Proteins are essential nutrients for the human body. They are one of the building blocks of body tissue and can serve as a fuel source; as a fuel, proteins provide as much energy density as carbohydrates: 4 kcal per gram. The most important aspect and defining characteristic of protein from a nutritional standpoint is its amino acid composition. Proteins are polymer chains made of amino acids linked together by peptide bonds. During human digestion, proteins are broken down in the stomach to smaller polypeptide chains via hydrochloric acid and protease actions; this is crucial for the absorption of the essential amino acids that cannot be biosynthesized by the body. There are nine essential amino acids which humans must obtain from their diet in order to prevent protein-energy malnutrition and resulting death, they are phenylalanine, threonine, methionine, isoleucine and histidine. There has been debate as to whether there are 9 essential amino acids; the consensus seems to lean towards 9. There are five amino acids.
These five are alanine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid and serine. There are six conditionally essential amino acids whose synthesis can be limited under special pathophysiological conditions, such as prematurity in the infant or individuals in severe catabolic distress; these six are arginine, glycine, glutamine and tyrosine. Dietary sources of protein include both animals and plants: meats, dairy products and eggs, as well as grains and nuts. Vegans can get enough essential amino acids by eating plant proteins. Protein is a nutrient needed by the human body for maintenance. Aside from water, proteins are the most abundant kind of molecules in the body. Protein can be found in all cells of the body and is the major structural component of all cells in the body muscle; this includes body organs and skin. Proteins are used in membranes, such as glycoproteins; when broken down into amino acids, they are used as precursors to nucleic acid, co-enzymes, immune response, cellular repair, other molecules essential for life.
Additionally, protein is needed to form blood cells. Protein can be found in a wide range of food; the best combination of protein sources depends on the region of the world, cost, amino acid types and nutrition balance, as well as acquired tastes. Some foods are high in certain amino acids, but their digestibility and the anti-nutritional factors present in these foods make them of limited value in human nutrition. Therefore, one must consider digestibility and secondary nutrition profile such as calories, cholesterol and essential mineral density of the protein source. On a worldwide basis, plant protein foods contribute over 60 percent of the per capita supply of protein, on average. In North America, animal-derived foods contribute about 70 percent of protein sources. Meat, products from milk, eggs and fish are sources of complete protein. Whole grains and cereals are another source of proteins. However, these tend to be limiting in the amino acid lysine or threonine, which are available in other vegetarian sources and meats.
Examples of food staples and cereal sources of protein, each with a concentration greater than 7.0%, are buckwheat, rye, maize, wheat, sorghum and quinoa. Vegetarian sources of proteins include legumes, nuts and fruits. Legumes, some of which are called pulses in certain parts of the world, have higher concentrations of amino acids and are more complete sources of protein than whole grains and cereals. Examples of vegetarian foods with protein concentrations greater than 7 percent include soybeans, kidney beans, white beans, mung beans, cowpeas, lima beans, pigeon peas, wing beans, Brazil nuts, pecans, cotton seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds. Food staples that are poor sources of protein include roots and tubers such as yams and sweet potato. Plantains, another major staple, are a poor source of essential amino acids. Fruits, while rich in other essential nutrients, are another poor source of amino acids; the protein content in roots and fruits is between 0 and 2 percent.
Food staples with low protein content must be complemented with foods with complete, quality protein content for a healthy life in children for proper development. A good source of protein is a combination of various foods, because different foods are rich in different amino acids. A good source of dietary protein meets two requirements: The requirement for the nutritionally indispensable amino acids under all conditions and for conditionally indispensable amino acids under specific physiological and pathological conditions The requirement for nonspecific nitrogen for the synthesis of the nutritionally dispensable amino acids and other physiologically important nitrogen-containing compounds such as nucleic acids and porphyrins. Healthy people eating a balanced diet need protein supplements; the table below presents the most important food groups as protein sources, from a worldwide perspective. It lists their respective performance as source of the limiting amino acids, in milligrams of limiting amino acid per gram of total protein in the food source.
The table reiterates the need for a balanced mix of
The kilogram or kilogramme is the base unit of mass in the International System of Units. Until 20 May 2019, it remains defined by a platinum alloy cylinder, the International Prototype Kilogram, manufactured in 1889, stored in Saint-Cloud, a suburb of Paris. After 20 May, it will be defined in terms of fundamental physical constants; the kilogram was defined as the mass of a litre of water. That was an inconvenient quantity to replicate, so in 1799 a platinum artefact was fashioned to define the kilogram; that artefact, the IPK, have been the standard of the unit of mass for the metric system since. In spite of best efforts to maintain it, the IPK has diverged from its replicas by 50 micrograms since their manufacture late in the 19th century; this led to efforts to develop measurement technology precise enough to allow replacing the kilogram artifact with a definition based directly on physical phenomena, now scheduled to take place in 2019. The new definition is based on invariant constants of nature, in particular the Planck constant, which will change to being defined rather than measured, thereby fixing the value of the kilogram in terms of the second and the metre, eliminating the need for the IPK.
The new definition was approved by the General Conference on Weights and Measures on 16 November 2018. The Planck constant relates a light particle's energy, hence mass, to its frequency; the new definition only became possible when instruments were devised to measure the Planck constant with sufficient accuracy based on the IPK definition of the kilogram. The gram, 1/1000 of a kilogram, was provisionally defined in 1795 as the mass of one cubic centimetre of water at the melting point of ice; the final kilogram, manufactured as a prototype in 1799 and from which the International Prototype Kilogram was derived in 1875, had a mass equal to the mass of 1 dm3 of water under atmospheric pressure and at the temperature of its maximum density, 4 °C. The kilogram is the only named SI unit with an SI prefix as part of its name; until the 2019 redefinition of SI base units, it was the last SI unit, still directly defined by an artefact rather than a fundamental physical property that could be independently reproduced in different laboratories.
Three other base units and 17 derived units in the SI system are defined in relation to the kilogram, thus its stability is important. The definitions of only eight other named SI units do not depend on the kilogram: those of temperature and frequency, angle; the IPK is used or handled. Copies of the IPK kept by national metrology laboratories around the world were compared with the IPK in 1889, 1948, 1989 to provide traceability of measurements of mass anywhere in the world back to the IPK; the International Prototype Kilogram was commissioned by the General Conference on Weights and Measures under the authority of the Metre Convention, in the custody of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures who hold it on behalf of the CGPM. After the International Prototype Kilogram had been found to vary in mass over time relative to its reproductions, the International Committee for Weights and Measures recommended in 2005 that the kilogram be redefined in terms of a fundamental constant of nature.
At its 2011 meeting, the CGPM agreed in principle that the kilogram should be redefined in terms of the Planck constant, h. The decision was deferred until 2014. CIPM has proposed revised definitions of the SI base units, for consideration at the 26th CGPM; the formal vote, which took place on 16 November 2018, approved the change, with the new definitions coming into force on 20 May 2019. The accepted redefinition defines the Planck constant as 6.62607015×10−34 kg⋅m2⋅s−1, thereby defining the kilogram in terms of the second and the metre. Since the second and metre are defined in terms of physical constants, the kilogram is defined in terms of physical constants only; the avoirdupois pound, used in both the imperial and US customary systems, is now defined in terms of the kilogram. Other traditional units of weight and mass around the world are now defined in terms of the kilogram, making the kilogram the primary standard for all units of mass on Earth; the word kilogramme or kilogram is derived from the French kilogramme, which itself was a learned coinage, prefixing the Greek stem of χίλιοι khilioi "a thousand" to gramma, a Late Latin term for "a small weight", itself from Greek γράμμα.
The word kilogramme was written into French law in 1795, in the Decree of 18 Germinal, which revised the older system of units introduced by the French National Convention in 1793, where the gravet had been defined as weight of a cubic centimetre of water, equal to 1/1000 of a grave. In the decree of 1795, the term gramme thus replaced gravet, kilogramme replaced grave; the French spelling was adopted in Great Britain when the word was used for the first time in English in 1795, with the spelling kilogram being adopted in the United States. In the United Kingdom both spellings are used, with "kilogram" having become by far the more common. UK law regulating the units to be used when trading by weight or measure does not prevent the use of either spelling. In the 19th century the French word kilo, a shortening of kilogramme, was imported into the English language where it has been used to mean both kilogram and kilometre. While kilo is acceptable in many generalist texts
The Bahamas, known as the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is a country within the Lucayan Archipelago. The archipelagic state consists of more than 700 islands and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, is located north of Cuba and Hispaniola, northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, southeast of the U. S. state of Florida, east of the Florida Keys. The capital is Nassau on the island of New Providence; the designation of "the Bahamas" can refer either to the country or to the larger island chain that it shares with the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force describes the Bahamas territory as encompassing 470,000 km2 of ocean space; the Bahamas is the site of Columbus's first landfall in the New World in 1492. At that time, the islands were inhabited by the Lucayans, a branch of the Arawakan-speaking Taíno people. Although the Spanish never colonised the Bahamas, they shipped the native Lucayans to slavery in Hispaniola; the islands were deserted from 1513 until 1648, when English colonists from Bermuda settled on the island of Eleuthera.
The Bahamas became a British crown colony in 1718. After the American Revolutionary War, the Crown resettled thousands of American Loyalists in the Bahamas. Africans constituted the majority of the population from this period; the slave trade was abolished by the British in 1807. Subsequently, the Bahamas became a haven for freed African slaves. Today, Afro-Bahamians make up nearly 90% of the population; the Bahamas became an independent Commonwealth realm in 1973 with Elizabeth II as its queen. In terms of gross domestic product per capita, the Bahamas is one of the richest countries in the Americas, with an economy based on tourism and finance; the name Bahamas is most derived from either the Taíno ba ha ma, a term for the region used by the indigenous Native Americans, or from the Spanish baja mar reflecting the shallow waters of the area. Alternatively, it may originate from a local name of unclear meaning; the word The constitutes an integral part of the short form of the name and is, capitalised.
So in contrast to "the Congo" and "the United Kingdom", it is proper to write "The Bahamas." The name The Bahamas is thus comparable with certain non-English names that use the definite article, such as Las Vegas or Los Angeles. The Constitution of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, the country's fundamental law, capitalizes the "T" in "The Bahamas." Taino people moved into the uninhabited southern Bahamas from Hispaniola and Cuba around the 11th century, having migrated there from South America. They came to be known as the Lucayan people. An estimated 30,000 Lucayans inhabited the Bahamas at the time of Christopher Columbus's arrival in 1492. Columbus's first landfall in the New World was on an island; some researchers believe this site to be present-day San Salvador Island, situated in the southeastern Bahamas. An alternative theory holds that Columbus landed to the southeast on Samana Cay, according to calculations made in 1986 by National Geographic writer and editor Joseph Judge, based on Columbus's log.
Evidence in support of this remains inconclusive. On the landfall island, Columbus exchanged goods with them; the Spanish forced much of the Lucayan population to Hispaniola for use as forced labour. The slaves suffered from harsh conditions and most died from contracting diseases to which they had no immunity; the population of the Bahamas was diminished. In 1648, the Eleutherian Adventurers, led by William Sayle, migrated from Bermuda; these English Puritans established the first permanent European settlement on an island which they named Eleuthera—the name derives from the Greek word for freedom. They settled New Providence, naming it Sayle's Island after one of their leaders. To survive, the settlers salvaged goods from wrecks. In 1670, King Charles II granted the islands to the Lords Proprietors of the Carolinas in North America, they rented the islands from the king with rights of trading, appointing governors, administering the country. In 1684 Spanish corsair Juan de Alcon raided Charles Town.
In 1703, a joint Franco-Spanish expedition occupied the Bahamian capital during the War of the Spanish Succession. During proprietary rule, the Bahamas became a haven for pirates, including Blackbeard. To put an end to the'Pirates' republic' and restore orderly government, Great Britain made the Bahamas a crown colony in 1718 under the royal governorship of Woodes Rogers. After a difficult struggle, he succeeded in suppressing piracy. In 1720, Rogers led local militia to drive off a Spanish attack. During the US War of Independence in the late 18th century, the islands became a target for US naval forces under the command of Commodore Esek Hopkins. US Marines occupied the capital of Nassau for 2 weeks. In 1782, following the British defeat at Yorktown, a Spanish fleet appeared off the coast of Nassau; the city surrendered without a fight. Spain returned possession of the Bahamas to Great Britain the following year, u
Brazil the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 208 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the fifth most populous. Its capital is Brasília, its most populated city is São Paulo; the federation is composed of the union of the 26 states, the Federal District, the 5,570 municipalities. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas. Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of 7,491 kilometers, it borders all other South American countries except Ecuador and Chile and covers 47.3% of the continent's land area. Its Amazon River basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to diverse wildlife, a variety of ecological systems, extensive natural resources spanning numerous protected habitats; this unique environmental heritage makes Brazil one of 17 megadiverse countries, is the subject of significant global interest and debate regarding deforestation and environmental protection.
Brazil was inhabited by numerous tribal nations prior to the landing in 1500 of explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who claimed the area for the Portuguese Empire. Brazil remained a Portuguese colony until 1808, when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro. In 1815, the colony was elevated to the rank of kingdom upon the formation of the United Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves. Independence was achieved in 1822 with the creation of the Empire of Brazil, a unitary state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system; the ratification of the first constitution in 1824 led to the formation of a bicameral legislature, now called the National Congress. The country became a presidential republic in 1889 following a military coup d'état. An authoritarian military junta came to power in 1964 and ruled until 1985, after which civilian governance resumed. Brazil's current constitution, formulated in 1988, defines it as a democratic federal republic. Due to its rich culture and history, the country ranks thirteenth in the world by number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Brazil is considered an advanced emerging economy. It has the ninth largest GDP in the world by nominal, eight and PPP measures, it is one of the world's major breadbaskets, being the largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years. It is classified as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank and a newly industrialized country, with the largest share of global wealth in Latin America. Brazil is a regional power and sometimes considered a great or a middle power in international affairs. On account of its international recognition and influence, the country is subsequently classified as an emerging power and a potential superpower by several analysts. Brazil is a founding member of the United Nations, the G20, BRICS, Union of South American Nations, Organization of American States, Organization of Ibero-American States and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, it is that the word "Brazil" comes from the Portuguese word for brazilwood, a tree that once grew plentifully along the Brazilian coast.
In Portuguese, brazilwood is called pau-brasil, with the word brasil given the etymology "red like an ember", formed from brasa and the suffix -il. As brazilwood produces a deep red dye, it was valued by the European textile industry and was the earliest commercially exploited product from Brazil. Throughout the 16th century, massive amounts of brazilwood were harvested by indigenous peoples along the Brazilian coast, who sold the timber to European traders in return for assorted European consumer goods; the official Portuguese name of the land, in original Portuguese records, was the "Land of the Holy Cross", but European sailors and merchants called it the "Land of Brazil" because of the brazilwood trade. The popular appellation eclipsed and supplanted the official Portuguese name; some early sailors called it the "Land of Parrots". In the Guarani language, an official language of Paraguay, Brazil is called "Pindorama"; this was the name the indigenous population gave to the region, meaning "land of the palm trees".
Some of the earliest human remains found in the Americas, Luzia Woman, were found in the area of Pedro Leopoldo, Minas Gerais and provide evidence of human habitation going back at least 11,000 years. The earliest pottery found in the Western Hemisphere was excavated in the Amazon basin of Brazil and radiocarbon dated to 8,000 years ago; the pottery was found near Santarém and provides evidence that the tropical forest region supported a complex prehistoric culture. The Marajoara culture flourished on Marajó in the Amazon delta from 800 CE to 1400 CE, developing sophisticated pottery, social stratification, large populations, mound building, complex social formations such as chiefdoms. Around the time of the Portuguese arrival, the territory of current day Brazil had an estimated indigenous population of 7 million people semi-nomadic who subsisted on hunting, fishing and migrant agriculture; the indigenous population of Brazil comprised several large indigenous ethnic groups. The Tupí people were subdivided into the Tupiniquins and Tupinambás, there were many subdivisions of the other gro
In botany and dendrology, a rhizome is a modified subterranean plant stem that sends out roots and shoots from its nodes. Rhizomes are called creeping rootstalks or just rootstalks. Rhizomes grow horizontally; the rhizome retains the ability to allow new shoots to grow upwards. A rhizome is the main stem of the plant. A stolon is similar to a rhizome, but a stolon sprouts from an existing stem, has long internodes, generates new shoots at the end, such as in the strawberry plant. In general, rhizomes have short internodes, send out roots from the bottom of the nodes, generate new upward-growing shoots from the top of the nodes. A stem tuber is a thickened part of a rhizome or stolon, enlarged for use as a storage organ. In general, a tuber is high in starch, e.g. the potato, a modified stolon. The term "tuber" is used imprecisely and is sometimes applied to plants with rhizomes. If a rhizome is separated each piece may be able to give rise to a new plant; the plant uses the rhizome to store starches and other nutrients.
These nutrients become useful for the plant when new shoots must be formed or when the plant dies back for the winter. This is a process known as vegetative reproduction and is used by farmers and gardeners to propagate certain plants; this allows for lateral spread of grasses like bamboo and bunch grasses. Examples of plants that are propagated this way include hops, ginger, lily of the valley and sympodial orchids; some rhizomes which are used directly in cooking include ginger, galangal and lotus. Stored rhizomes are subject to bacterial and fungal infections, making them unsuitable for replanting and diminishing stocks. However, rhizomes can be produced artificially from tissue cultures; the ability to grow rhizomes from tissue cultures leads to better stocks for replanting and greater yields. The plant hormones ethylene and jasmonic acid have been found to help induce and regulate the growth of rhizomes in rhubarb. Ethylene, applied externally was found to affect internal ethylene levels, allowing easy manipulations of ethylene concentrations.
Knowledge of how to use these hormones to induce rhizome growth could help farmers and biologists producing plants grown from rhizomes more cultivate and grow better plants. Some plants have rhizomes that grow above ground or that lie at the soil surface, including some Iris species, ferns, whose spreading stems are rhizomes. Plants with underground rhizomes include gingers, the Venus flytrap, Chinese lantern, western poison-oak and Alstroemeria, the weeds Johnson grass, Bermuda grass, purple nut sedge. Rhizomes form a single layer, but in giant horsetails, can be multi-tiered. Many rhizomes have culinary value, some, such as zhe'ergen, are consumed raw. Aspen Corm Mycorrhiza Media related to Rhizomes at Wikimedia Commons The Rhizome Collective for sustainable living
Fat is one of the three main macronutrients, along with carbohydrate and protein. Fats molecules consist of carbon and hydrogen atoms, thus they are all hydrocarbon molecules. Examples include cholesterol and triglycerides; the terms "lipid", "oil" and "fat" are confused. "Lipid" is the general term, though a lipid is not a triglyceride. "Oil" refers to a lipid with short or unsaturated fatty acid chains, liquid at room temperature, while "fat" refers to lipids that are solids at room temperature – however, "fat" may be used in food science as a synonym for lipid. Fats, like other lipids, are hydrophobic, are soluble in organic solvents and insoluble in water. Fat is an important foodstuff for many forms of life, fats serve both structural and metabolic functions, they are a necessary part of the diet of most heterotrophs and are the most energy dense, thus the most efficient form of energy storage. Some fatty acids that are set free by the digestion of fats are called essential because they cannot be synthesized in the body from simpler constituents.
There are two essential fatty acids in human nutrition: linoleic acid. Other lipids needed by the body can be synthesized from other fats. Fats and other lipids are broken down in the body by enzymes called lipases produced in the pancreas. Fats and oils are categorized according to the number and bonding of the carbon atoms in the aliphatic chain. Fats that are saturated fats have no double bonds between the carbons in the chain. Unsaturated fats have one or more double bonded carbons in the chain; the nomenclature is based on the non-acid end of the chain. This end is called the n-end, thus alpha-linolenic acid is called an omega-3 fatty acid because the 3rd carbon from that end is the first double bonded carbon in the chain counting from that end. Some oils and fats are therefore called polyunsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats can be further divided into cis fats, which are the most common in nature, trans fats, which are rare in nature. Unsaturated fats can be altered by reaction with hydrogen effected by a catalyst.
This action, called hydrogenation, tends to break all the double bonds and makes a saturated fat. To make vegetable shortening liquid cis-unsaturated fats such as vegetable oils are hydrogenated to produce saturated fats, which have more desirable physical properties e.g. they melt at a desirable temperature, store well, whereas polyunsaturated oils go rancid when they react with oxygen in the air. However, trans fats are generated during hydrogenation as contaminants created by an unwanted side reaction on the catalyst during partial hydrogenation. Saturated fats can stack themselves in a packed arrangement, so they can solidify and are solid at room temperature. For example, animal fats tallow and lard are solids. Olive and linseed oils on the other hand are liquid. Fats serve both as energy sources for the body, as stores for energy in excess of what the body needs immediately; each gram of fat when burned or metabolized releases about 9 food calories. Fats are broken down in the healthy body to release their constituents and fatty acids.
Glycerol itself can be converted to glucose by the liver and so become a source of energy. There are many different kinds of fats. All fats are derivatives of fatty acids and glycerol. Most fats are glycerides triglycerides. One chain of fatty acid is bonded to each of the three -OH groups of the glycerol by the reaction of the carboxyl end of the fatty acid with the alcohol. Water is eliminated and the carbons are linked by an -O- bond through dehydration synthesis; this process is called esterification and fats are therefore esters. As a simple visual illustration, if the kinks and angles of these chains were straightened out, the molecule would have the shape of a capital letter E; the fatty acids would each be a horizontal line. Fats therefore have "ester" bonds; the properties of any specific fat molecule depend on the particular fatty acids. Fatty acids form a family of compounds that are composed of increasing numbers of carbon atoms linked into a zig-zag chain; the more carbon atoms there are in any fatty acid, the longer its chain will be.
Long chains are more susceptible to intermolecular forces of attraction, so the longer ones melt at a higher temperature. Fatty acid chains may differ by length categorized as short to long. Short-chain fatty acids are fatty acids with aliphatic tails of fewer than six carbons. Medium-chain fatty acids are fatty acids with aliphatic tails of 6–12 carbons, which can form medium-chain triglycerides. Long-chain fatty acids are fatty acids with aliphatic tails of 13 to 21 carbons. Long chain fatty acids are fatty acids with aliphatic tails of 22 or more carbons. Any of these aliphatic fatty acid chains may be glycerated and the resultant fats may have tails of different lengths from short triformin to long, e.g. cerotic acid, or hexacosanoic acid, a 26-carbon long-chain saturated fatty acid. Long chain fats are exemplified by tallow. Most fats found in foo
India known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia; the Indian subcontinent was home to the urban Indus Valley Civilisation of the 3rd millennium BCE. In the following millennium, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism began to be composed. Social stratification, based on caste, emerged in the first millennium BCE, Buddhism and Jainism arose. Early political consolidations took place under the Gupta empires. In the medieval era, Zoroastrianism and Islam arrived, Sikhism emerged, all adding to the region's diverse culture.
Much of the north fell to the Delhi Sultanate. The economy expanded in the 17th century in the Mughal Empire. In the mid-18th century, the subcontinent came under British East India Company rule, in the mid-19th under British Crown rule. A nationalist movement emerged in the late 19th century, which under Mahatma Gandhi, was noted for nonviolent resistance and led to India's independence in 1947. In 2017, the Indian economy was the world's sixth largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power parity. Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the fastest-growing major economies and is considered a newly industrialised country. However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, corruption and inadequate public healthcare. A nuclear weapons state and regional power, it has the second largest standing army in the world and ranks fifth in military expenditure among nations. India is a federal republic governed under a parliamentary system and consists of 29 states and 7 union territories.
A pluralistic and multi-ethnic society, it is home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats. The name India is derived from Indus, which originates from the Old Persian word Hindush, equivalent to the Sanskrit word Sindhu, the historical local appellation for the Indus River; the ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi, which translates as "The people of the Indus". The geographical term Bharat, recognised by the Constitution of India as an official name for the country, is used by many Indian languages in its variations, it is a modernisation of the historical name Bharatavarsha, which traditionally referred to the Indian subcontinent and gained increasing currency from the mid-19th century as a native name for India. Hindustan is a Middle Persian name for India, it was introduced into India by the Mughals and used since then. Its meaning varied, referring to a region that encompassed northern India and Pakistan or India in its entirety; the name may refer to either the northern part of India or the entire country.
The earliest known human remains in South Asia date to about 30,000 years ago. Nearly contemporaneous human rock art sites have been found in many parts of the Indian subcontinent, including at the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh. After 6500 BCE, evidence for domestication of food crops and animals, construction of permanent structures, storage of agricultural surplus, appeared in Mehrgarh and other sites in what is now Balochistan; these developed into the Indus Valley Civilisation, the first urban culture in South Asia, which flourished during 2500–1900 BCE in what is now Pakistan and western India. Centred around cities such as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa and Kalibangan, relying on varied forms of subsistence, the civilization engaged robustly in crafts production and wide-ranging trade. During the period 2000–500 BCE, many regions of the subcontinent transitioned from the Chalcolithic cultures to the Iron Age ones; the Vedas, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism, were composed during this period, historians have analysed these to posit a Vedic culture in the Punjab region and the upper Gangetic Plain.
Most historians consider this period to have encompassed several waves of Indo-Aryan migration into the subcontinent from the north-west. The caste system, which created a hierarchy of priests and free peasants, but which excluded indigenous peoples by labeling their occupations impure, arose during this period. On the Deccan Plateau, archaeological evidence from this period suggests the existence of a chiefdom stage of political organisation. In South India, a progression to sedentary life is indicated by the large number of megalithic monuments dating from this period, as well as by nearby traces of agriculture, irrigation tanks, craft traditions. In the late Vedic period, around the 6th century BCE, the small states and chiefdoms of the Ganges Plain and the north-western regions had consolidated into 16 major oligarchies and monarchies that were known as the mahajanapadas; the emerging urbanisation gave rise to non-Vedic religious movements, two of which became independent religions. Jainism came into prominence during the life of Mahavira.
Buddhism, based on the teachings of Gautama Buddha, attracted followers from all social classes excepting the middle