What is the Capital of India?

New Delhi hosts the President's official residence, known as Rashtrapati Bhavan.
New Delhi hosts the President's official residence, known as Rashtrapati Bhavan.

India, also known as the Republic of India is located in South Asia. India is the 7th largest country and the second most populous country in the world. The official language is Hindi and English, but there is no national language stipulated by the constitution of India. Hindi is the most commonly spoken language followed by Punjabi and then Urdu. Hinduism is the most common religion with 82% of the population adhering to the religion, 12.86% Islam, 0.87% Christianity, and only 0.11% Buddhism. Indo-Aryan is the largest ethnic group followed by Dravidian and then the Mongoloid.

The capital city or the National Capital Territory (NCT) of India is New Delhi. Delhi is divided into two parts; the Old Delhi and New Delhi. The Old Delhi was founded in 1639 while the New Delhi was established on December 15, 1911. New Delhi is located in the north-central part of India and is adjacent south of Delhi city. Initially, the capital city was in Kolkata when King George V of Britain ordered that the capital be moved to Delhi in 1911. The construction of New Delhi started in 1912, but the new capital was dedicated in 1931. Delhi had an estimated population of 18.6 million people in 2016. This makes it the fifth most populous city in the world. Delhi is the largest city in India covering an area of 1484 square kilometers and New Delhi covering 42.7 square kilometers.

Why the Capital City Was Moved from Calcutta to New Delhi?

The reasons why the capital was moved to New Delhi can be divided in three parts; historical, political and geographical reasons.

For political reasons, Delhi had been the capital of many kingdoms that were in the Indian history. There was also a powerful movement centered in Calcutta that resisted the British hence the capital was moved.

For geographical reasons, in the 18th century, Britain had already taken over Calcutta, but the rest of India was still out of their reach. So it was natural for the British to move their capital to New Delhi. Also, many of the territories in northern and central part of India were British colonies.

For historical reasons, Red Fort which is located in New Delhi is a reminder to the British when they defeated the Mughal ruler in 1857. Also, the durbar was held in Delhi so as to welcome the Prince of Wales; hence the British associated Delhi with royal heritage.

Problems Facing New Delhi as the Capital City of India

New Delhi faces several problems. One of the main problems is overpopulation which is as a result of rural-urban migration. It has put heavy pressure on the scarce resources that are available. Heavy traffic jam caused by the many vehicles in the city. There is also heavy pollution (air, noise, water, and soil) caused by road dust, noisy neighbors, factories, and vehicles. Due to high population growth, the city is facing serious urbanization problems such as electric power shortage, security, housing problems that have led to a growth of slums, public transport, and poor waste disposal.


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