Country Profile: India


Location: India is located in Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan. The mainland comprises three main geological regions: Indo-Gangetic Plain and Himalayas, collectively known as North India; and Peninsula or South India.

Size: Total land area in India-2, 973,190 square kilometers, Total area, including territorial seas, claimed is 3,287,590 square kilometers.

Climate in India: Climate varies significantly from Himalayas in north to tropical south. Four seasons: relatively dry, cool winter December to February; dry, hot summer March to May; southwest monsoon June to September when predominating southwest maritime winds bring rains to most of country; and northwest, or retreating, monsoon October and November.

Natural resources:

Coal (forth-largest reserves in the world), iron ore, natural gas, mica

Land use:

u      Arable land :54.35%

u      Permanent crops: 2.66%

u      Other: 42.99%

Environment current issues:

u      Air pollution from industrial effluents and vehicle emissions

u      Water pollution from raw sewage and runoff of agricultural pesticides; tap water is not portable throughout the country

u      Huge and overgrowing population is overstraining natural resources




Population: Reached one billion in the year 1999. Its population is growing at a rate of about 1.7% per annum. Mumbai, largest city with 20.1 millions in 2000; twenty-three other cities with populations of more than 1 million.

Language: The people in India speak 14 major languages and more than 1,000 minor languages and dialects. Hindi is the native language of more than a third of Indias people, and many others speak Hindi as a second language. Only about 2 percent speak English, but it serves as a common language among most educated Indians, and people use it for many official and administrative purposes.

Ethnic groups: Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, mongoloid and other 3%.

Religion: Hinduism (82%), Muslim (12.1%) Christian (2.3%)



The Indian economy is vast: a population of over one billion, a resource-rich land mass, and the 12th-largest economy in the world. Agriculture plays an important, although diminishing role in the economy, accounting for about 25 percent of the country gross domestic product (GDP) in 2002. Industry and manufacturing have expanded over the past decade. These sectors now account for about 24 percent and 16 percent of GDP, respectively. The service sector has strengthened, growing from 36 percent in 1980 to about 40 percent today. Indias software subsector-one of the most dynamic in the world-has experienced a sustained rapid upswing, growing by 65 % in 2002. Threrfore, India encompasses a wide spectrum of economic activity, ranging from high technology to subsistence agriculture. Indigenous technological achievements extend to fields such as nuclear energy, space and satellite communications, superconductors and deep sea oil drilling. At the same time, India is the largest single recipient of World Bank lending.


The Republic of India is a constitutional democracy made up of 28 states and seven union territories. The Constitution came into force on 26 January 1950 and lists the powers of the federal government (known as the Centre), those of the states, and those which are concurrent. The President of India is constrained to act on the advice of the Council of Ministers, chosen by the Prime Minister.