Photos of India

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 is dampening 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

country comparison to the world: 8

Area - comparative

slightly more than one-third the size of the US

Land boundaries

total: 13,888 km

border countries (6): Bangladesh 4142 km, Bhutan 659 km, Burma 1468 km, China 2659 km, Nepal 1770 km, Pakistan 3190 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

mean elevation: 160 m

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

highest point: Kanchenjunga 8,586 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% (2011 est.)

arable land: 52.8% (2011 est.)

permanent crops: 4.2% (2011 est.)

permanent pasture: 3.5% (2011 est.)

forest: 23.1% (2011 est.)

other: 16.4% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

667,000 sq km (2012)

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

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 Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note

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

People and Society

Population

1,339,330,514 (July 2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 2

Nationality

noun: Indian(s)

adjective: Indian

Ethnic groups

Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid 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% (2011 est.)

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, 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

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.)

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.)

country comparison to the world: 141

Birth rate

17.53 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 86

Death rate

7.1 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 126

Net migration rate

-0.04 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 99

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: 34.9% of total population (2020)

rate of urbanization: 2.37% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population

30.291 million NEW DELHI (capital), 20.411 million Mumbai, 14.850 million Kolkata, 1.237 million Bangalore, 10.971 million Chennai, 10.004 million Hyderabad (2020)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.11 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.13 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.14 male(s)/female

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

55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female

total population: 1.08 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

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

country comparison to the world: 57

Infant mortality rate

total: 39.55 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 39.47 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 39.63 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 42

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 70.03 years

male: 68.71 years

female: 71.49 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 176

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 96% of population

rural: 91% of population

total: 92.7% of population

unimproved: urban: 4% of population

rural: 9% of population

total: 7.2% of population (2017 est.)

Physicians density

0.78 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Hospital bed density

0.5 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 93.7% of population

rural: 61.1% of population

total: 72% of population

unimproved: urban: 6.3% of population

rural: 38.9% of population

total: 28% of population (2017 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 8 December 2020, India has reported a total of 9,644,222 cases of COVID-19 or 6,989 cumulative cases of COVID-19 per 1 million population with 102 cumulative deaths per 1 million population; on 16 March 2020, the government proposed extensive social distancing measures, including closure of all schools, museums, and cultural and social centers; prohibited gatherings of more than 50 people; and called on the public to avoid all non-essential travel; international commercial passenger flights remain suspended

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: 11 years

female: 12 years (2019)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 22.5%

male: 22.2%

female: 24.2% (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 56

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of India

conventional short form: India

local long form: Republic of India/Bharatiya Ganarajya

local short form: India/Bharat

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 2019

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; note - in late 2019 the Government of India began discussions to overhaul its penal code, which dates to the British colonial period

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)
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 (next originally scheduled for March, June, and November 2020 but were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic)

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 83, INC 46, AITC 13, DMK 11, SP, other 77, independent 6; composition - men 220, women 25, percent of women 10.2%

House of the People - percent of vote by party - BJP 55.8%, INC 9.6%, AITC 4.4%, YSRC 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, YSRC 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 courts: 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 Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or AIADMK [Edappadi PALANISWAMY, Occhaathevar PANNEERSELVAM]
All India Trinamool Congress or AITC [Mamata BANERJEE]
Bahujan Samaj Party or BSP [MAYAWATI]
Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP [Amit SHAH]
Biju Janata Dal or BJD [Naveen PATNAIK]
Communist Party of India-Marxist or CPI(M) [Sitaram YECHURY]
Indian National Congress or INC
Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) [Ram Vilas PASWAN]
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 [Chandrababu NAIDU]
YSR Congress or YSRC [Jagan Mohan 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), SAARC, SACEP, SCO (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNISFA, UNITAR, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, 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

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

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Kenneth I. JUSTER (since 23 November 2017)

telephone: [91] (11) 2419-8000

embassy: Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021

mailing address: use embassy street address

FAX: [91] (11) 2419-0017

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

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.

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

3.7% (2019 est.)

3.9% (2018 est.)

3.3% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 160

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BBB- (2006)

Moody's rating: Baa3 (2020)

Standard & Poors rating: BBB- (2007)

GDP (official exchange rate)

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

Gross national saving

28.8% of GDP (2017 est.)

29.7% of GDP (2016 est.)

30.7% of GDP (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 36

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 - by occupation

agriculture: 47%

industry: 22%

services: 31% (FY 2014 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.)

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

country comparison to the world: 47

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March

Current account balance

-$29.748 billion (2019 est.)

-$65.939 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 199

Exports

$572.073 billion (2019 est.)

$564.165 billion (2018 est.)

$509.661 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 12

Exports - partners

US 15.6%, UAE 10.2%, Hong Kong 4.9%, China 4.3% (2017)

Exports - commodities

petroleum products, precious stones, vehicles, machinery, iron and steel, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, cereals, apparel

Imports

$624.314 billion (2019 est.)

$656.529 billion (2018 est.)

$575.121 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 10

Imports - partners

China 16.3%, US 5.5%, UAE 5.2%, Saudi Arabia 4.8%, Switzerland 4.7% (2017)

Imports - commodities

crude oil, precious stones, machinery, chemicals, fertilizer, plastics, iron and steel

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$409.8 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$359.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 8

Debt - external

$501.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$456.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 24

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

population without electricity: 6 million (2019)

electrification - total population: 99% (2019)

electrification - urban areas: 99% (2019)

electrification - rural areas: 99% (2019)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 20,198,012

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1.54 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 13

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 1,105,250,941

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 84.27 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 2

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: supported by deregulation and liberalization of telecommunication laws and policies, India has emerged as one of the fastest-growing telecom markets in the world; implementation of 4G/LTE services shift to data services across the country; highly competitive mobile market with price wars and value-added-services of mobile data; potential to become one of the largest five data center markets globally; steps taken towards 5G services; fixed broadband penetration is expected to grow at a moderate rate over the next five years to 2023 (2020)

domestic: fixed-line subscriptions stands at 2 per 100 and mobile-cellular at 84 per 100; 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 (2019)

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 (2019)

note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated

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 2015, more than 230 million homes had access to cable and satellite TV offering more than 700 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

Internet users

total: 446,759,327

percent of population: 34.45% (July 2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 2

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 18.17 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 11

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 mt-km (2018)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 253 (2017)

over 3,047 m: 22 (2017)

2,438 to 3,047 m: 59 (2017)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 76 (2017)

914 to 1,523 m: 82 (2017)

under 914 m: 14 (2017)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 93 (2013)

over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)

2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 (2013)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 6 (2013)

914 to 1,523 m: 38 (2013)

under 914 m: 45 (2013)

Heliports

45 (2013)

Pipelines

9 km condensate/gas, 13581 km gas, 2054 km liquid petroleum gas, 8943 km oil, 20 km oil/gas/water, 11069 km refined products (2013)

Railways

total: 68,525 km (2014)

narrow gauge: 9,499 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)

broad gauge: 58,404 km 1.676-m gauge (23,654 electrified) (2014)

622 0.762-m gauge

country comparison to the world: 5

Roadways

total: 4,699,024 km (2015)

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

country comparison to the world: 3

Waterways

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

country comparison to the world: 9

Merchant marine

total: 1,768

by type: bulk carrier 63, container ship 23, general cargo 579, oil tanker 141, other 962 (2020)

country comparison to the world: 16

Ports and terminals

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

container port(s) (TEUs): Chennai (1,549,457), Jawaharal Nehru Port (4,833,397), Mundra (4,240,260) (2017)

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

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Indian Armed Forces: Army, Navy (includes marines), Air Force, Coast Guard; Defense Security Corps (paramilitary forces); Ministry of Home Affairs paramilitary forces: Central Armed Police Force (includes Assam Rifles, Border Security Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, National Security Guards, Sashastra Seema Bal) (2019)

Military expenditures

2.4% of GDP (2019)

2.4% of GDP (2018)

2.5% of GDP (2017)

2.5% of GDP (2016)

2.4% of GDP (2015)

country comparison to the world: 37

Military and security service personnel strengths

assessments of the size of the Indian Armed Forces vary; approximately 1.45 million active personnel (est. 1.25 million Army; 66,000 Navy; 140,000 Air Force; 11,000 Coast Guard); est. 1.5 million paramilitary forces (Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Home Affairs) (2019)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the inventory of the Indian Armed Forces consists mostly of Russian-origin equipment, along with a smaller mix of Western and domestically-produced arms; since 2010, Russia is the leading supplier of arms to India, followed by France, Israel, the UK, and the US; India's defense industry is capable of producing a range of air, land, missile, and naval weapons systems (2019)

Military deployments

1,900 Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO); 190 Golan Heights (UNDOF); 780 Lebanon (UNIFIL); 2,350 South Sudan (UNMISS) (2020)

Military service age and obligation

16-18 years of age for voluntary military service (Army 17 1/2, Air Force 17, Navy 16 1/2); no conscription; women may join as officers, currently serve in combat roles as pilots, and under consideration for Army combat roles (2019)

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 (2019)

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

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 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; 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 undemarcated 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; 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): 108,008 (Tibet/China), 59,428 (Sri Lanka), 18,813 (Burma), 7,470 (Afghanistan) (2019)

IDPs: 470,000 (armed conflict and intercommunal violence) (2019)

stateless persons: 17,730 (2019)

Illicit drugs

world's largest producer of licit opium for the pharmaceutical trade, but an undetermined quantity of opium is diverted to illicit international drug markets; transit point for illicit narcotics produced in neighboring countries and throughout Southwest Asia; illicit producer of methaqualone; vulnerable to narcotics money laundering through the hawala system; licit ketamine and precursor production