Form of Government: Federal republic
Area: 3 287 469 sq km
Population: 1 352 617 328 inhab. (estimate 2018)
Density: 411.45 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 37° - 8° N; long. 68° - 97° E
Capital: New Delhi (capital) 249 998 inhab. (2011); New Delhi (aggl. urb. Delhi) 16 349 831 inhab. (2011), urban agglomeration; New Delhi 28 514 000 inhab. (2018), metropolitan area
Currency: Indian rupee (100 paise)
Human development index: 0.647 (rank: 129)
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

Second-class citizenship for Muslims was enshrined in law on 11 December 2019, which sparked an increase in clashes between the Hindu and Islamic communities. On 24 March 2020 Prime Minister Modi announced strict self-isolation measures to contain the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, throwing the informal economy that sustains so many Indians into crisis and forcing millions to leave the cities and return their places of origin. With over 7 million cases and more than 100 000 deaths at the beginning of October, the country is among the most afftected worldwide. A skirmish between Indian and Chinese soldiers along the Galwan valley on 15 June left dozens dead and ramped up tension between the two countries.

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 29 states, each one with its own legislative assembly and government, and seven 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 (% - 2018)

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 rate17.92018
Death rate7.22018
Ethnic groups
Chinese - % -
Tibetan - % -

English (official)
Population by selected age groups
0-14 years27%2018
15-29 years26%2018



Economic situation.
COVID-19 has curtailed the policy of economic growth that was passed into law back in 2014, supported by foreign investments made in exchange for promised reforms by Prime Minister Modi. The social distancing measures imposed by the government have wiped tens of millions of jobs from the informal economy, leaving a significant percentage of the population without income. Assistance programmes for the worst affected groups have been financed by international loans.

Economy - General data
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)144.91index2016
Balance of trade- 159 701M US$2019
Economy - Employment
Active population494 261 426units2019
Active population, Females20.1%2019
Economy - Unemployment
Unemployment rate5.4%2019
Unemployment rate, Females19.6%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 reserves463 469.9M US$2019


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. 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 land57%2015
Agriculture - products - Cereals
barley1 7801000 t2018
cereals, total318 3201000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
cassava4 6511000 t2018
potatoes48 5291000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
cabbages9 0351000 t2018
carrots and turnips583.4051000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Pulses
beans, dry6 2201000 t2018
beans, green715.1411000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Grape
grapes2 9201000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
castor oil seed1 1981000 t2018
groundnuts6 6951000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Coconut palm
coconuts11 706.3431000 t2018
copra7501000 t2006
Agriculture - products - Aromatics
cocoa17.3331000 t2018
coffee326.9821000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
sugar cane376 9001000 t2018
tobacco749.9071000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Cotton
seed cotton14 6571000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Flax
linseed1741000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Fiber plants
jute1 951.8641000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Fruits
apples2 3271000 t2018
apricots15.9581000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Nuts
cashew nuts785.9251000 t2018
walnuts32.51000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
citrus fruits12 5461000 t2018
citrus fruits, nes773.251000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Tropical fruits
bananas30 8081000 t2018
mangoes21 8221000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Others
mushrooms60.7331000 t2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
barley6611000 ha2018
maize9 2001000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
cassava2281000 ha2018
potatoes2 1511000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
cabbages4021000 ha2018
carrots and turnips37.481000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
beans, dry13 545.5181000 ha2018
beans, green252.3661000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
grape1391000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
castor oil seed9001000 ha2018
groundnuts4 9401000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Coconut palm
coconuts2 098.9461000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Aromatics
cocoa78.3691000 ha2018
coffee444.2561000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
sugar cane4 7301000 ha2018
tobacco417.7541000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
seed cotton12 3501000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Flax
linseed3201000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fiber plants
jute764.3591000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
apples3011000 ha2018
apricots5.621000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Nuts
cashew nuts1 003.6011000 ha2018
walnuts31.5521000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
citrus fruits970.5971000 ha2018
citrus fruits, nes61.0251000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Tropical fruits
bananas8841000 ha2018
mangoes2 2581000 ha2018


natural rubber978 317t2018
timber352 856 1682018
Livestock - Cattle
cattle184 464.0351000 heads2018
cattle and buffaloes298 615.8051000 heads2018
Livestock - Buffaloes
buffaloes114 151.771000 heads2018
Livestock - Pigs
pigs8 485.241000 heads2018
Livestock - Sheep
sheep61 666.3431000 heads2018
Livestock - Goats
goats132 749.781000 heads2018
Livestock - Equines
asses229.2961000 heads2018
asses and mules459.6951000 heads2018
Livestock - Camelids
camels311.961000 heads2018
Livestock - Poultry
birds820 7301000 heads2018
Livestock - Beekeeping
honey67.4421000 t2018
Livestock - Silk farming
silk, raw23.6791000 t2014
Livestock - Livestock products
butter3 797.551000 t2014
cheese2.251000 t2014
crustaceans and molluscs1 584 527.043t2018
freshwater fishes7 866 304.749t2018


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 22 nuclear reactors (with seven 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, Bongaigaon, Chennai, Digboi, Guwāhāti, Kochi, Mangalore, Mumbai, Panīpāt, Parādīp Garh, Vadinar, Vadodara, Vishākhapatnam. Regasification plants are located in Chennai, Kākināda, Kochi, Mangalore, Mundra, Pārādip, Pipāvāv, plus a gas liquefaction plant in Dahej.
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
coal696 254.61000 t2018
coal, total756 4431000 t2019
Mineral resources - Metal ores
bauxite26 0001000 t2019
chromite4 1001000 t2019
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
asbestos0.21000 t2016
barite2 2001000 t2019
Mineral resources - Rocks
kaolin4 0001000 t2019
quartzite3 0001000 t2015
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
agate240 000kg2015
diamonds111000 ct2017


Electric energy - Generated
- thermal1 185 000M kWh2018
- other renew.136 450M kWh2018
Electric energy - Installed capacity
- thermal280 0001000 kW2018
- other renew.72 6501000 kW2018
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
total net generation1 486 539M kWh2018
total installed capacity404 3791000 kW2018


Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
alumina6 7001000 t2019
aluminium3 7001000 t2019
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
bikes13 828 000no.2011
cars3 623 335no.2019
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 2771000 t2017
petrol49 696.61000 t2014
Industry - Chemicals
ammonia12 0001000 t2019
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 barley520.61000 t2014
coconut oil394.21000 t2014
Industry - Tobacco
cigarettes100 615M units2011
cigars and cigarettes100 615M units2011
Industry - Paper and wood products
chemical pulp2 434.81000 t2018
chemi-mechanical pulp3 106.81000 t2018
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
cement320 0001000 t2019
Industry - Various
chemicals production71 398.9M US$2018
food, beverages and tobacco production42 299.8M 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
manufactures69.833% of goods exports2018
fuels14.926% of goods exports2018
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
United States54 288M US$2019
United Arab Emirates29 539M US$2019
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
China68 402M US$2019
United States34 918M US$2019
Merchandise Export
2019324 163M US$ -
2018324 778M US$ -
Merchandise Import
2019483 864M US$ -
2018514 464M US$ -


International Tourism
Expenditures25 790M US$2018
Number of arrivals17 423 000units2018


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 carried164 035.61000 units2018
Communication - Media and telecommunication
Broadband subscribers13.433per 1000 pop.2018
Computers33per 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 schooling12.2years2017
Gradautes, percentage10.6%2018
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
Teachers, primary level4 373 417units2017
Teachers, secondary level4 667 986units2018
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 spending0.6% of GDP2018
Other social indicators
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking41.04%2016
Access to electricity95.235%2018
Household consumption expenditure
clothing, footwear5.6%2008
food, non-alcoholic beverages36.3%2008