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However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, corruption, malnutrition, and inadequate public healthcare.
A nuclear weapons state and regional power, it has the third largest standing army in the world and ranks fifth in military expenditure among nations.
It is bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast.Early political consolidations took place under the Maurya and Gupta empires; the later peninsular Middle Kingdoms influenced cultures as far as Southeast Asia.In the medieval era, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Islam arrived, and Sikhism emerged, all adding to the region's diverse culture.In the mid-18th century, the subcontinent came under British East India Company rule, and in the mid-19th under British crown rule.
A nationalist movement emerged in the late 19th century, which later, under Mahatma Gandhi, was noted for nonviolent resistance and led to India's independence in 1947.India is a federal republic governed under a parliamentary system and consists of 29 states and 7 union territories.