The Indus Valley civilization, one of the world's oldest, flourished during the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C. and extended into northwestern India. Aryan tribes from the northwest infiltrated the Indian subcontinent about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier Dravidian inhabitants created the classical Indian culture. The Maurya Empire of the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. - which reached its zenith under ASHOKA - united much of South Asia. The Golden Age ushered in by the Gupta dynasty (4th to 6th centuries A.D.) saw a flowering of Indian science, art, and culture. Islam spread across the subcontinent over a period of 700 years. In the 10th and 11th centuries, Turks and Afghans invaded India and established the Delhi Sultanate. In the early 16th century, the Emperor BABUR established the Mughal Dynasty, which ruled India for more than three centuries. European explorers began establishing footholds in India during the 16th century.
By the 19th century, Great Britain had become the dominant political power on the subcontinent. The British Indian Army played a vital role in both World Wars. Years of nonviolent resistance to British rule, led by Mohandas GANDHI and Jawaharlal NEHRU, eventually resulted in Indian independence, which was granted in 1947. Large-scale communal violence took place before and after the subcontinent partition into two separate states - India and Pakistan. The neighboring nations have fought three wars since independence, the last of which was in 1971 and resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. India's nuclear weapons tests in 1998 emboldened Pakistan to conduct its own tests that same year. In November 2008, terrorists originating from Pakistan conducted a series of coordinated attacks in Mumbai, India's financial capital. Despite pressing problems such as significant overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and widespread corruption, economic growth following the launch of economic reforms in 1991 and a massive youthful population are driving India's emergence as a regional and global power.
Source: The CIA World Factbook - India
Growth is increasing, making India the fastest-growing G20 economy. Investment and exports, supported by the smoother implementation of the new goods and services tax (GST), are becoming major growth engines. Inflation will hover within the target band, with upside risks reflecting rising oil prices and an increase in housing allowance for public employees. The current account deficit will increase. Job creation in the formal sector will remain sluggish, leaving the vast majority of workers in low-productivity, low-paid activities.
Fiscal and monetary policies are projected to remain broadly neutral. To reduce the relatively high public debt-to-GDP ratio, containing contingent fiscal liabilities is key, including through better governance of public enterprises. Better risk assessment in banks would allow allocating financial resources to the best projects and avoiding a new increase in non-performing loans. Investing more in education and training, combined with a modernisation of labour laws, would help create better jobs and make growth more inclusive.
Source: OECD - Economic Forecast
|Gross domestic product, constant prices|
|Gross domestic product, current prices|
U.S. dollars (Billions)
|Gross domestic product per capita, current prices|
U.S. dollars (Units)
|Inflation, average consumer prices|
|Volume of imports of goods and services|
|Volume of exports of goods and services|
Percent of total labor force
|Current account balance|
U.S. dollars (Billions)
|Current account balance|
Percent of GDP
Source: IMF Statistics - India
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