India in a nutshell
LLocated in South Asia, India is the seventh largest, and the second most populous country in the world. Home to the Indus Valley civilisation and known for its historic trade routes and vast empires, India is recognised for its commercial and cultural wealth. It is the centre of amalgamation of many religions and ethnicities which have shaped the country’s diverse culture. Colonised by the United Kingdom from early eighteenth century, India became a modern nation state in 1947, after a struggle for independence that was remarkable for its largely non-violent resistance and is the most populous democracy in the world today.
As one of the oldest civilizations in the world with a kaleidoscopic variety and rich cultural heritage, it has achieved all-round socio-economic progress during the last 62 years of its Independence. India has become self-sufficient in agricultural production and is now one of the top industrialized countries in the world and one of the few nations to have gone into outer space to conquer nature for the benefit of the people. It covers an area of 32,87,263 sq. km, extending from the snow-covered Himalayan heights to the tropical rain forests of the south. As the 7th largest country in the world, India stands apart from the rest of Asia, marked off as it is by mountains and the sea, which give the country a distinct geographical entity. Bounded by the Great Himalayas in the north, it stretches southwards and at the Tropic of Cancer, tapers off into the Indian Ocean between the Bay of Bengal on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. Natural resources in India include coal (fourth largest reserves in the world), iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, diamonds, petroleum, limestone, arable land.
The 1950 Constitution provides for a parliamentary system of Government with a bicameral parliament and three independent branches: the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. The country has a federal structure with elected governments in States. India’s population, as on 1 March 2001 stood at 1,028 million (532.1 million males and 496.4 million females). The population is spread 28 states and 7 union territories. They are: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Union Territories are: Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, National Capital Territory of Delhi, Lakshadweep and Puducherry.
IIndia’s diverse economy encompasses traditional village farming, modern agriculture, handicrafts, a wide range of modern industries, and a multitude of services. Services are the major source of economic growth, accounting for more than half of India’s output with less than one third of its labor force. The government has reduced controls on foreign trade and investment. Higher limits on foreign direct investment are permitted in many sectors.
Per capita income (average income) of Indians has grown by 10.5 per cent to US$ 947.21 in 2009-10 as against US$ 857.43 in 2008-09, at the current price. In its recent review, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has estimated India’s gross domestic product (GDP) to expand at an impressive 9.2 per cent in 2010-11 and further 8.8 per cent in 2011-12. Per capita income in real terms (at 2004-05 prices) is predicted to have increased by 6.7 per cent to US$ 794.5 in 2010-11 compared to the previous fiscal’s US$ 744.4. At current prices, per capita income is estimated at US$ 1203.3 in 2010-11, registering an increase of 17.3 per cent from US$ 1025.97 in 2009-10.
The industrial output registered a robust growth of 8.6 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) in April-December 2010-11. Among the three major constituents of the IIP, mining and manufacturing recorded higher growth rates of 7.7 per cent and 9.1 per cent during the period. The third constituent electricity index registered 4.7 per cent in April-December 2010-11.
India also is capitalizing on its large numbers of well-educated people skilled in the English language to become a major exporter of software services and software workers. Rising tax revenues from better tax administration and economic expansion helped India to make progress in reducing its fiscal deficit for three straight years The ballooning subsidies, amidst slowing growth, brought the return of a large fiscal deficit in 2008.
India and Austria
DDiplomatic relations between India and Austria were established in 1949. President Fischer visited India in February,2005.
India’s exports to Austria remain on a constant growth track and registered an increase by approximately 10% y-o-y in 2010 with total export volume amounting €483.1 million. This marks an increase by 55% on 2006 Indian exports volume to Austria and an average exports growth by 12% y-o-y.
As far as India’s imports from Austria are concerned, after registering a -8% decrease in 2009, trade has gone back on track and registered an upturn by 16.9%, which represent a 7.6% growth based on pre-crisis levels. 2010’s imports from Austria amounted €654.9 million. After a great jump by 41.8% in 2007, trade results indicate an average growth on imports by 16.5%.
There have been over 500 business collaborations (including over 100 technological and over 60 involving financial participation, representation offices) between the two countries. There are an estimated over 10,000 Indians (majority from Kerala) living in Austria— working primarily in the health care and business sectors