Focus on India: Introduction

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Focus on India: Introduction

The world’s largest democracy

With its 1.15 billion inhabitants, the Republic of India is the second most populated country in the world after China. Hindi, the official language, is spoken by approximately 40% of the population*. In addition, the Constitution officially recognises 22 other languages, and it has been estimated that 844 dialects are used all over the country. English is the business language and is used in varying degrees by 40% of the population, which is composed of around 2,000 different ethnic groups. India established a democratic system of government following its declaration of independence in 1947, which survives paradoxically with the economic and social disparities. The federalist system consolidates this cultural plurality and makes India “unified in its diversity”.

* The various dialects are included.

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