Currency Symbol

Currency Symbol

Currency Symbol
The symbol of Indian Rupee typifies India’s international identity for money transactions and economic strength. The Indian Rupee sign is an allegory of Indian ethos. The symbol is an amalgam of Devanagari “Ra” and the Roman Capital “R” with two parallel horizontal stripes running at the top representing the national flag and also the “equal to” sign. The Indian Rupee sign was adopted by the Government of India on 15th July, 2010.
The symbol, conceptualised and designed by Udaya Kumar, a post graduate in Design from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, has been chosen from thousands of concept entries received by the Ministry of Finance through an open competition among resident Indian nationals. The process of establishing and implementing this new identity is underway through various digital technology and computer applications.

National Game

National Game

India has conquered the podium when it comes to the game of Hockey. Our nation has an excellent record with eight Olympic gold medals. Indian hockey’s golden period was from 1928-56, when the Indian hockey team won six successive Olympic gold medals. Team also won the 1975 World Cup besides two more medals (silver and a bronze). The Indian Hockey Federation gained global affiliation in 1927 and joined the International Hockey Federation (FIH)
Thus began the history of Indian Hockey Federation as India entered the Olympics to begin its golden saga. The tour was a huge success with India winning 18 out of the 21 matches and the legendary Dhyan Chand was the cynosure of all the eyes scoring over 100 goals of the 192 Indian accounted for. The match began in Amsterdam in 1928 and India went on a winning spree in Los Angeles in 1932 and Berlin in 1936 and thus bagged a hat-trick of gold medals at the Olympics.
Post Indian Independence; the Indian team achieved another hat-trick of gold medals at the 1948 London Olympics, 1952 Helsinki Games and the Melbourne Olympics.
During the Golden Era, India played 24 Olympic matches, won all 24, scored 178 goals (at an average of 7.43 goals per match) and conceded only 7 goals. The two other gold medals for India came in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

National Fruit

National Fruit

A fleshy fruit, eaten ripe or used green for pickles etc., of the tree Mangifera indica, the mango is one of the most important and widely cultivated fruits 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. The poet Kalidasa sang its praises. Alexander savoured its taste, as did the Chinese pilgrim Hieun Tsang. Mughal emperor Akbar planted 100,000 mango trees in Darbhanga, Bihar at a place now known as Lakhi Bagh.

National Animal

National Animal

National Animal
The magnificent tiger, Panthera tigris is a striped animal. It has a thick yellow coat of fur with dark stripes. The combination of grace, strength, agility and enormous power has earned the tiger its pride of place as the national animal of India. Out of eight races of the species known, the Indian race, the Royal Bengal Tiger, is found throughout the country except in the north-western region and also in the neighbouring countries, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. To check the dwindling population of tigers in India, ‘Project Tiger’ was launched in April 1973. So far, 27 tiger reserves have been established in the country under this project, covering an area of 37,761 sq km.

National Song

National Song

The song Vande Mataram, composed in Sanskrit by Bankimchandra Chatterji, was a source of inspiration to the people in their struggle for freedom. It has an equal status with Jana-gana-mana. The first political occasion when it was sung was the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress. The following is the text of its first stanza:

Vande Mataram!
Sujalam, suphalam, malayaja shitalam,
Shasyashyamalam, Mataram!
Vande Mataram!
Shubhrajyotsna pulakitayaminim,
Phullakusumita drumadala shobhinim,
Suhasinim sumadhura bhashinim,
Sukhadam varadam, Mataram!
Vande Mataram, Vande Mataram!

The English translation of the stanza rendered by Sri Aurobindo in prose 1 is:

I bow to thee, Mother,
richly-watered, richly-fruited,
cool with the winds of the south,
dark with the crops of the harvests,
The Mother!
Her nights rejoicing in the glory of the moonlight,
her lands clothed beautifully with her trees in flowering bloom,
sweet of laughter, sweet of speech,
The Mother, giver of boons, giver of bliss.

Source: India 2010

National Calendar

National Calendar

The national calendar based on the Saka Era, with Chaitra as its first month and a normal year of 365 days was adopted from 22 March 1957 along with the Gregorian calendar for the following official purposes:
  1. Gazette of India.
  2. News broadcast by All India Radio.
  3. Calendars issued by the Government of India.
  4. Government communications addressed to the members of the public.
Dates of the national calendar have a permanent correspondence with dates of the Gregorian calendar, 1 Chaitra falling on 22 March normally and on 21 March in leap year.

State Emblem

State Emblem

The state emblem is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka. In the original, there are four lions, standing back to back, mounted on an abacus with a frieze carrying sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull and a lion separated by intervening wheels over a bell-shaped lotus. Carved out of a single block of polished sandstone, the Capital is crowned by the Wheel of the Law (Dharma Chakra).
In the state emblem, adopted by the Government of India on 26 January 1950, only three lions are visible, the fourth being hidden from view. The wheel appears in relief in the centre of the abacus with a bull on right and a horse on left and the outlines of other wheels on extreme right and left. The bell-shaped lotus has been omitted. The words Satyameva Jayate from Mundaka Upanishad, meaning ‘Truth Alone Triumphs’, are inscribed below the abacus in Devanagari script.

National Aquatic Animal

National Aquatic Animal

River Dolphin is the National Aquatic Animal of India. This mammal is also said to represent the purity of the holy Ganga as it can only survive in pure and fresh water. Platanista gangetica has a long pointed snout and also have visible teeth in both the upper and lower jaws. Their eyes lack a lens and therefore function solely as a means of detecting the direction of light. Dolphins tend to swim with one fin trailing along the substrate while rooting around with their beak to catch shrimp and fish. Dolphins have a fairly thick body with light grey-brown skin often with a hue of pink. The fins are large and the dorsal fin is triangular and undeveloped. This mammal has a forehead that rises steeply and has very small eyes. River Dolphins are solitary creatures and females tend to be larger than males. They are locally known as susu, because of the noise it makes while breathing. This species inhabits parts of the Ganges, Meghna and Brahmaputra rivers in India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, and the Karnaphuli River in Bangladesh.
River dolphin is a critically endangered species in India and therefore, has been included in the Schedule I for the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. The main reasons for decline in population of the species are poaching and habitat degradation due to declining flow, heavy siltation, construction of barrages causing physical barrier for this migratory species.

National River

National River

The Ganga or Ganges is the longest river of India flowing over 2,510 kms 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. kms. There are two dams on the river – one at Haridwar and the other at Farakka. The Ganges River Dolphin is an endangered animal that specifically habitats this river.
The Ganga is revered by Hindus as the most sacred river on earth. Key religious ceremonies are held on the banks of the river at cities such as Varanasi, Haridwar and Allahabad. The Ganga widens out into the Ganges Delta in the Sunderbans swamp of Bangladesh, before it ends its journey by emptying into the Bay of Bengal.
The Ganga
 
“The Ganga, especially, is the river of India, beloved of her people, round which are intertwined her memories, her hopes and fears, her songs of triumph, her victories and her defeats. She has been a symbol of India’s age long culture and civilization, ever changing , ever flowing, and yet ever the same Ganga.”
– Jawaharlal Nehru, First Prime Minister of India
  Gomukh – The Origin    
Gomukh
The river, about 2,510 km (1,560 mi) long, rises in a snowfield called THE GANGOTRI GLACIER, situated among three Himalayan mountains all more than 6,706 m (22,000 ft) high. It issues as the Bhagirathi River from an ice cave, 3,139 m (10,300 ft) above sea level, and falls 67 m per km (350 ft per mi). About 16 km (10 mi) from the source is Gangotri, the first temple on its banks and a traditional resort of pilgrims. At the village of Devaprayag, 214 km (133 mi) from the source, the Bhagirathi joins the Alaknanda to form the Ganges.
The Ganges, after descending 2,827 m (9,276 ft), or an average of about 11 m per km (60 ft per mi), flows west to the border of the great plain of Hindustan at Haridwar, 253 km (157 mi) from its source and 312 m (1,024 ft) above sea level. From Haridwar it continues south and then south-east to Allahabad after a winding course of 785 km (488 mi), made un navigable by shoals and rapids.
At Allahabad, the Ganges is joined by the Yamuna River from the south-west, and from that point the river flows east past Mirzapur, Varanasi, Ghazipur, Patna, Monghyr, and Bhagalpur, receiving on the south the Son River and on the north the Gumti, Ghaghara, Gandak, and Kosi rivers. In the Rajmahal Hills, at the head of the Ganges delta, 906 km (563 mi) from Allahabad, the river turns south and begins a descent of 455 km (283 mi) to the Bay of Bengal. Near Pakaur, the Bhagirathi (assuming the former name of the river) and, 114 km (71 mi) lower down, the Jalangi River branch off from the main stream, and after individual courses of 193 km (120 mi) each, unite again to form the Hooghly River, the westernmost and principal channel of navigation, on which the city of Calcutta stands. The main branch of the Ganges, from which numerous minor tributaries flow, continues in Bangladesh, as the Padma River, to the town of Shivalaya (Sibalay), where it unites with the Jamuna, the main branch of the Brahmaputra, and finally runs through the Meghna estuary into the Bay of Bengal.
Between the Meghna estuary and the western channel of the Hooghly River are the several mouths of the deltaic channels. The northern portion of the delta is fertile and well cultivated. The southern section consists mostly of swampland, known as the Sundarbans, because of the sundari tree that flourishes there. The marshes are inhabited by several species of crocodile. From year to year the Ganges exchanges old channels for new ones, particularly in the alluvial basin of its lower reaches. Like the Brahmaputra, the Ganges has been adversely affected by the deforestation of valleys in its upper course, causing flooding and an increase in sedimentation around the river’s delta in Bangladesh. This sometimes combines with coastal flooding caused by cyclones to produce inundation of the delta area on a massive scale.
The Ganges is regarded by Hindus as the most sacred river in the world. Many important religious ceremonies are held in cities on its banks, including Varanasi, Haridwar, and Allahabad. 
  The Ganges River Dolphin    
Ganga River Dolphin
The Ganges river dolphin (platanista gangetia) is found in India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, in the Ganges, Brahmaputra, Meghna, Karnaphuli and Hoogli river systems.  The river water is so muddy that vision is useless and so these dolphins are blind and their eyes have no lenses.  They use a sophisticated echolocation system to navigate and find food.  They eat shrimp and fish from the mud in river bottoms.  
They are solitary creatures and are only found in fresh water.  The Ganges river dolphin is an endangered species as a result of a number of factors.  These factors include the damming of rivers for hydroelectric and irrigation purposes, and the increase in boat traffic, fishing and pollution.  They are also hunted by humans for meat and oil.  There are only approximately 4000 – 6000 individuals left.
Formerly quite abundant, the overall population of Ganges river dolphins is reduced to probably fewer than 100 dolphins in Nepal, with the group of about 20 in the Karnali River above Chisapani being the largest single concentration. In the late 1980’s it was estimated that 4000 – 5000 susus inhabited the four major sections of the species’ range: 3000 – 3500 in the Gangetic deltaic zone, consisting of the Ganges below Farakka Barrage, the Brahmaputra below Tistamukhghat, and as far up the Meghna as Bairab Bazar; 500 – 750 in the Ganges River zone; 500 in the Brahmaputra River zone; and 750 in the Meghna River zone above Bairab Bazar. These figures do not appear to be based on a survey or any other kind of quantitative data, so they should be regarded as nothing more than informed guesses. About 45 dolphins were estimated in the Chambal River, a south-western tributary of the Ganges, in the early 1980s (Jones, 1982; Reeves and Brownell, 1989, Reyes, 1991 and refs. therein). In a more recent paper, Mohan et al. (1997) estimated the population of Ganges River dolphin in the river Brahmaputra from South Salmara to Sadiya to be 400. With an annual mortality of about 60, the population size has been reduced by 30% over the past 10 years.
However, according to the IWC (2000) population assessment has generally been based on counts of dolphins on relatively small segments of rivers, with no estimates of precision
  The Delta    
Satellite view of the  Ganga River Delta
The silt deposits of the delta cover an area of 23 000 sq miles (60 000 sq km).  The river courses in the delta are broad and active, carrying a vast amount of water.  The rains from June to October cause most of the Bangladeshi delta region to flood, leaving the villages that are built on artificially raised land isolated.
On the seaward side of the delta are swamplands and tidal forests called Sunderbans which are protected conservation areas in both Indian and Bangladeshi law.  The peat found in the delta is used for fertilizer and fuel.  The water supply to the river depends on the rains brought by the monsoon winds from July to October and the melting snow from the Himalayas during the period from April to June.  The delta also experiences strong cyclonic storms before and after the monsoon season which can be devastating.  In November 1970, for example, 200 000 – 500 000 people were killed in such storms.
The delta used to be densely forested and inhabited by many wild animals.  Today, however, it has become intensely cultivated to meet the needs of the growing population and many of the wild animals have disappeared.  The Royal Bengal Tiger still lives in the Sunderbans and kills about 30 villagers every year.  There remains high fish populations in the rivers which provides an important part of the inhabitants’ diet. Bird life in the Ganges basin is also prolific. 
  The Map    
Map of area covered by River Ganga
The river known as the Ganges is officially and popularly known by its Hindu name, Ganga.  The river has its source in the Himalayas, at Gaumakh in the southern Himalayas on the Indian side of the Tibetan border. It is 1 560 miles (2 510 km) long and flows through China, India, Nepal and Bangladesh.  The Ganges river basin is one of the most fertile and densely populated in the world and covers an area of 400 000 sq miles (1 000 000 sq km). The river flows through 29 cities with population over 100,000, 23 cities with population between 50,000 and 100,000, and about 48 towns. 
  Dams on the Ganga    
Tehri Dam
There are two major dams on the Ganga. One at Haridwar diverts much of the Himalayan snowmelt into the Upper Ganges Canal, built by the British in 1854 to irrigate the surrounding land. This caused severe deterioration to the water flow in the Ganga, and is a major cause for the decay of Ganga as an inland waterway.
The other dam is a serious hydroelectric affair at Farakka, close to the point where the main flow of the river enters Bangladesh, and the tributary Hooghly (also known as Bhagirathi) continues in West Bengal past Calcutta. This barrage, which feeds the Hooghly branch of the river by a 26 mile long feeder canal, and its water flow management has been a long-lingering source of dispute with Bangladesh, which fortunately is likely to be resolved based on discussions held with the new Hasina government in Bangladesh in 1996 when I.K. Gujral was the Foreign Minister in India, Failure to resolve this has caused harm to both sides of the border for nearly two decades now. Bangladesh feels that the lack of flow in the summer months causes sedimentation and makes Bangladesh more prone to flood damages. At the same time, proposals for linking the Brahmaputra to the Ganges to improve the water flow in the Ganges is hanging fire. Also, the water management problem may actually involve a number of other riparian countries such as Nepal (where there has been tremendous deforestation, leading to greater silt content).
It is likely that Ganga carried more water around the time of the Roman Empire, when Patna was the major port city of Pataliputra. Even in the eighteenth century the ships of the East India Company would come to call at the port city of Tehri, on the Bhagirathi, one of the main source river of Ganga.
Another dam is proposed to be built on the upper reaches of a tributary of the Ganga, Mahakali, This Indo-Nepal project, the Pancheswar dam, proposes to be the highest dam in the world and will be built with US collaboration.
The upper and lower Ganga canal, which is actually the backbone of a network of canals, runs from Haridwar to Allahabad, but maintenance has not been very good and my personal experience is that it probably trickles out into a small river a little beyond Kanpur.
Ward’s Lake, located in the heart of Shillong, offers you a most pleasant beauty spot. The lake with gradually undulating grounds, hemmed in by lush greens, has a charming winding walk-a-way in the midst of rolling flowerbeds and fairyland lighting. The 100-year-old lake has a strikingly beautiful arched bridge. Boats of all sizes and shapes are available while the cafeteria provides you with refreshments. Other notable breathtaking beauty spots are Lady Hydari Park, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Crinoline swimming pool, Botanical Gardens, Shillong Peak with a 180-degree view of the city.

National Anthem

National Anthem

The National Anthem of India is played or sung on various occasions. Instructions have been issued from time to time about the correct versions of the Anthem, the occasions on which these are to be played or sung, and about the need for paying respect to the anthem by observance of proper decorum on such occasions. The substance of these instructions has been embodied in this information sheet for general information and guidance.

The National Anthem – Full & Short Versions

The composition consisting of the words and music of the first stanza of the late poet Rabindra Nath Tagore’s song known as “Jana Gana Mana” is the National Anthem of India. It reads as follows:

Jana-gana-mana-adhinayaka, jaya he
Bharata-bhagya-vidhata.
Punjab-Sindh-Gujarat-Maratha
Dravida-Utkala-Banga
Vindhya-Himachala-Yamuna-Ganga
Uchchala-Jaladhi-taranga.
Tava shubha name jage,
Tava shubha asisa mage,
Gahe tava jaya gatha,
Jana-gana-mangala-dayaka jaya he
Bharata-bhagya-vidhata.
Jaya he, jaya he, jaya he,
Jaya jaya jaya, jaya he!

The above is the full version of the Anthem and its playing time is approximately 52 seconds.
A short version consisting of the first and last lines of the National Anthem is also played on certain occasions. It reads as follows:

Jana-gana-mana-adhinayaka, jaya he
Bharata-bhagya-vidhata.
Jaya he, jaya he, jaya he,
Jaya jaya jaya, jaya he!

Playing time of the short version is about 20 seconds. The following is Tagore’s English rendering of the anthem:

Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people,
Dispenser of India’s destiny.
Thy name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sind,
Gujarat and Maratha,
Of the Dravida and Orissa and Bengal;
It echoes in the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas,
mingles in the music of Jamuna and Ganges and is
chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea.
They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise.
The saving of all people waits in thy hand,
Thou dispenser of India’s destiny.
Victory, victory, victory to thee.

The occasions on which the full versions or the short version will be played have been indicated at the appropriate places in these instructions.

Playing of the Anthem

  1. The full version of the Anthem shall be played on the following occasions:
    1. Civil and Military investitures;
    2. When National Salute (which means the Command “Rashtriya Salute Salami Shastr” to the accompaniment of the National Anthem is given on ceremonial occasions to the President or to the Governor/Lieutenant Governor within their respective States/Union Territories;
    3. During parades irrespective of whether any of the dignitaries referred to in (ii) above is present or not;
    4. On arrival of the President at formal State functions and other functions organized by the Government and mass functions and on his departure from such functions;
    5. Immediately before and after the President addresses the Nation over All India Radio;
    6. On arrival of the Governor/Lieutenant Governor at formal State functions within his State/Union Territory and on his departure from such functions;
    7. When the National Flag is brought on parade;
    8. When the Regimental Colours are presented;
    9. For hoisting of colours in the Navy.
  2. The short version of the Anthem shall be played when drinking toasts in Messes.
  3. The Anthem shall be played on any other occasion for which special orders have been issued by the Government of India.
  4. Normally the Anthem shall not be played for the Prime Minister, though there may be special occasions when it may be played.
  5. When the National Anthem is played by a band, the Anthem will be preceded by a roll of drums to assist the audience to know that the National Anthem is going to be played, unless there is some other specific indication that the National Anthem is about to be played, as for example, when fanfares are sounded before the National Anthem is played, or when toasts are drunk to the accompaniment of the National Anthem or when the National Anthem constitutes the National Salute given by a Guard of Honour. The duration of the roll, in terms of marching drill, will be 7 paces in slow march. The roll will start slowly, ascend to as loud a volume as possible and then gradually decreases to original softness, but remaining audible until the seventh beat. One beat rest will then be observed before commencing the National Anthem.

Mass Singing of the Anthem

  1. The full version of the Anthem shall be played accompanied by mass singing on the following occasions:
    1. On the unfurling of the National Flag, on cultural occasions or ceremonial functions other than parades. (This could be arranged by having a choir or adequate size, suitably stationed, which would be trained to coordinate its singing with the band etc. There should be an adequate public audition system so that the gathering in various enclosures can sing in unison with the choir);
    2. On arrival of the President at any Government or Public function (but excluding formal State functions and mess functions) and also immediately before his departure from such functions.
  2. On all occasions when the National Anthem is sung, the full version shall be recited accompanied by mass singing.
  3. The Anthem may be sung on occasions which, although not strictly ceremonial, are nevertheless invested with significance because of the presence of Ministers etc. The singing of the Anthem on such occasions (with or without the accompaniment of an instruments) accompanied by mass singing is desirable.
  4. It is not possible to give an exhaustive list of occasions on which the singing (as distinct from playing) of the Anthem can be permitted. But there is no objection to the singing of the Anthem accompanied by mass singing so long as it is done with due respect as a salutation to the motherland and proper decorum is maintained.
  5. In all schools, the day’s work may begin with community singing of the anthem. School authorities should make adequate provision in their programmes for popularising the singing of the Anthem and promoting respect for the National Flag among students.

General

  1. Whenever the Anthem is sung or played, the audience shall stand to attention. However, when in the course of a newsreel or documentary the Anthem is played as a part of the film, it is not expected of the audience to stand as standing is bound to interrupt the exhibition of the film and would create disorder and confusion rather than add to the dignity of the Anthem.
  2. As in the case of the flying of the National Flag, it has been left to the good sense of the people not to indulge in indiscriminate singing or playing of the Anthem.

Source: India 2010