How Politics, Economics, Law and Technology Affected India’s Development

Subject: History
Pages: 25
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Study level: Undergraduate

The coming of the Aryans led to a new civilization in India. The basic unit of the social structure was the family. The joint family system was prevalent. Houses in this age were built of wood or reed. Women were treated as being equal to men. They took part in all the religious rites. They were given education, and there were women scholars. Girls had freedom in the choice of their husbands. Monogamy was the usual practice though polygamy was also practiced by many. Child marriage, the system of ‘sati’ and ‘purdah’ were there.

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The women attended all the social functions and gatherings. There were four orders in the society. The people who explained the Vedic texts and performed the religious ceremonies were called the ‘Brahmins.’ Those who belonged to the ruling class were the ‘Kshatriyas.’ The common people, who were engaged in agriculture, trade, and industry, were the Vaisyas. The ‘Sudras’ were the menial workers who did not have much to own. Scholars are of the opinion that there was considerable social mobility at that time.

At that time, agriculture was an important occupation of the village folk. They began to be dependent on a pastoral economy. Cattle formed an important part of gifts to the priests. Men and women were engaged in weaving cloth. The metal workers or the smiths were skilled in making weapons, implements, and ornaments. The people were engaged in trade; cloth and leather goods being the main items. The barter system was practiced for trade transactions. They used horses and bullocks for carrying goods from place to place. They also transported goods through inland waters.

The Aryans were primarily tribal people and lived in villages. The basic unit of Aryan society was the family or ‘Kula.’ A number of families together formed a ‘Grama’ headed by the ‘Gramini.’ A few villages formed the ‘Visya’ led by the ‘Visapati’; many ‘Visyas’ formed a “Jana” which was ruled by a “Rajan” or the king.

The kingship was usually hereditary, though the people had the freedom to depose a king and elect a new king. The chief duty of the king was the protection of the tribal territory. There were a number of officials such as the ‘Senani”, the ‘Purohita’ and the ‘Gramini’ to help the king in the various responsibilities of the government. The Sena or the Army included the foot soldiers (Patti), the chariot-warriors (Rathins), and the soldiers who fought on horses.

In this period existed the two institutions which exercised an effective check on the powers of the king. The Samiti was formed by the representatives of the people- the chiefs or leaders of villages and towns.

The religion of that time was very simple. The People were attracted by the bright and beautiful aspects of nature, and so they worshipped the various forces of nature as manifestations of the Supreme God. Thus they worshipped a number of Nature Gods, such as Varuna, the one who regulated the seasons; Usha, the goddess of the Dawn; Surya, the Sun God; Indra, the God of Thunder, Rain, and War and Vayu, the Wind God, etc.

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Though they worshipped many gods, they believed that all were the manifestations of Supreme Power. The people at that time did not build any temples or make any images for worship. They prayed for God’s favors by chanting hymns in the open air.

The people had a beginning of an era of civilization. The people gradually started settling down in a place and building their homes. They, in general, started to have a change in their behavior as far as the settlement is concerned. They felt the need to settle down in a place and lead a static life rather than leading a Nomadic life as of before. With the advent of the concept of settlement, the mentality of the people took a new turn.

They felt the need for colonialism by virtue of which they would be able to gain integrity and also build up a society of their own. Society will obviously have a uniqueness that will differentiate it from the other ones.

Society has its own way of advancement, which always tries to thrive forward along with all the ups and downs. The people try to enact some laws in order to keep people disciplined and loyal to society. The laws always have some policies which, as a whole, are used for the betterment of the people, and the laws are enacted by some people who are depicted by the society in order to keep the entire proceeding at its coolest form.

The advancement of a society always depends upon the economic conditions of the people, and henceforth, it is needless to mention that the economy is directly proportional to the advancement of the society without which the society is like a car without fuel to drive or give it motion.

Society cannot ignore the presence and dependence of technology which existed from the Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age to this age of Industrial Automation. The advancement of this sector of our society is of prime importance as this leads a person to the ultimate height from where the person can compare himself with the others.

The people can never ignore or try to ignore the presence of religion in their, and not only that to all the societies of the world. Society is the structure whose pillars are the religions or religious beliefs of the people of the society. So it can be termed as the key factor which plays the most important role in building as well as forming the base of a society that advances with the due course of time.

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The Indian society and culture have its religion deeply rooted in and within itself. The development of India has started from the pre-historic time and advanced to the present age. The historians have the belief that it started with the advent of the Aryans and had its evidence in the civilization unearthed in the Indus Valley civilization.

The people, later in the days of Indian civilization, gradually came under the impact of Buddhism and Jainism, which had their impact deeply rooted in Indian history. Buddhist monasteries became great centers of learning. There were a number of learned scholars in those monasteries who taught Buddhist scriptures, logic, philosophy, medicine, astronomy, etc. these centers of learning developed into famous universities-Nalanda, Taxila, Vikramshila, etc. They attracted scholars from many countries of the world.

A significant contribution of Buddhism was in the realm of art and architecture. Buddha’s firm belief in the principle of equality will live forever and never die. Mahatma Gandhi took a leaf from the Buddha’s life when he said, “non-violence is the first article of my faith.” He also said, “Religion in the sense of peace, fraternity, and all-embracing love can alone be the basis of the existence of the world.”

Alexander, the king of Macedonia, after consolidating his victory in Persia (Iran), turned towards India. In 326BC, he entered northwest India. Due to his invasion, the routes of communication with the West, both by land as well as sea, were thrown open in a manner that had never happened before. Many Greeks had settled in the northwest regions of India.

As a result, Indian art and culture came to be increasingly influenced by the Greco-Roman culture. The Greek technique left its mark. The Greek invasion made kingdoms of the northwest weak, which paved the way for the rise of the Mauryan Empire.

During the Mauryan reign, the Indian society had a division of seven classes which were philosophers, cultivators, herdsmen, artisans and traders, soldiers, overseers, and councilors. The mainstay of the economy was agriculture, although trade was becoming increasingly more important.

The gradual decline of the Mauryan Empire led the way for the Guptas, who later ruled the Indian subcontinent. During the course of time, we see that the general mass of people had advanced a lot and had developed from their earlier state to a state which is noteworthy.

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The account of Fa-Hien gives us some glimpses of the social conditions prevailing in those days. The caste system prevailed. Seals belonging to the guilds of merchants, bankers, and artisans have been discovered. The standard of living was high. It can be categorized from this evidence that the advancement of technology took a new turn with the advancement of the economy. The law, as well as the political conditions, had always had its ups and downs, which gradually moved India to a new era.

The new Islamic culture was introduced in India by the Arabs, who entered India as traders and later made their settlements on the western coast of India. In Gujrat, they received liberal protection from the Hindu rulers, and the Zamorin of Calicut patronized the Arab traders. In the 8th century, there was no central authority in India, and the rulers of the frontier towns failed to cooperate with one another even when in danger.

The Muslim state in India, as elsewhere, was a Theocracy. It was a system in which the Sultan ruled in the Name of God, and Islam was the religion of the state. During the Medieval age, India was envied for its wealth.

Ibn Batuta, a resident of North Africa, reached Sindh in 1333 and lived at the court of Muhammad Bin Tuglaq for eight years. He said, “The soil was fertile, and the Indians produced many crops such as rice, sea same, sugarcane, oilseeds, and cotton.” As before, the main source of the wealth of India was land-produce. There were many important industries in the urban as well as rural belts. The people were masters of many crafts such as the weaving of woolen and silk cloth, embroidery, jewelry-making, metalwork, stonework, enamels, etc. India had commercial relations with the countries of Central and West Asia, East Africa, and China.

The richest contribution of the Muslim rulers to India was in the field of architecture. Though they had their own style of architecture, they had to employ Hindu architects and craftsmen, who unconsciously introduced certain Hindu architectural designs and decorations in the Muslim buildings. It led to the growth of a new Indo-Islamic style of architecture.

Though Arabic was the religious language of the Muslims, Persian was adopted as the Court language, and it became the language of the Aristocracy. Some of the greatest Indian poets who wrote in Persian were Amir Khusru, Mir Hassan, etc. The Muslims brought with them definite and distinctive religious and social ideas. But when the Hindus and Muslims were made to live together by the force of historical circumstances, it was impossible for them to remain isolated from each other, and both were influenced mutually by the other’s faith and ideas.

Monotheism (belief in one God), the universal brotherhood of man, rejection of ritual and caste distinctions, which are the main features of Islam, made a profound impact on Hindu religious leaders and reformers. The spirit of Tolerance, the desire to assimilate each other’s ideas and customs, and the wider outlook of the Hindu and Muslim saints gave rise to new religious movements.

The advent of the Mughals began a new era in the history of India. Within 20 years of the accession of Akbar, his authority had become firmly established in most parts of the Indian sub-continent. He was a brilliant administrator, and he graded his Imperial service according to the Military rank. The land was surveyed according to a uniform system of measurement. The ruler sought to bring about racial and religious.

During the rule of the Mughals, we came to know about a new system of administration as well as that of the economy. The Mughals were able rulers and a sound administrator who took India to a new height from the existing or rather prevailing conditions where the Guptas left. Though there was a radical change in the strata of the Indian society, it made a change that ultimately proved to be better for the citizens of the country.

The East India Company became the leading power in India after the battle of Plassey in the year 1757. As the company became the leading power and grew in strength, it became more and more aggressive. The great uprising of 1857 resulted in the transfer of power from the East India Company to the British crown.

The Battle at Plassey had far-reaching consequences. The battle added to the prestige and strength of the company. It demonstrated how corrupt the people in positions of authority were. Treachery became the essential tool of English diplomacy. They saw there could be many more traitors waiting to help them against their own kith and kin, relatives, and rulers. The East India Company had control over the whole of West Bengal. Their vast resources helped them to fight wars in Southern India and Northern India. Although the British had to fight for another long sixty years or more to firmly establish their power in India, the victory of Plassey gave them much confidence. After annexing the Bengal, the company introduced the Dual system by which General Administration, that is, the maintenance of Law and Order was the responsibility of the Nawab of Bengal, and the collection of Revenues and Civil Justice were the Special Powers that the company had.

The British did not follow a uniform system of land revenue throughout the country. The popularity of Indian Textiles alarmed the policymakers in England. An act was passed in 1720 which prohibited the use of Indian silks and Calicoes in England. Besides Dhaka in Bengal, the other main centers of textile production were Chanderi, Benaras, Lucknow, and Nagpur. On the other hand, all restrictions on the import and sale of British goods in India were removed. Such a discriminatory policy and competition from machine-made goods crippled Indian arts and handicrafts. Lack of capital and neglect of technical and vocational education also became the bane of our industrial life, causing a lot of misery and distress. There was a Drain of Wealth and also an Economic Drain, which meant carrying India’s enormous wealth to England through ways more than one.

The administrative and economic policies had offended all sections of Indian society, which resulted in many revolts in different parts of the country. Social and religious factors were also at work in causing uneasiness among the people. The people, in general, had beliefs and customs as far as their religious beliefs were concerned. These beliefs formed a circle of their own which can be termed as the inner core of the society. The British government thought that in order to have all the Indians within one circle of the banner, they must be transformed or rather converted from whatsoever religion they had to the ultimate Christianity.

Thus the activities of the Christian missionaries created a sense of alarm among the Hindus as well as Muslims and all the other people of the subcontinent. The teachings of Christian doctrines were made compulsory in the schools set up by the missionaries. The “Bible” was introduced not only in the Christian institutions but also in the government schools. The officials openly preached the doctrines of Christ. The Act of 1850 changed the Hindu Law of Property. The British started to enact laws that interfered with the Religion and Customs of the people.

The technological advancement in India through the hand of the British also meant to destroy the internal harmony of the society. The railways and the telegraphs were looked down upon as means to break social order and caste rules. In railway compartments, people of all castes had to sit together. This was regarded as an attempt to break or interfere with the age-old caste rules of India. A natural consequence of British rule was the economic exploitation of the country. The British rulers deliberately crippled Indian arts and crafts. Heavy duties on Indian Silk and Cotton Textiles in Britain-70 to 80 percent respectively- destroyed those industries. On the other hand, British goods were imported into India at a nominal duty. But by the middle of the 19th century, the export of cotton and silk goods from India practically ceased.

The policies of the British rule were gradually hurting the sentiments of the Indian mass. The people became aware of what the English people were doing for themselves and for their country. Simply they were exploiting India or, rather, in another way plundering India from all the corners. During the Mughal rule, the general Indian mass had a belief that though the Mughals were from a different origin, they had settled down in India and started to live here permanently. What they did was for the Indian people, except some Mongolians who occasionally came to plunder the rich wealth of India.

The British had the intention once to trade in India. Later, entering the subcontinent, they found that it is a place that is studded with gems without any guard to protect. So they capitalized on the prevailing situation and made a steady entry into the country-first as a merchant and later as an administrator. The people of India again came under a grip of external power, which is much elevated in nature.

The law and political situation were at its ruin which enabled a third power to rise and gradually spread its roots. The external power had the modernized weapons by which they overpowered the powers of India. The number of soldiers of India was much higher than that of the British but what they lacked was unity as well as technical skills, which the people of the West had.

If we critically analyze the prevailing scenario, we will be able to notice that the people of India are gradually changing with the chance of time which may be termed as the advancement of time. The Indian subcontinent has changed a lot, starting from the times of The Aryans to the advent of the British. The people were all the same, but a transition had taken its root deep inside through the course of time and showed its effects in the gradual as well as a steady change in the Indian society empowered by the political influence.

India’s economic history can be broadly classified into three eras, which began with the pre-colonial period and ended up in the 17th century. The advent of British colonization started the colonial period in the 17th century. It ended with independence in 1947. The third period started from independence in 1947 until now. The people of the Indus Valley civilization, a permanent and predominantly urban settlement that flourished between 2800 BC and 1800 BC, practiced agriculture. They domesticated animals used uniform weights and measures, made tools and weapons. They also traded with other cities. It gave the evidence of well-planned streets, a drainage system, and water supply reveals their knowledge of urban planning. It included the world’s first urban sanitation systems and the existence of a form of municipal government.

The economy of India, when measured in USD exchange-rate terms, is the tenth-largest in the world. It has a GDP of US $1.50 trillion (2008). It is the third-largest in terms of purchasing power parity. India now stands to be the second-fastest-growing major economy in the world, with a GDP growth rate of 9.4% for the fiscal year 2006–2007. But, India’s huge population has a per capita income of $4,542 at PPP. It also has $1,089 in nominal terms (revised 2007 estimate). The World Bank has classified India as a low-income economy.

India’s economy is diverse. It encompasses agriculture, handicrafts, textile, manufacturing, and a multitude of services. Two-thirds of the Indian workforce now still earn their livelihood directly or indirectly through agriculture. Apart from this, services are a growing sector and play an increasingly important role in India’s economy. The emergence of the digital age, and a large number of young and educated populace fluent in English, is gradually transforming India as an important ‘back office’ destination for global outsourcing of customer services and technical support. India is now a major exporter of highly-skilled workers in various fields. It has shown expertise in software and financial services and software engineering. Other sectors showing strong potential with higher growth rates are manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, nanotechnology, telecommunication, shipbuilding, aviation, tourism, and retailing.

India followed a socialist-inspired approach for most of its independent history. It has strict government control over private sector participation, foreign trade, and foreign direct investment. But, since the early 1990s, India has gradually opened up its markets through economic reforms by reducing government controls on foreign trade and investment. The present privatization of publicly owned industries and the coming up of certain sectors to private and foreign interests have proceeded slowly. This slow advancement is taking place amid political debate.

In the 1872 census, it is revealed that 99.3% of the population of the region constitute present-day India, reside in villages. Their economies were largely isolated and self-sustaining, with agriculture as the predominant occupation. This satisfied the food requirements of the village and provided raw materials for hand-based industries. The industries are textiles, food processing, and crafts. Although many kingdoms and rulers issued coins, barter was prevalent. Villages paid a portion of their agricultural produce as revenue to the rulers, while the craftsmen received a part of the crops at harvest time for their services.

Religion, especially Hinduism, and the caste and the joint family systems played an important role in shaping economic activities. The caste system functioned much like medieval European guilds. It ensured the division of labor. It provided for the training of apprentices and, in some cases, allowed manufacturers to achieve narrow specialization. For example, in certain regions, producing each variety of cloth was the specialty of a particular sub-caste.

The basic products which were exported to Europe, the Middle East, and South-East Asia Textiles were Muslin, Calicos, Shawls, and Agricultural products such as pepper, cinnamon, opium, and indigo in return for gold and silver.

Assessment of India’s pre-colonial economy is mostly qualitative. It was so due to the lack of quantitative information. The estimate puts the revenue of Akbar’s Mughal Empire in 1600 at £17.5 million. It is in contrast with the total revenue of Great Britain in 1800, which totaled £16 million. India, at the time of the arrival of the British, was a largely traditional agrarian economy with a dominant subsistence sector. It was largely dependent on primitive technology that existed alongside a competitively developed network of commerce, manufacturing, and credit.

At the fall of the Mughals, India was administered by the Maratha Empire. The budget in the 1740s was Rs. 100 million. After the loss at Panipat, the Maratha Empire broke down into confederate states of Gwalior, Baroda, Indore, Jhansi, Nagpur, Pune, and Kolhapur. The whole state of Gwalior had a budget of Rs. 30M. But, at this time, the British East India Company entered the Indian political theatre. Till 1857, when India was firmly under the British crown, the country remained in a state of political instability. This was mainly due to internecine wars and conflicts.

Colonial rule brought a major change in the taxation environment from revenue taxes to property taxes. It resulted in mass impoverishment and destitution of the great majority of farmers. It also created an institutional environment on paper that guaranteed property rights among the colonizers. It encouraged free trade and created a single currency with fixed exchange rates. It standardized weights and measures capital markets. It also patronized a well-developed system of railways and telegraphs, a civil service. It aimed to be free from political interference and a common-law, adversarial legal system.

India’s colonization by the British coincided with major changes in the world economy — industrialization. It was also a significant growth in production and trade.

However, at the end of colonial rule, India inherited an economy. It was one of the poorest in the developing world. Industrial development is stalled, agriculture is unable to feed a rapidly growing population, one of the world’s lowest life expectancies, and low rates of literacy.

An estimate by the world-famous Cambridge University historian Angus Maddison reveals that India’s share of the world income fell from 22.6% in 1700, compared to Europe’s share of 23.3%, to a low of 3.8% in 1952. The Indian leaders during the Independence struggle and left-nationalist economic historians have blamed colonial rule for the dismal state of India’s economy. In its aftermath, a broader macroeconomic view of India during this period reveals that there were sectors of growth and decline. It resulted from changes brought about by colonialism and a world that was moving towards industrialization and economic integration.

After independence, Indian economic policy was influenced by the colonial experience (that was seen by Indian leaders as exploitative in nature). It was also influenced by those leaders’ exposure to Fabian socialism. Policy tended towards protectionism. It had a strong emphasis on import substitution, industrialization, state intervention in labor and financial markets, a large public sector, business regulation, and central planning.

Jawaharlal Nehru was the first prime minister of India. He, along with the statistician Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, carried on by Indira Gandhi, formulated and oversaw economic policy. They expected favorable outcomes from this strategy. It involved both public and private sectors and was based on direct and indirect state intervention; rather than the more extreme Soviet-style central command system. The policy of concentration was simultaneously on capital- and technology-intensive heavy industry and subsidizing manual. The low-skill cottage industries were criticized by economist Milton Friedman. They thought it would waste capital and labor and retard the development of small manufacturers.

India’s low average growth rate from 1947 to 1980 was referred to as the Hindu rate of growth. It was due to unfavorable comparison with growth rates in other Asian countries, especially the “East Asian Tigers.”

In the late 80s, the government led by Rajiv Gandhi eased restrictions on capacity expansion for incumbents. It removed price controls and reduced corporate taxes. This increased the rate of growth. It also led to high fiscal deficits and a worsening current account. The collapse of the Soviet Union, India’s major trading partner, and the first Gulf War caused a spike in oil prices. It caused a major balance-of-payments crisis for India. It found itself facing the prospect of defaulting on its loans. In response, Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, along with his finance minister Manmohan Singh initiated the economic liberalization of 1991. The reforms did away with the Licence Raj (investment, industrial, and import licensing). It ended many public monopolies. It also allowed automatic approval of foreign direct investment in many sectors. Since then, the overall direction of liberalization has remained the same. It was irrespective of the ruling party, although no party has tried to take on powerful lobbies such as the trade unions and farmers, or contentious issues such as reforming labor laws and reducing agricultural subsidies.

Since 1990 India has emerged as one of the richest economies in the developing world. During this period, the economy has grown constantly. But it was growing with a few major setbacks. This has been accompanied by increases in life expectancy, literacy rates, and food security.

The credit rating of India was hit by its nuclear tests in 1998. It was raised to the investment level in 2007 by S&P and Moody’s. Goldman Sachs, in 2003, predicted that India’s GDP at current prices would overtake France and Italy by 2020. It will have a tendency to overtake that of Germany, the UK, and Russia by 2025 and Japan by 2035. By 2035, the economy of India was projected to be the third-largest economy in the world, behind US and China.

India’s public expenditure is classified as development expenditure. It comprised of central plan expenditure and central assistance, and non-development expenditures. These categories can each be subdivided into capital expenditure and revenue expenditure. Central plan expenditure is allocated for developmental schemes outlined in the plans of the central government and public sector undertakings. Central assistance refers to financial assistance and developmental loans given for plans of the state governments and union territories.

Non-development capital expenditure comprises the capital defense expenditure, loans to public enterprises, states and union territories, and foreign governments. Non-development revenue expenditure comprises the revenue defense expenditure, administrative expenditure, subsidies, debt relief to farmers, postal deficit, pensions, social and economic services (education, health, agriculture, science, and technology), grants to states and unions territories, and foreign governments.

The non-development revenue expenditure of India has increased nearly five times in 2003–04 since 1990–91. It increased more than tenfold since 1985–1986. Interest payments are the single largest item of expenditure. It accounted for more than 40% of the total non-development expenditure in the 2003–04 budgets. Defense expenditure increased four times during the same period and has been increasing due to growing tensions in the region. The expenditure is due to the expensive dispute with Pakistan over Jammu and Kashmir and an effort to modernize the military.

Administrative expenses are compounded by a large salary and also the pension bill. It rises periodically due to revisions in wages added by dearness allowance etc. There are also subsidies on food, fertilizers, education and petroleum, and other merit and non-merit subsidies. The account is not only continuously rising because of rising crude oil and food prices but is also harder to rein in because of political compulsions.

The large population of India puts further pressure on infrastructure and social services. A positive factor has been the large working-age population. It forms 45.33% of the population. It is expected to increase substantially because of the decreasing dependency ratio. The national labor market has been tightly regulated by successive governments ever since the Workmen’s Compensation Act was passed in 1923.

The total cultivable area of the Indian subcontinent is 1,269,219 km² (56.78% of the total land area). It is decreasing due to constant pressure from an ever-growing population and increased urbanization.

There has been a rising energy demand concomitant with economic growth. It has created a perpetual state of energy crunch in India. India is basically poor in oil resources and is currently heavily dependent on coal and foreign oil imports for its energy needs. Though India is rich in Thorium, but not in Uranium, which it might get access to if a nuclear deal with the US comes to fruition. India is rich in certain energy resources which promise significant future potential, which will be clean/renewable energy resources like solar, wind, biofuels (jatropha, sugarcane)

India spent low on power, construction, transportation, telecommunications, and real estate, at $31 billion or 6% of GDP in 2002. It had prevented India from sustaining higher growth rates. This had prompted the government to partially open up infrastructure to the private sector. It allowed foreign investment, which has helped in a sustained growth rate of close to 9% for the past six quarters. India holds the second position in the world in roadways construction, which is more than twice that of China. As of 2005, the electricity production was at 661.6 billion kWh, with oil production standing at 785,000 bbl/day. India’s prime import partners are China 8.7%, US 6%, Germany 4.6%, Singapore 4.6%, Australia 4% as of 2006 CIA FactBook As of 15 January 2007. There were 2.10 million broadband lines in India. Low teledensity is the major hurdle for slow pickup in broadband services. Over 76% of the broadband lines were via DSL and the rest via cable modems.

The BSE Sensex or the BSE Sensitive Index is a value-weighted index. It is composed of 30 companies with April 1979 as the base year (100). These companies have the largest and most actively traded stock. These are representative of various sectors on the Exchange. They account for around one-fifth of the market capitalization of the BSE. The Sensex is regarded as the most popular and precise barometer of the Indian stock markets. The National Stock Exchange was incorporated in 1992. It is one of the largest and most advanced stock markets in India. The NSE is the world’s third-largest stock exchange in terms of transactions. There are a total of 23 stock exchanges in India, but the BSE and NSE comprise 83% of the volumes. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) was established in 1992. It regulates the stock markets and other securities markets of the country.

India ranks second worldwide in farm output. Agriculture and allied sectors like forestry, logging, and fishing accounted for 18.6% of the GDP in 2005. It employed 60% of the total workforce. Though there is a steady decline of its share in the GDP, it is still the largest economic sector and plays a significant role in the overall socio-economic development of India. The yields per unit area of all crops have grown since 1950. It is due to the special emphasis placed on agriculture in the five-year plans and steady improvements in irrigation, technology, application of modern agricultural practices, and provision of agricultural credit and subsidies since the Green revolution in India. But international comparisons reveal that the average yield in India is generally 30% to 50% of the highest average yield in the world.

The low productivity in India is a result of the following factors:

Illiteracy, general socio-economic backwardness, slow progress in implementing land reforms, and inadequate or inefficient finance and marketing services for farm produce.

The average size of the land is very small (which is less than 20,000 m²) and is subject to fragmentation, and it happens due to land ceiling acts. In some cases, it happens due to family disputes. Such smallholdings are often over-manned. It results in disguised unemployment and low productivity of labor.

The adoption of modern agricultural practices and the use of technology is inadequate. It is hampered by ignorance of such practices, high costs, and impracticality in the case of small landholdings.

Irrigation facilities are inadequate. It is revealed by the fact that only 53.6% of the land was irrigated in 2000–01. It resulted in farmers still being dependent on rainfall, specifically the Monsoon seasons. A good monsoon results in robust growth for the economy as a whole. A poor monsoon leads to sluggish growth. Farm Credit is regulated by NABARD, which is the only statutory apex agent for rural development in the subcontinent.

Economic reforms brought foreign competition. It led to the privatization of certain public sector industries. It opened up sectors hitherto reserved for the public sector. It also led to an expansion in the production of fast-moving consumer goods. Post-liberalisation, the Indian private sector, which was usually run by oligopolies of old family firms and required political connections to prosper, was faced with foreign competition, including the threat of cheaper Chinese imports. Since then, it has handled the change by squeezing costs, revamping management, focusing on designing new products, and relying on low labor costs and technology.

India is fifteenth in services output. It provides employment to 23% of the workforce, and it is growing fast. Its growth rate is 7.5% in 1991–2000 up from 4.5% in 1951–80. It has the largest share in the GDP, which accounted for 53.8% in 2005, up from 15% in 1950. Business services (information technology, information technology-enabled services, business process outsourcing) are among the fastest-growing sectors contributing to one-third of the total output of services in 2000.

The growth in the IT sector is attributed to the increased specialization availability of a large pool of low-cost but highly-skilled, educated, and fluent English-speaking workers. On the supply side and on the demand side, increased demand from foreign consumers interested in India’s service exports or those looking to outsource their operations. India’s IT industry, despite contributing significantly to its balance of payments, accounted for only about 1% of the total GDP or 1/50th of the total services.

Large numbers of India’s people live in poverty. Wealth distribution in India has been improving since the liberalization. It is improving with the end of the socialist rule termed as the license raj. While poverty in India has reduced significantly, official figures estimate that 27.5% of Indians still lived below the national poverty line in 2004-2005. In the year 2007 report by the state-run National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) found that 70% of Indians, or 800 million people, lived on less than 20 rupees per day, with most working in “informal labor sector with no job or social security, living in abject poverty.”

Corruption has been one of the pervasive problems affecting India. The economic reforms of 1991 reduced the red tape, bureaucracy, and the Licence Raj that had strangled private enterprise. It was blamed for the corruption and inefficiencies. Yet, a 2005 study by Transparency International (TI) India found that more than half of those surveyed had firsthand experience of paying a bribe or peddling influence to get a job done in a public office.

The Right to Information Act (2005) and equivalent acts in the states required government officials to furnish information requested by citizens or face punitive action. It also meant the computerization of services and various central and state government acts that established vigilance commissions. It has considerably reduced corruption or at least has opened up avenues to redress grievances. The 2006 report by Transparency International ranks India at 70th place and states that significant improvements were made by India in reducing corruption.

Agricultural and allied sectors accounted for about 57% of the total workforce in 1999–2000. It is down from 60% in 1993–94. While agriculture has faced stagnation in growth, services have seen a steady rise in growth. Of the total workforce, 8% is in the organized sector, and two-thirds of which are in the public sector. The NSSO survey estimated that in 1999–2000, 106 million, nearly 10% of the population, were unemployed. The overall unemployment rate was 7.32%, with rural areas doing marginally better (7.21%) than urban areas (7.65%).

Unemployment in India is characterized by chronic underemployment or disguised unemployment. Government schemes that target eradication of both poverty and unemployment (which in recent decades has sent millions of poor and unskilled people into urban areas in search of livelihoods). Attempts are being made to solve the problem by providing financial assistance for setting up businesses, skill honing, setting up public sector enterprises, reservations in governments, etc. The decreased role of the public sector after liberalization has further underlined the need for focusing on better education and has also put political pressure on further reforms.

One of the critical problems facing India’s economy is the sharp and growing regional variations among India’s different states and territories in terms of per capita income, poverty, availability of infrastructure, and socio-economic development.

The five-year plans have attempted to reduce regional disparities by encouraging industrial development in the interior regions. Industries still tend to concentrate around urban areas and port cities. After liberalization, the more advanced states are better placed to benefit from them, with infrastructures like well-developed ports, urbanization, and an educated and skilled workforce, which attract manufacturing and service sectors. The union and state governments of backward regions are trying to reduce the disparities by offering tax holidays, cheap land, etc., and focusing more on sectors like tourism, which although being geographically and historically determined, can become a source of growth and is faster to develop than other sectors.

Until the liberalization of 1991, India was largely and intentionally isolated from the world markets to protect its fledgling economy and to achieve self-reliance. Foreign trade was subject to import tariffs, export taxes, and quantitative restrictions, while foreign direct investment was restricted by upper-limit equity participation, restrictions on technology transfer, export obligations, and government approvals; these approvals were needed for nearly 60% of new FDI in the industrial sector. The restrictions ensured that FDI averaged only around $200M annually between 1985 and 1991. A large percentage of the capital flows consisted of foreign aid, commercial borrowing, and deposits of non-resident Indians.

India’s exports were stagnant for the first 15 years after independence. It is due to the predominance of tea, jute, and cotton manufacturers, demand for which was generally inelastic. Imports in the same period consisted predominantly of machinery, equipment, and raw materials, due to nascent industrialization. Since liberalization, the value of India’s international trade has become more broad-based and has risen to Rs. 63,080,109 crores in 2003–04 from Rs.1250 crores in 1950–51.

India’s recently liberalized FDI policy (2005) allows up to a 100% FDI stake in ventures. Industrial policy reforms have substantially reduced industrial licensing requirements, removed restrictions on expansion, and facilitated easy access to foreign technology and foreign direct investment FDI. The upward growth curve of the real-estate sector owes some credit to a booming economy and liberalized FDI regime. In March 2005, the government amended the rules to allow 100 percent FDI in the construction business. This automatic route has been permitted in townships, housing, built-up infrastructure, and construction development projects, including housing, commercial premises, hotels, resorts, hospitals, educational institutions, recreational facilities, and city- and regional-level infrastructure.

India was a nation dependent on food imports to feed its population. India today is not only self-sufficient in grain production. India also has a substantial reserve. One of the biggest success stories of free India is the progress made by agriculture in the last four decades. Agriculture and allied activities constitute the single largest contributor to the Gross Domestic Product. It is almost 33 percent of it. Agriculture is the means of livelihood for about two-thirds of the workforce in the country.

This increase in agricultural production has been brought about by bringing additional area under cultivation. The increase is also in the extension of irrigation facilities, the use of an improved high-yielding variety of seeds. The better techniques evolved through agricultural research, water management, and plant protection through judicious use of fertilizers, pesticides, and cropping practices.

The 1970s saw a multi-fold increase in wheat production. In the next decade, rice production rose significantly; in 1995-96, rice production was 79.6 million tonnes. The total grain production crossed 211 million tonnes in 2001-02 which a big leap from 51 million tonnes in 1950-51.

To carry out improved technologies for farmers, a National Pulse Development Programme, covering 13 states, was launched in 1986. Efforts to boost pulse production were augmented further by the Special Food Production Programme. In 2001-02, pulse production was 13.52 million tonnes. With some states offering more than the statutory minimum price, sugar cane production also received a boost, and in 2001-02 a record 292.2 million tonnes was registered.

The efforts continued to increase the irrigation potential in the country for the last 40 years. It saw the gross irrigated area reach 85 million hectares. The forecasting of the Flood has become an important activity over the years. Over 500 hydrological stations collect and transmit data through 400 wireless stations for issuing forecasts for 157 sites. Nearly about 5,000 forecasts are issued in a year with 94 percent accuracy. The Indian subcontinent also receives international support, with the World Bank as a primary source, for developing its water resources. International cooperation is also sought in setting up a National Centre for Information on Water and Power. There is a broad belt in the country, which is particularly along the Himalayan. In the Kutch region and parts of Maharashtra, a scheme is being evolved to collect all data on seismic activity at various dam sites.

The fertilizer industry in India has developed tremendously in the last 30 years. The government is keen to see that fertilizer reaches the farmers in remote and hilly areas. It has been determined to decontrol the prices. It has also thought of the distribution and movement of phosphatic and potassic fertilizers. Various steps have been taken to ensure an increase in the supply of non-chemical fertilizers at reasonable prices. There are 66 fertilizer quality control laboratories in the country. Biofertilizers are regarded as an effective, cheap, and renewable supplement to chemical fertilizers. The government is implementing a National Project on Development and Use of Bio-fertilizers. Under this scheme, one national and six regional centers for organizing training, demonstrating programs, and quality testing of bio-fertilizers have been taken up.

It was a tough outcome for the government to take Bombay High gas through a 1,700 km pipeline to provide for fertilizer plants located in the consumption centers of North India. But the major policy which has ensured the growth of the fertilizer industry is the thrust on accelerating fertilizer consumption by fixing a low and uniform price for fertilizers and providing the manufacturers adequate compensation. This is done through the retention price and subsidy scheme. As expected, fertilizer nutrient demand has gone up from 0.29 million tones in 1960-61 to 16.7 million tones at the end of 2000-01 this is a comparison to 12.15 million tones during 1992-93.

Fish production achieved an all-time high of 5.6 million tonnes at the end of 2001-02. The various programs that have helped boost production include the National Programme of Developing Fish Seeds, Fish Farmers’ Development Agencies, and Brackish Water Fish Farmers’ Development Agencies. The Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training trains the basic manpower. An Integrated Fisheries Project has been launched to diversify the basic fishing methods and introduce processed fish products on a semi-commercial scale. A National Fisheries Advisory Board has also been established.

The Ministry of Food Processing Industries was set up in July 1988. It is the central agency of the government responsible for developing a strong and vibrant food-processing sector with a view to creating increased job opportunities in rural areas. It enables the farmers to reap benefits from modern technology, create a surplus for exports, and stimulate demand for processed food. A new policy of seeds has been adopted to provide access to high-quality seeds and plant material for vegetables, fruit, flowers, oilseeds, and pulses. It is done without in any way compromising quarantine conditions. Greater initiatives have been taken to encourage private sector investment in the food processing industry.

The apex body for education, research, training, and transfer of technology in the field of agriculture is the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) which was established in the year 1929. India’s transformation from a food deficit to a food surplus country is largely due to the fact of ICAR’s smooth and rapid transfer of farm technology from the laboratory to the land.

ICAR discharges its responsibilities through 43 research institutes along with four national research bureaus and 20 national research centers with nine project directorates along with 70 all-India coordinated research projects and 109 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (farm science centers). Along with this, the program of Agricultural Education is coordinated by ICAR with the curricula and other normative guidance given to the 26 agricultural universities and four national research institutes.

In 1986 a Technology Mission on Oilseeds was launched to increase production of oilseeds in the country and attain self-reliance. Pulses were procured under the Technology Mission in 1990. The technology Mission was set up. After the setup, there has been consistent improvement in the production of oilseeds. The oilseed production was 108.3 lakh tonnes in 1985-86. It has increased to 247.30 lakh tonnes in 1998-99 which was the highest production so far. However, due to poor weather conditions prevailing in the major oilseeds-growing states, the oilseed production during 1999-2000 and 2000-01 declined. The increase in production was largely contributed by soybean, rapeseed, and mustard. There have been many ups and downs in the production of pulses. The country grows mainly nine oilseeds, with groundnut, rapeseed, and mustard accounting for 62 percent of total production.

A Technology Mission on Drinking Water and Related Water Management has been constituted. It has been constituted to cover the residual problem villages and provide potable water at 40 liters per capita per day and 70 liters per capita per day in desert areas. It included 30 liters for cattle. The mission is tackling the problem through 55 mini-missions in project districts and countrywide problem-oriented sub-missions. A Village Level Operation and Maintenance (VLOM) pump called India Mark-II has been developed and is being exported to 40 countries.

Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and his Satyagraha, a unique non-violent campaign, India threw off the yoke of British rule on 15 August 1947. Free India’s first Prime Minister, Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, described the moment as a “tryst with destiny.” In less than three years of attaining freedom, India had framed a Constitution and declared itself a Republic on 26 January 1950. Some of the finest minds of the country who ensured the trinity of justice, liberty, and equality for the citizens of India gave the Constitution shape. The Constitution was made flexible enough. It was to adjust to the demands of social and economic changes within a democratic framework.

India has a parliamentary form of government based on a universal adult franchise. The executive authority is responsible to the elected representatives of the people in Parliament for all its decisions and actions. Sovereignty rests ultimately with the people. The Council of States consists of not more than 250 members, of whom 12 are nominated by the President of India. The rest are elected. It is not subject to dissolution, with one-third of its members retiring at the end of every second year. The election to the Council is indirect. The allotted quota of the representatives of each state is elected by the members of the Legislative Assembly of that State, which is in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote. The nominated members are persons with special knowledge or practical experience in literature, science, art, and social service. The Rajya Sabha is presided over by the Vice-President of India.

All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD) have been totally under government control since their inception. These are now governed by an independent body of eminent persons who constitute the Prasar Bharati Board. A large number of private channels also beam their programs across the country through satellites.

Newspapers and magazines in India are independent and largely privately owned. About 3,000 newspapers, 150 of the major publications, are published daily in nearly 100 languages. Over 30,000 periodicals are also published in India. The periodicals specialize in various subjects, but the majority of them deal with subjects of general interest of the people.

The foundations of India’s foreign policy were laid during the freedom movement. It was laid down when our leaders, even when fighting for independence and were engaged with the great causes of the time. The principles of India’s foreign policy have stood the test of time: a belief in friendly relations with all countries of the world. The resolution of conflicts means the sovereign equality of all states. It is independent of thought and action as manifested in the principles of non-alignment and equity in the conduct of international relations.

India believes in a policy that promotes peace and international cooperation. However, the country has a land frontier of 15,200 km. It has a coastline of 7,516.6 km and an exclusive economic zone of 2.2 million sq. km, island territories. There are vital offshore installations and airspace. The armed forces, therefore, have to be kept prepared and well equipped to repel.

The country’s armed forces are well trained, disciplined, and free from politics. The enunciation in defense planning is on increasing indigenous capacity, and a reliable mechanism of inter-services and inter-departmental and multi-level coordination and monitoring has been devised to help defense planning. The current strategic and technological scenarios, as well as future projections, are taken into consideration in preparing the defense plan. The periodic review addresses any unexpected development or threat to security.

After the end of the Cold War, the global strategic environment continues to be uncertain and unstable. Some old conflicts may have ended. The rise of religious fundamentalism and ethnic assertions has heightened tension in many parts of the world. In such a state of affairs, the Indian Army cannot afford to lower its guard. It needs to constantly upgrade its vital weapons and induct state-of-the-art systems to ward off threats from potential adversaries.

The Indian Navy has to guard not only a large coastline but also offshore oil, sea bed reserves, and sea-lanes that are used for 97 percent of the Indian trade.

Indigenization is an important thought even in expansion plans. Some of the recent acquisitions by the Indian Navy, like the destroyer “Bombay,” frigate “Beas” submarine, “INS Shankul,” were all made in India. One of the few countries that have the technology for submarine construction. The Indian Navy has also pioneered in Asia the idea of docking a submarine on the pontoon. It will help in carrying out all dry dock routines. Joint exercises were conducted with a number of countries. Naval ships also exchanged visits with a number of countries. The Indian Navy also has the proud difference in participating in all the 13 Indian expeditions to Antarctica.

The Indian Air Force is only 62 years old. Like the other services, it suffers from resource constraints. It has made tremendous technological advancements in recent years, which have helped in the indigenization of a vast range of equipment and sophisticated technology. This has also enabled the IAF to upgrade and integrate state-of-the-art weapons. It also enabled avionics in the existing fleet. The MiG 21 BIS is currently being upgraded with the help of Russian agencies.

Progress has been made in developing Light Combat Aircraft, air defense radars, pilotless target aircraft, and air-to-ground weapons. Overhaul facilities for the MiG 29 and Mirage-2000 are also being set up. The proposal to acquire advanced jet trainers has been approved.

The electronic warfare capability, crucial in modern-day wars, and precision-guided munitions capabilities of the IAF are also being upgraded, and soon the entire IAF fleet will be equipped with global positioning system sets.

A network of 50 laboratories works under the Defense Research and Development Organization. The Department of Defense Research and Development is being developed to match and surpass international standards in critical technologies. A national mission has been launched to achieve self-reliance in defense systems. It has increased from the present 30 percent to 70 percent by 2005 AD. Good progress has also been made in the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme. User trials of the Prithvi surface-to-surface missile have been completed. Flight trials were undertaken to evaluate the beam-gathering system of the Trishul surface-to-air missile. Further tests were carried out on the medium-range surface-to-air missile Akash. The anti-tank missile Nag was tested in captive helicopter flights. The third launch of the Agni vehicle was completed, and the project was completed.

As a country that has achieved self-reliance in diverse fields, Indian economic and technical assistance is eagerly sought by a number of developing countries. India provides many of these countries with its expertise in projects ranging from the construction of cement plants to airports and railway systems. A number of Indian firms have been active in this regard in South-East-Asia, Africa, and West Asia.

The Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme provides Indian expertise and consultancy services to a number of developing countries for feasibility and detailed technical evaluation studies. The program supports the training of personnel in India in a host of areas like agriculture, animal husbandry, and small-scale industries.

India has established a reputation for appropriateness and excellence in a number of areas. Developing countries are increasingly finding cooperation with countries like India a very attractive option.

India provides facilities to students from Asia and Africa for university education. It is especially in professional areas such as medicine, engineering, and architecture. In addition, there are thousands have been trained in Indian institutions in diverse fields such as railways, mass media, industrial consultancy, business management, education, agricultural research, shipping, and water resources management.

Democracy thrives in India today largely. It is largely because it has always existed in some form at the macro level, even during the long feudal era. The village council, Panchayat, consisting of village elders, played a key role in this long survival of grass-root democracy. The Panchayati Raj (rule) now enjoys constitutional status with a built-in mechanism for regular elections and minimum representation of women and members of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. There are over three million elected local representatives, making this the widest democratic base in the world. Of these three million, one-third are by law women. The guidance from chosen representatives ensures effective participation in both the preparation and execution of development schemes. Panchayati Raj helps in the purposeful understanding of the masses and articulation of their responses. It is perhaps the best means of spreading democracy at the grass-root level. Mahatma Gandhi called the Panchayats “village republics’; these village republics contribute to making India a shining example of democracy in the world.

The removal of poverty has been the major focus of the government’s efforts. Under the Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP), efforts have been made to endow the poor with assets to promote rural self-employment. During the Seventh Plan period, 18.2 million families were assisted under this step and other wage employment programs generated 3.5 million man-days of employment. There are programs for the training of rural youth as well as for the promotion of socio-economic activity among rural women. The National Rural Employment Programme (NREP) aims at creating additional wage employment opportunities in rural areas simultaneously with the creation of community assets. The Jawahar Rozgar Yojana seeks to ensure 180 man-days employment to at least one member from families below the poverty line.

The need to harmonize development with the environment is only too clear in today’s world. The government encourages the use of pollution abatement techniques, especially in critically polluted areas. Environmental considerations weigh heavily in clearing certain projects. For this purpose, laws have been framed, fiscal incentives given, agreements signed, educational programs introduced, and information disseminated through publicity. Environmental management is accepted as a major guiding factor for national development. The Ministry of Environment and Forests is responsible for planning, promoting, and coordinating environmental forestry programs.

As a responsible and progressive member of the international community, India is continuing its untiring efforts. It is trying to bring about a constructive dialogue between the developed and developing countries in their quest for a cooperative approach towards a new international economic order. India is convinced that the establishment of an equitable international economic order involving structural and other changes is the only answer to the various economic ills and problems of development confronting the world today.

The minorities have received a new deal with the establishment of the Minorities Finance and Development Corporation in September 1994. It will primarily benefit the backward sections amongst the minorities. The Central Wakf Council takes up the job of developing Wakf properties. A 15-point program for the welfare of minorities is being implemented. It also needs to be stressed that there is no bar against practicing any religion in India.

A National Policy on Children was adopted in 1974. It states that the nurture and solicitude of children is the responsibility of the states. In line with the UN Declaration on the Right of the Child, India enacted the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986. India became the first country to adopt that legislation. There are over 450 day-care centers, old-age homes, and mobile-medicare units. Over 60 units also function for the welfare of the street children.

A Central Adoption Resource Agency has been set up to act as the clearinghouse of information on children available for adoption. The government recognizes 56 Indian agencies for giving children to foreigners for adoption. Another 280 foreign agencies have been enlisted for sponsoring applications of foreigners who seek guardianship of Indian children.

There are 359 counseling centers for drug abuse prevention. They also propagate awareness. The government finances 250 NGOs, which are engaged in drug abuse prevention activities. A tripartite agreement between the government, ILO, and UNDCP have been signed to help full rehabilitation and recovery of drug addicts.

India has 2.4 percent of the world’s land but supports 16 percent of the global population. According to the latest (1991) census report, India has a population of 846.30 million. Since the last census (1981), the country’s population has gone up by 150 million. The task of removing poverty is enormous indeed. But the latest census figures have also brought some hope and indicated that efforts being made in the field of family welfare have not gone entirely waste. For the first time, the growth rate of the population declined to 2.14 percent from 2.22 percent (in 1981). The Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), which was 140 per 1000 live births in 1981, came down to 80. The decline in death rate was also sharp; from 15 per 1000, it climbed down to 9.6. The Eighth Plan goal is to achieve a birth rate of seven per 1000, an IMR of 70, and a death rate of nine per 1000. The life expectancy is expected to reach 64 from 58 years.

Way back in 1951, the National Family Welfare Programme was launched to promote responsible and planned parenthood through voluntary family planning methods. Couples have the choice of adopting temporary (condom) or preventing (sterilization) measures. Facilities for medical termination of pregnancies in certain circumstances are also available.

In view of the close relationship between high birth rate and high infant mortality, various child and mother healthcare programs are being implemented. In 1992, a Child Survival and Safe Motherhood Programme were launched to provide for universal immunization and safe motherhood initiatives. Mortality and morbidity among women are countered through the Special Safety Net Project. The NGOs are being given increasing support in an effort to involve the community in promoting spacing methods to stabilize the population. Innovative programs which use local dialect and folklore have been prepared under the Information, Entertainment, and Communication scheme. The target of these programs is the low-performing states and districts.

Medical research and education have received significant attention in the years following independence. While there were only 28 medical colleges in 1950, there are at present 106 medical colleges, 29 dental colleges, and 11 other institutions providing medical education. Nearly 14,000 students graduate every year from medical colleges. Of late, the government has felt that it should not open any new medical colleges. There are nearly 30 medical colleges that are not recognized by the Medical Council of India. Over 8,200 nurses qualify for service annually from 367 nursing institutions. Medical institutions in India also train a large number of students from other developing countries. There are over 30 nursing colleges for higher-level education.

The government is paying increasing attention to integrated health, maternity, and childcare in rural areas. An increasing number of community health workers and doctors are being sent to rural health centers. Primary healthcare is being provided to the rural population through a network of over 150,000 primary health centers and sub-centers by 586,000 trained midwives and 410,000 health guides.

Various policies and initiatives of the government have put the country on the threshold of a major qualitative and quantitative change in the housing and urban development sector. The target is to ensure a minimum level of shelter and basic amenities by 2001.

The fourth WTO Ministerial Conference was held at Doha, Qatar, from 9 to 14 November 2001 to decide upon the future work program of the WTO. While there were strong pressures to launch a comprehensive round of negotiations, including multilateral regimes on investment, competition policy, trade facilitation, government procurement, and environment, India was opposed to overburdening of the multilateral trading system with non-trade or new issues on the agenda. It felt that WTO already had a sufficiently large agenda consisting of mandated negotiations and mandated reviews and, therefore, India underlined the need for resolving the implementation issues arising from the current agreements in a time-bound manner before addressing new issues for negotiations. India played a proactive role in the deliberations at the fourth Ministerial Conference at Doha. The outcome of the conference takes into account a number of concerns expressed by India.

Exports, on the BOP basis, grew by 19.6 percent in US dollar terms in 2000-01, accelerating sharply from the 9.5 percent growth in the previous year. Total imports recorded a moderate growth of 7.0 percent during 2000-01, much lower than the sharp increase of 16.5 percent in 1999-2000. The moderate growth in imports during 2000-01 was essentially attributable to a 24.1 percent increase in the oil import bill. Non-oil import growth, on a BOP basis, remained subdued at only 2.0 percent.

With the concept of the present Indian scenario, it can be concluded that India has advanced dramatically from ancient times to the present age of industrial automation. India has placed itself in the world and showed that it has advanced to the global scenario and made its presence feel to the whole world.