Form of Government: Federal republic
Area: 3 249 863 sq km
Population: 1 370 508 600 inhab. (estimate 2020)
Density: 421.71 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 37° - 8° N; long. 68° - 97° E
Capital: New Delhi (capital) 249 998 inhab. (2011); New Delhi 28 514 000 inhab. (2018), metropolitan area; New Delhi (urb.aggl. of Delhi) 16 349 831 inhab. (2011), urban agglomeration
Currency: Indian rupee (100 paise)
Human development index: 0.645 (rank: 131)
President: Ram Nath Kovind (BJP), elected 17 July 2017
Prime Minister: Narendra Modi (BJP), since 26 May 2014
House of the People: seats based on the elections held from 11 April to 19 May 2019: NDA (National Democratic Alliance, guided by the BJP, People’s Party, Hindu nationalist), 353; UPA (United Progressive Alliance, guided by the INC, Congress Party, social democratic), 91; AITC (All India Trinamool Congress, Bengali social democratic), 22; Youth, Labour and Farmer’s Congress Party, 22; independents, 4; others, 50
Internet: (Ministry of Statistics)
Member of Commonwealth, EBRD, OAS observer, SAARC, SCO, UN, WTO


Bhārat, India, Bhārat Gaṇarājya, Republic of India
Useful information

International license plate code IND
International dialling code 0091
Travel vaccinations requirement yellow fever (required only if traveling from a country with risk of transmission); malaria prophylaxis (recommended for some areas)
Electricity (Voltage) 230
Driving side left
Internet code .in

GMT  +5.30
DST  not applied
Annual average temperature (°C) New Delhi 24.7; Bangalore 23.6; Bombay=Mumbai 26.7; Calcutta=Kolkata 26.3; Madras=Chennai 28.7; Srinagar 13.2; Trivandrum 27.2
Average temperature in January/July (°C) New Delhi 13.5/31; Bangalore 20.5/23.5; Bombay=Mumbai 23.5/27.5; Calcutta=Kolkata 19.5/29; Madras=Chennai 25/31; Srinagar 1.5/24.5; Trivandrum 26.5/26
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) New Delhi 6/8; Bangalore 5/7; Bombay=Mumbai 5/9; Calcutta=Kolkata 5/8; Madras=Chennai 7/7; Srinagar 8/4; Trivandrum 4/8
Annual average precipitation (mm) New Delhi 781; Bangalore 920; Bombay=Mumbai 2084; Calcutta=Kolkata 1591; Madras=Chennai 1236; Srinagar 668; Trivandrum 1835
Days of rainfall (annual average) New Delhi 45; Bangalore 81; Bombay=Mumbai 72; Calcutta=Kolkata 103; Madras=Chennai 75; Srinagar 76; Trivandrum 133

Politics and current affairs

The approval of three agricultural reforms in September 2020 sparked a protest movement by farmers who fear market liberalization. Rallies and unrest continued for months, even after the Supreme Court’s decision (12 January 2021) to suspend the enactment of the laws.
The government underestimated the COVID-19 pandemic, touted to burn itself out by the end of 2020, encouraging mass rallies and a failure to adopt an efficient vaccination policy. This resulted in an exceptional increase in infections between March and May 2021, impacting the popularity of Prime Minister N. Modi, which had remained high until that point.

India comprises the whole of the Deccan peninsula, between the Bay of Bengal to the east and the Arabian Sea to the west, plus most of Hindustan (or Indo-Gangetic Plain). It is bordered by China, Nepal and Bhutan to the north, by Myanmar and Bangladesh to the north-east and by Pakistan to the west. There are three large natural sub-regions. The first is the Deccan Plateau, whose north-western part is made up of vast lava formations covered by regur (highly fertile soil suitable for cotton crops); to the east and west, the plateau is bordered by the Eastern and Western Ghats. The second region is the Indo-Gangetic Plain, formed by alluvial deposits. Lastly, to the north and north-east there are the hill and mountain ranges of the southern Himalayas. Ganges, Brahmaputra and Indus are the main rivers. Cut into two by the Tropic of Cancer, India has a monsoon climate.


India gained its independence on 15 August 1947. This followed a 60-year struggle by the Congress Party, led for many years by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948). However, Gandhi was not able to prevent this part of the British Empire being divided into two states: Pakistan (with a mainly Muslim population) and the Indian Union (where the population was mainly Hindu). In fact, on-going tensions between Hindus and Muslims led to a series of bloody clashes, followed by movements of large numbers of people (10 million Hindus from Pakistan to India and 7 million Muslims in the opposite direction). The differences between India and Pakistan culminated in 1947-1948 with the war over Kashmir, a region claimed by both countries. Other wars followed (1965-66, 1971) and a separatist guerrilla war supported by Pakistan, which also fuelled terrorist activities linked with Islamic fundamentalism. Relations between the two countries, which have both developed atomic weapons, have oscillated between attempts at dialogue and moments of fierce tension. Considerable border tension also occurred between India and China (that also possesses a part of Kashmir): the two countries clashed militarily in 1962 over control of Sikkim (annexed by India in 1975) and, furthermore, China lays claim to the Indian state of Arunāchal Pradesh.
India became a federal republic on 26 January 1950. For a long time power was detained by the family of the most important member of the Congress Party, Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister from 1947 to 1964, who was succeeded by his daughter, Indira Gandhi (1966-77; 1980-84), later the victim of an assassination. Her son, Rajiv Gandhi (1984-89), succeeded her, but was himself also assassinated in 1991. At this point, the Hindu fundamentalist party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), established itself as the main political force, under the guidance of Behari Vajpayee, by winning the 1998 elections. The 2004 elections restored to power the Congress Party, led by Sonia Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi’s wife, who delegated the role of Prime Minister to Manmohan Singh. Malaise at the economic management and corruption led to the victory of the BJP at the 2014 elections.
The Indian Union is made up of 28 states, each one with its own legislative assembly and government, and 8 territories administered by the central government.
As well as in Jammu and Kashmīr, separatist movements are active in other states: the Bodo tribe in Assam, as well as separatists in Manipur and Nāgāland; other rebel groups are active in Tripura. In Odisha there are frequent outbreaks of violence against the tribal minorities; Maoist Naxalite rebels are waging guerrilla warfare in quite a large area of the eastern part of central India.
According to the Constitution of 26 January 1950, the President is elected by Parliament and by the state assemblies and remains in office for five years; he or she appoints the leader of the majority party as Prime Minister. The Parliament is made up of two Chambers: the Council of the States, formed by no more than 250 members (at present 233 elected for six years by the state assemblies in proportion to their population, plus twelve appointed by the President of the Republic), a third being renewed every 2 years; the Chamber of the People, made up of 542 members elected by direct suffrage for five years (plus two members appointed by the President to represent the Anglo-Indian community).

The armed forces in India are among the largest in the world in terms of numbers of soldiers. A general modernisation of military equipment is currently underway. The military service is voluntary. India possesses numerous nuclear warheads and is not a signatory to the non-nuclear proliferation treaty.

The judicial system is based on British Common Law. The highest organ in the judicial system is the Supreme Court. Homosexuality was made legal in 2009.

Air force9.5%2015
Crimes443per 100 000 pop.2006
Homicides3.2per 100 000 pop.2016

Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Mumbai=Bombay12 478 447inhab.2011
Delhi11 007 835inhab.2011
Urban agglomerations
New Delhi (metropolitan area of Delhi)28 514 000inhab.2018
Greater Mumbai18 394 912inhab.2011


Population by age and gender (% - 2020)

Despite the fall in the average fertility rates, growth in the population has remained high on account, above all, of the decrease in the death rate, and in the coming years India should take over from China as the most populated country. Widespread backstreet abortions, so as to avoid giving birth to females, is causing a considerable gender imbalance in the youngest age bands. A large portion of the population lives in rural villages, but the drift towards the towns and cities is becoming increasingly marked. The largest ethnic and linguistic group is that of the Hindus, including several sub-groups; in the southern Deccan there is the Dravidian group of the Tamils and the Telugus. Hindi is the official language (the mother tongue of a third of the population); there are 22 officially-recognised languages, including Sanskrit and Tamil (considered classical languages); English is used for all public documents.

Demographic statistics
Birth rate17.62019
Death rate7.32019
Ethnic groups
Chinese - % -
Tibetan - % -

English (official)
Population by selected age groups
0-14 years26$%2020
15-29 years25.8%2020



Economic situation.
In the last quarter of 2020, the country emerged from the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching high growth levels in 2021.
The social effects of the restrictions enforced by the government in March 2020 still have to be reabsorbed, having resulted in the loss of tens of millions of jobs in the informal economy and leaving a large part of the population without an income.

Economy - General data
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)144.91index2016
Agricultural prod. index (2014-16=100)114.07index2019
Economy - Employment
Active population471 689 082units2020
Active population, Females20.1%2019
Economy - Unemployment
Unemployment rate7.1%2020
Unemployment rate, Females22.1%2019
Economy - State budget
Expenses23 114 200M LCU2018
Revenues16 660 600M LCU2018
Employment by economic activity
GDP by economic activity
Financial data
Currency in circulation32 786.7BN LCU2018
International reserves590 227.36M US$2020


Primary sector
The main crops are rice (grown in the Ganges Plain, in Punjab and on the Coromandel Coast), wheat (Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryāna), maize (Karnātaka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh), millet (Rājasthān, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarāt), potatoes and pulses (world’s largest producer of chickpeas). Industrial-scale crops include sugar cane (Uttar Pradesh, Mahārāshtra and Tamil Nādu), cotton (Gujarāt, Mahārāshtra, Telangana), soybeans (Madhya Pradesh, Mahārāshtra), peanuts (Gujarāt, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nādu), tea (in Assam) and coffee (in the southern regions).
India is rich in timber production (teak, rosewood and sandal-wood), with forests widespread, above all, in the Western Ghats and the adjacent coastal area of Malabar, on the Vindhya and Satpura Mountains and in the inner Deccan Plateau. Bengal is rich in bamboo, used in paper-making.
Livestock and fishing.
Livestock is made up principally by cattle, used mostly in the fields and for milk; the Hindu religion forbids the eating of beef. Silk farming is widespread in the states of Karnātaka, West Bengal, Assam and Jammu and Kashmīr. Aquaculture is developed (shrimp, carp, catfish, pangasius, tilapia).

Land use
arable land56.981%2018
Agriculture - products - Cereals
barley1 633.071000 t2019
cereals, total324 300.641000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
cassava4 9761000 t2019
potatoes50 1901000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
cabbages9 1271000 t2019
carrots and turnips583.4051000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Pulses
beans, dry5 3101000 t2019
beans, green725.9981000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Grape
grapes3 0411000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
castor oil seed1 196.681000 t2019
groundnuts6 727.181000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Coconut palm
coconuts14 6821000 t2019
copra7501000 t2006
Agriculture - products - Aromatics
cocoa24$1000 t2019
coffee319.51000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
sugar cane405 416.181000 t2019
tobacco804.4541000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Cotton
seed cotton18 5501000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Flax
linseed99.071000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Fiber plants
jute1 709.461000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Fruits
apples2 3161000 t2019
apricots16.1451000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Nuts
cashew nuts7431000 t2019
walnuts32.51000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
citrus fruits14 0131000 t2019
citrus fruits, nes1 0221000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Tropical fruits
bananas30 4601000 t2019
mangoes25 6311000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Others
mushrooms1821000 t2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
barley575.61000 ha2019
maize9 027.131000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
cassava1631000 ha2019
potatoes2 1731000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
cabbages4001000 ha2019
carrots and turnips37.481000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
beans, dry12 690.6961000 ha2019
beans, green256.2711000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
grape1401000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
castor oil seed751.321000 ha2019
groundnuts4 730.771000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Coconut palm
coconuts2 1511000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Aromatics
cocoa94$1000 ha2019
coffee416.7411000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
sugar cane5 061.091000 ha2019
tobacco445.9931000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
seed cotton16 037.7571000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Flax
linseed172.711000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fiber plants
jute665.31000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
apples3081000 ha2019
apricots5.691000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Nuts
cashew nuts1 1051000 ha2019
walnuts31.5521000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
citrus fruits1 0731000 ha2019
citrus fruits, nes1121000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Tropical fruits
bananas8661000 ha2019
mangoes2 5721000 ha2019


natural rubber1 001 405t2019
timber351 760 6882019
Livestock - Cattle
cattle193 462.8711000 heads2019
cattle and buffaloes303 314.5491000 heads2019
Livestock - Buffaloes
buffaloes109 851.6781000 heads2019
Livestock - Pigs
pigs9 055.4881000 heads2019
Livestock - Sheep
sheep74 260.6151000 heads2019
Livestock - Goats
goats148 884.7861000 heads2019
Livestock - Equines
asses194.3441000 heads2019
asses and mules278.6051000 heads2019
Livestock - Camelids
camels251.9561000 heads2019
Livestock - Poultry
birds841 4051000 heads2019
Livestock - Beekeeping
honey67.1411000 t2019
Livestock - Silk farming
silk, raw30$1000 t2018
Livestock - Livestock products
butter4 509.1761000 t2018
cheese4.3821000 t2018
crustaceans and molluscs1 635 401.043t2019
freshwater fishes8 586 601.517t2019


Secondary sector
Coal deposits are of considerable importance, in particular those at Rānīganj (West Bengal) and Jharia (Bihār). The main oil reserves are in the Gujarāt (at Cambay, Ankleshwar, Olpad, Sānand, Kalol and Wavel), in the Punjab (at Ādampur and Janauri) and in Assam (at Digboi, Nahorkatiya-Hugrijan, Moran, Rudrasagar and Makum); offshore fields are found off the coast of Mumbai. At Nahorkatiya (Assam) and in the basin of Cambay there are natural gas deposits. There is iron ore in the areas around Singhbhum and Mayurbhanj (near the coalfields of Raniganj and Jharia), as well as in Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Bihār, Karnātaka, Tamil Nādu and Telangana. The extraction of rare earths is under development, with deposits in the states of Odisha, Tamil Nādu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Gujarāt and Mahārāshtra. Other minerals of importance are manganese (at Bālāghāt, Nāgpūr, Chindwāra, Sandur and Dhārwar), mica (in the states of Bihār, Andhra Pradesh and Rājasthān), bauxite (Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Travancore and Tamil Nādu), gold (at Kolar Gold Fields and Hatti/Hyderābād), pyrite (in Bihār, Karnātaka and Rājasthān), lignite (in Tamil Nādu, Rājasthān, Gujarāt and Kashmīr), chromite (in Bihār, Odisha, Karnātaka, Tamil Nādu and Mahārāshtra), copper (at Mushabani, Rakha and Dhobani Singhbhum), lead and zinc (in Rājasthān), magnesite (in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nādu, Karnātaka, Rājasthān and Uttar Pradesh), salt along the coasts, as well as the halite deposits of Himāchal Pradesh, natural phosphates (in Bihār and Andhra Pradesh), uranium (in Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand) and thorium (Andhra Pradesh and other states on the east coast).
Energy and industry.
The country suffers from a chronic inefficiency in electricity production. Most of the electricity produced comes from burning fossil fuels (coal and oil); there are 23 nuclear reactors (with six more under construction), and a program to exploit thorium as a fuel is underway. Solar photovoltaics are booming (the major plants are in Kurnool, Bhadla, Kamuthi, Pavagada).
The main steel-making areas are those around Jamshedpur, Udaipur and the Dāmodar valley (the so-called “Indian Ruhr”). There are significant productions of lead (at Tundoo), copper, zinc (Zawar and Alwaye), aluminium (Mettūr, Alupuram and Korba) and cadmium. The most important oil refineries are in Barauni, Bathinda, Bīnā, Bongaigaon, Chennai, Digboi, Guwāhāti, Haldiā, Jāmnagar, Kochi, Mangalore, Mathura, Mumbai, Panīpāt, Parādīp, Vādīnār, Vadodara, Vishākhapatnam. Regasification plants are located in Chennai, Dabhol, Dahej, Kochi, Mundra, Sūrat.
The chemical industry produces sulfuric acid (plants in Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Kānpur, Sindri and Bhadrāvati), ammonia and ammonium sulfate (in the coal-producing areas of Giridh and Jharia), nitric acid (at Aruvankadu), nitrogenous fertilizers (at Sindri, Raurkela, Trombay, Vishākhapatnam and Vadodara), plastic materials and super-phosphates. There are also pharmaceutical plants at Kolkata, Sindri, Bulsār and Bangalore. The mechanical and electro-mechanical industries produce cars (at Mumbai-Kurla, Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata), light motor vehicles (at Pune), motorcycles (at Chennai), railway rolling stock (at Chittaranjan, Chennai, Perambūr and Benares), electrical engines, transformers and machine tools (Naharkatiya and Kolkata). There are shipyards in Mumbai, Howrah, Kochi and Vishākhapatnam.
The production of cotton yarns and textiles (jute, wool and silk) are also important as are other industries such as paper, rubber, edible oils, essential oils, leather and sugar. In Sūrat about 90% of the world’s diamonds are worked, also of unlawful origin; Mumbai is home to the major diamond exchange. The film industry (Bollywood) is centred in Mumbai and is the number one in the world for number of films produced.
The high-tech industry and services are growing rapidly (aerospace, electronics, information technology and bio-technologies). They are centred in the area between Hyderābād and Bangalore, India’s “Silicon Valley”, where there are many science parks and factories belonging to both Indian companies and foreign companies. Many large European, US and Asian companies have moved their data-processing centres to the area, and India has thus become a major exporter of services to other countries. There are several “special areas” offering tax exemptions to products destined for export; the main ones are in Delhi, Kochi, Chennai and Kolkata (electronics and information technology), Jaipur, Mumbai and Sūrat (jewellery), Vishākhapatnam (the chemical industry and steel), Kandla and Pithampur (various products).

Mineral resources - Energy minerals
coal611 248.91000 t2019
coal, total756 4941000 t2020
Mineral resources - Metal ores
bauxite22 0001000 t2020
chromite4 0001000 t2020
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
asbestos0.21000 t2016
barite2 0001000 t2020
Mineral resources - Rocks
dolomite4 0221000 t2018
kaolin4 0001000 t2020
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
agate240 000kg2015
diamonds11$1000 ct2018


Electric energy - Generated
- thermal1 216 573.98M kWh2019
- other renew.162 360M kWh2019
Electric energy - Installed capacity
- thermal282 3501000 kW2018
- other renew.82 7931000 kW2019
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
total net generation1 579 902.98M kWh2019
total installed capacity411 314.961000 kW2018


Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
alumina6 7001000 t2020
aluminium3 6001000 t2020
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
bikes13 828 000no.2011
cars2 851 268no.2020
Industry - Precision and optical instruments
watches and clocks13 756 000no.2011
Industry - Electrical and electronics
air conditioners2 077 400no.2011
fridges10 183 700no.2011
Industry - Petrochemicals
bitumen5 8031000 t2018
petrol49 696.61000 t2014
Industry - Chemicals
ammonia13 0001000 t2020
caustic soda2 092.81000 t2011
Industry - Textiles
cotton fabrics38 837M m²2017
cotton yarn4 0551000 t2017
Industry - Clothing and footwear
footwear273 146 000pairs2010
Industry - Food and beverages
beer of barley2361000 t2018
coconut oil320.41000 t2018
Industry - Tobacco
cigarettes100 615M units2011
cigars and cigarettes100 615M units2011
Industry - Paper and wood products
chemical pulp2 434.81000 t2019
chemi-mechanical pulp3 106.81000 t2019
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
cement340 0001000 t2020
Industry - Various
chemicals production72 394.014M US$2018
food, beverages and tobacco production42 889.338M US$2018


Tertiary sector
Foreign trade.
India is one of the world’s main trading nations; the export of computer programs and information services as well as the import of raw materials are considerable.

Main exports (M US$ - 2017) 
petroleum products 35 239, diamonds 24 653, chemicals 18 901, iron and steel 18 357, jewels and precious stones 17 920, apparel and accessories 17 332, machinery 16 652, pharmaceuticals 12 895, vehicles and parts thereof 9 629, electric and electronic equipment 8 801, rice 7 081, cotton 6 898, cars 6 598, plastics and articles thereof 5 926, fish and crustaceans 6 665, household linens 4 963, ships and boats 4 579, meat 4 313

Finance and banking.
The central banks the Federal Reserve of India. Commercial banks fall into four categories: nationalized, private, co-operative and foreign.
The main stock exchanges are in Mumbai.

Composition of goods exports
manufactures71.021% of goods exports2019
fuels13.776% of goods exports2019
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
United States49 320M US$2020
China19 008M US$2020
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
China58 798M US$2020
United States26 615M US$2020
Merchandise Export
2020276 227M US$ -
2019324 340M US$ -
Merchandise Import
2020371 920M US$ -
2019486 059M US$ -


International Tourism
Expenditures28 595M US$2019
Number of arrivals17 914 000units2019


The railway network is one of the most important in the world in terms of size. A high-speed rail line between Mumbai and Ahmadābād is under construction. An ambitious program is underway to enlarge and modernize the highway network.

Media and telecommunication.
In order to strengthen the telephone network, the service has been opened up to the private sector and foreign investment.

Communication - Transport
Civil aviation, km flown327 000 000km flown2004
Civil aviation, passengers carried167 499.11000 units2019
Communication - Media and telecommunication
Broadband subscribers14.02per 1000 pop.2019
Computers33$per 1000 pop.2008

Social and welfare

Education and research.
The school system has 4 cycles: elementary (from 6 to 11 years of age, provided in the child’s mother tongue and free), middle (from 11 to 14 years of age), secondary (from 14 to 17 years of age), and higher (with over 200 universities and many colleges). In secondary schools, apart from Hindi, the local language and English are taught.

Health & social indicators.
A comprehensive national health service is provided. It is run by the states and with hospitals and rural surgeries. The federal government funds the larger health programmes aimed at the prevention of diseases.

Social statistics - Education
Expected years of schooling11.463years2019
Gradautes, percentage10.595%2019
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
Students, primary level120 064 163units2019
Students, secondary level130 932 819units2019
Social statistics - Health
Hospital beds0.53per 1000 pop.2017
Physicians0.86per 1000 pop.2018
Social statistics - Diseases
HIV0.2% of adults2017
HIV, total0.4%2001
Research and development spending0.653% of GDP2018
Other social indicators
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking64.2%2019
Access to electricity97.815%2019
Household consumption expenditure
clothing, footwear5.6%2008
food, non-alcoholic beverages36.3%2008