India General Information
Nation is the part of a continent where people of different culture live together. A nation is kept together by many ties. Every free nationhas certain emblems called national emblems. Name of our nation is India. India is a sovereign democratic republic. As an independent nation, we have our national flag, national anthem, national emblem and other national symbols. In fact they are the symbols of our sacrifice, culture and unity. They are also the symbols of our age old ideals and hopes. These symbols infuse a spirit of patriotism and oneness among us. They serve as important ties which bind more than 103 crores of Indian together.
India – Physical Features
Head Quarters : New Delhi
Area : 32,87,263 Sq.Km.
North to South : 3214 Kms.
East to West : 2933 Kms.
Our national flag is a symbol of freedom. It is a horizontal tricolour of deep saffron (Kesari) at the top, white, in the middle and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion. Hence our flag is referred as tiranga or tricolour. Each colour has its own significance. Saffron colour at the top of the flag denotes courage and sacrifice. It reminds us of the sacrifices made by our freedom fighters. White colour on the middle band stands for purity and truth. In the centre of the white band there is a wheel in navy blue, which represents the chakra that appears on the abacus of the sarnath lion capital of Asoka. Its diameter approximates to the width of the white band and it has 24 spokes. The design of the chakra has been taken from the sarnath lion capital of Ashoka stupa. The chakra inspires us to move forward along the path of dharma to bring peace and prosperity to the nation. The wheel represents motion and dynamism.
Dark green colour band at the bottom signifies faith and prosperity. It implies the richness and prosperity of the people. When we salute the national flag, we get inspired and purified. When we see the flag, we understand the sacrifices of the freedom fighters of India.
This flag was adopted as the National flag by the Constituent Assembly of India on 22nd July 1947 and was presented to the nation at midnight of 14th August 1947. It was hoisted for the first time on 15thAugust 1947. The flag is rectangular in shape and has three colour stripes in equal proportion. The ratio of width and length is 2:3. Its use and display are regulated by a code. The chakra should preferably be screen-printed on both sides of the flag or otherwise printed, stencilled suitably embroider on both sides in all cases.
We have to follow some rules when we display our National flag :
- We must always hoist it with the Saffron band on top
- No other flag can be higher than it nor to its right.
- We must raise it to the top of the mast
- We fly our flag lower, at half-mast, to indicate sorrow when a greatnational leader or the head of State of a friendly nation passes away
- We must always lower it at sunset.
- When carried in a procession, as in a Republic Day parade or in aninternational events like sports the bearer has to carry it on his rights houlder in front, ahead of other flags.
- During flag hoisting, all the persons present should stand at attention
- The Indian national flag is hoisted on all important Government buildings like the Parliament, the Supreme court, the State assembly and on top of all Indian embassy buildings in foreign countries.
Giving Pledge to the Flag
Standing with folded hands, all repeat together the following pledge.
“I pledge allegiance to our national flag and to the sovereign democratic republic of India for which it stands”.
Every Nation has a patriotic song known as National Anthem. The hoisting of the National flag is always accompanied by the National Anthem. When the National Anthem is sung or its tune is played on a band, we should stand at attention to show our pride and respect.
Our National Anthem was composed by the great national poet Rabindarnath Tagore. This original Bengali song has got five stanzas. However, only the first stanza has been selected as our National Anthem. This song was formally adopted as the National anthem by our constituent assembly on 24th January 1950. Our National Anthem was first sung on 27th December 1911 at the Calcutta session of The Indian National Congress.
The National Anthem is sung at the Independence day and there public day celebrations. It is sung in Government functions, schools and colleges on all important occasions. The National Anthem should be sung in 52 seconds. Our National Anthem reflects the glory and greatness of our motherland. It spreads the message of tolerance national unity and patriotism.
Every free nation has a national emblem, which represents the authority of the nation. Our national emblem, the lion capital is taken from the capital of the Ashoka pillar of Sarnath. It was adopted on the Republic Day, 26th January 1950. The national emblem is the official seal of the Government. It is found on all Government documents, currency notes and coins and postage stamps. Our National emblem consists of four lions sitting back to back on a circular pedestal. The Lions represent power and majesty. The base has a Horse on the left, a wheel in the centre and a bull on the right. The Horse signifies energy and speed. The Bull stands for hard work and steadfastness. The chakra represents dharma and righteousness. Below the crest, the motto of India is inscribed. The motto, “Satyameva Jayate”, is in Devanagiri script. Its meaning is “truth alone triumphs”.
“Vande Mataram” is our national song. It was written by Bankim chandra chatterjee. This song is published in hisbook Anand Mutt in 1882. This song is equally respected along with national anthem. The song was first sung at Calcutta session of theIndian national congress meeting in 1886.
The lotus is our national flower. It symbolizes unity. It has been given respect and importance inIndian literature.
The peacock is our national bird. Its beautiful, rich feathers indicate the natural beauty of our country. Indian literature speak high of Peacock.
The royal Bengal tiger is our national animal. It symbolizes strength and bravery.
The Indian constitution has recognized 18languages as national languages. Hindi is acknowledged as our official language.
At the time of independence, India was following a calendar system, which was based on Gregarian calendar. Based on Calendar Reformation Committee’s recommendations, Government of India followed a calendar based on Saka year, which was declared on 22.03.1957. This calendar was recognized as national calendar. Saka year has 365 days. The Gregorian calendar system is also followed here.
Banyan tree is respected as our national tree.
The Ganga or Ganges is the longest river of India flowing over 2,510km of mountains, valleys and plains. It originates in the snowfields of the Gangotri Glacier in the Himalayas as the Bhagirathi River. It is later joined by other rivers such as the Alaknanda, Yamuna, Son, Gumti, Kosi and Ghagra. The Ganga river basin is one of the most fertile and densely populated areas of the world and covers an area of 1,000,000 sq.km. The Ganga is revered by Hindus as the most sacred river on earth.
Mangifera Indica, the mango tree is one of the most important and widely cultivated fruit trees of the tropical world. Its juicy fruit is a rich source of Vitamins A, C and D. In India there are over 100 varieties of mangoes, in different sizes, shapes and colours. Mangoes have been cultivated in India from time immemorial.
Hockey is India’s national game. India won the first Olympic hockey gold in 1928, in Amsterdam, beating the Netherlands 3-0.
Indian Standard Time (IST)
India has only one standard time. India is 5.5 hours ahead of GMT/UTC, 4.5 Hours behind Australian Eastern Standard Time and 10.5 hours ahead of American Eastern Standard Time.
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