Germany is officially the Federal Republic of Germany. It is also known as Deutschland. The country in the central-western Europe is a federal parliamentary republic that includes sixteen states, and has eighty-two million inhabitants, making it the most populous member-country of the European Union. Also significant is the fact that Germany is the most popular choice for immigrants, after the United States of America. The capital of Germany is Berlin, and it is also the largest metropolitan city of the country. Other cities that are famously known across the world are Munich, Cologne, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Dresden and Hannover.
Germany covers an area of 3,57,021 square kilometers and has a seasonal climate that is mostly temperate. Germany has in its north Denmark, Switzerland in the south, Poland and Czech Republic in the east and France, Belgium and Luxembourg in the west. Austria lies in its southeast and Netherlands in the north-west. The North Sea and the Baltic Sea also form the borders of Germany. The country also shares a freshwater border with Switzerland and Austria. This freshwater lake is Lake Constance, and it is the largest lake in Central Europe. In its area of 3,57,021 square kilometers, land constitutes 3,49,223 square kilometers, and water 7,798 square kilometers. Germany is the sixty-second largest country in the world, and the seventh largest in Europe.
Due it its position in Europe, Germany has evolved as the transport hub of the region. Its motorway network, popular as Autobahn, is the third-largest in length. The road network in the country is one of the densest in the continent. A network of high-speed trains crisscrosses the country. It connects even neighbouring countries with Germany. The Inter-city Express runs at a speed of three hundred kilometers per hour. Frankfurt and Munich Airports are the largest ones in Germany. Air Berlin and Lufthansa are the major German airlines, having their hubs at Berlin Tegel, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich.
When it was established in 1871, Germany had a thriving Jewish minority, along with Protestant and Roman Catholic Christians; with the former constituting two-third of the total Christian population. The Holocaust erased the Jewish community almost completely. After 1945, East Germany increasingly became less religious, while West Germany had more religious diversity. Both, the diversification and the loss of interest in religions continued after Germany became unified in 1990, and since then there has been a spurt in the population practicing Evangelical Protestantism and Islam. Today, Islam is the second-largest religion of the country.
Politics and Economy:
The German political system works in accordance with the framework laid down in a constitutional document known as the Grundgesetz. This document came into existence in 1949, and the word Grundgesetz means “basic law.” The articles of the German constitution guarantee human dignity, and focus on separation of powers, maintaining the federal structure, rule of law, etc. The President has representative powers and responsibilities, and is elected by the Bundesversammlung, which is an institution that consists of members of Bundestag and state delegates. The members of the Bundestag are elected directly by the citizens, through proportional representation. In the hierarchy, after the President comes the President of the Bundestag, and then comes the Chancellor, who runs the government. The Chancellor is appointed by the President of the Bundestag, after he or she is elected by the Bundestag. The Chancellor has the executive powers, and functions like the Prime Ministers of various countries. The two main political parties of Germany are the Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democratic Party.
The country has a social market economy. Along with a large capital stovk, it also has a highly skilled workforce. It is the world’s third-largest exporter of goods, and has the largest national economy in Europe. The automotive industry in Germany is world-famous, and is the fourth largest in production. The country has the lowest youth unemployment, and the highest labour productivity in the world.
Most German universities are public institutions, offering Masters and other post graduate degrees in various fields of studies. It is mandatory for students to attend high school for three to five years. The graduate programmes offered by the universities are highly rewarding, academically. For Indian students, study abroad Germany is an especially lucrative option, as most of the courses are now conducted in English. The country’s pleasant weather, especially in the summer is an extra bonus for living in Germany. One may even want to work in that country after completing the academic courses. To get answers to the why and how of studying in Germany, including tips and knowledge about requirements, students may feel free to contact the Indian embassy.
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