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Map of India
IntroductionTop
Background:The Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world, dates back at least 5,000 years. Aryan tribes from the northwest invaded about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier Dravidian inhabitants created the classical Indian culture. Arab incursions starting in the 8th century and Turkish in the 12th were followed by those of European traders, beginning in the late 15th century. By the 19th century, Britain had assumed political control of virtually all Indian lands. Indian armed forces in the British army played a vital role in both World Wars. Nonviolent resistance to British colonialism led by Mohandas GANDHI and Jawaharlal NEHRU brought independence in 1947. The subcontinent was divided into the secular state of India and the smaller Muslim state of Pakistan. A third war between the two countries in 1971 resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. Despite impressive gains in economic investment and output, India faces pressing problems such as the ongoing dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir, massive overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and ethnic and religious strife.
GeographyTop
Location:Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan
Geographic coordinates:20 00 N, 77 00 E
Map references:Asia
Area:total: 3,287,590 sq km
land: 2,973,190 sq km
water: 314,400 sq km

Area - comparative:slightly more than one-third the size of the US
Land boundaries:total: 14,103 km
border countries: Bangladesh 4,053 km, Bhutan 605 km, Burma 1,463 km, China 3,380 km, Nepal 1,690 km, Pakistan 2,912 km

Coastline:7,000 km
Maritime claims:territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Climate:varies from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north
Terrain:upland plain (Deccan Plateau) in south, flat to rolling plain along the Ganges, deserts in west, Himalayas in north
Elevation extremes:lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Kanchenjunga 8,598 m

Natural resources:coal (fourth-largest reserves in the world), iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, diamonds, petroleum, limestone, arable land
Land use:arable land: 54.4%
permanent crops: 2.74%
other: 42.86% (2001)

Irrigated land:590,000 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:droughts; flash floods, as well as widespread and destructive flooding from monsoonal rains; severe thunderstorms; earthquakes
Environment - current issues:deforestation; soil erosion; overgrazing; desertification; air pollution from industrial effluents and vehicle emissions; water pollution from raw sewage and runoff of agricultural pesticides; tap water is not potable throughout the country; huge and growing population is overstraining natural resources
Environment - international agreements:party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:dominates South Asian subcontinent; near important Indian Ocean trade routes
PeopleTop
Population:1,080,264,388 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:0-14 years: 31.2% (male 173,634,432/female 163,932,475)
15-64 years: 63.9% (male 356,932,082/female 333,283,590)
65 years and over: 4.9% (male 26,542,025/female 25,939,784) (2005 est.)

Median age:total: 24.66 years
male: 24.64 years
female: 24.67 years (2005 est.)

Population growth rate:1.4% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:22.32 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:8.28 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:-0.07 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio:at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.02 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2005 est.)

Infant mortality rate:total: 56.29 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 56.86 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 55.69 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:total population: 64.35 years
male: 63.57 years
female: 65.16 years (2005 est.)

Total fertility rate:2.78 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:0.9% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:5.1 million (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:310,000 (2001 est.)
Nationality:noun: Indian(s)
adjective: Indian

Ethnic groups:Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3% (2000)
Religions:Hindu 80.5%, Muslim 13.4%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.1% (2001 census)
Languages:English enjoys associate status but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindi is the national language and primary tongue of 30% of the people; there are 14 other official languages: Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, and Sanskrit; Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language
Literacy:definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 59.5%
male: 70.2%
female: 48.3% (2003 est.)

GovernmentTop
Country name:conventional long form: Republic of India
conventional short form: India

Government type:federal republic
Capital:New Delhi
Administrative divisions:28 states and 7 union territories*; Andaman and Nicobar Islands*, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh*, Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli*, Daman and Diu*, Delhi*, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep*, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Pondicherry*, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal
Independence:15 August 1947 (from UK)
National holiday:Republic Day, 26 January (1950)
Constitution:26 January 1950; amended many times
Legal system:based on English common law; limited judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations; separate personal law codes apply to Muslims, Christians, and Hindus
Suffrage:18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:chief of state: President A.P.J. Abdul KALAM (since 26 July 2002); Vice President Bhairon Singh SHEKHAWAT (since 19 August 2002)
head of government: Prime Minister Manmohan SINGH (since NA May 2004)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: president elected by an electoral college consisting of elected members of both houses of Parliament and the legislatures of the states for a five-year term; election last held July 2002 (next to be held 18 July 2007); vice president elected by both houses of Parliament for a five-year term; election last held 12 August 2002 (next to be held August 2007); prime minister chosen by parliamentary members of the majority party following legislative elections; election last held April - May 2004 (next to be held May 2009)
election results: Abdul KALAM elected president; percent of electoral college vote - 89.6%; Bhairon Singh SHEKHAWAT elected vice president; percent of Parliament vote - 59.8%

Legislative branch:bicameral Parliament or Sansad consists of the Council of States or Rajya Sabha (a body consisting of not more than 250 members, up to 12 of whom are appointed by the president, the remainder are chosen by the elected members of the state and territorial assemblies; members serve six-year terms) and the People's Assembly or Lok Sabha (545 seats; 543 elected by popular vote, 2 appointed by the president; members serve five-year terms)
elections: People's Assembly - last held 20 April through 10 May 2004 (next to be held 2009)
election results: People's Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - INC 145, BJP 138, CPI(M) 43, SP 36, RJD 24, BSP 19, DMK 16, SS 12, BJD 11, CPI 10, NCP 9, JDU 8, SAD 8, PMK 6, TDP 5, TRS 5, JMM 5, LJSP 4, MDMK 4, independents 5, other 30

Judicial branch:Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president and remain in office until they reach the age of 65)
Political parties and leaders:All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or AIADMK [C. Jayalalitha JAYARAM]; All India Forward Bloc or AIFB, [Debabrata BISWAS]; Asom Gana Parishad [Brindaban GOSWAMI]; Bahujan Samaj Party or BSP [MAYAWATI]; Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP [Lal Krishna ADVANI]; Biju Janata Dal or BJD [Naveen PATNAIK]; Communist Party of India or CPI [Ardhendu Bhushan BARDHAN]; Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI (M) Hakishan Singh SURJEET]; Congress (I) Party [Sonia GANDHI]; Dravida Munnetra Kazagham or DMK (a regional party in Tamil Nadu) [M. KARUNANIDHI]; Indian National Congress or INC [Sonia GANDHI]; Indian National League [Suliaman SAITH]; Janata Dal (Secular) [H. D. Deve GOWDA]; Janata Dal (United) or JDU [Sharad YADAV]; Jharkhand Mukti Morcha or JMM [leader NA]; Kerala Congress (Mani faction) [K. M. MANI]; Lok Jan Shakti Party or LJSP [leader NA]; Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or MDMK [VAIKO]; Muslim League [G. M. BANATWALA]; Nationalist Congress Party or NCP [Sharad PAWAR]; Pattali Makkal Katchi or PMK [leader NA]; Rashtriya Janata Dal or RJD [Laloo Prasad YADAV]; Revolutionary Socialist Party or RSP [Abani ROY]; Samajwadi Party or SP [Mulayam Singh YADAV]; Shiromani Akali Dal or SAD [G. S. TOHRA]; Shiv Sena or SS [Bal THACKERAY]; Tamil Maanila Congress [G. K. VASAN]; Telangana Rashtra Samithi or TRS [leader NA]; Telugu Desam Party or TDP [Chandrababu NAIDU]; Trinamool Congress [Mamata BANERJEE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:numerous religious or militant/chauvinistic organizations, including Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal, and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh; various separatist groups seeking greater communal and/or regional autonomy, including the All Parties Hurriyat Conference in the Kashmir Valley and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland in the Northeast
International organization participation:AfDB, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, C, CERN (observer), CP, FAO, G- 6, G-15, G-19, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, MIGA, MONUC, NAM, OAS (observer), ONUB, OPCW, PCA, SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMEE, UNMIK, UNMOVIC, UNOCI, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Flag description:three equal horizontal bands of saffron (subdued orange) (top), white, and green with a blue chakra (24-spoked wheel) centered in the white band; similar to the flag of Niger, which has a small orange disk centered in the white band
EconomyTop
Economy - overview:India's diverse economy encompasses traditional village farming, modern agriculture, handicrafts, a wide range of modern industries, and a multitude of services. Services are the major source of economic growth, though two-thirds of the workforce is in agriculture. The UPA government has committed to furthering economic reforms and developing basic infrastructure to improve the lives of the rural poor and boost economic performance. Government controls on foreign trade and investment have been reduced in some areas, but high tariffs (averaging 20% in 2004) and limits on foreign direct investment are still in place. The government has indicated it will do more to liberalize investment in civil aviation, telecom, and insurance sectors in the near term. Privatization of government-owned industries has proceeded slowly, and continues to generate political debate; continued social, political, and economic rigidities hold back needed initiatives. The economy has posted an excellent average growth rate of 6.8% since 1994, reducing poverty by about 10 percentage points. India is capitalizing on its large numbers of well-educated people skilled in the English language to become a major exporter of software services and software workers. Despite strong growth, the World Bank and others worry about the combined state and federal budget deficit, running at approximately 9% of GDP. The huge and growing population is the fundamental social, economic, and environmental problem. In late December 2004, a major tsunami took at least 60,000 lives in India, caused massive destruction of property, and severely affected the fishing fleet.
GDP:purchasing power parity - $3.319 trillion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:6.2% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:purchasing power parity - $3,100 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:agriculture: 23.6%
industry: 28.4%
services: 48% (2002 est.)

Labor force:482.2 million (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:agriculture 60%, industry 17%, services 23% (1999)
Unemployment rate:9.2% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line:25% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: 3.5%
highest 10%: 33.5% (1997)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:37.8 (1997)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):4.2% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):23.8% of GDP (2004 est.)
Budget:revenues: $67.3 billion
expenditures: $104 billion, including capital expenditures of $13.5 billion (2004 est.)

Public debt:59.7% of GDP (federal debt only; state debt not included) (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, potatoes; cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, poultry; fish
Industries:textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, software
Industrial production growth rate:7.4% (2004 est.)
Electricity - production:547.2 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - production by source:fossil fuel: 81.7%
hydro: 14.5%
nuclear: 3.4%
other: 0.3% (2001)

Electricity - consumption:510.1 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:350 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:1.54 billion kWh (2002)
Oil - production:780,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:2.13 million bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:NA
Oil - imports:NA
Oil - proved reserves:5.7 billion bbl (2004 est.)
Natural gas - production:22.75 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:22.75 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:542.4 billion cu m (2004)
Current account balance:$4.897 billion (2004 est.)
Exports:$69.18 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:textile goods, gems and jewelry, engineering goods, chemicals, leather manufactures
Exports - partners:US 18.4%, China 7.8%, UAE 6.7%, UK 4.8%, Hong Kong 4.3%, Germany 4% (2004)
Imports:$89.33 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:crude oil, machinery, gems, fertilizer, chemicals
Imports - partners:US 7%, Belgium 6.1%, China 5.9%, Singapore 4.8%, Australia 4.6%, UK 4.6%, Germany 4.5% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$126 billion (2004 est.)
Debt - external:$117.2 billion (2004 est.)
Currency (code):Indian rupee (INR)
Currency code:INR
Exchange rates:Indian rupees per US dollar - 45.317 (2004), 46.583 (2003), 48.61 (2002), 47.186 (2001), 44.942 (2000)
Fiscal year:1 April - 31 March
CommunicationsTop
Telephones - main lines in use:48.917 million (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:26,154,400 (2003)
Telephone system:general assessment: recent deregulation and liberalization of telecommunications laws and policies have prompted rapid change; local and long distance service provided throughout all regions of the country, with services primarily concentrated in the urban areas; steady improvement is taking place with the recent admission of private and private-public investors, but telephone density remains low at about seven for each 100 persons nationwide but only one per 100 persons in rural areas and a national waiting list of over 1.7 million; fastest growth is in cellular service with modest growth in fixed lines
domestic: expansion of domestic service, although still weak in rural areas, resulted from increased competition and dramatic reductions in price led in large part by wireless service; mobile cellular service (both CDMA and GSM) introduced in 1994 and organized nationwide into four metropolitan cities and 19 telecom circles each with about three private service providers and one state-owned service provider; in recent years significant trunk capacity added in the form of fiber-optic cable and one of the world's largest domestic satellite systems, the Indian National Satellite system (INSAT), with five satellites supporting 33,000 very small aperture terminals (VSAT)
international: country code - 91; satellite earth stations - 8 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Inmarsat (Indian Ocean region); nine gateway exchanges operating from Mumbai (Bombay), New Delhi, Kolkata (Calcutta), Chennai (Madras), Jalandhar, Kanpur, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, and Ernakulam; 5 submarine cables, including Sea-Me-We-3 with landing sites at Cochin and Mumbai (Bombay), Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) with landing site at Mumbai (Bombay), South Africa - Far East (SAFE) with landing site at Cochin, i2icn linking to Singapore with landing sites at Mumbai (Bombay) and Chennai (Madras), and Tata Indicom linking Singapore and Chennai (Madras), provide a significant increase in the bandwidth available for both voice and data traffic (2004)

Radio broadcast stations:AM 153, FM 91, shortwave 68 (1998)
Radios:116 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:562 (of which 82 stations have 1 kW or greater power and 480 stations have less than 1 kW of power) (1997)
Televisions:63 million (1997)
Internet country code:.in
Internet hosts:86,871 (2003)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):43 (2000)
Internet users:18.481 million (2003)
TransportationTop
Railways:total: 63,230 km (16,693 km electrified)
broad gauge: 45,718 km 1.676-m gauge
narrow gauge: 14,406 km 1.000-m gauge; 3,106 km 0.762-m gauge and 0.610-m gauge (2004)

Highways:total: 2,525,989 km
paved: 1,448,655 km
unpaved: 1,077,334 km (1999)

Waterways:14,500 km
note: 5,200 km on major rivers and 485 km on canals suitable for mechanized vessels (2004)

Pipelines:gas 6,171 km; liquid petroleum gas 1,195 km; oil 5,613 km; refined products 5,567 km (2004)
Ports and harbors:Chennai, Haldia, Jawaharal Nehru, Kandla, Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay), New Mangalore, Vishakhapatnam
Merchant marine:total: 299 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 6,555,507 GRT/11,069,791 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 85, cargo 75, chemical tanker 13, combination ore/oil 1, container 7, liquefied gas 14, passenger 3, passenger/cargo 9, petroleum tanker 91, roll on/roll off 1
foreign-owned: 10 (Australia 1, China 1, Greece 1, UAE 6, United Kingdom 1)
registered in other countries: 30 (2005)

Airports:333 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:total: 234
over 3,047 m: 14
2,438 to 3,047 m: 47
1,524 to 2,437 m: 78
914 to 1,523 m: 74
under 914 m: 21 (2004 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:total: 99
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 42
under 914 m: 45 (2004 est.)

Heliports:20 (2004 est.)
MilitaryTop
Military branches:Army, Navy (includes naval air arm), Air Force, Coast Guard, various security or paramilitary forces (includes Border Security Force, Assam Rifles, National Security Guards, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Special Frontier Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Railway Protection Force, and Defense Security Corps)
Military manpower - military age and obligation:16 years of age for voluntary military service (2001)
Military manpower - availability:males age 16-49: 287,551,111 (2005 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:males age 16-49: 219,471,999 (2005 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:males: 11,446,452 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:$16.97 billion (2004)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:2.5% (2004)
Transnational IssuesTop
Disputes - international:China and India launched a security and foreign policy dialogue in 2005, consolidating discussions related to the dispute over most of their rugged, militarized boundary, regional nuclear proliferation, Indian claims that China transferred missiles to Pakistan, and other matters; recent talks and confidence-building measures have begun to defuse tensions over Kashmir, site of the world's largest and most militarized territorial dispute with portions under the de facto administration of China (Aksai Chin), India (Jammu and Kashmir), and Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas); in 2004, India and Pakistan instituted a cease fire in the Kashmir and in 2005, restored bus service across the highly militarized Line of Control; Pakistan has taken its dispute on the impact and benefits of India's building the Baglihar dam on the Chenab River in Jammu and Kashmir to the World Bank for arbitration; UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) has maintained a small group of peacekeepers since 1949; India does not recognize Pakistan's ceding historic Kashmir lands to China in 1964; disputes persist with Pakistan over Indus River water sharing; to defuse tensions and prepare for discussions on a maritime boundary, in 2004, India and Pakistan resurveyed a portion of the disputed boundary in Sir Creek estuary at the mouth of the Rann of Kutch; Pakistani maps continue to show Junagadh claim in Indian Gujarat State; discussions with Bangladesh remain stalled to delimit a small section of river boundary, to exchange 162 miniscule enclaves in both countries, to allocate divided villages, and to stop illegal cross-border trade, migration, violence, and transit of terrorists through the porous border; Bangladesh protests India's attempts to fence off high-traffic sections; dispute with Bangladesh over New Moore/South Talpatty/Purbasha Island in the Bay of Bengal deters maritime boundary delimitation; India seeks cooperation from Bhutan and Burma to keep Indian Nagaland and Assam separatists from hiding in remote areas along the borders; Joint Border Committee with Nepal continues to demarcate minor disputed boundary sections; India has instituted a stricter border regime to keep out Maoist insurgents and control illegal cross-border activities from Nepal
Refugees and internally displaced persons::refugees (country of origin): 92,394 (Tibet/China) 60,922 (Sri Lanka)
IDPs: 650,000 (Jammu and Kashmir conflicts; most IDPs are Kashmiri Hindus); 113,000 (resulting from 26 December 2004 tsunami) (2004)

Illicit drugs:world's largest producer of licit opium for the pharmaceutical trade, but an undetermined quantity of opium is diverted to illicit international drug markets; transit point for illicit narcotics produced in neighboring countries; illicit producer of methaqualone; vulnerable to narcotics money laundering through the hawala system



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