Why is India considered as a sub-continent? Elaborate your answer. UPSC GS Paper 1 2021, 10 Marks

Q8. भारत को एक उपमहाद्वीप क्यों माना जाता है ? विस्तारपूर्वक उत्तर दीजिए । (150 शब्दों में उत्तर दीजिए)

Q8. Why is India considered as a sub-continent? Elaborate your answer. (150 words) 10 Marks

Answer:

The Indian plate is a separate tectonic plate that covers the majority of the subcontinental Indian land area. This Indian plate is found in the northern part of the Indo-Australian plate. This is considered to be due to the current isolation from other regions and separation from other parts of Asia due to mountain barriers. The Indian tectonic plate was fused with the Eurasian plate before being divided into a small continent.

India’s subcontinent is a huge, relatively self-contained landmass that forms a subdivision of the continent. This is a vast landmass, similar to Greenland, but smaller than most of the known continents. A globe is a huge landmass, but a subcontinent is a smaller chunk of a continent. For example, Asia is a continent, whereas India is a subcontinent inside Asia.

India a Subcontinent

  • Because India is a separate landmass and not just a country, it is sometimes referred to as a subcontinent. It is not as huge as a continent, but it possesses some of the characteristics of one, thus it is not classified as such.
  • Geologically, earlier India was a continent, that rifted from the supercontinent Gondwana during the Cretaceous and merged with the Eurasian landmass 55 million years ago.
  • Geographically, it is the peninsular region in South-Central Asia.
  • It covers 2.4% of the earth’s total land area. It has a long land frontier of about 15,200 km and coastline of about 7516.6 km.
  • It’s natural frontiers like the Himalaya’s in the North and the Deccan Peninsula in the South give it a unique political identity.
  • From a political perspective, the Indian subcontinent consists of at least 7 countries : India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives.
  • The people of the Indian subcontinent have shared ethnic, linguistic, cultural and historical connections.

In this sense, India, together with other countries such as Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, and a number of other small countries and islands, is the world’s largest landmass. As a result, it is known as the Indian subcontinent.

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