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.
Britain has pulled its candidate for a seat on the International Court of Justice, allowing a judge from India to fill the final place. Some analysts say the decision is proof of the UK's waning international influence.
India’s capital, New Delhi, is one of the world’s most polluted cities. The air has been at its worst this week this year – spiking to 75 times the levels considered safe by the World Health Organization. Some experts have compared the toxicity level to smoking a couple of packs of cigarettes a day.
For two years, every weekend a group of volunteers converges on Versova beach, on the north shore of Mumbai, to collect the rubbish - by hand! The team has already collected over 7000 tonnes of waste - and it all started with one man. A lawyer who looked out of his window and was so appalled by the amount of plastic he saw, he felt he had to take action himself.