Top banner
The World Factbook 2002 Banner

Flag of India
Click to enlarge
Categories Banner
  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

Map of India

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    India
Definition Field Listing
The Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world, goes back at least 5,000 years. Aryan tribes from the northwest invaded about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier inhabitants created the classical Indian culture. Arab incursions starting in the 8th century and Turkish in 12th were followed by European traders beginning in the late 15th century. By the 19th century, Britain had assumed political control of virtually all Indian lands. Nonviolent resistance to British colonialism under Mohandas GANDHI and Jawaharlal NEHRU led to independence in 1947. The subcontinent was divided into the secular state of India and the smaller Muslim state of Pakistan. A third war between the two countries in 1971 resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. Fundamental concerns in India include the ongoing dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir, massive overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and ethnic and religious strife, all this despite impressive gains in economic investment and output.
   Geography    India
Definition Field Listing
Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
20 00 N, 77 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
total: 3,287,590 sq km
land: 2,973,190 sq km
water: 314,400 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly more than one-third the size of the US
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 14,103 km
border countries: Bangladesh 4,053 km, Bhutan 605 km, Burma 1,463 km, China 3,380 km, Nepal 1,690 km, Pakistan 2,912 km
Definition Field Listing
7,000 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
contiguous zone: 24 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
Definition Field Listing
varies from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north
Definition Field Listing
upland plain (Deccan Plateau) in south, flat to rolling plain along the Ganges, deserts in west, Himalayas in north
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Kanchenjunga 8,598 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
coal (fourth-largest reserves in the world), iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, diamonds, petroleum, limestone, arable land
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 54.35%
permanent crops: 2.66%
other: 42.99% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
590,000 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
droughts; flash floods, as well as widespread and destructive flooding from monsoonal rains; severe thunderstorms; earthquakes
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
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
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
dominates South Asian subcontinent; near important Indian Ocean trade routes
   People    India
Definition Field Listing
1,045,845,226 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 32.7% (male 175,858,386; female 165,724,901)
15-64 years: 62.6% (male 338,957,463; female 316,063,497)
65 years and over: 4.7% (male 24,975,465; female 24,265,514) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.51% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
23.79 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
8.62 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-0.07 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.03 male(s)/female
total population: 1.07 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
61.47 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 63.23 years
female: 63.93 years (2002 est.)
male: 62.55 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.98 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.7% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
3.7 million (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
310,000 (1999 est.)
Definition Field Listing
noun: Indian(s)
adjective: Indian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3% (2000)
Definition Field Listing
Hindu 81.3%, Muslim 12%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other groups including Buddhist, Jain, Parsi 2.5% (2000)
Definition Field Listing
English enjoys associate status but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindi is the national language and primary tongue of 30% of the people; there are 14 other official languages: Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, and Sanskrit; Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 52%
male: 65.5%
female: 37.7% (1995 est.)
   Government    India
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of India
conventional short form: India
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
federal republic
Definition Field Listing
New Delhi
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
28 states and 7 union territories*; Andaman and Nicobar Islands*, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh*, Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli*, Daman and Diu*, Delhi*, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep*, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Pondicherry*, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal
Definition Field Listing
15 August 1947 (from UK)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Republic Day, 26 January (1950)
Definition Field Listing
26 January 1950
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on English common law; limited judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Abdul KALAM (since 26 July 2002); Vice President (vacant)
elections: president elected by an electoral college consisting of elected members of both houses of Parliament and the legislatures of the states for a five-year term; election last held NA July 2002 (next to be held NA July 2007); vice president elected by both houses of Parliament for a five-year term; election last held 12 August 2002 (next to be held NA August 2007); prime minister elected by parliamentary members of the majority party following legislative elections; election last held NA October 1999 (next to be held NA October 2004)
head of government: Prime Minister Atal Bihari VAJPAYEE (since 19 March 1998)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
election results: Abdul KALAM elected president; percent of electoral college vote - NA%; Bhairon Singh SHEKHAWAT elected vice president; percent of Parliament vote - 59.8; Atal Bihari VAJPAYEE elected prime minister; percent of vote - NA%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral Parliament or Sansad consists of the Council of States or Rajya Sabha (a body consisting of not more than 250 members, up to 12 of which are appointed by the president, the remainder are chosen by the elected members of the state and territorial assemblies; members serve six-year terms) and the People's Assembly or Lok Sabha (545 seats; 543 elected by popular vote, 2 appointed by the president; members serve five-year terms)
elections: People's Assembly - last held 5 September through 3 October 1999 (next to be held NA 2004)
election results: People's Assembly - percent of vote by party - BJP alliance 40.8%, Congress (I) alliance 33.8%, other 25.4%; seats by party - BJP alliance 304, Congress (I) alliance 134, other 107
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president and remain in office until they reach the age of 65)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or AIADMK [C. Jayalalitha JAYARAM]; All India Forward Bloc or AIFB, [D. BISWAS (general secretary)]; Asom Gana Parishad [Brindaban GOSWAMI]; Bahujan Samaj Party or BSP [MAYAWATI]; Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP [Jana KRISNAMURTHY]; Biju Janata Dal or BJD [Naveen PATNAIK]; Communist Party of India or CPI [Ardhendu Bhushan BARDHAN]; Communist Party of India/Marxist-Leninist or CPI/ML [Dipankar BHATTACHARYA]; Congress (I) Party [Sonia GANDHI]; Dravida Munnetra Kazagham or DMK (a regional party in Tamil Nadu) [M. KARUNANIDHI]; Indian National League [Suliaman SAITH]; Janata Dal (Secular) [H. D. Deve GOWDA]; Janata Dal (United) or JDU [Sharad YADAV]; Kerala Congress (Mani faction) [K. M. MANI]; Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or MDMK [VAIKO]; Muslim League [G. M. BANATWALA]; Nationalist Congress Party or NCP [Sharad PAWAR]; Rashtriya Janata Dal or RJD [Laloo Prasad YADAV]; Revolutionary Socialist Party or RSP [Abani ROY]; Samajwadi Party or SP [Mulayam Singh YADAV]; Shiromani Akali Dal [G. S. TOHRA]; Shiv Sena [Bal THACKERAY]; Tamil Maanila Congress [G. K. VASAN]; Telugu Desam Party or TDP [Chandrababu NAIDU]; Trinamool Congress [Mamata BANERJEE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
numerous religious or militant/chauvinistic organizations, including Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal, and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh; various separatist groups seeking greater communal and/or regional autonomy, including the All Parties Hurriyat Conference
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Lalit MANSINGH
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, New York, and San Francisco
FAX: [1] (202) 483-3972
telephone: [1] (202) 939-7000
chancery: 2107 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; note - Embassy located at 2536 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Robert D. BLACKWILL
embassy: Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [91] (11) 419-8000
FAX: [91] (11) 419-0017
consulate(s) general: Chennai (Madras), Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay)
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
three equal horizontal bands of orange (top), white, and green with a blue chakra (24-spoked wheel) centered in the white band; similar to the flag of Niger, which has a small orange disk centered in the white band
   Economy    India
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
India's economy encompasses traditional village farming, modern agriculture, handicrafts, a wide range of modern industries, and a multitude of support services. Overpopulation severely handicaps the economy and about a quarter of the population is too poor to be able to afford an adequate diet. Government controls have been reduced on imports and foreign investment, and privatization of domestic output has proceeded slowly. The economy has posted an excellent average growth rate of 6% since 1990, reducing poverty by about 10 percentage points. India has large numbers of well-educated people skilled in the English language; India is a major exporter of software services and software workers. The poor monsoon of mid-2002 has reduced agricultural output substantially.
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $2.66 trillion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
4.3% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $2,540 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 25%
industry: 25%
services: 50% (2002 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
25% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 4%
highest 10%: 34% (1997) (1997)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
38 (1997)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing
5.4% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
406 million (1999) (1999)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 60%, services 23%, industry 17% (1999) (1999)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
8.8% (2002)
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $48.3 billion
expenditures: $78.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $14 $13.5 billion (FY01/02 est.)
Definition Field Listing
textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, software
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
4.7% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
547.12 billion kWh (FY 2000-01, utilities only) (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 83%
hydro: 14%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 3%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
509.89 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
321 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
1.385 billion kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, potatoes; cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, poultry; fish
Definition Field Listing
$44.5 billion f.o.b. (2001)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
textile goods, gems and jewelry, engineering goods, chemicals, leather manufactures
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 20.9%, UK 5.2%, Germany 4.3%, Japan 4.0%, Benelux 3.3% (2000)
Definition Field Listing
$53.8 billion f.o.b. (2001)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
crude oil, machinery, gems, fertilizer, chemicals
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
UK 6.3%, US 6.0%, Belgium 5.7%, Japan 3.5%, Germany 3.5% (2000)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$100.6 billion (end-March 2001) (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$2.9 billion (FY98/99)
Definition Field Listing
Indian rupee (INR)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Indian rupees per US dollar - 48.336 (January 2002), 47.186 (2001), 44.942 (2000), 43.055 (1999), 41.259 (1998), 36.313 (1997)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 April - 31 March
   Communications    India
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
27.7 million (October 2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
2.93 million (November 2000)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: mediocre service; local and long distance service provided throughout all regions of the country, with services primarily concentrated in the urban areas; major objective is to continue to expand and modernize long-distance network to keep pace with rapidly growing number of local subscriber lines; steady improvement is taking place with the recent admission of private and private-public investors, but, with telephone density at about two for each 100 persons and a waiting list of over 2 million, demand for main line telephone service will not be satisfied for a very long time
domestic: local service is provided by microwave radio relay and coaxial cable, with open wire and obsolete electromechanical and manual switchboard systems still in use in rural areas; starting in the 1980s, a substantial amount of digital switch gear has been introduced for local and long-distance service; long-distance traffic is carried mostly by coaxial cable and low-capacity microwave radio relay; since 1985 significant trunk capacity has been added in the form of fiber-optic cable and a domestic satellite system with 254 earth stations; mobile cellular service is provided in four metropolitan cities
international: satellite earth stations - 8 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Inmarsat (Indian Ocean region); nine gateway exchanges operating from Mumbai (Bombay), New Delhi, Kolkata (Calcutta), Chennai (Madras), Jalandhar, Kanpur, Gaidhinagar, Hyderabad, and Ernakulam; 4 submarine cables - LOCOM linking Chennai (Madras) to Penang; Indo-UAE-Gulf cable linking Mumbai (Bombay) to Al Fujayrah, UAE; India-SEA-ME-WE-3, SEA-ME-WE-2 with landing sites at Cochin and Mumbai (Bombay); Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) with landing site at Mumbai (Bombay) (2000)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 153, FM 91, shortwave 68 (1998)
Definition Field Listing
116 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
562 (of which 82 stations have 1 kW or greater power and 480 stations have less than 1 kW of power) (1997)
Definition Field Listing
63 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
43 (2000)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
7 million (2002)
   Transportation    India
Definition Field Listing
total: 63,693 km (13,771 km electrified)
broad gauge: 45,103 km 1.676-m gauge
narrow gauge: 15,178 km 1.000-m gauge; 3,105 km 0.762-m gauge; 307 km 0.610-m gauge (2001)
Definition Field Listing
total: 3,319,644 km
paved: 1,517,077 km
unpaved: 1,802,567 km (1996)
Definition Field Listing
16,180 km
note: 3,631 km navigable by large vessels
Definition Field Listing
crude oil 3,005 km; petroleum products 2,687 km; natural gas 1,700 km (1995)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Chennai (Madras), Cochin, Jawaharal Nehru, Kandla, Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay), Vishakhapatnam
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 319 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 6,325,284 GRT/10,581,459 DWT
ships by type: bulk 115, cargo 80, chemical tanker 16, combination bulk 1, combination ore/oil 3, container 13, liquefied gas 9, passenger/cargo 5, petroleum tanker 74, short-sea passenger 2, specialized tanker 1
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: China 1, United Arab Emirates 10, United Kingdom 1 (2002 est.)
Definition Field Listing
335 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 232
over 3,047 m: 14
2,438 to 3,047 m: 47
914 to 1,523 m: 73
under 914 m: 20 (2002)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 78
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 102
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
under 914 m: 48 (2002)
914 to 1,523 m: 42
Definition Field Listing
19 (2002)
   Military    India
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army, Navy (including naval air arm), Air Force, Strategic Nuclear Command (SNC), Coast Guard, various security or paramilitary forces (including Border Security Force, Assam Rifles, Rashtriya Rifles, National Security Guards, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Special Frontier Force, Ladakh Scouts, Central Reserve Police Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Railway Protection Force, Defense Security Corps, and Indian Reserve Battalions)
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
17 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 285,729,565 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 167,599,380 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 10,879,384 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$12,079.7 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
2.5% (FY01)
   Transnational Issues    India
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
discussions with Bangladesh remain stalled to delimit a small section of river boundary, demarcate and fence off the entire boundary, exchange 162 minuscule enclaves, and allocate divided villages while skirmishes, illegal trafficking, and violence along the border continue; Bangladesh has protested India's attempts to fence off high traffic sections of the porous boundary; dispute with Bangladesh over New Moore/South Talpatty Island in the Bay of Bengal; much of the rugged, militarized boundary with China is in dispute but talks to resolve the least contested middle sector resumed in 2001; with Pakistan, armed stand-off over the status and sovereignty of Kashmir continues; dispute with Pakistan over terminus of Rann of Kutch prevents extension of a maritime boundary; water-sharing problems with Pakistan persist over the Indus River (Wular Barrage); Joint Border Committee formed with Nepal in 2001 is intended to resolve 53 disputed sections of boundary covering an area of 720 sq km
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
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; illicit producer of methaqualone; vulnerable to narcotics money laundering through the hawala system

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

Bottom Banner