India has the world's 12th-largest economy and the second-largest population, with an estimated 1.15 billion people.
India is the third-largest economy in Asia, behind Japan and China. India is part of the emerging-economy BRIC countries -- Brazil, Russia, India, and China -- predicted to grow their economies dramatically in coming decades.
From the CIA World Factbook:
- Capital = New Delhi.
- India is one-third the size of the U.S.
- Gained independence in 1947 from the United Kingdom.
- The population is growing at more than 1.5%.
- About half the land is arable; about half the workforce is in agriculture.
- Services are the major source of economic growth, with less than-one third of its labor force accounting for more than half of India's output.
India began to reform its economy in 1991 after decades of stagnation and a heavy government hand. In the early '90s it began to open itself to the world economy and has been making great strides in ramping up its productivity.
Information technology is key to India's economy and its financial relationship with the rest of the world.
The U.S. State Department lists inadequate infrastructure, cumbersome bureaucracy, corruption, "rigidities" in the labor market, regulatory and foreign investment controls, the "reservation" of key products for small-scale industries, and high fiscal deficits among hurdles to economic growth in India.