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India Historical and Political Profile

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India Index

  • India-Islam
  • India-Livestock and Poultry
  • India-Rajiv Gandhi The Rise of Indira Gandhi
  • India-Energy
  • India-The Northeast Ladakh
  • India-Bangladesh
  • India-Cities as Centers
  • India-Future Trends
  • India-Railroads Transportation
  • India-Peacekeeping Operations
  • India-Agricultural Credit
  • India-Agricultural Taxation
  • India-Kashmir
  • India-Price Policy and Terms of Trade
  • India-Production
  • India-Independent India
  • India-Political Impasse and Independence
  • India-Oilseeds
  • India-Principal Regions Geography
  • India-United States
  • India-The British Raj, 1858-1947
  • India-Space and Nuclear Programs Reserve Forces
  • India-Labor Relations Size and Composition of the Work Force
  • India-The Judiciary
  • India-Adulthood
  • India-Islamic Traditions in South Asia Origins and Tenets
  • India-Evolution of Policy Economic Development
  • India-The Legislature The Structure of Government
  • India-Public Worship Life-Cycle Rituals
  • India-The Classical Age
  • India-The Deccan and the South
  • India-Development Programs
  • India-South Asia
  • India-Diversity, Use, and Policy
  • India-Ports, Maritime Transportation, and Inland Waterways Motor Vehicles
  • India-Commonwealth of Nations United Nations
  • India-Chapter 4 - Language, Ethnicity, and Regionalism
  • India-Settlement and Structure The Village Community
  • India-Table A - Selected Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Full Party Names
  • India-The Navy The Army
  • India-The Coming of Islam The Delhi Sultanate
  • India-Hindi
  • India-Hindi and English Languages of India
  • India-The Indian Military under the British Raj
  • India-Preface
  • India-Colleges and Universities Primary and Secondary Education
  • India-Land Tenure
  • India-Peninsular India
  • India-Chapter 9 - Foreign Relations
  • India-Resource Allocation Infrastructure and Government Role
  • India-The Experience of Wars The National Forces
  • India-Military Justice Intelligence Services
  • India-Prospects in Science and Technology
  • India-Space
  • India-Foreign-Exchange System Trade
  • India-Chapter 6 - Character and Structure of the Economy
  • India-Chapter 8 - Government and Politics
  • India-The Constitutional Framework
  • India-The Southern Rivals Gupta and Harsha
  • India-Indo-Gangetic Plain Himalayas
  • India-Geography
  • India-Society
  • India-Budget Finance
  • India-Defense Spending
  • India-Organization and Equipment of the Armed Forces
  • India-Uniforms, Ranks, and Insignia Conditions of Service
  • India-The Executive Legislative Process
  • India-Military Role Expansion Public Order and Internal Security
  • India-Judaism Zoroastrianism
  • India-India
  • India-Opposition Parties
  • India-State and Other Police Services National-Level Agencies
  • India-Nonalignment
  • India-Overview of Foreign Relations
  • India-Postindependence Developments
  • India-World War II
  • India-Civil-Military Relations National Security Structure
  • India-Biotechnology
  • India-War, Reforms, and Agitation Origins of the Congress and the Muslim League
  • India-Early Policy Developments The Role of Government
  • India-Composition and Location
  • India-Climate
  • India-Manufacturing
  • India-Table B - Chronology of Important Events
  • India-Plant Protection and Pesticides
  • India-Local Deities The Goddess
  • India-Population and Family Planning Policy Population Projections
  • India-Agricultural Extension
  • India-Temples
  • India-Chapter 5 - Social Systems
  • India-Themes in Indian Society
  • India-Festivals
  • India-Chapter 1 - Historical Setting
  • India-Antecedents
  • India-Jharkhand Movement
  • India-Urban Inequities The Growth of Cities
  • India-Introduction
  • India-Economy
  • India-The Civil Service
  • India-The Political Process
  • India-Southern Dynasties
  • India-The Mughal Era
  • India-Rivers Coasts and Borders
  • India-Oil and Natural Gas
  • India-Local Government
  • India-Role of the Prime Minister Foreign Policy Formulation
  • India-Vedic Aryans Harappan Culture
  • India-Post-Rebellion Developments
  • India-The Independence Movement
  • India-Large Kinship Groups
  • India-Recruitment and Training The Air Force
  • India-Directive Principles of State Policy Fundamental Rights
  • India-The Worship of Personal Gods
  • India-The Press The Media
  • India-Chapter 10 - National Security
  • India-Health Conditions Health
  • India-Nehru's Legacy National Integration
  • India-External Aid External Trade
  • India-Paramilitary and Reserve Forces
  • India-Martial Races Theory
  • India-Seeds
  • India-Tribes Ethnic Minorities
  • India-Chapter 7 - Agriculture
  • India-Land Use
  • India-Political Issues
  • India-Variations in Family Structure Family Ideals
  • India-The Green Revolution
  • India-Political Parties Elections
  • India-Village Unity and Divisiveness
  • India-The Sikhs The Marathas
  • India-The Mauryan Empire Kingdoms and Empires
  • India-Modern Transformations
  • India-Nepal
  • India-Brahma and the Hindu Trinity Shiva
  • India-Varna, Caste, and Other Divisions Caste and Class
  • India-Fishing
  • India-Forestry
  • India-Primary Services
  • India-Chapter 2 - Geographic and Demographic Setting
  • India-Other Minority Religions
  • India-Twentieth-Century Developments
  • India-Government and Politics
  • India-Transportation and Telecommunications
  • India-Outlook
  • India-The Congress
  • India-Regional Parties
  • India-Aid Foreign Economic Relations
  • India-The British Empire in India
  • India-The Coming of the Europeans
  • India-Jews and Parsis
  • India-Administration and Funding Education
  • India-Corruption and the Anti-Establishment Vote Hindu-Muslim Tensions
  • India-Crop Output
  • India-Company Rule, 1757-1857
  • India-Mining and Quarrying Nuclear Power
  • India-Jainism The Monastic Path
  • India-Television Radio
  • India-Steel and Aluminum
  • India-Britain, Australia, Canada, Western Europe, and Japan
  • India-Participation in International Organizations
  • India-Education and Society
  • India
  • India-Assam and the Northeast
  • India-Civil Aviation
  • India-Early History and Tenets Sikhism
  • India-Lok Sabha
  • India
  • India-Foreword
  • India-Security Perceptions Historical Legacy
  • India-Development Planning Antipoverty Programs
  • India-Changes in the Caste System Intercaste Relations
  • India-Gorkhaland Uttarakhand
  • India-Telangana Movement Regionalism
  • India-Origin and Development
  • India-Science and Technology
  • India-Tourism
  • India
  • India
  • India-South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Nonaligned Movement
  • India-High Courts
  • India-Liberalization in the Early 1990s Growth since 1980
  • India-Marketing and Marketing Services Marketing, Trade, and Aid
  • India
  • India-The Rise of Civil Society
  • India
  • India-Major Research Organizations
  • India
  • India-Independence to 1979 Structure of the Economy
  • India-Russia Central Asia
  • India-Life Passages
  • India-Family and Kinship
  • India-Social Interdependence
  • India-Chapter 3 - Religious Life
  • India-The Roots of Indian Religion
  • India-Emergency Provisions and Authoritarian Powers Group Rights
  • India-Health Care Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
  • India-Karma and Liberation The Vedas and Polytheism
  • India-Criminal Law and Procedure The Criminal Justice System
  • India
  • India-The Social Context of Language Linguistic States
  • India-National Security Challenges
  • India-The Penal System
  • India -Country Profile
  • India
  • India-Descendants of Foreign Groups Practices
  • India
  • India-Other Government Organizations Ministry of External Affairs
  • India-Vishnu
  • India-Pakistan
  • India-Construction Electronics and Motor Vehicles
  • India
  • India-Impact of Economic Reforms on Agriculture
  • India
  • India-Monetary Process Fiscal Administration
  • India-Mahatma Gandhi
  • India-State Governments and Territories Election Commission
  • India-Earthquakes
  • India-Population
  • India-Government Policies Industry
  • India-External Debt
  • India-Labor
  • India-The Peninsula
  • India-Life Expectancy and Mortality
  • India-Christianity Tribal Religions
  • India-The Mughals
  • India-Domestic Worship The Ceremonies of Hinduism
  • India-National Security
  • India-The Fringes of Society Classes
  • India-Marriage
  • India-Acknowledgments
  • India-The Road System Rapid Transit
  • India
  • India-Maldives
  • India-Education Institutions
  • India-Middle East Southeast Asia
  • India-Company Armies Colonial-Era Developments
  • India-Anglo-Indians
  • India-Determinants of Foreign Relations
  • India-The Role of Political and Interest Groups
  • India-Law Enforcement
  • India-Linguistic Relations
  • India-Telecommunications
  • India-Urban Life
  • BackgroundThe Indus Valley civilization, one of the world's oldest, flourished during the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C. and extended into northwestern India. Aryan tribes from the northwest infiltrated onto the Indian subcontinent about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier Dravidian inhabitants created the classical Indian culture. The Maurya Empire of the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. - which reached its zenith under ASHOKA - united much of South Asia. The Golden Age ushered in by the Gupta dynasty (4th to 6th centuries A.D.) saw a flowering of Indian science, art, and culture. Arab incursions starting in the 8th century and Turkic 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. India's nuclear weapons testing in 1998 caused Pakistan to conduct its own tests that same year. Despite pressing problems such as significant overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and widespread corruption, rapid economic development is fueling the country's rise on the world stage.
    LocationSouthern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan
    Area(sq km)total: 3,287,263 sq km
    land: 2,973,193 sq km
    water: 314,070 sq km
    Geographic coordinates20 00 N, 77 00 E
    Land boundaries(km)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(km)7,000 km

    Climatevaries from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north

    Elevation extremes(m)lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Kanchenjunga 8,598 m
    Natural resourcescoal (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: 48.83%
    permanent crops: 2.8%
    other: 48.37% (2005)

    Irrigated land(sq km)558,080 sq km (2003)
    Total renewable water resources(cu km)1,907.8 cu km (1999)
    Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)total: 645.84 cu km/yr (8%/5%/86%)
    per capita: 585 cu m/yr (2000)
    Natural hazardsdroughts; flash floods, as well as widespread and destructive flooding from monsoonal rains; severe thunderstorms; earthquakes
    Environment - current issuesdeforestation; 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 agreementsparty 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 - notedominates South Asian subcontinent; near important Indian Ocean trade routes; Kanchenjunga, third tallest mountain in the world, lies on the border with Nepal
    Population1,166,079,217 (July 2009 est.)
    Age structure(%)0-14 years: 31.1% (male 190,075,426/female 172,799,553)
    15-64 years: 63.6% (male 381,446,079/female 359,802,209)
    65 years and over: 5.3% (male 29,364,920/female 32,591,030) (2009 est.)
    Median age(years)total: 25.3 years
    male: 24.9 years
    female: 25.8 years (2009 est.)
    Population growth rate(%)1.548% (2009 est.)
    Birth rate(births/1,000 population)21.76 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
    Death rate(deaths/1,000 population)6.23 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

    Net migration rate(migrant(s)/1,000 population)-0.05 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
    Urbanization(%)urban population: 29% of total population (2008)
    rate of urbanization: 2.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
    Sex ratio(male(s)/female)at birth: 1.12 male(s)/female
    under 15 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
    15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
    Infant mortality rate(deaths/1,000 live births)total: 30.15 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 34.61 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 25.17 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

    Life expectancy at birth(years)total population: 69.89 years
    male: 67.46 years
    female: 72.61 years (2009 est.)

    Total fertility rate(children born/woman)2.72 children born/woman (2009 est.)
    Nationalitynoun: 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(%)Hindi 41%, Bengali 8.1%, Telugu 7.2%, Marathi 7%, Tamil 5.9%, Urdu 5%, Gujarati 4.5%, Kannada 3.7%, Malayalam 3.2%, Oriya 3.2%, Punjabi 2.8%, Assamese 1.3%, Maithili 1.2%, other 5.9%
    note: English enjoys associate status but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindi is the most widely spoken language and primary tongue of 41% 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 (2001 census)

    Country nameconventional long form: Republic of India
    conventional short form: India
    local long form: Republic of India/Bharatiya Ganarajya
    local short form: India/Bharat
    Government typefederal republic
    Capitalname: New Delhi
    geographic coordinates: 28 36 N, 77 12 E
    time difference: UTC+5.5 (10.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    Administrative divisions28 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, Puducherry*, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal
    Constitution26 January 1950; amended many times

    Legal systembased on English common law; judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; separate personal law codes apply to Muslims, Christians, and Hindus

    Suffrage18 years of age; universal
    Executive branchchief of state: President Pratibha PATIL (since 25 July 2007); Vice President Hamid ANSARI (since 11 August 2007)
    head of government: Prime Minister Manmohan SINGH (since 22 May 2004)
    cabinet: Cabinet 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 (no term limits); election last held in July 2007 (next to be held in July 2012); vice president elected by both houses of Parliament for a five-year term; election last held in August 2007 (next to be held August 2012); prime minister chosen by parliamentary members of the majority party following legislative elections; election last held April - May 2009 (next to be held no later than May 2014)
    election results: Pratibha PATIL elected president; percent of vote - Pratibha PATIL 65.8%, Bhairon Singh SHEKHAWAT - 34.2%

    Legislative branchbicameral 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 in five phases 16, 22-23, 30 April and 7, 13 May 2009 (next must be held by May 2014)
    election results: People's Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - INC 206, BJP 116, SP 23, BSP 21, JD (U) 20, AITC 19, DMK 18, CPI-M 16, BJD 14, SS 11, AIADMK 9, NCP 9, other 61, vacant 2

    Judicial branchSupreme Court (one chief justice and 25 associate justices are appointed by the president and remain in office until they reach the age of 65 or are removed for "proved misbehavior")

    Political pressure groups and leadersAll Parties Hurriyat Conference in the Kashmir Valley (separatist group); Bajrang Dal (religious organization); National Socialist Council of Nagaland in the northeast (separatist group); Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh [Mohan BHAGWAT] (religious organization); Vishwa Hindu Parishad [Ashok SINGHAL] (religious organization)
    other: numerous religious or militant/chauvinistic organizations; various separatist groups seeking greater communal and/or regional autonomy
    International organization participationADB, AfDB (nonregional member), ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIMSTEC, BIS, C, CERN (observer), CP, EAS, FAO, G-15, G-20, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAS (observer), MIGA, MONUC, NAM, OAS (observer), OPCW, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC, SACEP, SCO (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNITAR, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    Flag descriptionthree 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

    Economy - overviewIndia'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, accounting for more than half of India's output with less than one third of its labor force. Slightly more than half of the work force is in agriculture, leading the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to articulate a rural economic development program that includes creating basic infrastructure to improve the lives of the rural poor and boost economic performance. The government has reduced controls on foreign trade and investment. Higher limits on foreign direct investment were permitted in a few key sectors, such as telecommunications. However, tariff spikes in sensitive categories, including agriculture, and incremental progress on economic reforms still hinder foreign access to India's vast and growing market. Privatization of government-owned industries remains stalled and continues to generate political debate; populist pressure from within the UPA government had restrained needed initiatives. The economy has posted an average growth rate of more than 7% in the decade since 1997, reducing poverty by about 10 percentage points. India achieved 9.6% GDP growth in 2006, 9.0% in 2007, and 6.6% in 2008, significantly expanding manufactures through late 2008. India also 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. Strong growth combined with easy consumer credit, a real estate boom, and fast-rising commodity prices fueled inflation concerns from mid-2006 to August 2008. Rising tax revenues from better tax administration and economic expansion helped New Delhi make progress in reducing its fiscal deficit for three straight years before skyrocketing global commodity prices more than doubled the cost of government energy and fertilizer subsidies. The ballooning subsidies, amidst slowing growth, brought the return of a large fiscal deficit in 2008. In the long run, the huge and growing population is the fundamental social, economic, and environmental problem.
    GDP (purchasing power parity)$3.304 trillion (2008 est.)
    $3.077 trillion (2007 est.)
    $2.823 trillion (2006 est.)
    note: data are in 2008 US dollars
    GDP (official exchange rate)$1.207 trillion (2008 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate(%)7.4% (2008 est.)
    9% (2007 est.)
    9.7% (2006 est.)
    GDP - per capita (PPP)$2,900 (2008 est.)
    $2,700 (2007 est.)
    $2,500 (2006 est.)
    note: data are in 2008 US dollars
    GDP - composition by sector(%)agriculture: 17.6%
    industry: 29%
    services: 53.4% (2008 est.)
    Labor force523.5 million (2008 est.)

    Labor force - by occupation(%)agriculture: 60%
    industry: 12%
    services: 28% (2003)
    Unemployment rate(%)9.1% (2008 est.)
    7.2% (2007 est.)
    Population below poverty line(%)25% (2007 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share(%)lowest 10%: 3.6%
    highest 10%: 31.1% (2005)
    Distribution of family income - Gini index36.8 (2004)
    37.8 (1997)
    Investment (gross fixed)(% of GDP)39% of GDP (2008 est.)
    Budgetrevenues: $126.7 billion
    expenditures: $202.6 billion (2008 est.)
    Inflation rate (consumer prices)(%)8.3% (2008 est.)
    6.4% (2007 est.)

    Stock of money$NA (31 December 2008)
    $250.9 billion (31 December 2007)
    Stock of quasi money$NA (31 December 2008)
    $647.3 billion (31 December 2007)
    Stock of domestic credit$NA (31 December 2008)
    $769.3 billion (31 December 2007)
    Market value of publicly traded shares$645.5 billion (31 December 2008)
    $1.819 trillion (31 December 2007)
    $818.9 billion (31 December 2006)
    Economic aid - recipient$1.724 billion (2005)

    Public debt(% of GDP)56.4% of GDP (2008 est.)
    59.7% of GDP (2004 est.)
    Agriculture - productsrice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, potatoes; onions, dairy products, sheep, goats, poultry; fish
    Industriestextiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, software

    Industrial production growth rate(%)4.8% (2008 est.)

    Current account balance-$36.09 billion (2008 est.)
    -$10.88 billion (2007 est.)
    Exports$187.9 billion (2008 est.)
    $150.7 billion (2007 est.)

    Exports - commodities(%)petroleum products, textile goods, gems and jewelry, engineering goods, chemicals, leather manufactures
    Exports - partners(%)US 12.3%, UAE 9.4%, China 9.3% (2008)
    Imports$315.1 billion (2008 est.)
    $231.6 billion (2007 est.)

    Imports - commodities(%)crude oil, machinery, gems, fertilizer, chemicals
    Imports - partners(%)China 11.1%, Saudi Arabia 7.5%, US 6.6%, UAE 5.1%, Iran 4.2%, Singapore 4.2%, Germany 4.2% (2008)

    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$254 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
    $273.9 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
    Debt - external$229.3 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
    $206 billion (31 December 2007)

    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$144.2 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
    $103.1 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
    Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$61.77 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
    $38.82 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
    Exchange ratesIndian rupees (INR) per US dollar - 43.319 (2008 est.), 41.487 (2007), 45.3 (2006), 44.101 (2005), 45.317 (2004)

    Currency (code)Indian rupee (INR)

    Telephones - main lines in use37.54 million (2009)
    Telephones - mobile cellular427.3 million (2009)
    Telephone systemgeneral assessment: recent deregulation and liberalization of telecommunications laws and policies have prompted rapid growth; 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 combined fixed and mobile telephone density remains low at about 40 for each 100 persons nationwide and much lower for persons in rural areas; extremely rapid growth in cellular service with modest declines in fixed lines
    domestic: mobile cellular service introduced in 1994 and organized nationwide into four metropolitan areas and 19 telecom circles each with multiple private service providers and one or more state-owned service providers; 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 6 satellites supporting 33,000 very small aperture terminals (VSAT)
    international: country code - 91; a number of major international submarine cable systems, including Sea-Me-We-3 with landing sites at Cochin and Mumbai (Bombay), Sea-Me-We-4 with a landing site at Chennai, Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) with a landing site at Mumbai (Bombay), South Africa - Far East (SAFE) with a landing site at Cochin, the i2i cable network 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; satellite earth stations - 8 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Inmarsat (Indian Ocean region); 9 gateway exchanges operating from Mumbai (Bombay), New Delhi, Kolkata (Calcutta), Chennai (Madras), Jalandhar, Kanpur, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, and Ernakulam (2008)
    Internet country code.in
    Internet users81 million (2008)
    Airports349 (2009)
    Pipelines(km)condensate/gas 2 km; gas 6,061 km; liquid petroleum gas 2,156 km; oil 7,678 km; refined products 6,876 km (2008)
    Roadways(km)total: 3,316,452 km (includes 200 km of expressways) (2006)

    Ports and terminalsChennai, Haldia, Jawaharal Nehru, Kandla, Kolkata (Calcutta), Mormugao, Mumbai (Bombay), New Mangalore, Vishakhapatnam
    Military branchesArmy, Navy (includes naval air arm), Air Force (Bharatiya Vayu Sena), Coast Guard (2009)
    Military service age and obligation(years of age)16 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; women officers allowed in noncombat roles only (2008)
    Manpower available for military servicemales age 16-49: 301,094,084
    females age 16-49: 283,047,141 (2008 est.)
    Manpower fit for military servicemales age 16-49: 237,042,868
    females age 16-49: 243,276,310 (2009 est.)
    Manpower reaching militarily significant age annuallymale: 11.795 million
    female: 10,820,590 (2009 est.)
    Military expenditures(% of GDP)2.5% of GDP (2006)
    Disputes - internationalsince China and India launched a security and foreign policy dialogue in 2005, consolidated 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 continue; various talks and confidence-building measures have cautiously begun to defuse tensions over Kashmir, particularly since the October 2005 earthquake in the region; Kashmir nevertheless remains the 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); India and Pakistan have maintained the 2004 cease fire in Kashmir and initiated discussions on defusing the armed stand-off in the Siachen glacier region; Pakistan protests India's fencing the highly militarized Line of Control and construction of the Baglihar Dam on the Chenab River in Jammu and Kashmir, which is part of the larger dispute on water sharing of the Indus River and its tributaries; 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; to defuse tensions and prepare for discussions on a maritime boundary, India and Pakistan seek technical resolution of the disputed boundary in Sir Creek estuary at the mouth of the Rann of Kutch in the Arabian Sea; Pakistani maps continue to show its Junagadh claim in Indian Gujarat State; discussions with Bangladesh remain stalled to delimit a small section of river boundary, to exchange territory for 51 Bangladeshi exclaves in India and 111 Indian exclaves in Bangladesh, 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 of the border; 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 examine contested boundary sections, including the 400 square kilometer dispute over the source of the Kalapani River; India maintains a strict border regime to keep out Maoist insurgents and control illegal cross-border activities from Nepal

    Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 77,200 (Tibet/China); 69,609 (Sri Lanka); 9,472 (Afghanistan)
    IDPs: at least 600,000 (about half are Kashmiri Pandits from Jammu and Kashmir) (2007)
    Trafficking in personscurrent situation: India is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation; internal forced labor may constitute India's largest trafficking problem; men, women, and children are held in debt bondage and face forced labor working in brick kilns, rice mills, agriculture, and embroidery factories; women and girls are trafficked within the country for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced marriage; children are subjected to forced labor as factory workers, domestic servants, beggars, and agriculture workers, and have been used as armed combatants by some terrorist and insurgent groups; India is also a destination for women and girls from Nepal and Bangladesh trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation; Indian women are trafficked to the Middle East for commercial sexual exploitation; men and women from Bangladesh and Nepal are trafficked through India for forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation in the Middle East
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - India is on the Tier 2 Watch List for a fifth consecutive year for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat human trafficking in 2007; despite the reported extent of the trafficking crisis in India, government authorities made uneven efforts to prosecute traffickers and protect trafficking victims; government authorities continued to rescue victims of commercial sexual exploitation and forced child labor and child armed combatants, and began to show progress in law enforcement against these forms of trafficking; a critical challenge overall is the lack of punishment for traffickers, effectively resulting in impunity for acts of human trafficking; India has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol (2008)
    Electricity - production(kWh)761.7 billion kWh (2007 est.)
    Electricity - production by source(%)fossil fuel: 81.7%
    hydro: 14.5%
    nuclear: 3.4%
    other: 0.3% (2001)
    Electricity - consumption(kWh)568 billion kWh (2007 est.)
    Electricity - exports(kWh)216 million kWh (2007 est.)
    Electricity - imports(kWh)4.96 billion kWh (2007 est.)
    Oil - production(bbl/day)883,500 bbl/day (2008 est.)
    Oil - consumption(bbl/day)2.94 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
    Oil - exports(bbl/day)671,200 bbl/day (2007 est.)
    Oil - imports(bbl/day)2.518 million bbl/day (2007 est.)
    Oil - proved reserves(bbl)5.625 billion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
    Natural gas - production(cu m)32.2 billion cu m (2008 est.)
    Natural gas - consumption(cu m)42.99 billion cu m (2008 est.)
    Natural gas - exports(cu m)0 cu m (2008)
    Natural gas - proved reserves(cu m)1.075 trillion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate(%)0.3% (2007 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS2.4 million (2007 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - deaths310,000 (2001 est.)
    Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: chikungunya, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria
    animal contact disease: rabies
    water contact disease: leptospirosis
    note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)
    Literacy(%)definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 61%
    male: 73.4%
    female: 47.8% (2001 census)

    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)(years)total: 10 years
    male: 11 years
    female: 9 years (2005)
    Education expenditures(% of GDP)3.2% of GDP (2005)

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