I think India is not just a country, it is an idea which got around and held its ground since times immemorial. We are not an ideal country, but I think no country is. There are people in every country who are unhappy with their country, who feel misrepresented/marginalized, and who would rather live in some other country. I am trying my best to be neutral and to not embarrass India or any Indian or anyone else. So, kindly do not treat this answer, in part or in whole as anti-India or anti-anyone/anything.
IMHO anything and everything that relates to being Indian, or experiencing India from an inside or outside perspective should be on-topic. Expecting readymade, cookbook answers to off the top of your head questions should not be a priority. Therefore, most questions will need to be evaluated at their individual merit, including how well a question was written. A good reason explaining the thinking before a question can be very helpful in such cases. For example, I would call the following question invalid:
What were the emoluments of European employees working in Indian Government before our independence? How did it compare to their Indian counterparts' salary?
This is because such information can be easily accessed via the internet, or some local library. Adding it here will be of no value.
But the following question seems valid (albeit it can be made a lot better):
How did the difference in emoluments and benefits of European and Indian employees working in Indian Government before our independence affect the course of our Independence struggle?
I think it is a valid question since it can lead us to the socio-economic issues that led the people to start questioning the authority of British rule, like different roles and standards in duty and ceremonies (parades etc) for Europeans and Indians serving in the Army, and the visible and glass-ceiling-natured limits that were imposed on Indians serving under the crown, military or not.
I think the following types of questions should be allowed:
1. Information for the benefit of some Indian national for getting work done in our government offices.
We are not the luckiest of nations in having a very
opposite of smooth frictional system of public-government interaction. Almost everyone can narrate some experience of being treated as a second-rate citizen in a too-lame-to-be-false experience (like "I helped a person who was hurt in an accident, took him to hospital and all, and the police made me the main suspect in the subsequent hit-and-run case because ..."). Most of the people, educated or not, do not know about their rights and are mostly not interested in getting their rights enforced even if they know what these are. But, questions related to a specific problem only should be entertained here. Mostly, these will be questions involving dilemma on the part of the asker, or a deadlock-like situation between two or more departments/offices etc. For example, the following question is invalid (because information is available via Google):
What is the procedure to receive an Indian passport?
But the following question is valid IMHO since the person has a valid, specific problem and needs to know what to do:
I applied for an Indian passport, but the people at the Passport Office want me to bring a birth certificate signed by the Chief Medical Officer of the district that I was born in. I do not remember my date of birth (to people in first world: this happens) and my birth was not registered in my home district. Passport office people say they cannot process my application further, and CMO office people tell me that it is not possible for them to provide me said document in the absence of any information about my birth. What should I do?
2. Questions about our culture
Questions about our culture, from insiders or outsiders should be welcome, but again, a google test should be applied to those. In addition, questions that are too specific to some subject other than India should not be allowed. Invalid question:
What was the diet of the people in the Harappan times?
This is more suited to history or dietary forums. This is supposed to be a forum about India.
Valid (but still not polished enough) question:
What have been the effects of our history of foreign rule over the last few centuries on the diet of Indians?
This question can lead to the acceptance of Muslim rulers, and later the British. It can include the fact that the general population went through a lot of suffering and hardship during the British rule, with frequent famines etc. (so dietary habits just went off the radar for some time, and continued if you survived), and also the recent invasion of fast/junk food in our diet.
I think culture includes literature and art, including movies. A question that includes Chetan Bhagat's book Five Point Someone, the movie 3 Idiots and our education system in general and its insistence on producing rote learners and not self-dependent, self-aware citizens can rarely be wrong. On the other hand, a question about Chetan Bhagat's other book, say the Night in a Call Center book may not be such a great question.
Culture also should include other things like sports and general public practices, like dowry and child marriage.
3. Government Policies (and National Politics)
Interpretations of different government policies. Invalid (too board, non-specific) question:
What are the implications of changes in major monetary operations in our economy?
What are the implications of increase/decrease in the Repo/reverse-Repo rates by RBI in our economy, especially for the costs of items of daily use, like food, clothes, paper etc?
IMHO, normally questions regarding our national policies should be focused around recent events, unless the content is related to some unique/exceptional or historically important policy decisions.
I think foreign policy and politics at national level should be accepted to a limit, since these topics can divide opinions faster and more effectively than most other topics, and in a manner that is bad for forum discussions (flame wars!).
4. Things related to concepts originated in India
Including, but not limited to:
This part might overlap with culture. Life in India can be discussed under two heads: concepts of life in India and our performance vis a vis the world in terms of Human Development Index etc.
The concepts of life in India can include questions involving caste, religion, demographics, regionalism, support for the differently abled, economic divide, generation gap in our context etc. Again, there is a risk of foul tempers in Q/A, so questions in this category might need to be heavily moderated.