Original India was known for its cultural and commercial wealth. The major religions of the world - Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism -originated here. Christianity, Islam and Zoroastrianism came into existence in the first millennium CE. And, hence, these religions formed the country's diverse culture. India was ruled by the British East India Company administration for several years, and India finally became independent in 1947.
As far as the nominal GDP is considered, Indian economy is the eleventh-largest in the world, and considering the purchasing power parity (PPP), it is the third-largest in the world. During the 1991 economic reforms, India was termed as the fastest-growing important economies. The country is considered as a newly and freshly industrialised country. But, it still faces several challenges like illiteracy, poverty, inadequate public healthcare and corruption. It is a nuclear country, having the world's third-largest standing army. It is also rich in the variety of wildlife in protected habitats.
India has 28 states - Andhra Pradesh , Arunachal Pradesh, Assam , bihar , Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir , Jharkhand , Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal - and seven union territories - Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, National Capital Territory of Delhi and Pondicherry. All the states in India, including union territories of Pondicherry and National Capital Territory of Delhi, have their own elected governments and legislatures. Rest of the five union territories have administrators appointed by the centre. India has a variety of culture, languages and their scripts.
The Census 2011 data shows that India has less that 5,000,000 megacity, 1,000,000-4,999,999 metropolis, 500,000-999,999 sub-metropolis and 12, 41, 54,212 small village. Bangalore and Hyderabad went through an area expansion in 2007, Chennai in 2011, and Coimbatore, Madurai and Tiruchirappalli in 2010.