India is the world's largest democracy and hosts a rich variety of cultures, languages, religions and natural environments. It has become well known for the rapidly increasing urban middle class although a staggering 37% of the population still live in poverty. This has resulted in massive inequality issues. Following independence from British colonial rule in 1947, the country was divided into East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), West Pakistan and India. Decades of conflict ensued over the disputed territories of Kashmir between Pakistan and India, although the long term peace process started in the late 20th century has helped improve the situation.
In the last ten years, the country has met many of their Millennium Development Goals and also emerged as a global power – the fourth largest economy in purchasing power parity terms – and has developed strong industries in information technology, telecoms and business outsourcing.
Tell me something about India…
- The population of India is 1.1billion
- Eight Indian states have more poor people than the 26 poorest African countries combined
- Already stretched resources are under pressure due to high population growth
- 80% of the population are without professional skills
- Women still face issues with inequality as the application of many laws is still quite weak