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India
Flag of India
Map of India
Introduction India
Background:
The Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world, dates 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. Arab incursions starting in the 8th century and Turkish in the 12th were followed by European traders, beginning in the late 15th century. By the 19th century, Britain had assumed political control of virtually all Indian lands. Nonviolent resistance 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. A third war between the two countries in 1971 resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. Fundamental concerns in India include the ongoing dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir, massive overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and ethnic and religious strife, all this despite impressive gains in economic investment and output.
Geography India
Location:
Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan
Geographic coordinates:
20 00 N, 77 00 E
Map references:
Asia
Area:
total: 3,287,590 sq km
land: 2,973,190 sq km
water: 314,400 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly more than one-third the size of the US
Land boundaries:
total: 14,103 km
border countries: Bangladesh 4,053 km, Bhutan 605 km, Burma 1,463 km, China 3,380 km, Nepal 1,690 km, Pakistan 2,912 km
Coastline:
7,000 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
varies from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north
Terrain:
upland plain (Deccan Plateau) in south, flat to rolling plain along the Ganges, deserts in west, Himalayas in north
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Kanchenjunga 8,598 m
Natural resources:
coal (fourth-largest reserves in the world), iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, diamonds, petroleum, limestone, arable land
Land use:
arable land: 54.4%
permanent crops: 2.74%
other: 42.86% (2001)
Irrigated land:
590,000 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
droughts; flash floods, as well as widespread and destructive flooding from monsoonal rains; severe thunderstorms; earthquakes
Environment - current 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
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
dominates South Asian subcontinent; near important Indian Ocean trade routes
People India
Population:
1,065,070,607 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 31.7% (male 173,869,856; female 164,003,915)
15-64 years: 63.5% (male 349,785,804; female 326,289,402)
65 years and over: 4.8% (male 25,885,725; female 25,235,905) (2004 est.)
Median age:
total: 24.4 years
male: 24.4 years
female: 24.4 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.44% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
22.8 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
8.38 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
-0.07 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.03 male(s)/female
total population: 1.07 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 57.92 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 57.29 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
male: 58.52 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 63.99 years
male: 63.25 years
female: 64.77 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.85 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.8% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
3.97 million (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
310,000 (2001 est.)
Nationality:
noun: Indian(s)
adjective: Indian
Ethnic groups:
Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3% (2000)
Religions:
Hindu 81.3%, Muslim 12%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other groups including Buddhist, Jain, Parsi 2.5% (2000)
Languages:
English enjoys associate status but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindi is the national language and primary tongue of 30% of the people; 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 Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 59.5%
male: 70.2%
female: 48.3% (2003 est.)
Government India
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of India
conventional short form: India
Government type:
federal republic
Capital:
New Delhi
Administrative divisions:
28 states and 7 union territories*; Andaman and Nicobar Islands*, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh*, Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli*, Daman and Diu*, Delhi*, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep*, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Pondicherry*, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal
Independence:
15 August 1947 (from UK)
National holiday:
Republic Day, 26 January (1950)
Constitution:
26 January 1950
Legal system:
based on English common law; limited judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Abdul KALAM (since 26 July 2002); Vice President Bhairon Singh SHEKHAWAT (since 19 August 2002)
elections: president elected by an electoral college consisting of elected members of both houses of Parliament and the legislatures of the states for a five-year term; election last held NA July 2002 (next to be held 18 July 2007); vice president elected by both houses of Parliament for a five-year term; election last held 12 August 2002 (next to be held NA August 2007); prime minister elected by parliamentary members of the majority party following legislative elections; election last held 3 October 1999 (next to be held NA October 2004)
head of government: Prime Minister Manmohan SINGH (since NA May 2004)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
election results: Abdul KALAM elected president; percent of electoral college vote - 89.6%; Bhairon Singh SHEKHAWAT elected vice president; percent of Parliament vote - 59.8%; Atal Bihari VAJPAYEE elected prime minister; percent of vote - NA
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament or Sansad consists of the Council of States or Rajya Sabha (a body consisting of not more than 250 members, up to 12 of which are appointed by the president, the remainder are chosen by the elected members of the state and territorial assemblies; members serve six-year terms) and the People's Assembly or Lok Sabha (545 seats; 543 elected by popular vote, 2 appointed by the president; members serve five-year terms)
elections: People's Assembly - last held 20 April through 10 May 2004 (next to be held NA 2009)
election results: People's Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - INC 145, BJP 138, CPI(M) 43, SP 36, RJD 21, BSP 19, DMK 16, SS 12, BJD 11, CPI 10, NCP 9, JDU 8, SAD 8, PMK 6, TDP 5, TRS 5, JMM 5, LJSP 4, MDMK 4, independents 5, other 30
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president and remain in office until they reach the age of 65)
Political parties and leaders:
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or AIADMK [C. Jayalalitha JAYARAM]; All India Forward Bloc or AIFB, [D. BISWAS, general secretary]; Asom Gana Parishad [Brindaban GOSWAMI]; Bahujan Samaj Party or BSP [MAYAWATI]; Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP [Venkaiah NAIDU]; Biju Janata Dal or BJD [Naveen PATNAIK]; Communist Party of India or CPI [Ardhendu Bhushan BARDHAN]; Communist Party of India/Marxist-Leninist or CPI/ML [Dipankar BHATTACHARYA]; Congress (I) Party [Sonia GANDHI]; Dravida Munnetra Kazagham or DMK (a regional party in Tamil Nadu) [M. KARUNANIDHI]; Indian National Congress or INC [leader NA]; Indian National League [Suliaman SAITH]; Janata Dal (Secular) [H. D. Deve GOWDA]; Janata Dal (United) or JDU [Sharad YADAV]; Jharkhand Mukti Morcha or JMM [leader NA]; Kerala Congress (Mani faction) [K. M. MANI]; Lok Jan Shakti Party or LSP [leader NA]; Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or MDMK [VAIKO]; Muslim League [G. M. BANATWALA]; Nationalist Congress Party or NCP [Sharad PAWAR]; Pattali Makkal Katchi or PMK [leader NA]; Rashtriya Janata Dal or RJD [Laloo Prasad YADAV]; Revolutionary Socialist Party or RSP [Abani ROY]; Samajwadi Party or SP [Mulayam Singh YADAV]; Shiromani Akali Dal or SAD [G. S. TOHRA]; Shiv Sena or SS [Bal THACKERAY]; Tamil Maanila Congress [G. K. VASAN]; Telangana Rashtra Samithi or TRS [leader NA]; Telugu Desam Party or TDP [Chandrababu NAIDU]; Trinamool Congress [Mamata BANERJEE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
numerous religious or militant/chauvinistic organizations, including Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal, and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh; various separatist groups seeking greater communal and/or regional autonomy, including the All Parties Hurriyat Conference
International organization participation:
AfDB, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, C, CP, FAO, G- 6, G-15, G-19, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, MICAH, MONUC, NAM, OAS (observer), OPCW, PCA, SAARC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMEE, UNMIK, UNMOVIC, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Ranendra SEN
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, New York, and San Francisco
FAX: [1] (202) 483-3972
telephone: [1] (202) 939-7000
chancery: 2107 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; note - Embassy located at 2536 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador David C. Mulford
embassy: Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [91] (11) 419-8000
FAX: [91] (11) 419-0017
consulate(s) general: Chennai (Madras), Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay)
Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of saffron (subdued orange) (top), white, and green with a blue chakra (24-spoked wheel) centered in the white band; similar to the flag of Niger, which has a small orange disk centered in the white band
Economy India
Economy - overview:
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.
GDP:
purchasing power parity - $3.033 trillion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
8.3% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $2,900 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 23.6%
industry: 28.4%
services: 48% (2002 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
23.1% of GDP (2003)
Population below poverty line:
25% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.5%
highest 10%: 33.5% (1997)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
37.8 (1997)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.8% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
472 million (2003)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 60%, industry 17%, services 23% (1999)
Unemployment rate:
9.5% (2003)
Budget:
revenues: $86.69 billion
expenditures: $114.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $13.5 billion (2003)
Public debt:
59.7% of GDP (2003)
Agriculture - products:
rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, potatoes; cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, poultry; fish
Industries:
textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, software
Industrial production growth rate:
6.5% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production:
533.3 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 81.7%
hydro: 14.5%
other: 0.3% (2001)
nuclear: 3.4%
Electricity - consumption:
497.2 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
321 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
1.54 billion kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
732,400 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
2.13 million bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
4.33 billion bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
22.75 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
22.75 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
542.4 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
$3.41 billion (2003)
Exports:
$57.24 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities:
textile goods, gems and jewelry, engineering goods, chemicals, leather manufactures
Exports - partners:
US 20.3%, China 6.3%, UK 5.2%, Hong Kong 4.7%, Germany 4.3% (2003 est.)
Imports:
$74.15 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
crude oil, machinery, gems, fertilizer, chemicals
Imports - partners:
US 6.7%, Belgium 5.9%, UK 5%, China 4.5%, Singapore 4.2% (2003 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold:
$102.3 billion (2003)
Debt - external:
$101.7 billion (2003 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$2.9 billion (FY98/99)
Currency:
Indian rupee (INR)
Currency code:
INR
Exchange rates:
Indian rupees per US dollar - 46.5806 (2003), 48.6103 (2002), 47.1864 (2001), 44.9416 (2000), 43.0554 (1999)
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
Communications India
Telephones - main lines in use:
48.917 million (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
26,154,400 (2003)
Telephone system:
general assessment: recent deregulation and liberalization of telecommunications laws and policies have prompted rapid change; local and long distance service provided throughout all regions of the country, with services primarily concentrated in the urban areas; steady improvement is taking place with the recent admission of private and private-public investors, but telephone density remains low at about seven for each 100 persons nationwide but only one per 100 persons in rural areas and a national waiting list of over 1.7 million; fastest growth is in cellular service with modest growth in fixed lines
domestic: expansion of domestic service, although still weak in rural areas, resulted from increased competition and dramatic reductions in price led in large part by wireless service; mobile cellular service (both CDMA and GSM) introduced in 1994 and organized nationwide into four metropolitan cities and 19 telecom circles each with about three private service providers and one state-owned service provider; in recent years significant trunk capacity added in the form of fiber-optic cable and one of the world's largest domestic satellite systems, the Indian National Satellite system (INSAT), with 5 satellites supporting 33,000 very small aperture terminals (VSAT)
international: country code - 91; satellite earth stations - 8 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Inmarsat (Indian Ocean region); nine gateway exchanges operating from Mumbai (Bombay), New Delhi, Kolkata (Calcutta), Chennai (Madras), Jalandhar, Kanpur, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, and Ernakulam; 5 submarine cables, including Sea-Me-We-3 with landing sites at Cochin and Mumbai (Bombay), Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) with landing site at Mumbai (Bombay), South Africa - Far East (SAFE) with landing site at Cochin, i2icn linking to Singapore with landing sites at Mumbai (Bombay) and Chennai (Madras), and Tata Indicom linking Singapore and Chennai (Madras), provide a significant increase in the bandwidth available for both voice and data traffic (2004)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 153, FM 91, shortwave 68 (1998)
Radios:
116 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
562 (of which 82 stations have 1 kW or greater power and 480 stations have less than 1 kW of power) (1997)
Televisions:
63 million (1997)
Internet country code:
.in
Internet hosts:
86,871 (2003)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
43 (2000)
Internet users:
18.481 million (2003)
Transportation India
Railways:
total: 63,140 km (15,994 km electrified)
broad gauge: 45,099 km 1.676-m gauge
narrow gauge: 14,776 km 1.000-m gauge; 3,265 km 0.762-m gauge and 0.610-m gauge (2003)
Highways:
total: 3,319,644 km
paved: 1,517,077 km
unpaved: 1,802,567 km (1999 est.)
Waterways:
14,500 km
note: 5,200 km on major rivers and 485 km on canals suitable for mechanized vessels (2004)
Pipelines:
gas 5,798 km; liquid petroleum gas 1,195 km; oil 5,613 km; refined products 5,567 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Chennai (Madras), Cochin, Jawaharal Nehru, Kandla, Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay), Vishakhapatnam
Merchant marine:
total: 306 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 6,555,507 GRT/11,069,791 DWT
by type: bulk 90, cargo 77, chemical tanker 14, combination bulk 1, combination ore/oil 2, container 10, liquefied gas 10, passenger/cargo 5, petroleum tanker 93, roll on/roll off 1, short-sea/passenger 2, specialized tanker 1
registered in other countries: 63 (2003 est.)
foreign-owned: China 2, Portugal 1
Airports:
333 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 234
over 3,047 m: 14
2,438 to 3,047 m: 47
914 to 1,523 m: 74
under 914 m: 21 (2003 est.)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 78
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 99
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
under 914 m: 45 (2003 est.)
914 to 1,523 m: 42
Heliports:
20 (2003 est.)
Military India
Military branches:
Army, Navy (including naval air arm), Air Force, Coast Guard, various security or paramilitary forces (including Border Security Force, Assam Rifles, National Security Guards, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Special Frontier Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Railway Protection Force, and Defense Security Corps)
Military manpower - military age:
17 years of age (2004 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 293,677,117 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 172,153,371 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 11,174,415 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$14,018.8 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
2.4% (2003)
Transnational Issues India
Disputes - international:
Kashmir remains the world's most highly militarized territorial dispute with portions under the de facto administration of China (Aksai Chin), India (Jammu and Kashmir), and Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas), but recent discussions and confidence-building measures among parties are beginning to defuse tensions; India does not recognize Pakistan's ceding lands to China in the 1965 boundary agreement; disputes with Pakistan over Indus River water sharing and the terminus of the Sir Creek Estuary at the mouth of the Rann of Kutch, which prevents maritime boundary delimitation; Pakistani maps continue to show Junagadh claim in Indian Gujarat State; most of the rugged, militarized boundary with China is in dispute, but sides have committed to begin resolution with discussions on the least disputed Middle Sector; Joint Border Committee with Nepal continues to work on resolution of minor disputed boundary sections; discussions with Bangladesh remain stalled to delimit a small section of river boundary, to exchange 162 miniscule enclaves in both countries, to allocate divided villages, and to stop illegal cross-border trade, migration, and violence; Bangladesh protests India's attempts to fence off high-traffic sections of the porous boundary; dispute with Bangladesh over volcanic New Moore/South Talpatty/Purbasha Island in the Bay of Bengal deters maritime boundary delimitation; India seeks cooperation from Bhutan and Burma to keep out Indian Nagaland insurgents; joint border commission continues to work on small disputed sections of boundary with Nepal; India has instituted a stricter border regime to restrict transit of Maoist insurgents and illegal cross-border activities from Nepal
Illicit drugs:
world's largest producer of licit opium for the pharmaceutical trade, but an undetermined quantity of opium is diverted to illicit international drug markets; transit point for illicit narcotics produced in neighboring countries; illicit producer of methaqualone; vulnerable to narcotics money laundering through the hawala system

 

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