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People and Society






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 onto 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. The British Indian Army played a vital role in both World Wars. Nonviolent resistance to British rule, led by Mohandas GANDHI and Jawaharlal NEHRU, eventually brought about independence in 1947. Communal violence led to the subcontinent's bloody partition, which resulted in the creation of two separate states, India and Pakistan. The two countries have fought three wars since independence, the last of which in 1971 resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. India's nuclear weapons tests in 1998 caused 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. In January 2011, India assumed a nonpermanent seat in the UN Security Council for the 2011-12 term. Despite pressing problems such as significant overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and widespread corruption, rapid economic development is fueling India's rise on the world stage.


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Economy - overview
India is developing into an open-market economy, yet traces of its past autarkic policies remain. Economic liberalization, including industrial deregulation, privatization of state-owned enterprises, and reduced controls on foreign trade and investment, began in the early 1990s and has served to accelerate the country's growth, which has averaged more than 7% per year since 1997. India's diverse economy encompasses traditional village farming, modern agriculture, handicrafts, a wide range of modern industries, and a multitude of services. Slightly more than half of the work force is in agriculture, but services are the major source of economic growth, accounting for more than half of India's output, with only 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 and software workers. In 2010, the Indian economy rebounded robustly from the global financial crisis - in large part because of strong domestic demand - and growth exceeded 8% year-on-year in real terms. However, India's economic growth in 2011 slowed because of persistently high inflation and interest rates and little progress on economic reforms. High international crude prices have exacerbated the government's fuel subsidy expenditures contributing to a higher fiscal deficit, and a worsening current account deficit. Little economic reform took place in 2011 largely due to corruption scandals that have slowed legislative work. India's medium-term growth outlook is positive due to a young population and corresponding low dependency ratio, healthy savings and investment rates, and increasing integration into the global economy. India has many long-term challenges that it has not yet fully addressed, including widespread poverty, inadequate physical and social infrastructure, limited non-agricultural employment opportunities, scarce access to quality basic and higher education, and accommodating rural-to-urban migration.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 4
$4.515 trillion (2011 est.)
$4.21 trillion (2010 est.)
$3.806 trillion (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$1.676 trillion (2011 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 26
7.2% (2011 est.)
10.6% (2010 est.)
6.6% (2009 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 164
$3,700 (2011 est.)
$3,500 (2010 est.)
$3,200 (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 17.2%
Industry 26.4%
Services 56.4% (2011 est.)

Labor force World Ranking: 2
487.6 million (2011 est.)

Labor force - by occupation
Agriculture 52%
Industry 14%
Services 34% (2009 est.)

Unemployment rate World Ranking: 109
9.8% (2011 est.)
10% (2010 est.)

Population below poverty line
29.8% (2010 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% 3.6%
Highest 10% 31.1% (2005)

Distribution of family income - gini index World Ranking: 79
36.8 (2004)
37.8 (1997)

Investment (gross fixed) World Ranking: 14
32.8% of GDP (2011 est.)

Revenues $196.4 billion
Expenditures $308.8 billion (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 206
11.7% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 180
-6.7% of GDP (2011 est.)

Public debt World Ranking: 60
48.5% of GDP (2011 est.)
51.4% of GDP (2010 est.)
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 intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental 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

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 185
8.9% (2011 est.)
12% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate World Ranking: 61
5.5% (31 December 2010 est.)
6% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate World Ranking: 94
10.17% (31 December 2011 est.)
10.167% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money World Ranking: 16
$305.7 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$340.1 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of broad money World Ranking: 15
$1.293 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)
$1.323 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit World Ranking: 14
$1.452 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)
$1.25 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares World Ranking: 9
$1.015 trillion (31 December 2011)
$1.616 trillion (31 December 2010)
$1.179 trillion (31 December 2009)

Agriculture - products
Rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, lentils, onions, potatoes; dairy products, sheep, goats, poultry; fish

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

Industrial production growth rate World Ranking: 69
4.8% (2011 est.)

Electricity - production World Ranking: 5
835.3 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 6
600.6 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - exports
810 million kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - imports
5.27 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 24
954,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 5
3.182 million bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 23
825,600 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 5
3.06 million bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 22
5.682 billion bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 18
52.8 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 12
64.95 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 116
0 cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 21
12.15 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 25
1.074 trillion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current account balance World Ranking: 184
-$41.4 billion (2011 est.)
-$57.73 billion (2010 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 21
$299.4 billion (2011 est.)
$225.3 billion (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities
Petroleum products, precious stones, machinery, iron and steel, chemicals, vehicles, apparel

Exports - partners
UAE 13%, US 11.4%, China 6.3%, Singapore 5.3% (2011)

Imports World Ranking: 12
$461.4 billion (2011 est.)
$357.5 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities
Crude oil, precious stones, machinery, fertilizer, iron and steel, chemicals

Imports - partners
China 12.1%, UAE 8.3%, Saudi Arabia 5.8%, US 5.1%, Switzerland 4.7% (2011)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold World Ranking: 10
$297.9 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$297.7 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Debt - external World Ranking: 30
$289.7 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$290.3 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home World Ranking: 21
$230 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$198.4 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad World Ranking: 26
$109.9 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$93.9 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Exchange rates
Indian rupees (INR) per US dollar -
46.67 (2011 est.)
45.726 (2010 est.)
48.405 (2009)
43.319 (2008)
41.487 (2007)

Fiscal year
1 April - 31 March


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