The Pipes and Drums of the Madras Regiment perform during the Yudh Abhyas 2016 closing ceremony on 27 September 2016, at Chaubattia Military Station, India. The Madras Regiment is one of the oldest regiments in the Indian Army whose establishment dates to 1758. The insignia of the Madras Regiment, visible in this photograph, consists of a pair of crossed swords behind a circular shield surmounted by an Assaye Elephant above a scroll reading “Madras Regiment.” The Assaye Elephant crest is in recognition of the regiment’s valor in the Battle of Assaye (1803). In addition, the distinctive black pom-pom worn by the regiment is visible on the turbans of the band members. Yudh Abhyas, Hindi for “training for war,” is a bilateral training exercise geared toward enhancing cooperation and coordination between the US and Indian armies through training and cultural exchanges. Photo courtesy of the US Army/ Staff Sgt. Samuel Northrup.
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Introduction

Background

The Indus Valley civilization, one of the world's oldest, flourished during the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C. and extended into northwestern India. Aryan tribes from the northwest infiltrated 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. Islam spread across the subcontinent over a period of 700 years. In the 10th and 11th centuries, Turks and Afghans invaded India and established the Delhi Sultanate. In the early 16th century, the Emperor BABUR established the Mughal Dynasty, which ruled India for more than three centuries. European explorers began establishing footholds in India during the 16th century.

By the 19th century, Great Britain had become the dominant political power on the subcontinent and India was seen as the "Jewel in the Crown" of the British Empire. The British Indian Army played a vital role in both World Wars. Years of nonviolent resistance to British rule, led by Mohandas GANDHI and Jawaharlal NEHRU, eventually resulted in Indian independence in 1947. Large-scale communal violence took place before and after the subcontinent partition into two separate states - India and Pakistan. The neighboring countries have fought three wars since independence, the last of which was in 1971 and resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. India's nuclear weapons tests in 1998 emboldened Pakistan to conduct its own tests that same year. In November 2008, terrorists originating from Pakistan conducted a series of coordinated attacks in Mumbai, India's financial capital. India's economic growth following the launch of economic reforms in 1991, a massive youthful population, and a strategic geographic location have contributed to India's emergence as a regional and global power. However, India still faces pressing problems such as environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and widespread corruption, and its restrictive business climate challenges economic growth expectations.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan

Geographic coordinates

20 00 N, 77 00 E

Area

total: 3,287,263 sq km

land: 2,973,193 sq km

water: 314,070 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly more than one-third the size of the US

Area comparison map
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 13,888 km

border countries (6): Bangladesh 4,142 km; Bhutan 659 km; Burma 1,468 km; China 2,659 km; Nepal 1,770 km; Pakistan 3,190 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

highest point: Kanchenjunga 8,586 m

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

mean elevation: 160 m

Natural resources

coal (fourth-largest reserves in the world), antimony, iron ore, lead, manganese, mica, bauxite, rare earth elements, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, diamonds, petroleum, limestone, arable land

Land use

agricultural land: 60.5% (2018 est.)

arable land: 52.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 4.2% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 3.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 23.1% (2018 est.)

other: 16.4% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

667,000 sq km (2012)

Major lakes (area sq km)

salt water lake(s): Chilika Lake - 1,170 sq km

Major rivers (by length in km)

Brahmaputra (shared with China [s] and Bangladesh [m]) - 3,969 km; Indus (shared with China [s] and Pakistan [m]) - 3,610 km; Ganges river source (shared with Bangladesh [m]) - 2,704 km; Godavari - 1,465 km; Sutlej (shared with China [s] and Pakistan [m]) - 1,372 km; Yamuna - 1,370 km; Narmada - 1,289 km; Chenab river source (shared with Pakistan [m]) - 1,086 km; Ghaghara river mouth (shared with China [s] and Nepal) - 1,080 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Indian Ocean drainage: Brahmaputra (651,335 sq km), Ganges (1,016,124 sq km), Indus (1,081,718 sq km), Irrawaddy (413,710 sq km)

Major aquifers

Indus-Ganges-Brahmaputra Basin

Population distribution

with the notable exception of the deserts in the northwest, including the Thar Desert, and the mountain fringe in the north, a very high population density exists throughout most of the country; the core of the population is in the north along the banks of the Ganges, with other river valleys and southern coastal areas also having large population concentrations

Natural hazards

droughts; flash floods, as well as widespread and destructive flooding from monsoonal rains; severe thunderstorms; earthquakes

volcanism: Barren Island (354 m) in the Andaman Sea has been active in recent years

Geography - note

dominates South Asian subcontinent; near important Indian Ocean trade routes; Kanchenjunga, third tallest mountain in the world, lies on the border with Nepal

People and Society

Population

1,389,637,446 (2022 est.)

Nationality

noun: Indian(s)

adjective: Indian

Ethnic groups

Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, and other 3% (2000)

Languages

Hindi 43.6%, Bengali 8%, Marathi 6.9%, Telugu 6.7%, Tamil 5.7%, Gujarati 4.6%, Urdu 4.2%, Kannada 3.6%, Odia 3.1%, Malayalam 2.9%, Punjabi 2.7%, Assamese 1.3%, Maithili 1.1%, other 5.6%; note - English enjoys the status of subsidiary official language but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; there are 22 other officially recognized languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu; Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language (2011 est.)

major-language sample(s):
विश्व फ़ैक्टबुक, आधारभूत जानकारी का एक अपरिहार्य स्त्रोत  (Hindi)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

Hindi audio sample:

Religions

Hindu 79.8%, Muslim 14.2%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.7%, other and unspecified 2% (2011 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 26.31% (male 185,017,089/female 163,844,572)

15-24 years: 17.51% (male 123,423,531/female 108,739,780)

25-54 years: 41.56% (male 285,275,667/female 265,842,319)

55-64 years: 7.91% (male 52,444,817/female 52,447,038)

65 years and over: 6.72% (male 42,054,459/female 47,003,975) (2020 est.)

2022 population pyramid
2022 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 48.7

youth dependency ratio: 38.9

elderly dependency ratio: 9.8

potential support ratio: 10.2 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 28.7 years

male: 28 years

female: 29.5 years (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

0.67% (2022 est.)

Birth rate

16.82 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)

Death rate

10.3 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)

Net migration rate

0.16 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2022 est.)

Population distribution

with the notable exception of the deserts in the northwest, including the Thar Desert, and the mountain fringe in the north, a very high population density exists throughout most of the country; the core of the population is in the north along the banks of the Ganges, with other river valleys and southern coastal areas also having large population concentrations

Urbanization

urban population: 35.9% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 2.33% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

32.066 million NEW DELHI (capital), 20.961 million Mumbai, 15.134 million Kolkata, 13.193 million Bangalore, 11.503 million Chennai, 10.534 million Hyderabad (2022)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.1 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.11 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.12 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female

total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2022 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

21.2 years (2019/21)

note: data represents median age at first birth among women 25-49

Maternal mortality ratio

145 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 30.31 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 29.95 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 30.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2022 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 67.22 years

male: 65.46 years

female: 69.16 years (2022 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.1 children born/woman (2022 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 96.9% of population

rural: 94.7% of population

total: 95.5% of population

unimproved: urban: 3.1% of population

rural: 5.3% of population

total: 4.5% of population (2020 est.)

Physicians density

0.74 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Hospital bed density

0.5 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 98.6% of population

rural: 75.2% of population

total: 83.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 1.4% of population

rural: 24.8% of population

total: 16.6% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria

water contact diseases: leptospirosis

animal contact diseases: rabies

note: clusters of cases of a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are being reported across 27 States and Union Territories in India; as of 18 August 2022, India has reported a total of 44,298,864 cases of COVID-19 or 3,210.05 cumulative cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population with a total of 527,206 cumulative deaths or a rate 38.20 cumulative deaths per 100,000 population; as of 17 August 2022, 72.69% of the population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 3.09 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0.23 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 2.85 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Tobacco use

total: 27.2% (2020 est.)

male: 41.3% (2020 est.)

female: 13% (2020 est.)

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 6.8%

women married by age 18: 27.3%

men married by age 18: 4.2% (2016 est.)

Education expenditures

3.5% of GDP (2016 est.)

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 74.4%

male: 82.4%

female: 65.8% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 12 years

male: 12 years

female: 12 years (2020)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 19.8%

male: 19.5%

female: 21% (2020 est.)

Environment

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; preservation and quality of forests; biodiversity loss

Environment - international agreements

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protection, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 65.2 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 2,407.67 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 559.11 megatons (2020 est.)

Climate

varies from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north

Land use

agricultural land: 60.5% (2018 est.)

arable land: 52.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 4.2% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 3.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 23.1% (2018 est.)

other: 16.4% (2018 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 35.9% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 2.33% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Revenue from forest resources

forest revenues: 0.14% of GDP (2018 est.)

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 1.15% of GDP (2018 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria

water contact diseases: leptospirosis

animal contact diseases: rabies

note: clusters of cases of a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are being reported across 27 States and Union Territories in India; as of 18 August 2022, India has reported a total of 44,298,864 cases of COVID-19 or 3,210.05 cumulative cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population with a total of 527,206 cumulative deaths or a rate 38.20 cumulative deaths per 100,000 population; as of 17 August 2022, 72.69% of the population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 168,403,240 tons (2001 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 8,420,162 tons (2013 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 5% (2013 est.)

Major lakes (area sq km)

salt water lake(s): Chilika Lake - 1,170 sq km

Major rivers (by length in km)

Brahmaputra (shared with China [s] and Bangladesh [m]) - 3,969 km; Indus (shared with China [s] and Pakistan [m]) - 3,610 km; Ganges river source (shared with Bangladesh [m]) - 2,704 km; Godavari - 1,465 km; Sutlej (shared with China [s] and Pakistan [m]) - 1,372 km; Yamuna - 1,370 km; Narmada - 1,289 km; Chenab river source (shared with Pakistan [m]) - 1,086 km; Ghaghara river mouth (shared with China [s] and Nepal) - 1,080 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Indian Ocean drainage: Brahmaputra (651,335 sq km), Ganges (1,016,124 sq km), Indus (1,081,718 sq km), Irrawaddy (413,710 sq km)

Major aquifers

Indus-Ganges-Brahmaputra Basin

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 56 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 17 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 688 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

1.911 trillion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of India

conventional short form: India

local long form: Republic of India (English)/ Bharatiya Ganarajya (Hindi)

local short form: India (English)/ Bharat (Hindi)

etymology: the English name derives from the Indus River; the Indian name "Bharat" may derive from the "Bharatas" tribe mentioned in the Vedas of the second millennium B.C.; the name is also associated with Emperor Bharata, the legendary conqueror of all of India

Government type

federal parliamentary republic

Capital

name: 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)

etymology: the city's name is associated with various myths and legends; the original name for the city may have been Dhilli or Dhillika; alternatively, the name could be a corruption of the Hindustani words "dehleez" or "dehali" - both terms meaning "threshold" or "gateway" - and indicative of the city as a gateway to the Gangetic Plain; after the British decided to move the capital of their Indian Empire from Calcutta to Delhi in 1911, they created a new governmental district south of the latter designated as New Delhi; the new capital was not formally inaugurated until 1931

Administrative divisions

28 states and 8 union territories*; Andaman and Nicobar Islands*, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh*, Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu*, Delhi*, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir*, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Ladakh*, Lakshadweep*, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Puducherry*, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal

note: although its status is that of a union territory, the official name of Delhi is National Capital Territory of Delhi

Independence

15 August 1947 (from the UK)

National holiday

Republic Day, 26 January (1950)

Constitution

history: previous 1935 (preindependence); latest draft completed 4 November 1949, adopted 26 November 1949, effective 26 January 1950

amendments: proposed by either the Council of States or the House of the People; passage requires majority participation of the total membership in each house and at least two-thirds majority of voting members of each house, followed by assent of the president of India; proposed amendments to the constitutional amendment procedures also must be ratified by at least one half of the India state legislatures before presidential assent; amended many times, last in 2020

Legal system

common law system based on the English model; separate personal law codes apply to Muslims, Christians, and Hindus; judicial review of legislative acts

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; non-party state to the ICCt

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of India

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Ram Nath KOVIND (since 25 July 2017); Vice President M. Venkaiah NAIDU (since 11 August 2017) 

head of government: Prime Minister Narendra MODI (since 26 May 2014) 

cabinet: Union Council of Ministers recommended by the prime minister, appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by an electoral college consisting of elected members of both houses of Parliament for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 17 July 2017 (next to be held in July 2022); vice president indirectly elected by an electoral college consisting of elected members of both houses of Parliament for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 5 August 2017 (next to be held in August 2022); following legislative elections, the prime minister is elected by Lok Sabha members of the majority party

election results: Ram Nath KOVIND elected president; percent of electoral college vote - Ram Nath KOVIND (BJP) 65.7% Meira KUMAR (INC) 34.3%; M. Venkaiah NAIDU elected vice president; electoral college vote - M. Venkaiah NAIDU (BJP) 516, Gopalkrishna GANDHI (independent) 244

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament or Sansad consists of:
Council of States or Rajya Sabha (245 seats; 233 members indirectly elected by state and territorial assemblies by proportional representation vote and 12 members appointed by the president; members serve 6-year terms with one-third of the membership renewed every 2 years at various dates)
House of the People or Lok Sabha (545 seats; 543 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 2 appointed by the president; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: Council of States - last held by state and territorial assemblies at various dates in 2019 (in progress March through July 2022 to fill 70 expiry seats)

House of the People - last held April-May 2019 in 7 phases (next to be held in 2024)

election results: Council of States - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - BJP 97, INC 34, AITC 13, DMK 10, other 2, independent 2; composition - men 209, women 29, percent of women 13.8%

House of the People - percent of vote by party - BJP 55.8%, INC 9.6%, AITC 4.4%, YSRCP 4.4%, DMK 4.2%, SS 3.3%, JDU 2.9%, BJD 2.2%, BSP 1.8%, TRS 1.7%, LJP 1.1%, NCP 0.9%, SP 0.9%, other 6.4%, independent 0.7%; seats by party - BJP 303, INC 52, DMK 24, AITC 22, YSRCP 22, SS 18, JDU 16, BJD 12, BSP 10, TRS 9, LJP 6, NCP 5, SP 5, other 35, independent 4, vacant 2; composition - men 465, women 78, percent of women 14.3%; note - total Parliament percent of women 11.3%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 28 judges, including the chief justice)

judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the president to serve until age 65

subordinate courts: High Courts; District Courts; Labour Court

note: in mid-2011, India’s Cabinet approved the "National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reform" to eliminate judicial corruption and reduce the backlog of cases

Political parties and leaders

Aam Aadmi Party or AAP [Arvind KEJRIWAL]
All India Trinamool Congress or AITC [Mamata BANERJEE]
Bahujan Samaj Party or BSP [MAYAWATI]
Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP [Jagat Prakash NADDA]
Biju Janata Dal or BJD [Naveen PATNAIK]
Communist Party of India-Marxist or CPI(M) [Sitaram YECHURY]
Dravida Munnetra Khazhagam [Muthuvel Karunanidhi STALIN]
Indian National Congress or INC [Mallikarjun KHARGE]
Nationalist Congress Party or NCP [Sharad PAWAR]
Rashtriya Janata Dal or RJD [Lalu Prasad YADAV]
Samajwadi Party or SP [Akhilesh YADAV]
Shiromani Akali Dal or SAD [Sukhbir Singh BADAL]
Shiv Sena or SS [Uddhav THACKERAY]
Telegana Rashtra Samithi or TRS [K. Chandrashekar RAO]
Telugu Desam Party or TDP [N. Chandrababu NAIDU]
YSR Congress or YSRCP or YCP [Y.S. Jaganmohan REDDY]

note: India has dozens of national and regional political parties

International organization participation

ADB, AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIMSTEC, BIS, BRICS, C, CD, CERN (observer), CICA, CP, EAS, FAO, FATF, G-15, G-20, G-24, G-5, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAS (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, PIF (partner), Quad, SAARC, SACEP, SCO (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNHRC, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNISFA, UNITAR, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNSOM, UNWTO, UPU, Wassenaar Arrangement, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Taranjit Singh SANDHU (since 6 February 2020)

chancery: 2107 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; Consular Wing located at 2536 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 939-7000

FAX: [1] (202) 265-4351

email address and website:
minca.washington@mea.gov.in (community affairs)

https://www.indianembassyusa.gov.in/

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, New York, San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Patricia A. LACINA (since 9 September 2021)

embassy: Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi - 110021

mailing address: 9000 New Delhi Place, Washington DC  20521-9000

telephone: [91] (11) 2419-8000

FAX: [91] (11) 2419-0017

email address and website:
acsnd@state.gov

https://in.usembassy.gov/

consulate(s) general: Chennai (Madras), Hyderabad, Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay)

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; saffron represents courage, sacrifice, and the spirit of renunciation; white signifies purity and truth; green stands for faith and fertility; the blue chakra symbolizes the wheel of life in movement and death in stagnation

note: similar to the flag of Niger, which has a small orange disk centered in the white band

National symbol(s)

the Lion Capital of Ashoka, which depicts four Asiatic lions standing back to back mounted on a circular abacus, is the official emblem; Bengal tiger; lotus flower; national colors: saffron, white, green

National anthem

name: "Jana-Gana-Mana" (Thou Art the Ruler of the Minds of All People)

lyrics/music: Rabindranath TAGORE

note: adopted 1950; Rabindranath TAGORE, a Nobel laureate, also wrote Bangladesh's national anthem

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 40 (32 cultural, 7 natural, 1 mixed)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Taj Mahal (c); Red Fort Complex (c); Ellora Caves (c); Hill Forts of Rajasthan (c); Sundarbans National Park (n); Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (c); Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park (c); Dholavira: A Harappan City (c); Jaipur (c); Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya (c); Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (n); Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks (n); Khangchendzonga National Park (m)

Economy

Economic overview

India's diverse economy encompasses traditional village farming, modern agriculture, handicrafts, a wide range of modern industries, and a multitude of services. Slightly less than half of the workforce is in agriculture, but services are the major source of economic growth, accounting for nearly two-thirds of India's output but employing less than one-third of its labor force. India has capitalized on its large educated English-speaking population to become a major exporter of information technology services, business outsourcing services, and software workers. Nevertheless, per capita income remains below the world average. India is developing into an open-market economy, yet traces of its past autarkic policies remain. Economic liberalization measures, including industrial deregulation, privatization of state-owned enterprises, and reduced controls on foreign trade and investment, began in the early 1990s and served to accelerate the country's growth, which averaged nearly 7% per year from 1997 to 2017.

 

India's economic growth slowed in 2011 because of a decline in investment caused by high interest rates, rising inflation, and investor pessimism about the government's commitment to further economic reforms and about slow world growth. Investors’ perceptions of India improved in early 2014, due to a reduction of the current account deficit and expectations of post-election economic reform, resulting in a surge of inbound capital flows and stabilization of the rupee. Growth rebounded in 2014 through 2016. Despite a high growth rate compared to the rest of the world, India’s government-owned banks faced mounting bad debt, resulting in low credit growth. Rising macroeconomic imbalances in India and improving economic conditions in Western countries led investors to shift capital away from India, prompting a sharp depreciation of the rupee through 2016.

 

The economy slowed again in 2017, due to shocks of "demonetizaton" in 2016 and introduction of GST in 2017. Since the election, the government has passed an important goods and services tax bill and raised foreign direct investment caps in some sectors, but most economic reforms have focused on administrative and governance changes, largely because the ruling party remains a minority in India’s upper house of Parliament, which must approve most bills.

 

India has a young population and corresponding low dependency ratio, healthy savings and investment rates, and is increasing integration into the global economy. However, long-term challenges remain significant, including: India's discrimination against women and girls, an inefficient power generation and distribution system, ineffective enforcement of intellectual property rights, decades-long civil litigation dockets, inadequate transport and agricultural infrastructure, limited non-agricultural employment opportunities, high spending and poorly targeted subsidies, inadequate availability of quality basic and higher education, and accommodating rural-to-urban migration.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$8,443,360,000,000 (2020 est.)

$9,174,040,000,000 (2019 est.)

$8,817,670,000,000 (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Real GDP growth rate

4.86% (2019 est.)

6.78% (2018 est.)

6.55% (2017 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$6,100 (2020 est.)

$6,700 (2019 est.)

$6,500 (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$2,835,927,000,000 (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

3.7% (2019 est.)

3.9% (2018 est.)

3.3% (2017 est.)

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BBB- (2006)

Moody's rating: Baa3 (2020)

Standard & Poors rating: BBB- (2007)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 15.4% (2016 est.)

industry: 23% (2016 est.)

services: 61.5% (2016 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 59.1% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 11.5% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 28.5% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 3.9% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 19.1% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -22% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

sugar cane, rice, wheat, buffalo milk, milk, potatoes, vegetables, bananas, maize, mangoes/guavas

Industries

textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, software, pharmaceuticals

Labor force

521.9 million (2017 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 47%

industry: 22%

services: 31% (FY 2014 est.)

Unemployment rate

8.5% (2017 est.)

8.5% (2016 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 19.8%

male: 19.5%

female: 21% (2020 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.6%

highest 10%: 29.8% (2011)

Budget

revenues: 238.2 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 329 billion (2017 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-3.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Public debt

71.2% of GDP (2017 est.)

69.5% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: data cover central government debt, and exclude debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data exclude debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions

Taxes and other revenues

9.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March

Current account balance

-$29.748 billion (2019 est.)

-$65.939 billion (2018 est.)

Exports

$484.95 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$546.03 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$537.04 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

Exports - partners

United States 17%, United Arab Emirates 9%, China 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

refined petroleum, diamonds, packaged medicines, jewelry, cars (2019)

Imports

$493.18 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$619.48 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$642.96 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

Imports - partners

China 15%, United States 7%, United Arab Emirates 6%, Saudi Arabia 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

crude petroleum, gold, coal, diamonds, natural gas (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$409.8 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$359.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Debt - external

$555.388 billion (2019 est.)

$518.34 billion (2018 est.)

Exchange rates

Indian rupees (INR) per US dollar -

73.565 (2020 est.)

71.05 (2019 est.)

70.7675 (2018 est.)

64.152 (2014 est.)

61.03 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 99% (2019)

electrification - urban areas: 99% (2019)

electrification - rural areas: 99% (2019)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 432.768 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 1,229,387,712,000 kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 9.491 billion kWh (2019 est.)

imports: 5.794 billion kWh (2019 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 270.701 billion kWh (2019 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 75.5% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 2.8% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 4.2% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 4.6% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 10.7% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 2.3% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Coal

production: 743.214 million metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 883.979 million metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 1.029 million metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 219.212 million metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 105.931 billion metric tons (2019 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 771,400 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 4,920,100 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 4.53 million bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 4,604,900,000 barrels (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

4.897 million bbl/day (2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

1.305 million bbl/day (2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

653,300 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Natural gas

production: 27,734,833,000 cubic meters (2020 est.)

consumption: 61,646,806,000 cubic meters (2020 est.)

exports: 91.916 million cubic meters (2019 est.)

imports: 33,911,973,000 cubic meters (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 1,380,614,000,000 cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

2,314,738,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 1,574,331,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 615.903 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 124.505 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

Energy consumption per capita

23.231 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 20,052,162 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2020 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 1.15 billion (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 84 (2020 est.)

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: India’s telecommunications sector has struggled for growth over the last five years; the sector’s lackluster performance has been in spite of concerted efforts by the government to bolster the underlying infrastructure in a bid to achieve universal coverage; instead, the country’s relatively liberal regulatory environment has encouraged fierce competition and price wars among the operators; State-owned as well as private operators have been forced to seek redress from the government in order to avoid bankruptcy; one particular area of contention has been the billions owed by the operators to the government in the form of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dues – usage and licensing fees charged by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) – that have been the subject of long-standing court battles over what should be counted as revenue; the government won that battle in the Supreme Court in 2019, but the financial impairment of that decision has pushed a number of telcos to the brink; add the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in 2020 and 2021 to the mix, and the government had to come to the industry’s rescue by introducing a major reform package in September 2021; along with changes to the definition of AGR with regard to non-telecom revenue, the package includes a four-year moratorium on AGR dues and spectrum instalments; the government has also deferred the spectrum auctions for 5G until later in 2022; mobile spectrum in India is already in short supply in terms of providing the necessary capacity to reach universal coverage, but the cash-strapped MNOs may not yet be in a sufficiently strong financial position for which to make the 5G spectrum auction viable (2022)

domestic: fixed-line subscriptions stands at roughly 1 per 100 and mobile-cellular at nearly 84 per 100 (2020)

international: country code - 91; a number of major international submarine cable systems, including SEA-ME-WE-3 & 4, AAE-1, BBG, EIG, FALCON, FEA, GBICS, MENA, IMEWE, SEACOM/ Tata TGN-Eurasia, SAFE, WARF, Bharat Lanka Cable System, IOX, Chennai-Andaman & Nicobar Island Cable, SAEx2, Tata TGN-Tata Indicom and i2icn that provide connectivity to Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South East Asia, numerous Indian Ocean islands including Australia ; satellite earth stations - 8 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Inmarsat; Indian Ocean region (2022)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced a downturn, particularly in mobile device production; progress toward 5G implementation has resumed, as well as upgrades to infrastructure; consumer spending on telecom services has increased due to the surge in demand for capacity and bandwidth; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home is still evident, and the spike in this area has seen growth opportunities for development of new tools and increased services

Broadcast media

Doordarshan, India's public TV network, has a monopoly on terrestrial broadcasting and operates about 20 national, regional, and local services; a large and increasing number of privately owned TV stations are distributed by cable and satellite service providers; in 2020, 130 million households paid for cable and satellite television across India and as of 2018, cable and satellite TV offered over 850 TV channels; government controls AM radio with All India Radio operating domestic and external networks; news broadcasts via radio are limited to the All India Radio Network; since 2000, privately owned FM stations have been permitted and their numbers have increased rapidly (2020)

Internet users

total: 593.4 million (2020 est.)

percent of population: 43% (2020 est.)

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 22.95 million (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (2020 est.)

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 14 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 485

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 164,035,637 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 2,703,960,000 (2018) mt-km

Airports

total: 346 (2021)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 253

over 3,047 m: 22

2,438 to 3,047 m: 59

1,524 to 2,437 m: 76

914 to 1,523 m: 82

under 914 m: 14 (2021)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 93

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 6

914 to 1,523 m: 38

under 914 m: 45 (2021)

Heliports

45 (2021)

Pipelines

17,389 km natural gas, 10, 419 km crude oil, 3,544 liquid petroleum gas, 14,729 km refined products (2020) 9 km condensate/gas, 20 km oil/gas/water (2013) (2020)

Railways

total: 65,554 km (2014)

narrow gauge: 1,604 km (2014) 1.000-m gauge

broad gauge: 63,950 km (2014) (39, 329 km electrified)

Roadways

total: 6,371,847 km (2021) note: includes 140,995 km of national highways and expressways, 171.039 km of state highways , and 6,059,813 km of other roads

note: includes 96,214 km of national highways and expressways, 147,800 km of state highways, and 4,455,010 km of other roads

Waterways

14,500 km (2012) (5,200 km on major rivers and 485 km on canals suitable for mechanized vessels)

Merchant marine

total: 1,801

by type: bulk carrier 63, container ship 22, general cargo 587, oil tanker 136, other 993 (2021)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Chennai, Jawaharal Nehru Port, Kandla, Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay), Sikka, Vishakhapatnam

container port(s) (TEUs): Jawaharal Nehru Port (5,100,891), Mundra (4,732,699) (2019)

LNG terminal(s) (import): Dabhol, Dahej, Hazira, Kochi

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Indian Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard; Frontier Corps; Defense Security Corps; Ministry of Home Affairs: Central Armed Police Forces (includes Assam Rifles, Border Security Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, National Security Guards, Sashastra Seema Bal) (2022)

note 1: the Defense Security Corps provides security for Ministry of Defense sites

note 2: the Border Security Force (BSF) is responsible for the Indo-Pakistan and Indo-Bangladesh borders; the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB or Armed Border Force) guards the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders

note 3: the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) includes a Rapid Reaction Force (RAF) for riot control and the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA) for counter-insurgency operations 

note 4: the Assam Rifles are under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs, while operational control falls under the Ministry of Defense (specifically the Indian Army)

Military expenditures

2.2% of GDP (2021 est.)

2.6% of GDP (2020 est.)

2.4% of GDP (2019) (approximately $93.9 billion)

2.4% of GDP (2018) (approximately $88.2 billion)

2.4% of GDP (2017) (approximately $83.8 billion)

Military and security service personnel strengths

information varies; approximately 1.45 million active personnel (estimated 1.25 million Army; 65,000 Navy; 140,000 Air Force; 12,000 Coast Guard) (2022)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the military's inventory consists mostly of Russian- and Soviet-origin equipment along with a smaller mix of Western and domestically-produced arms; since 2010, Russia has been the leading supplier of arms to India; other key suppliers included France, Israel, and the US; India's defense industry is capable of producing a range of air, land, missile, and naval weapons systems for both domestic use and export; it also produces weapons systems under license (2022)

Military service age and obligation

ages vary by service, but generally 16.5-27 years of age for voluntary military service for men and women; no conscription (2022)

note 1: in 2022, the Indian Government announced that it would begin recruiting 46,000 men aged 17.5-21 annually to serve on 4-year contracts under a process called the Agnipath scheme; at the end of their tenure, 25% would be retained for longer terms of service, while the remainder would be forced to leave the military, although some of those leaving would be eligible to serve in the Coast Guard, the Merchant Navy, civilian positions in the Ministry of Defense, and in the paramilitary forces of the Ministry of Home Affairs, such as the Central Armed Police Forces and Assam Rifles

note 2: as of 2022, women made up about .59% of the Army, 1.1% of the Air Force, and 6% of the Navy

note 3: the Indian military accepts citizens of Nepal and Bhutan; descendants of refugees from Tibet who arrived before 1962 and have resided permanently in India; peoples of Indian origin from nations such as Burma, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India; eligible candidates from “friendly foreign nations” may apply to the Armed Forces Medical Services 

note 4: the British began to recruit Nepalese citizens (Gurkhas) into the East India Company Army during the Anglo-Nepalese War (1814-1816), and the Gurkhas subsequently were brought into the British Indian Army; following the partition of India in 1947, an agreement between Nepal, India, and Great Britain allowed for the transfer of the 10 regiments from the British Indian Army to the separate British and Indian armies; six regiments of Gurkhas (aka Gorkhas in India) regiments went to the new Indian Army; a seventh regiment was later added 

Military deployments

1,900 Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO); 110 Golan Heights (UNDOF); 900 Lebanon (UNIFIL); 2,350 South Sudan (UNMISS); 310 Sudan (UNISFA) (May 2022)

Military - note

as of 2022, the Indian Armed Forces were chiefly focused on China and Pakistan; the short 1962 Sino-India War left in place one of the world’s longest disputed international borders, resulting in occasional standoffs between Indian and Chinese security forces, including lethal clashes in 1975 and 2020; meanwhile, India and Pakistan have fought several conflicts since 1947, including the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965 and the Indo-Pakistan and Bangladesh War of Independence of 1971, as well as two clashes over the disputed region of Kashmir (the First Kashmir War of 1947 and the 1999 Kargil Conflict); a fragile cease-fire in Kashmir was reached in 2003, revised in 2018, and reaffirmed in 2021, although the Line of Control remained contested as of 2022, and India has accused Pakistan of backing armed separatists and terrorist organizations in Jammu and Kashmir where Indian forces have conducted counterinsurgency operations since the 1980s; in addition, India and Pakistan have battled over the Siachen Glacier of Kashmir, which was seized by India in 1984 with Pakistan attempting to retake the area at least three times between 1985 and 1995; despite a cease-fire, as of 2022 both sides continued to maintain a permanent military presence there with outposts at altitudes above 20,000 feet (over 6,000 meters) where most casualties were due to extreme weather and the hazards of operating in the high mountain terrain of the world’s highest conflict, including avalanches, exposure, and altitude sickness (2022)

Terrorism

Terrorist group(s)

Harakat ul-Mujahidin; Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami; Hizbul Mujahideen; Indian Mujahedeen; Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham – India; Jaish-e-Mohammed; Lashkar-e Tayyiba; al-Qa’ida; al-Qa’ida in the Indian Subcontinent; Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)/Qods Force

note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

India-China: since 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; Kashmir 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-Pakistan: India and Pakistan resumed bilateral dialogue in February 2011 after a two-year hiatus, have maintained the 2003 cease-fire in Kashmir, and continue to have disputes over water sharing of the Indus River and its tributaries; UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan 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

India-Bangladesh: Prime Minister SINGH's September 2011 visit to Bangladesh resulted in the signing of a Protocol to the 1974 Land Boundary Agreement between India and Bangladesh, which had called for the settlement of longstanding boundary disputes over un-demarcated areas and the exchange of territorial enclaves, but which had never been implemented; Bangladesh referred its maritime boundary claims with Burma and India to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea

India-Nepal: the Joint Border Committee with Nepal continues to examine contested boundary sections, including the 400 sq km 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 persons

refugees (country of origin): 92,885 (Sri Lanka), 73,407 (Tibet/China), 20,325 (Burma), 8,537 (Afghanistan) (mid-year 2021)

IDPs: 506,000 (armed conflict and intercommunal violence) (2021)

stateless persons: 19,677 (mid-year 2021)

Illicit drugs

source and transit point for illicit narcotics and precursor chemicals bound for Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, and North America; in 2020 India exported over $19 billion of illegal pharmaceutical drugs; illegal opium poppy growing in the Northeast; traffickers retool commercial chemical factories to produce large volumes of ephedrine, methamphetamine, and other drugs illicitly