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India: Preface
Country Study > Preface


This edition supersedes the fourth edition of India: A Country Study, published in 1985 under the editorship of Richard F. Nyrop. The new edition provides updated information on the world's second most populous and fastest-growing nation. Although much of India's traditional behavior and organizational dynamics reported in 1985 have remained the same, internal and regional events have continued to shape Indian domestic and international policies.

To the extent possible, place-names used in the text conform to the United States Board on Geographic Names, but equal weight has been given to spellings provided by the official Survey of India. Selected acronyms and abbreviations are clarified in Table A, and a Chronology covering the long span of Indian history is given in Table B; both of these tables appear in the front of the book. Measurements are given in the metric system; a conversion table is provided to assist readers unfamiliar with metric measurements.

Users of this book are encouraged to consult the chapter bibliographies at the end of the book. They include several general and specialized bibliographies that will lead readers to further resources on India. Additionally, users may wish to consult the annual editions of the Association for Asian Studies' Bibliography of Asian Studies, as well as later editions of yearbooks listed in the bibliography of this volume. Other bibliographic sources of interest are N. Gerald Barrier's India and America: American Publishing on India, 1930-1985 (New Delhi: American Institute of Indian Studies, 1986) and David Nelson's Bibliography of South Asia (Metuchen, New Jersey: Scarecrow, 1994). Those who read Indian classical and vernacular languages will find publications available in those languages in the Library of Congress and other major research libraries.

The illustrations on the cover and chapter title pages represent a variety of contemporary folk-art motifs from various parts of India.

The body of the text reflects information available as of September 1, 1995. Certain other portions of the text, however, have been updated. The Introduction discusses significant events that have occurred since the completion of research; the Country Profile includes updated information as available; and the Bibliography lists recently published sources thought to be particularly helpful to the reader.

Data as of September 1995

Last Updated: September 1995

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for India was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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