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OTHER GEOGRAPHICAL FACTS

TIME AND MONEY
The Indian rupee is divided into 100 paise. But there is the common problem of short-change. India Standard time is 5- 1/2 hour ahead of the Greenwich Meridian time. Despite its size, India has a single time zone.

INFORMATION
The Indian Newspaper industry is flourishing, printing the staggering figure of around 22,000 newspapers, of which around 1800 are dailies. Some 4000 are in English and the second most popular language in Newspaper -reading is Hindi. The principal dailies include, The Hindu, published in many cities in the north and the south. The Indian Express is also quite good. The Times of India comes closely next in terms of readerships.

These newspapers provide all-India and local news, views and gossip as well as entertainment news and sports items. Currently the big press barons include the Birlas, who owns the Hindustan Times, and the Goenkas of Madras, who own the Indian Express.

Magazines are also making big business in India. General news and a good read are found in: India Today, The Week, Sunday, The Illustrated Weekly of India, Women's Era, Femina, etc. A number of Business magazines like Business India, Intelligent Investor, Dalal Street Journal, Money Market, etc have cropped out satisfying the Business minds. With the advent of the computer era, many computer related magazines have come up and notable among them include the Data Quest, PC Quest, Big Byte, Chip, PC @ home. Then there is a deluge of Film magazines full of Bitchy gossips and interviews. For children also a number of comics and monthly and weekly magazines have been introduced.


LANGUAGES
India, according to a recent census has 1,652 dialects! Needless to say that most of them are only spoken dialects. The principal languages with rich literary heritage are:

Assamese, Bengali, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

The earliest language of the Indians was that of the Indus valley civilization and only some characters of their script is available now and hence it could not be deciphered properly. The four major early language groups from early India are
The Dravidian
Sino-Tibetan
Austric and
Indo-Aryan

The Vedas belong to the Indo Aryan languages. Most of the Indian languages have their alphabets derived from the Brahmi script. The Dravidian languages include Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada and these evolved during the 7th century AD. Tribals like the Bhils, Gonds and Todas who belong to the hills and forests have their own local dialects without any symbolic representations.

The Austric languages are the Munda and Kol speeches of central and eastern India.

The Sino-Tibetan languages include Ahom, the language of the Assamese rulers and Khamti now spoken by some tribes in the northeastern border of India.

The inhabitants off the offshore islands of India the Andaman and Nicobar islands speak Andamanese, a quite separate language and Nicobarese, a branch of the Austric branch of languages.

The Indo-Aryan languages are spoken by approximately 74 % of the Indian populace, the Dravidian by about 24%, the Austric by 1.4% and the Sino-Tibetan by 0.9%.

RATIO OF LANGUAGES SPOKEN THROUGHOUT INDIA

STATES
Percentage
Assamese

1.56

Bengali

8.30

Gujarati

4.85

Hindi

40.22

Kannada

3.91

Kashmiri

0.01

Konkani

0.21

Malayalam

3.62

Manipuri

0.15

Marathi

7.45

Nepali

0.25

Oriya

3.35

Punjabi

2.79

Sanskrit

0.01

Sindhi

0.25

Tamil

6.32

Telugu

7.87

Urdu

5.18

 

 

Miscellaneous Languages

3.71


THE INDIAN RAILWAYS
The Indian railways have found its place in records as the biggest employer in the whole world. Hence it has been allocated a special department in the Union Cabinet and also boasts of a separate budget plan. A train journey becomes an essential part when one plans to travel throughout India. There are around 65,000 kms of railways in the country. India's first train steamed off from Bombay to Thane on April 16th, 1853, for its 34 kms long journey. The credit for the well -laid out Railway plan goes to the British, though they did it for their own comfort and monetary benefits. India's first Super-train was the Rajadhani Express running from Delhi to Calcutta at 130 kph.

The Shatabdi Express zipped equally fast between Delhi and Bhopal, via Agra and Gwalior. Now its routes have spread out throughout India . Now steam engines and narrow gauges are slowly becoming history. The Railway stations of Bombay, Calcutta and Lucknow are especially grand with the Victorian style built by the British. On the trains everything from the morning cup of coffee to a full afternoon meal is available under order. There are three main classes of tickets: air-conditioned, first class and second-class and they in turn have sub-divisions. Second class has two and three -tier sleepers.

INDIAN DRESSES
There are a rich variety of clothes worn in various parts of the country. The clothing of a particular region depends upon the climatic conditions of the region. The most popular dress for the women of the country is the sari. It is a single pieced of clothing, usually five to six meters in length. There are various styles of wearing a sari. In the northern stare of Punjab women wear "salwar and Kameez" which is very comfortable. A "Churidhar" has a tighter fitting and is worn with a "Kurta". Both women and men wear "Lungi".

Like the sari it is also a single piece of clothing worn around the thighs. A "Dhoti" is longer than the lungi and is pulled up between the legs. "lehanga" is worn by the women-folk of rural areas. It is like a skirt. Both men and women in the urban areas have started wearing western dresses these days.