India is the seventh-largest country and the second-most populous in the world. Following market-based reforms it has become a "newly industrialised country."
The newly formed Republic of India was one of first nations to end the State of War with Germany after World War II and did not claim war reparations from Germany although 24,000 soldiers serving in the British Indian Army died in the campaign to fight Nazi Germany. India maintained diplomatic relations with both West Germany and East Germany and supported their reunification in 1990.
State elections have kicked off in India amid the cash crisis caused by the BJP's controversial demonetization policy. Four months ago, all 500 and 1,000 rupee bills - almost 86 percent of cash in circulation - ceased to be legal tender. The objective was to combat tax cheating, illegal cash flows and corruption. But it's also hit India's rural poor who have little access to banks.
After India's Supreme Court upheld the corruption conviction of the incoming Tamil Nadu chief, VK Sasikala is trying to run the state assembly by remote control. But will she be successful? Murali Krishnan reports.
In recent years India has been credited with having the fastest-growing major economy. The International Monetary Fund, however, has lowered its estimate of growth in the country and given the top spot back to China. The Indian government has consequently had to correct its growth forecast from 7.6% to 7.1%.