Ten ways India is changing the world - see below.
India! Land of contrast and
you haven't fallen in love with India yet,
let us help you get to
know this incredible country.
The Indus Valley civilization is one of the oldest in the world and
back at least 5,000 years. Aryan tribes from the northwest invaded
about 1500 B.C. Their merger with the earlier
inhabitants created the
classical Indian culture. Arabs started coming around the 8th century
and Turkish in the 12th. This was followed by European traders from
the later 15th century. Britain essentially had
political control of India by the 19th century.
to British colonialism under Mohandas GANDHI and
Jawaharlal NEHRU led
to independence in 1947.
The subcontinent was divided into the secular
state of India and the smaller Muslim state of Pakistan. In
between the two countries resulted
in East Pakistan becoming
the separate nation of Bangladesh. Major concerns in India
include the ongoing dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir, massive
overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and
ethnic and religious strife. Yet India has impressive gains in
economic investment and output.
Changing the World:
1 - Spending More
Since 1996, the number of Indian passengers on airlines has increased
sixfold, to about 50 million travelers a year. Sales of cars and
motorcycles have doubled.
2 - IT Farming
India's Internet-technology industry (which includes other outsourcing
services) generated $36 billion in 2005. That's up 28% from 2004.
3 - Producing the Rich
A surging stock market has boosted the number of Indian billionaires to
23, 10 of them are new this year. This compares with eight new
billionaires in China. India's billionairs boast a combined net worth
of $99 billion, an increase of 60% from the previous year.
4 - Growing
India's GDP went over $800 billion in 2005. The economy
on average 8% in the past three years. That is the second fastest rate
in the world.
5 - Bollywood is number one
India's $1.5 billion film industry is the largest in the world, both in
number of movies produced and in number of tickets sold. India makes
close to 1,000 movies a year. That's about five times what Hollywood
6 - Tourism
Tourism in India has risen about 20% over the past two years. Over
600,000 Americans went to India last year. And that was only about 15%
of India's visitors.
7 - Sending Their Best
About 2 million people of Indian descent live in the U.S. The average
household income of the Indian immigrants in the U.S. is higher than
any other ethnic group.
8 - Multiplying
Home to more than 1 billion people, India accounts for one-sixth of the
world's population. In less than 50 years, it is expected to be the
world's most populous nation.
9 - Health Crisis
India has more people living with HIV than any other country,
approximately 5.7 million people.
10 - Becoming Number One
India is behind China in GDP and foreign investment. But India is freer
and it is also growing faster. That may well give it the advantage in
the long run.
Sources: World Bank UN; McKinsey & Co.;
PriceWaterhouse Corp.; Time; Forbes; and the Gov. of India.
land: 2,973,190 sq km
water: 314,400 sq km
slightly more than one-third the
size of the US
varies from tropical monsoon in south to
temperate in north
1,065,070,607 (July 2004
0-14 years: 31.7%
(male 173,869,856; female 164,003,915)
15-64 years: 63.5% (male 349,785,804; female
65 years and over: 4.8% (male 25,885,725; female
25,235,905) (2004 est.)
Median Age: 24.4
Hindu 81.3%, Muslim
12%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other groups including Buddhist, Jain,
Parsi 2.5% (2000)
Hindi is the
national language and primary tongue of 30% of the people. English
status" but is the main language for
national, political, and commercial communicatio. There are 14
other official languages: Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu,
Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri,
Sindhi, and Sanskrit. Hindustani is a popular variant of
spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language.
India's economy encompasses traditional
village farming, modern
agriculture, handicrafts, a wide range of modern industries, and a
multitude of support services. Government controls have been reduced on
foreign trade and investment, and privatization of domestic output has
proceeded slowly. The economy has posted an excellent average growth
rate of 6% since 1990, reducing poverty by about 10 percentage points.
India is capitalizing on its large numbers of well-educated people
skilled in the English language to become a major exporter of software
services and software workers. Despite strong growth, the World Bank
and others worry about the continuing public-sector budget deficit,
running at approximately 60% of GDP.
textiles, chemicals, food processing,
steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery,
rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane,
potatoes; cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, poultry; fish.
textile goods, gems and jewelry, engineering
goods, chemicals, leather manufactures...
About $57.24 billion f.o.b. - 04 est.
Export Partners: US 20.6%, China 6.4%, UK 5.3%, Hong
Kong 4.8%, Germany 4.4% (2003)
coal (fourth-largest reserves in the world),
iron ore, manganese, mica,
bauxite, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, diamonds, petroleum,
limestone, arable land.
droughts; flash floods, as well as
widespread and destructive flooding
from monsoonal rains; severe thunderstorms; earthquakes.
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.
Main lines in use:
48.917 million (2003)
Mobile cell phones: 26.154 million (03)
Approximate number with
AIDS: 3.97 million (2001 est.)
Radio Staions: AM
153, FM 91, shortwave 68 (1998)
Television Stations 562 ('97 stats)
Internet users: 18.481 million ('03)
Primary Source: World Fact Book