citizens the power to govern themselves by
choosing their own government. Dr Rajendra Prasad took oath as India's first president
at the Durbar Hall in the Government House, followed by a residential drive along a
route to the Irwin Stadium, where he unfurled India's national flag. Ever since the
historic day, January 26 is celebrated with festivities and patriotic fervor across India.


Republic Day represents the true spirit of the independent India. Military parades,
displays of military equipment and the national flag are important symbols on this date.
India's national flag is a horizontal tricolor of deep saffron (kesaria) at the top, white in
the middle and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion. The ratio of the flag's width
to its length is two to three. A navy-blue wheel in the center of the white band
represents the chakra. Its design is that of the wheel which appears on the abacus of
the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka. Its diameter approximates to the white band's width
and it has 24 spokes.

Republic Day Observances

Note: During a gazetted holiday, government offices and most businesses are closed
so people have a day off work.
                     INDIAN DANCES

Indian Dances illuminate & express India's culture in a direct manner, playing on the
sensibilities of the onlooker.

India offers a number of classical dance forms, each of which can be traced to different
parts of the country. Each form represents the culture and ethos of a particular region or
a group of people


Sanskrit: “Lord of Dance”, the Hindu god Siva
(Shiva) in his form as the cosmic dancer,
represented in metal or stone in most Saiva
temples of South India.

One of the most enduring symbols of India is the
figure of NATARAJA - Shiva (The King of
Dancers). Shiva's cosmic dance is believed to
encompass creation, preservation, and destruction
and this idea has been embedded in Hindu
thought and ritual since the dawn of civilization.

He holds a small drum (DAMARU) in his upper right hand. His lower right hand shows
the fear-negating gesture (ABHAYA), his upper left hand is in half-moon pose
(ARDHACHANDRAMUDRA) which holds a tongue of flame which is the fire (AGNI) that
finally destroys the world and is then quenched in cosmic waters. Thus the hand holding
the drum and the one holding fire balance the forces of creation and destruction. The
second left arm is held gracefully across the chest (GAJAHASTAMUDRA) with the hand
pointing to the uplifted foot, denoting favor or grace for the devotee.
One foot rests on APASMARA or MAUYALKA, the embodiment of human cruelty and
ignorance. Surrounding Shiva's figure and emanating from him is an immense aureole
of flames (PRABHAMANDALA) representing the vital processes of nature, sustained by
the tremendous energy of the dancing God within.

The flames represent the transcendental power of wisdom and truth, as well as the
mantra 'OM' which signifies the totality of creation. Also known as the ANANDA
TANDAVA, this dance is a metaphor for the belief that life is essentially a dynamic
balancing of good and bad, where opposites are interdependent. The dance of Shiva is
the dance of life.


Indian classical dance is the embodiment of a
whole range of expressions, which include fantasy
and yogic discipline. The different forms represent
the meeting point of three arts: music, drama and
dance. Though highly defined and codified, they
are perceived primarily as a form of worship, as
homage to the almighty. Their classicism lies in the
continuity of an unbroken history of over five
thousand millennia, one which overwhelms yet

Using the body as a medium of communication,
the expression of dance is perhaps the most
intricate and developed, yet easily understood art

Indian dance is a blend of

NRITTA - the rhythmic elements
NRITYA - the combination of rhythm with expression and
NATYA - the dramatic element
There are many types of dance in India, from those which are deeply religious in
content to those which are danced on more trivial happy occasions.

Classical Indian Dances are usually always spiritual in content, although this is often
true also of Folk dances. The most popular classical styles seen on the Indian dance
stage are Bharatanatyam of Tamil Nadu, Kathakali and Mohiniyattam of Kerala, Odissi
of Orissa, Kathak of Uttar Pradesh, Kuchipudi of Andhra Pradesh and Manipuri of


"India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the
mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of
tradition. Our most valuable and most astrictive materials in the history of man
are treasured up in India only!"
- By Mark Twain

The    above   quote    about   India   truly   describes   what    India   is   all   about.
India, the country where you find a unique blend of cultures, castes and races with
generous doses of tradition thrown in. what you get, is a pleasantly appalling,
fascinating, mystifying land that almost everyone falls in love with.

Just for your assistance, given below are certain quick facts of India that will help you
analyse India at a glance.

Full                                                                                   Name
Republic of India
Capital                                                                         City
New Delhi

Total                                                                          Area
3.3 million square kilometres (approximately), 1.2 Square Miles.

1,200,000,000 (2011 Census)

7,516 kilometers (inclusive of Andaman, Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands)

North                                      to                                 South
3214 kilometers.

East                                      to                                   West
2,933 kilometers

8°4' and 37°6' North

68°7 ' and 97°25' East

Is very varied, from tropical monsoon climate in the south to temperate in the north.
India experiences three major seasons           - winters, summers and     Monsoon.
Summers                       (April                     -                 October)
Winters                     (November                        -                March)
Monsoons (July - September)
Himalayas in north, Deccan Plateau (upland plains) in the south, flat to rolling plains
along the Ganges river, deserts in west.

Form                                      of                              Government
Democracy (Federal form of Government)

Mrs.                                      Prathibha                               Patel

Prime                                                                          Minister
Mr. Manmohan Singh.

States                     and                        Union                 Territories
India       has       28         states         and       7     Union        Territories

Hindi is the official language. English is widely spoken and written. 17 major languages
recognized by the Constitution and 844 Dialects.

Hindu - 80%, Muslim - 14%, Christian - 2.4%, Sikh - 2%, Buddhist - 0.7% Jain - 0.5%,
Zoroastrian and others - 0.4%

Indian Rupee

Time                                                                              Zone
The Indian time zone, Indian Standard Time (IST) is 5.5 hours (5 hours and 30 minutes)
ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Business Hours
10 A.M. - 5 P.M. (Monday to Friday)

230-240V 50HzHz

Country                                    Dialing                                    Code

National                                                                           anthem
Jan Gana Mana, written by Rabindranath Tagore

National                                                                               flag
Horizontal tricolor in equal proportion of deep saffron on the top, white in the middle and
dark green at the bottom. In the center of the white band is a wheel in navy blue colour.

National                                                                            animal

National                                                                               bird

National                                                                             flower

National                                                                               tree

National                                                                               fruit

Passports                                     and                                    Visas
Valid passport and visa is required to enter in India. Visas cannot be issued on arrival. It
is also essential that the passport should be valid for at least six months from date of

India's fast-growing microfinance sector has attracted regulatory scrutiny following

allegations of aggressive collection practices and borrower suicides, with the finance

minister calling for a code of conduct on interest rates and recovery norms.

The new developments promise to bring about an era of change to a sector that has

seen surging growth. Here are some facts about the microfinance sector.

- The gross loan portfolio of India's microfinance sector accounts for more than 7

percent of the sector's worldwide loan portfolio size. As much as 30 percent of the

world's microfinance borrowers are in India.

- While the average size of a microfinance loan is $522.8 globally, according to MIX

Market data, the average loan size in India is only about a fourth of that at $144.

- India is the largest microfinance market in the world, with some 120 million

homes with no access to financial services, estimates CRISIL Research. MFIs are

mostly concentrated in India's southern states, serving about 70 million people.

- The microfinance market has grown at an average annual rate of nearly 80

percent over the last three years, Sa-Dhan said.

- There are more than 3,000 MFIs and NGO-MFIs, of which about 400 have active

lending programmes, according to CRISIL Research. The top 10 MFIs account for

nearly three-fourths of loans outstanding.

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