macrohistory & world report


Map of India

India (capital New Delhi) ane neighboring states

World Factbook as of October 2014: "India's diverse economy encompasses traditional village farming, modern agriculture, handicrafts, a wide range of modern industries, and a multitude of services. Slightly less than half of the work force is in agriculture, but, services are the major source of economic growth, accounting for nearly two-thirds of India's output with less than one-third of its labor force. India has capitalized on its large educated English-speaking population to become a major exporter of information technology services, business outsourcing services, and software workers. India's economic growth began slowing in 2011 because of a decline in investment, caused by high interest rates, rising inflation, and investor pessimism about the government's commitment to further economic reforms and about the global situation. In late 2012, the Indian Government announced additional reforms and deficit reduction measures, including allowing higher levels of foreign participation in direct investment in the economy."

Economic growth rate
2013: 3.2%
2012: 5.1%
2011: 7.8%
2010: 10.1%
2009: 6.8%

Labor force in agriculture
2009: 52%

Unemployment rate
2011: 9.8%

Public debt
2011: 51.6% of GDP
2010: 50.6 of GDP

India's revenues in 2011 were only 4.2% of its GDP.

Oil exports
2009: 825,600 bbl/day, ranks 23rd

Exports commodities
Petroleum products, precious stones, machinery, iron and steel, chemicals, vehicles, apparel

June 2012: China is now India's third-largest trading partner in goods, and the biggest if you include Hong Kong. For every dollar in exports to China, India imports three dollar's worth. India doesn't produce much that China wants. India's main exports to China are mainly minerals and cotton.

Import/export ratio
2011: exports $298.2 billion, imports $451 billion

Inflation rate: 2010: 11.7%
2009: 10.7%
2008: 8.3%

Income Distribution – GINI index
Ranks 80th among 140 countries (lower rank number is less equal). Less equal than Britain, which ranks 94th, and more equal than the US, which ranks 45th.

Education expenditures
2009: 3.1% of GDP

Percentage of GDP spent on military
2006: 2.5%


India is second in population, estimated by the World Factbook at 1.205 billion for July 2012.

Living in an urban area
2010: 30%

Ethnic groups
Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3%

Religious Divisions
2001 census: Hindu 80.5%, Muslim 13.4%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other 1.8

Net migration rate
2012: Net loss of 0.05 per 1,000 population per year

Literacy (age 15 and older)
2001 census: males 73.4%, females 47.8%

Movie industry
India has been making movies with the theme that all are Indians first. Two stars, one Hindu and the other Muslim, recently married. But on the screen, romance between a Muslim and Hindu are as rare as was the showing of romance between a black and white back in the United States in 1920s or 30s. In real life, opposition to intermarriage between Muslim's and Hindus remains strong.

The film industry tries not to offend either Hindus or Muslims. If a loose woman is depicted she is given a Christian name. 


Southern Asia, between Pakistan and Burma. One-third the size of the United States.


India is a federal republic and a democracy.  Capital: New Delhi.

Recent History

Aug 1, 2006: The Mumbai train bombing is now said to have killed 186, and to have been the work of Muslims.  But there has been no retaliation to teach the Muslim's a lesson - restraint that Thomas Friedman of the New York Times says is a good example for people in the Middle East to follow. Hindus are leaving it to India's police to do the investigation and India's courts to do the punishing.

Sep 16, 2007: A land bridge across the shallow sea between India and Sri Lanka is described by scientists and archaeologists as a natural formation of sand and stone. But devout Hindus believe that the god Rama (of the story Ramayana) built it, and they are disturbed by a government plan to build a canal through it.

2008: India has been suffering from a slowdown in agriculture development while it has been booming industrially. Forty percent of India's crops use irrigated water. The rest depend on rain. In some areas, groundwater is being extracted at a rate faster than it is being replenished by nature. India has been suffering from a slowdown in agriculture development while it has been booming industrially. Forty percent of India's crops use irrigated water. The rest depend on rain. In some areas, groundwater is being extracted at a rate faster than it is being replenished by nature.

Sep 2008: For centuries, untouchables disenchanted with Hinduism have converted to Christianity, and Hindus and Christians have been living side by side in peace. Lately, according to the BBC, "Radical Hindu groups" have accused Christians of converting people against their will. Hindus are attacking Christian villages. People are being killed and churches and prayer houses descrated.

Feb 2009: India withstands the present-day global financial crisis (not to be confused with India's economic crisis in general) because, in part, seventy percent of India's banks are heavily regulated – in fact they are government owned. Also, only 25 percent of India GDP has an international connection, and 40 percent of this is with the Middle East and Far East, reducing its connection with Western economies.

From an April 2, 2009 edition of the BBC:. A farmer says, "Life in our villages can be tough – the roads are bad, there's no electricity or proper schools and hospitals." A housemaid complains: "Everywhere you go, officials ask you for bribes." Another says, "Inflation is killing us." A city dweller complains about cuts in power that last as long as seven hours."

Sep 2009: Supporters of the conservative Hindu party BJP, remain most uneasy about friendship toward Muslims. They have called for a boycott of a film starring Aamir Khan, because Khan spoke in favor of adequate compensation to Muslims forced to move because dam construction.

Apr 2011: India has more than 180 million more people than it had six years ago.

May 30, 2011 Comments in response to a Kristoff article in the New York Times: "Everybody, even rickshaw drivers, have a cellphone. They're connected. They see the world. LIteracy rates and newspaper readership is up." "India desperately needs legal reform." "While private enterprise has largely contributed to the glittering skyscrapers that Nicholas mentions, access to essentials like clean water, dependable electric power supply, efficient road network are all lacking." "In India, we will see big changes when the older folks retire and the younger ones take over." "We have a corrupt and myopic government that has completely failed to carry through with economic reforms, a dysfunctional public education system, highly under-developed health care and atrocious infrastructure."

August 17, 2011: New legislation proposed by India's anti-corruption movement holds that someone found guilty of corruption would be imprisoned within two years of the complaint against him and have his ill-gotten wealth confiscated. The proposal includes prosecution of politicians, bureaucrats and judges, to be done by a designated special agency, a new arm of government rooted in the nation's democracy.

October 3, 2011: The News Hour reports that India's Supreme Court has ordered the largest school meal program in the world. The court has ruled that the government's fiscal constraints cannot be allowed to interfere with children's right to food. Malnutrition, according to the report, "remains the root cause of 2,500 child deaths in India every day."

March 4, 2012: WP Social Reader tweets" " Did you know India has more than half of the world's malnourished children?"

July 31, 2012: Indian women who have angered their families by pursuing "forbidden" relationships are increasingly seeking refuge in special shelters run by the police. Asked whether her family might really kill her husband because she married outside her caste without permission, she says, "Yes, yes, they can."

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.