Country: INDIAindia

Capital: New Delhi

Geographic Coordinates: 20 00 N, 77 00 E

Population: 1,173,108,018 (July 2010 est.)

Main Religion: Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism

Language: 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% 

Government Type: Federal republic

Head of State: President Pratibha PATIL (since 25 July 2007); Prime Minister Manmohan SINGH

Main Industries: textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, software

GDP in US Dollars (per capita): $3,100 (2008 est.)

Currency Code: Indian Rupee (INR)

Life Expectancy: 63 years (men), 66 years (women) (UN)

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

Issues facing Women and Children:

  • Polio remains a serious threat, notwithstanding a massive campaign to eradicate it. Children continue to die of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles.
  • Malnutrition affects nearly half of all children under age five.
  • Anaemia affects the vast majority of pregnant women and teenage girls, stunts children’s growth and is a leading cause of maternal death and babies with low birth weight.
  • Estimates of the number of people in India living with HIV/AIDS range from 2.2 million to 7.6 million.
  • Diarrhea, often caused by unsafe drinking water or poor sanitation, is the second leading cause of death among children. Access to clean drinking water has improved in recent years, but 122 million households lack toilets.
  • School enrollment is increasing, but retention and completion rates remain low in part because of the poor quality of the education system, which emphasizes memorization over problem-solving.
  • Women face many forms of gender discrimination. A national preference for male children has led to an increasing gap in gender ratios of children under age six, a trend that may be attributed to female foeticide."
  • Land Mine Ban Signatory: N

Local Media: Press: Deccan Herald, The Hindustan Times, The Times of India - Mumbai-based daily; The Asian Age, India Today; Radio and TV: Doordarshan Television, Zee TV, All India Radio

Interesting Fact: India boasts a massive cinema industry, the products of which are among the most widely-watched films in the world, but the vast mass of the rural population remains illiterate and impoverished. Their lives continue to be dominated by the ancient Hindu caste system, which assigns each person a fixed place in the social hierarchy.

Famous for: Taj Mahal, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Bollywood, Ellora Caves, Ramayana, Hinduism, silk, pashmina (cashmere wool), Arundhati Roy, R.K.Narayan, Salman Rushdie, Rabindranath Tagore, Mukesh Ambani


Official Tourism Website: