Economics of India

Kalpesh P. Patel
Dr. Cashel-Cordo
Global Economics 271
February 1998

50 Years of Independence ; 5000 Years of History
The Republic of India possesses tremendous contrasts and enormous ethnic, linguistic and cultural diversity. Since independence in 1947, the Indian civilization has expanded in every facet - from its increasing population to its to its intertwining cultural and social systems. There are over 1600 languages, nearly 400 of them are spoken by more than 200, 000 people. Ethnically, the country is comprised of mostly of Indo-Aryans and Dravidians while Hindus are the majority in the religious groups. The distinguishing characteristic of India is that is unofficially uses the caste system to differentiate between socio-economic classes and to prevent a fusion of various groups. Like the US , India is a democratic republic with a federal form of government. Geographically, India lies east of Pakistan, west of Bangladesh, south of China, and north of the island-country of Sri Lanka. India\'s population is the world\'s second largest continues to grow at a rate faster than that of China, threatening to overtake it in the next century.

Over thousands of years of its history, India has been invaded from the Iranian plateau, Central Asia, and the West. "The Indian people have absorbed and changed these influences to produce remarkable racial and cultural synthesis" ( US Dept. of State, 1997, p 3) .They have had a continuous civilization since 2500 BC., when the inhabitants of the Indus River Valley developed an urban culture based on commerce and agricultural trade. Around 2000 BC, Aryan speaking tribes migrated from the northwest into the subcontinent. As they settled, they adapted to the previous Dravidian cultures. In the fourth and fifth centuries AD, northern India was unified under the Gupta Dynasty. During this period, know as India\'s "Golden Age", Hindu culture and political administration reached new heights.
Islam spread over the continent over a period of 500 years. In the tenth and eleventh centuries, Turks and Afghans invaded and established sultanates in Delhi. In the early sixteenth century, descendants of Genghis Khan swept across the Khyber Pass and established the Mughal or Mogul Dynasty, which lasted for 200 years.
During this time, the two systems -- the prevailing Hindus and Muslims -- mingled, leaving lasting cultural influences on each other. This influence would later lead to a sense of rivalry between the two.
The first British outpost in South Asia was established in 1619, at Surat, Gujarat and the British went on to establish posts at Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay, each under the protection of native rulers. The British expanded until , by the 1850\'s they controlled most of present day India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
In the late 1800\'s, the first steps were taken towards self-government in British India with the appointment of Indian counselors to advise the British viceroy. Beginning in 1920, Indian leader Mohandas K. Gandhi transformed the Indian National Congress political party into a mass movement to campaign against British colonial rule. The part used both parliamentary and non-violent measures to achieve their means- independence.
On August 15, 1947, India became a dominion within the commonwealth, with Jawaharlal Nehru as Prime Minister. The earlier mentioned feud between Hindus and Muslims led the British to partition India , creating east and West Pakistan, where there were Moslem majorities. India became a republic by promulgating its constitution on January 26, 1950.

Although India occupies only 2.4% of the world\'s land area, it supports over 15% of the world\'s population. Only China has a larger population. Forty percent of Indians are younger than 15 years. Thirteen states have more than 20 million people, six have populations of 60 million, three exceed 80 million and one - Uttar Pradesh - has more than 140 million. India\'s density is about 271 people per square kilometer. About 70 % of the people live in more than 500, 000 villages, and the remainder in more than 200 towns and villages.
Despite efforts in birth control such as family planning and male sterilization, India\'s population has risen to 952 million and it growing at a rate of 2.1% annually. One prominent reason for the high population is the view that large families are important because they can provide extra labor and