This article is written to provide some important information about India, which can enrich our brothers and sisters over the globe. Situated in South-East Asia, India is seventh largest country behind Russia, Canada, China, USA, Brazil and Australia in that order. India has an area of about 3.3 million square kilometers (sqkm) compared to 7.7 million sqkm of Australia.
It is about a third of the size of USA (about 9.6 million sqkm in area) and a population of 1.1billion compared to 30 million of USA. The nominal per capita income of an Indian is about $1000 compared to $40000 plus of an American citizen. However, on purchase power parity (i.e. value that can be purchased in USA) basis the per capita income of an Indian stands at $2700 as per 2007 estimates.
The size of the Indian middle class is 35 million with income of about $2000 to $5000 per annum per family consisting of 3 to 6 members. However about 20% of Indian live below poverty line that has an income less than a US dollar a day (i.e. less than Rs.100/- per day in Indian currency on purchase power parity basis).
The Annual Indian Budget for 2008-2009 is $187.5 billion consisting of $62.5 bn in plan (developmental) expenditure and $125 bn in non-plan (non-developmental) expenditure.
Comparing this, the USA will inherit a deficit of $481bn from Bush administration in year 2009.
India is multi lingual, multi-religious secular country with 80 % of population being Hindu and 13.4 % being Muslims. Interestingly the Muslim population of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are round about the same in the vicinity of 150 billion.
India is well connected by rail and roads. Indian Railways is the fourth largest railways in the world with route coverage of 63000 kilometers of which 16000 kilometers are electrified tracks. It employs a work force of 1.6 million people and is the largest employer in the country. The Railways is run by government and generates a surplus of about $5bn.
Indian education system is very highly rated by intellectuals over the world. The world rated Institutions are Indian Institute of Management for business management courses, Indian Institute of Technology for engineering courses and medical colleges like All India Institute of Medical Sciences and thousands of other highly rated educational institutions churning out some two hundred thousand highly committed professionals per annum. A large number of these professionals are getting employed in foreign countries including USA.
India lacks in tourists infrastructure if compared with the world standards. However the princely state of Rajasthan and adjoining areas of Taj Mahal fame Agra, Delhi are tourist places to digg into the Indian heritage. Kashmir is the place which is most liked by western tourists because of its resemblance with Alps mountains in Europe and ice skiing. Other tourist destinations are Goa sea beach with plenty of western culture, Shimla, the winter capital of British India and of course Darjeeling in the far east of India for a memorable toy train journey going as high as to 8000ft.