National Symbols of India : Names, List, Pictures, Importance | UPSC Notes

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India’s national symbols show the country’s rich history and culture, which are unique to the Indian region and not found anywhere else in the world. India’s national symbols help define the country as a whole and show its pride and status. They stand for the things that make it special and help the country stay different and unique from the rest of the world.

National Flag

• The national flag is a straight three-color stripe with equal amounts of deep saffron (kesari) at the top, white in the middle, and dark green at the bottom.

The yellow represents courage, sacrifice, and a willingness to give up things. The white represents purity and truth, and the green represents faith and fertility.

The flag is two to three times as wide as it is long. In the middle of the white band is a navy blue wheel with 24 spokes that are all the same distance from each other. Its size is about the same as the white band’s width. It looks like the wheel on the abacus of the Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath.

The Indian Constituent Assembly chose the design of the national flag on July 22, 1947.

• The Flag Code of India, 2002, went into effect on January 26, 2002. It puts all of these laws, conventions, practises, and directions in one place so that everyone can understand them and follow them.

State Emblem:

The state Emblem is a picture of four lions standing next to each other. It is based on the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka, which is in Uttar Pradesh near Varanasi. The Wheel of the Law (Dharma Chakra) sits on top of the capital, which is made from a single piece of polished sandstone.

• The Government of India chose the State emblem on January 26, 1950. Only three lions can be seen; the fourth is hidden. The four lions, which stand for power, courage, and confidence, sit on a circular abacus. The abacus is surrounded by four smaller animals that represent the four cardinal points. The lion represents the north, the elephant represents the east, the horse represents the south, and the bull represents the west. The abacus sits on a blooming flower, which represents the source of life and creativity.

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Below the abacus, the words “Satyameva Jayate,” which come from the Mundaka Upanishad and mean “Truth alone triumphs,” are written in Devanagari script.

• The State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act, 2005, says that the state emblem of India can’t be used as the official seal of the Government of India.

National Anthem

• Rabindranath Tagore wrote the original version of Jana-gana-mana in Bengali. On Tuesday, January 24, 1950, the Constituent Assembly chose the Hindi version of the song as the national anthem of India.

• It takes about 52 seconds to play the full version of the National Anthem. On occasion, the first and last lines of the song are played instead of the whole thing. This version takes about 20 seconds to play.

National Song:

The song Vande Mataram was written by Bankimchandra Chatterji in Sanskrit. It was included in his famous book Ananda Math, which was published in 1882. It is just as important as the National Anthem. • Rabindranath Tagore set the words to music, and the first time it was sung was at the yearly meeting of the Indian National Congress in Calcutta in 1896.

• It was made the national song by a decision in 1937. Sri Aurobindo wrote the English translation of the first stanza.

National Calendar:

The first month of the National Calendar is Chaitra, which is based on the Saka Era.

In a standard year, there are 365 days. It was adopted along with the Gregorian calendar on March 22, 1957, for the following official uses: (i) the Gazette of India; (ii) news broadcast by All India Radio; (iii) calendars made by the Government of India; and (iv) communications from the Government to the public.

The dates on the National Calendar match the dates on the Greek Calendar. So, the first day of Chaitra is March 22 in a regular year and March 21 in a leap year.

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National Animal:

India’s national animal is the Tiger (Panthera tigris). It has a short coat and rich colours and stripes. The tiger is very well-liked and respected because of how graceful, strong, and powerful it is.

• There are eight known races of this species. The Royal Bengal Tiger, which is from India, can be found all over the country except in the northwestern part. It can also be found in Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh, which are nearby.

National Bird

The Indian Peacock, Pavo cristatus, is the country’s national bird. It looks like a swan and has a fan-shaped crest of feathers, a white patch under its eye, and a long, thin neck. The male is more colourful than the female, with a blue breast and neck and a bronze-green trail of about 200 long feathers. The female is brown, a bit smaller than the male, and doesn’t have a trail. The male’s elaborate courting dance, in which it spreads out its tail and fluffs its feathers, is a beautiful sight.

National Flower

Lotus or waterlily is an aquatic plant of the genus Nymphaea with wide, fluttering leaves and bright, fragrant flowers that only grow in shallow water. It is a sacred flower that has a special place in the art and mythology of ancient India and has been a good sign of Indian culture for as long as anyone can remember.

National Fruit

• The national fruit of India is the mango (Manigifera indica). Mango is one of the most common fruits grown in warm countries. In India, mango is grown almost everywhere except for the hilly parts. India has been growing mangoes since the beginning of time. Kalidasa, an artist, wrote songs about it. Alexander and the Chinese traveller Hieun Tsang both liked how it tasted. Akbar planted a garden in Darbhanga called Lakhi Bagh with 100,000 mango trees.

National Tree

The Banyan tree (Ficus benghalensis) is the national tree of India. It is a huge tree that towers over its neighbours and has the longest roots of any known tree, which can easily cover several acres. It sends out new shoots from its roots, so that one tree is really a tangle of branches, roots, and trunks.

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National Aquatic Animal

The Gangetic Dolphin (Platanista gangetica) is the national aquatic animal of India. It lives mostly in the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers. It is said to represent the purity of the holy Ganga because it can only live in clean water. The IUCN lists it as endangered on their Red List of Threatened Species.

National Currency Symbol:

The symbol is a combination of the Devanagari “Ra” and the Roman capital “R.” It has two straight horizontal stripes at the top that represent the national flag and the “equal to” sign.

The Indian Government chose the sign for the Indian Rupee on July 15, 2010.

• The symbol of the Indian Rupee is India’s international identity for money transactions and economic strength.

• Udaya Kumar, a postgraduate in Design from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, came up with the idea and designed the symbol. It was chosen from thousands of ideas submitted by resident Indians in an open competition held by the Ministry of Finance.

National Heritage animal

The government has made the Indian elephant (Elephas maximus indicus) a national heritage animal to protect its dwindling number. About 60% of all Asian elephants live in India. There are more than 25,000 elephants in the country, and 3,500 of them are kept in zoos and temples, mostly in the south and northeast. The IUCN lists the Indian elephant as endangered because its number has dropped by at least 50% in the last three generations.

National game

• India’s Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports made it clear that the country does not have an official national game. No game, not even hockey, has been named as such.