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    What is India

India At Glance

Background

The civilization of India is one of the oldest civilizations in the World, spanning more than 4000 years and witnessing the rise and fall of several Empires, and projecting a unique assimilation of various cultures and heritage. The Country has always been portrayed as a land of spiritual integrity with professors of Philosophy, who have engineered the magnanimity of its nationalism. One of the oldest scriptures in the World, the four-volume Vedas that many regard as the repository of national thoughts, which have anticipated some of the modern scientific discoveries, has been created in the orb of this myth oriented Country. This strong affinity with religion and mythology has been reflected time and again through various art forms and performing arts, which are symbolical of the composite culture of India. Unity in diversity is another facet of the Country’s inherent nationalism, which had been fused by the feeling of national fervour incited by various foreign invasions that ever made its way to the Indian shores. Religious tolerance and cultural amalgamation have given shape to a uniquely secular Nation, which has created an impressive status of itself in the global arena.

Geography

Location: The Indian peninsula is separated from mainland Asia by the Himalayas. The Country is surrounded by the Bay of Bengal in the east, the Arabian Sea in the west, and the Indian Ocean to the south.

Geographic Coordinates: Lying entirely in the Northern Hemisphere, the Country extends between 8° 4' and 37° 6' latitudes north of the Equator, and 68°7' and 97°25' longitudes east of it.

Indian Standard Time: GMT + 05:30

Area: 3.3 Million sq km

Telephone Country Code: +91

Border Countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan to the north-west; China, Bhutan and Nepal to the north; Myanmar to the east; and Bangladesh to the east of West Bengal. Sri Lanka is separated from India by a narrow channel of sea, formed by Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar.

Coastline: 7,516.6 km encompassing the mainland, Lakshadweep Islands, and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Climate: The climate of India can broadly be classified as a tropical monsoon one. But, in spite of much of the northern part of India lying beyond the tropical zone, the entire country has a tropical climate marked by relatively high temperatures and dry winters. There are four seasons - winter (December-February), (ii) summer (March-June), (iii) south-west monsoon season (June-September), and (iv) post monsoon season (October- November).

Terrain: The mainland comprises of four regions, namely the great mountain zone, plains of the Ganga and the Indus, the desert region, and the southern peninsula.

Natural Resources: Coal, iron ore, manganese ore, mica, bauxite, petroleum, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, magnesite, limestone, arable land, dolomite, barytes, kaolin, gypsum, apatite, phosphorite, steatite, fluorite, etc.

Natural Hazards: Monsoon floods, flash floods, earthquakes, droughts, and landslides.

Environment – Current Issues: Air pollution control, energy conservation, solid waste management, oil and gas conservation, forest conservation, etc.

Environment – International Agreements: Rio Declaration on environment and development, Cartagena Protocol on biosafety, Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on climatic change, World Trade Agreement, Helsinki Protocol to LRTAP on the reduction of sulphur emissions of nitrogen oxides or their transboundary fluxes (Nox Protocol), and Geneva Protocol to LRTAP concerning the control of emissions of volatile organic compounds or their transboundary fluxes (VOCs Protocol).

Geography – Note: India occupies a major portion of the south Asian subcontinent.

People

Population:   India's population, as on 1 March 2001 stood at 1,028 million (532.1 million males and 496.4 million females).

Population Growth Rate:   The average annual exponential growth rate stands at 1.93 per cent during 1991-2001.

Birth Rate:   The Crude Birth rate according to the 2001 census is 24.8

Death Rate:   The Crude Death rate according to the 2001 census is 8.9

Life Expectancy Rate:   63.9 years (Males); 66.9 years (Females) (As of Sep 2005)

Sex Ratio:   933 according to the 2001 census

Nationality:   Indian

Ethnic Groups:   All the five major racial types - Australoid, Mongoloid, Europoid, Caucasian, and Negroid find representation among the people of India.

Religions:   According to the 2001 census, out of the total population of 1.028 million in the Country, Hindus constituted the majority with 80.5 %, Muslims came second at 13.4%, followed by Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and others.

Languages:   There are 22 National Languages have been recognized by the Constitution of India, of which Hindi is the Official Union Language. Besides these, there are 844 different dialects that are practiced in various parts of the Country.

Literacy:   According to the provisional results of the 2001 census, the literacy rate in the Country stands at 64.84 per cent, 75.26% for males and 53.67% for females.

Government

Country Name:   Republic of India; Bharat Ganrajya      
Government Type:   Sovereign Socialist Democratic Republic with a Parliamentary system of Government.      
Capital:   New Delhi      
Administrative Divisions:   28 States and 7 Union Territories.       Independence:   15th August 1947 (From the British Colonial Rule)       Constitution:   The Constitution of India came into force on 26th January 1950.      
Legal System:   The Constitution of India is the fountain source of the legal system in the Country.

Executive Branch:   The President of India is the Head of the State, while the Prime Minister is the Head of the Government, and runs office with the support of the Council of Ministers who form the Cabinet Ministry.       Legislative Branch:   The Indian Legislature comprises of the Lok Sabha (House of the People) and the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) forming both the Houses of the Parliament.

Judicial Branch:   The Supreme Court of India is the apex body of the Indian legal system, followed by other High Courts and subordinate Courts.      
Flag Description:   The National Flag is a horizontal tricolour of deep saffron (kesaria) at the top, white in the middle, and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion. At the centre of the white band is a navy blue wheel, which is a representation of the Ashoka Chakra at Sarnath.      
National Days:   26th January (Republic Day) 15th August (Independence Day) 2nd October (Gandhi Jayanti; Mahatma Gandhi's Birthday)

Economy

Economy – Overview:   Half a Century after gaining its independence, India has overcome all odds and achieved phenomenal standards of economic stability, courtesy the indomitable contributions of various sectors such as agriculture, tourism, commerce, power, communications, science & technology, etc., which have acted as the pillars of the Indian economy. India is today one of the six fastest growing economies of the world. The country is ranked fourth in terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) in 2001. The business and regulatory environment is evolving and moving towards constant improvement.      
GDP – Real Growth Rate:   8.5% (2007 est.)
GDP – Purchasing Power Parity:   $2.965 trillion (2007 est.)
GDP – Per Capita:   $2,700 (2007 est.)
GDP – Composition by Sector:   agriculture: 16.6%, industry: 28.4%, services: 55% (2007 est.)
Labour Force:   516.4 million (2007 est.)
Unemployment Rate:   7.2% (2007 est.)
Population below Poverty Line:   25% (2007 est.)
Inflation Rate:   8.1% as on May 2008.       
Public Debt:   58.8% of GDP (federal and state debt combined) (2007 est.)
Exchange Rates:   Check RBI website for daily exchange rates.       Agriculture Products:   Rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, potatoes; cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, poultry; fish
Industries: Textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, software
Currency (Code):   Indian Rupee (INR)      

Fiscal Year:   1st April to 31st March.