officially the Republic of India (Hindi:
Gaṇarājya; see also
official names of India), is a country in
Asia. It is the
seventh-largest country by geographical area, the
second-most populous country with
over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy
in the world.
Mainland India is bounded by the
Indian Ocean on the south, the
Arabian Sea on the west, and the
Bay of Bengal on the east; and it is bordered by
Pakistan to the west;[note
People's Republic of China and
Nepal to the north; and
Burma to the east. In the Indian Ocean, mainland India
Lakshadweep Islands are in the vicinity of
Sri Lanka and the
Maldives, while India's
Andaman and Nicobar Islands share maritime border with
Thailand and the
Indonesian island of
Sumatra in the
India has a coastline of 7,517 kilometres (4,700 mi).
Home to the ancient
Indus Valley Civilisation and a region of historic trade
routes and vast empires, the
Indian subcontinent was identified with its commercial
and cultural wealth for much of its long history.
Four of the world's major religions—Hinduism,
Sikhism—originated here, while
Islam arrived in the first millennium
CE and shaped the region's
diverse culture. Gradually
annexed by the
British East India Company from the early 18th century
colonised by the United Kingdom from the mid-19th
century, India became an independent nation in 1947 after a
struggle for independence which was marked by a
non-violent resistance led by
India is a
constitutional republic with a
parliamentary democracy consisting of
28 states and seven union territories. A
multilingual and multiethnic society where more than 400
languages are spoken, India is also home to a diversity of
wildlife in a variety of
protected habitats. The
Indian economy is the world's
eleventh largest economy by nominal
GDP and the
fourth largest by
purchasing power parity. Since the introduction of
market-based economic reforms in 1991, India has become
one of the
fastest growing major economies in the world;
however, the country continues to face several
public health related challenges. India is classified as
newly industrialised country and is one of the four
It is the world's sixth de facto
nuclear weapons state and has the
third-largest standing armed force in the world, while
military expenditure ranks tenth in the world.
India is a
regional power in South Asia.
It is a
founding member of the
United Nations, the
Non-Aligned Movement, the
World Trade Organization, the
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, the
East Asia Summit, the
G20 and the
G8+5; a member of the
Commonwealth of Nations; and an observer state in the
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
Names of India
The name India is
Indus, which is derived from the
Old Persian word
Sanskrit सिन्धु Sindhu, the historic local
appellation for the
Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi (Ινδοί),
the people of the Indus.
Constitution of India and common usage in various Indian
languages also recognise Bharat (pronounced
listen)) as an official
name of equal status.
The name Bharat is derived from the name of the legendary
Bharata in Hindu scriptures.
listen)), originally a
Persian word for “Land of the Hindus” referring to
northern India and Pakistan before 1947, is also
occasionally used as a synonym for all of India.
Stone Age rock shelters with
paintings at the
Bhimbetka rock shelters in
Madhya Pradesh are the earliest known traces of human
life in India. The first known permanent settlements
appeared about 8,500 years ago and gradually developed into
Indus Valley Civilisation,
dating back to 3400 BCE
in western India. It was followed by the
Vedic period, which laid the foundations of
Hinduism and other cultural aspects of early Indian
society, and ended in the 500s BCE. From around 550 BCE,
many independent kingdoms and republics known as the
Mahajanapadas were established across the country.
In the 3rd century BCE, most
of South Asia was united into the
Maurya Empire by
Chandragupta Maurya and flourished under
Ashoka the Great.
From the 3rd century CE, the
Gupta dynasty oversaw the period referred to as ancient
southern India included those of the
Cholas and the
philosophy flourished under the patronage of these
Islamic invasions from Central Asia between the 10th and
12th centuries, much of northern India came under the rule
Delhi Sultanate and later the
Mughal Empire. Under the rule of
Akbar the Great, India enjoyed much cultural and
economic progress as well as religious harmony.
The Mughals also forged a strategic alliance with several
However, some Rajput kings, such as
Maharana Pratap, continued to pose significant threat to
Mughal dominance of northwestern India.
Additionally, regional empires in southern and northeastern
India, such as the
Ahoms of Assam, successfully resisted Mughal
subjugation. The reign of
Aurangzeb saw the enforcement of strict Muslim
fundamentalism which caused rebellions among the Sikhs and
By early 1700s, the
Sikh Empire and the Hindu
Marathas had emerged as formidable foes of the Mughals.
Following the death of Aurangzeb, the Mughal Empire entered
a period of gradual decline and by mid-18th century, a large
portion of the Mughal territory came under the control of
From the 16th century,
imperialist nations, such as Portugal, the Netherlands,
Denmark, France, and Great Britain, established trading
posts in India and later took advantage of various internal
establish colonies. By 1856, most of India had come
under the control of the
British East India Company.
A year later, a
nationwide insurrection of rebelling military units and
kingdoms seriously challenged the Company's control but
eventually failed. As a result of the instability, India was
under the direct rule of the
British Crown. Between 1860 and 1900, the Indian
subcontinent suffered some of the
worst famines in its history causing the death of about
14.5 million people.
In the 20th century, a
struggle for independence was launched by the
Indian National Congress (INC) and other political
Some Indian radical revolutionaries led
armed rebellions against the British Raj.
However, the defining aspect of the Indian independence
movement was the
nonviolent resistance led by
Mahatma Gandhi and the INC.
Under the leadership of Gandhi, millions of Indians
participated in the
civil disobedience movement against the British Raj.
In September 1939, India
declared war on Germany and at the height of the
World War II, more than 2.5 million Indian soldiers were
fighting against the Axis powers.
Indian Army was one of the largest Allied forces
contingents which took part in the
Western Desert and the
Italian Campaign and played a crucial role in halting
the progress of Imperial Japan in the
South-East Asian theatre.
However, certain Indian nationalists collaborated with the
Axis powers to overthrow the British Raj. The
Indian National Army (INA), led by
Subhash Chandra Bose, forged an alliance with the Axis
powers and fought an unsuccessful military campaign against
In 1943, a perceived shortage
of food leading to large-scale hoarding and soaring food
prices coupled with poor food distribution mechanism and
inadequate response of the British officials resulted in a
catastrophic famine in the
Bengal region which killed about 1.5 to 3 million
After World War II, a number of mutinies broke out in the
Air Force and
Navy and the
INA trials caused considerable public unrest.
On 15 August 1947, the British Raj was dissolved following
Muslim-majority areas were partitioned which led to the
creation of a separate sovereign
dominion known as
The partition led to a
population transfer of more than 10 million people
between India and Pakistan and the death of about one
Soon after the end of the
British Raj, the
accession of the 552
princely states to the Union of India went smoothly with
the exception of
Junagadh acceded to Pakistan which caused considerable
As a consequence, India militarily occupied Junagadh and
held a plebiscite, following which
Junagadh joined India.
After negotiations between India and then
Nizam of Hyderabad ended in a stalemate, India
launched a successful "police
action" to annex Hyderabad.
Facing deteriorating political situation, unrest among the
Muslim-majority populace and a Pakistani military invasion,
Maharaja of Kashmir decided to seek military
assistance from India and signed the
Instrument of Accession.
armed conflict between India and Pakistan ended in
December 1948 and the
Line of Control formed the de facto border
between Indian and Pakistani Kashmir.
On 26 January 1950, India
became a republic and a new
constitution came into effect under which the country
was established as a
secular and a
In 1961, India successfully
invaded Goa to liberate it from
Portuguese rule, following which Goa was incorporated
into the Indian union.
India's unresolved territorial disputes with the People's
Republic of China escalated into the
1962 Sino-Indian War, which resulted in India losing
Ladakh region. In 1965, Pakistan's
failed attempt to infiltrate and invade Indian Kashmir
Second Kashmir War.
third major war broke out between India and Pakistan in
1971 which resulted in a decisive Indian victory and the
creation of Bangladesh.
During the early 1970s,
Sikkim faced a popular pro-democratic movement and a
referendum was held in 1975, following which Sikkim merged
In the 1980s, India launched a successful
military offensive in
Siachen which helped it gain control over most of the
In 1999, Pakistani soldiers infiltrated into the
Kargil region of Indian Kashmir,
following which India responded with a successful
military campaign to drive out the infiltrators.
Since independence, India has
faced challenges from
terrorism and regional separatist insurgencies,
Kashmir and northeastern region. India became a
a nuclear state when it conducted its
first nuclear test in 1974,
which was followed by
another five tests in 1998.
From the 1950s to the 1980s, India followed
socialist-inspired policies. The economy was shackled by
protectionism and public ownership, leading to pervasive
corruption and slow economic growth.
Beginning in 1991,
significant economic reforms
have transformed India into
one of the fastest-growing economies in the world,
increasing its global clout.
Topographic map of
The territory controlled by
India, the major portion of the Indian subcontinent, lies
36° N, and
98° E. The country sits atop the
Indian tectonic plate, a minor plate within the
India's defining geological
processes commenced seventy-five million years ago, when the
Indian subcontinent, then part of the southern
Gondwana, began a northeastwards
drift—lasting fifty million years—across the then
unformed Indian Ocean.
The subcontinent's subsequent collision with the
Eurasian Plate and
subduction under it, gave rise to the
Himalayas, the planet's highest mountains, which now
abut India in the
north and the
In the former seabed immediately south of the emerging
Himalayas, plate movement created a vast
trough, which, having gradually been filled with
now forms the
To the west of this plain, and cut off from it by the
Aravalli Range, lies the
The original Indian plate now
survives as peninsular India, the oldest and most
geologically stable part of India, and extends as far north
Vindhya ranges in central India. These parallel ranges
run from the Arabian Sea coast in Gujarat in the west to the
Chota Nagpur Plateau in Jharkhand in the east.
To their south, the remaining peninsular landmass, the
Deccan Plateau, is flanked on the left and right by the
Western Ghats and
Eastern Ghats respectively;
the plateau contains the oldest rock formations in India,
some over one billion years old. Constituted in such
fashion, India lies to the north of the equator between
6°44' and 35°30' north latitude
and 68°7' and 97°25' east longitude.
India's coast is 7,517 kilometres
(4,700 mi) long; of this distance, 5,423 kilometres (3,400
mi) belong to peninsular India, and 2,094 kilometres (1,300
mi) to the Andaman, Nicobar, and Lakshadweep Islands.
According to the Indian naval hydrographic charts, the
mainland coast consists of the following: 43% sandy beaches,
11% rocky coast including cliffs, and 46%
mudflats or marshy coast.
Major Himalayan-origin rivers
that substantially flow through India include the
Ganges (Ganga) and the
Brahmaputra, both of which drain into the
Bay of Bengal.
Important tributaries of the Ganges include the
Yamuna and the
Kosi, whose extremely low gradient causes disastrous
floods every year. Major peninsular rivers whose steeper
gradients prevent their waters from flooding include the
Kaveri, and the
Krishna, which also drain into the Bay of Bengal;
Narmada and the
Tapti, which drain into the
Among notable coastal features of India are the marshy
Rann of Kutch in western India, and the alluvial
Sundarbans delta, which India shares with Bangladesh.
India has two archipelagos: the
Lakshadweep, coral atolls off India's south-western
coast; and the
Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a volcanic chain in the
India's climate is strongly
influenced by the Himalayas and the Thar Desert, both of
which drive the
The Himalayas prevent cold Central Asian
Katabatic wind from blowing in, keeping the bulk of the
Indian subcontinent warmer than most locations at similar
The Thar Desert plays a crucial role in attracting the
moisture-laden southwest summer monsoon winds that, between
June and October, provide the majority of India's rainfall.
Four major climatic groupings predominate in India:
subtropical humid, and
Bengal tiger is the national animal of
India is home to about half of the world's tiger
population but the future of the species is
threatened by habitat degradation and poaching.
India, which lies within the
Indomalaya ecozone, displays significant
biodiversity. One of the seventeen
megadiverse countries, it is home to 7.6% of all
mammalian, 12.6% of all avian, 6.2% of all reptilian, 4.4%
of all amphibian, 11.7% of all fish, and 6.0% of all
flowering plant species.
ecoregions, such as the
forests, exhibit extremely high rates of
endemism; overall, 33% of Indian plant species are
India's forest cover ranges
tropical rainforest of the
Western Ghats, and
northeastern India to the
coniferous forest of the Himalaya. Between these
extremes lie the
sal-dominated moist deciduous forest of eastern India;
teak-dominated dry deciduous forest of central and
southern India; and the
thorn forest of the central Deccan and western Gangetic
Important Indian trees include the medicinal
neem, widely used in rural Indian herbal remedies. The
pipal fig tree, shown on the seals of
Gautama Buddha as he sought enlightenment. According to
latest report, less than 12% of India's landmass is covered
by dense forests.
Many Indian species are
taxa originating in Gondwana, from which the
Indian plate separated.
Peninsular India's subsequent
movement towards, and collision with, the
Laurasian landmass set off a mass exchange of species.
volcanism and climatic changes 20 million years ago
caused the extinction of many endemic Indian forms.
Soon thereafter, mammals entered India from Asia through two
zoogeographical passes on either side of the emerging
Consequently, among Indian species, only 12.6% of mammals
and 4.5% of birds are endemic, contrasting with 45.8% of
reptiles and 55.8% of amphibians.
Notable endemics are the
Nilgiri leaf monkey and the brown and carmine
Beddome's toad of the Western Ghats. India contains 172,
or 2.9%, of
These include the
Asiatic Lion, the
Bengal Tiger, and the
Indian white-rumped vulture, which suffered a
near-extinction from ingesting the carrion of
In recent decades, human
encroachment has posed a threat to India's wildlife; in
response, the system of
national parks and
protected areas, first established in 1935, was
substantially expanded. In 1972, India enacted the
Wildlife Protection Act
Project Tiger to safeguard crucial habitat; in addition,
the Forest Conservation Act
was enacted in 1980. Along with
more than five hundred wildlife sanctuaries, India hosts
thirteen biosphere reserves,
four of which are part of the
World Network of Biosphere Reserves;
twenty-five wetlands are registered under the
India is the most populous
democracy in the world.
It is a
parliamentary republic and operates under a
There are six
national parties, such as
Indian National Congress (INC) and
Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), and more than 40
From 1950 to 1990, barring two brief periods, the INC
enjoyed a parliamentary majority. Since late 1980s, politics
in India has been dominated mostly by the INC and the BJP;
however, the emergence of several influential regional
parties has often necessitated the formation of multi-party
political culture, the INC is considered centre-left or
"liberal" and the BJP is considered centre-right or
"conservative". The INC was out of power between 1977 and
1980, when the
Janata Party won the election owing to public discontent
state of emergency declared by the then Prime Minister
Indira Gandhi. In 1989, a
National Front coalition in alliance with the
Left Front coalition won the elections but managed to
stay in power for only two years.
As the 1991 elections gave no political party a majority,
the INC formed a
minority government under Prime Minister
P.V. Narasimha Rao and was able to complete its
The years 1996–1998 were a
period of turmoil in the federal government with several
short-lived alliances holding sway. The BJP formed a
government briefly in 1996, followed by the
United Front coalition that excluded both the BJP and
the INC. In 1998, the BJP formed the
National Democratic Alliance (NDA) with several other
parties and became the first non-Congress government to
complete a full five-year term.
2004 Indian elections, the INC won the largest number of
Lok Sabha seats and formed a government with a coalition
United Progressive Alliance (UPA), supported by various
Left-leaning parties and members opposed to the BJP. The UPA
again came into power in the
2009 general election; however, the representation of
the Left leaning parties within the coalition has
Manmohan Singh became the first prime minister since
Jawaharlal Nehru in
1962 to be re-elected after completing a full five-year
India is a
federation with a
parliamentary form of government, governed under the
Constitution of India.
It is a
constitutional republic and
representative democracy, "in which
majority rule is tempered by
minority rights protected by
Federalism in India defines the power distribution
between the centre and the
states. The government is regulated by a
checks and balances defined by Indian Constitution,
which serves as the country's supreme legal document.
Constitution of India came into force on 26 January
preamble of the
constitution defines India as a
India has a
bicameral parliament operating under a
Westminster-style parliamentary system. Its form of
government was traditionally described as being
'quasi-federal' with a strong centre and weaker states,
but it has grown increasingly federal since the late 1990s
as a result of political, economic and social changes.
President of India is the
head of state
elected indirectly by an
for a five-year term.
Prime Minister is the
head of government and exercises most
Appointed by the President,
the Prime Minister is by convention supported by the
party or political alliance holding the majority of
seats in the lower house of Parliament.
The executive branch consists of the President,
Vice-President, and the
Council of Ministers (the
Cabinet being its executive committee) headed by the
Prime Minister. Any minister holding a portfolio must be a
member of either house of parliament. In the Indian
parliamentary system, the executive is subordinate to the
legislature, with the Prime Minister and his Council being
directly responsible to the lower house of the Parliament.
The Legislature of India is
Parliament, which consists of the upper house called the
Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and the lower house
Lok Sabha (House of People).
The Rajya Sabha, a permanent body, has 245 members serving
staggered six year terms.
Most are elected indirectly by the
state and territorial legislatures in proportion to the
543 of the Lok Sabha's 545 members are directly elected by
popular vote to represent individual
constituencies for five year terms.
The other two members are nominated by the President from
Anglo-Indian community if the President is of the
opinion that the community is not adequately represented.
India has a unitary three-tier
judiciary, consisting of the
Supreme Court, headed by the
Chief Justice of India, 21
High Courts, and a large number of trial courts.
The Supreme Court has
original jurisdiction over cases involving
fundamental rights and over disputes between states and
the Centre, and appellate jurisdiction over the High Courts.
and has the power to declare the law and to strike down
Union or State laws which contravene the Constitution.
The role as the ultimate interpreter of the Constitution is
one of the most important functions of the Supreme Court.
India consists of 28 states
All states, and the two union territories of
Puducherry and the
National Capital Territory of Delhi, have elected
legislatures and governments patterned on the Westminster
model. The other five union territories are directly ruled
by the Centre through appointed administrators. In 1956,
States Reorganisation Act, states were formed on a
Since then, this structure has remained largely unchanged.
Each state or union territory is further divided into
The districts in turn are further divided into
tehsils and eventually into villages.
The 28 states and
7 union territories of India
Since its independence in
1947, India has maintained cordial relationships with most
nations. In the 1950s, it strongly advocated for the
European colonies in Africa and Asia and played a
pioneering role in the
India was involved in two brief
military interventions in neighbouring countries – the
Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka and
Operation Cactus in Maldives. India has a
tense relationship with neighbouring Pakistan and the
went to war in
1999. Most of these conflicts were fought over the
Kashmir dispute, with the exception of the 1971 war
where the dispute primarily concerned the
civil unrest in erstwhile East Pakistan.
Sino-Indian War and the 1965 war, India developed close
military and economic relations with the Soviet Union and by
late 1960s, the Soviet Union had emerged as the largest
supplier of military arms to India.
India continues to maintain
strategic relations with
Russia and also enjoys extensive defence relations with
France. In recent years, it has played an influential
role in the
SAARC and the
India has provided as many as 55,000
Indian military and
police personnel to serve in thirty-five
UN peacekeeping operations across four continents.
India is also an active participant in various multilateral
forums, particularly the
East Asia Summit and the
In the economic sphere, India has close relationships with
developing nations in South America, Asia and Africa.
Since early 2000s, India has vigorously pursued its
"Look East" policy which has helped it increase its
collaboration with the
South Korea on a range of issues, particularly economic
investment and regional security.
Recent overtures by the Indian
government have enhanced India's economic, strategic and
military cooperation with the
United States and the
In 2008, a
civilian nuclear agreement between India and the United
States was signed, prior to which India received waivers
IAEA and the
NSG which ended restrictions on nuclear technology
commerce, even though India possesses nuclear weapons and is
not a signatory of the
NPT. As a consequence, India became the world's sixth
de facto recognised
nuclear weapons state.
Following the NSG waiver, India has also signed
civilian nuclear energy cooperation agreements with
other nations including Russia,
India maintains the
third-largest military force in the world, which
consists of the
Air Force and auxiliary forces such as the
Paramilitary Forces, the
Coast Guard, and the
Strategic Forces Command.
The official Indian defence budget for 2010 stood at US$31.9
billion (or 2.12% of GDP).
According to a 2008
SIPRI report, India's annual military expenditure in
terms of PPP stood at US$72.7 billion.
President of India is the supreme commander of the
Indian Armed Forces. Defence contractors, such as the
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and
Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), oversee indigenous development
of sophisticated arms and military equipment, including
ballistic missiles, fighter aircraft and main battle tanks,
to reduce India's dependence on foreign imports.
China's repeated threats to
intervene in the 1965 war in support of Pakistan convinced
India to develop
nuclear weapons to counter
Chinese nuclear tests.
India conducted its
first nuclear weapons test in 1974 and carried out
further underground testing in 1998. Despite criticism
and military sanctions, India has consistently refused to
CTBT and the
NPT which it considers to be flawed and discriminatory.
India maintains a "no
first use" nuclear policy and is developing a
nuclear triad capability as a part of its "minimum
credible deterrence" doctrine.
India also has an advanced
ballistic missile defence shield development program and
is developing a
fifth generation fighter jet in collaboration with
Other major indigenous military development projects include
Vikrant class aircraft carriers and
Arihant class nuclear submarines.
According to the
International Monetary Fund, India's nominal
GDP stood at US$1.3 trillion, which makes it the
eleventh-largest economy in the world,
corresponding to a per capita income of US$1,000.
purchasing power parity (PPP) is taken into account,
India's economy is the
fourth largest in the world at US$3.6 trillion.
The country ranks 142th in
nominal GDP per capita and 127th in
GDP per capita at PPP.
With an average annual GDP growth rate of 5.8% for the past
two decades, India is one of the
fastest growing economies in the world.
Before 1991, the Indian
socialist-inspired policies because of which the Indian
economy was largely closed to the outside world and suffered
extensive state intervention and regulation.
acute balance of payments crisis, the nation
liberalised its economy and has since moved towards a
Since then, the emphasis has been to use foreign trade and
investment as integral parts of India's economy.
Currently, India's economic system is portrayed as a
capitalist model with the influx of private enterprise.
India has the world's
labour force, with 467 million people.
In terms of output, the
agricultural sector accounts for 28% of GDP; the service
and industrial sectors make up 54% and 18% respectively.
Major agricultural products include rice, wheat, oilseed,
cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, potatoes.
Major industries include textiles, telecommunications,
chemicals, food processing, steel, transport equipment,
cement, mining, petroleum, machinery and software.
India's external trade has reached a relatively moderate
share of 24% of GDP in 2006, up from 6% in 1985.
In 2008, India's share of world trade was about 1.68%;
in 2009, it was the world's
fifteenth largest importer and
eighteenth largest exporter.
Major exports include petroleum products, textile goods,
gems and jewelry, software, engineering goods, chemicals,
and leather manufactures.
Major imports include crude oil, machinery, gems, fertiliser,
Tata Nano, the world's cheapest car.
India's annual car exports have surged fivefold
in the past five years.
During the late 2000s, India's
economic growth averaged 7.5% a year.
Over the past
decade, hourly wage rates in India have more than
According to a 2007
McKinsey Global Institute report, since 1985, India's
robust economic growth has shifted 431 million Indians out
of poverty and by 2030, India's middle class population will
rise to more than 580 million people.
India ranks 51st in the
Global Competitiveness Report and if diversified, it
ranked 16th in
financial market sophistication, 24th in banking sector,
27th in business sophistication and 30th in innovation;
ahead of several advanced economies.
Seven of the world's top 15
technology outsourcing companies are based in India and
the country is viewed as the second most favourable
outsourcing destination after the United States.
India's consumer market is currently the world's
thirteenth largest and is expected to become the fifth
largest by 2030.
India has the world's fastest growing
telecommunication industry, adding about 10 million
subscribers during 2008–09 period.
The country has the world's second fastest growing
automobile industry, with domestic sales increasing by
26% during the 2009–10 period
and exports increasing by 36% during the 2008–09 period.
Despite India's impressive
economic growth over recent decades, the country continues
to face various socio-economic challenges. Though the
percentage of people living below the
World Bank's international poverty line of $1.25/day
decreased from 60% in 1981 to 42% in 2005,
the country still contains the
largest concentration of poor people in the world.
Since 1991, inter-state
economic inequality in India has consistently grown; the
net state domestic product of India's richest states is
about 3.2 times that of the poorest states.
corruption in India has also increased significantly
and according to one estimate, since independence India has
lost US$462 billion in illegal capital flows.
Half of the children in India are
and about 46% of Indian children under the age of three
According to a 2011
report, in terms of PPP, India's GDP will overtake that of
Japan in 2011 and by 2045, India's GDP will surpass that of
the United States.
Additionally, over the next four decades, India's average
annual economic growth rate is expected to stand at about 8%
and therefore, it has the potential to be the world's
fastest growing major economy over the period to 2050.
The report also highlighted some of the key factors behind
India's high economic growth rate — young and rapidly
growing working age population; growth of manufacturing
sector due to strong engineering skills and rising levels of
education; and sustained growth of consumer market due to
rapidly growing middle class population.
However, the World Bank suggests that for India to achieve
its economic potential, it must continue to focus on public
transport infrastructure, agricultural and rural
development, removal of labour regulations,
energy security, and
public health and nutrition.
map of India.
With an estimated population
of 1.2 billion,
India is the world's second most populous country. The last
50 years have seen a rapid increase in population due to
medical advances and massive increase in agricultural
productivity due to the "green
The percentage of Indian population living in urban areas
has consistently grown; from 1991 to 2001, India's urban
population increased by 31.2%.
In 2001, about 285 million Indians lived in urban areas
while more than 70% of India's population resided in rural
As per the 2001 census, there are twenty seven
largest cities being
literacy rate is 64.8% (53.7% for females and 75.3% for
The state of
Kerala has the highest literacy rate at 91% while
Bihar has the lowest at 47%.
human sex ratio is 944 females per 1,000 males. India's
median age is 24.9, and the
population growth rate of 1.38% per annum; there are
22.01 births per 1,000 people per year.
Though India has one of the world's most diverse and modern
healthcare systems, the country continues to face
several public health-related challenges.
According to the World Health Organization, 900,000 Indians
die each year from drinking contaminated water and breathing
in polluted air.
There are about 60 physicians per 100,000 people in India.
The Indian Constitution
tribal groups which together constitute about 7.5% of
the country's population.
As per the 2001 census, over 800 million Indians (80.5%)
Hindu. Other religious groups include
India has the world's
Muslim population and the largest Muslim population for
India is home to two major
Indo-Aryan (spoken by about 74% of the population) and
Dravidian (spoken by about 24%). Other languages spoken
in India come from the
Tibeto-Burman linguistic families. Neither the
Constitution of India, nor any
Indian law defines any
Hindi, with the largest number of speakers,
is the official language of the
English is used extensively in business and administration
and has the status of a 'subsidiary official language;'
it is also important in
education, especially as a medium of
higher education. In addition, every
union territory has its own official languages, and the
constitution also recognises in particular 21 "scheduled
India's culture is marked by a
high degree of
and cultural pluralism.
India's cultural tradition dates back to 8000 BCE
and has a continuously recorded history for over 2,500
With its roots based in the
Indus Valley Tradition, the Indian culture took a
distinctive shape during the 11th century BCE
Vedic age which laid the foundation of
literary tradition and beliefs and practices, such as