India (GPS: 20 00 N, 77 00 E) located in Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan. The country’s area measurements are total: 3,287,263 sq km; land: 2,973,193 sq km, water: 314,070 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly more than one-third of the size of the US. The total irrigated land is 667,000 sq km (2012).
One of the important features of India: Dominates South Asian subcontinent. Near important Indian Ocean trade routes. Kanchenjunga, the third tallest mountain in the world, lies on the border with Nepal.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, New Delhi’s GPS coordinates are 28 36 N 77 12 E. New Delhi’s local time is 10.5 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+5.5.
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, 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 occurred 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, widespread corruption, and a restrictive business climate dampening economic growth expectations.
India’s names conventional long form: the 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. 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.
India’s terrain is typically upland plain (Deccan Plateau) in the south, flat to rolling plain along the Ganges, deserts in west, the Himalayas in the north. The country’s mean elevation: 160 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m, highest point: Kanchenjunga 8,598 m.
The general climate in the country; varies from tropical monsoon in the south to temperate in the north.
The total number of border countries is 6, Bangladesh 4,142 km, Bhutan 659 km, Burma 1,468 km, China 2,659 km, Nepal 1,770 km, Pakistan 3,190 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. India’s coastline is 7,000 km. Its marital claims are territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, contiguous zone: 24 nautical miles, exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles, continental shelf: 200 nautical miles or the edge of the continental margin. Waterways: 14,500 km (5,200 km on major rivers and 485 km on canals suitable for mechanized vessels) (2012). Land use: agricultural land: 60.5%; arable land 52.8%; permanent crops 4.2%; permanent pasture 3.5%; forest: 23.1%; other: 16.4% (2011 estimate).
The population in India 1,296,834,042 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 32.7% of total population (2015), major urban area’s population: NEW DELHI (capital) 25.703 million; Mumbai 21.043 million; Kolkata 11.766 million; Bangalore 10.087 million; Chennai 9.62 million; Hyderabad 8.944 million (2015), while India has N/A. Their spoken languages are: Hindi 41%, Bengali 8.1%, Telugu 7.2%, Marathi 7%, Tamil 5.9%, Urdu 5%, Gujarati 4.5%, Kannada 3.7%, Malayalam 3.2%, Oriya 3.2%, Punjabi 2.8%, Assamese 1.3%, Maithili 1.2%, other 5.9%. Note: English enjoys the status of subsidiary official language but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindi is the most widely spoken language and primary tongue of 41% of the people; there are 14 other official language 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 (2001 census). Main religions in India are Hindu 79.8%, Muslim 14.2%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.7%, other and unspecified 2% (2011 estimate).
The nation uses common law system; separate personal law codes apply to Muslims, Christians, and Hindus; judicial review of legislative acts. It is a(n) federal parliamentary republic, National holiday(s) Republic Day, 26 January (1950).
Economic overview for the country: India’s diverse economy encompasses traditional village farming, modern agriculture, handicrafts, a wide range of modern industries, and many 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 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 the rupee’s stabilization.
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 Western countries’ economic conditions 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 “demonetization” in 2016 and the 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. Still, 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 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.
India’s natural resources: coal (fourth-largest reserves in the world), iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite, rare earth elements, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, diamonds, petroleum, limestone, arable land.
Main export partners for India, Asia are US 15.2%, UAE 11.4%, Hong Kong 4.6% (2015) for petroleum products, precious stones, vehicles, machinery, iron and steel, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, cereals, apparel, while the main import partners for the country are: China 15.5%, UAE 5.5%, Saudi Arabia 5.4%, Switzerland 5.3%, US 5.2% (2015) for crude oil, precious stones, machinery, chemicals, fertilizer, plastics, iron, and steel.
When you visit this country in Asia, consider the natural hazards in India: Droughts, flash floods, as well as widespread and destructive flooding from monsoonal rains, severe thunderstorms, earthquakes volcanism: Barren Island (elevation 354 m) in the Andaman Sea has been active in recent years, while infectious diseases are the degree of risk: very high food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria water contact disease: leptospirosis animal contact disease: rabies (2016).
Also, note that India faces the following environmental 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.