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Area: 3.1 million sq km
Population: 1.2 billion
Languages: Hindi, English, 16 other official languages
Religions: Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikhism, Buddhism
GNI per capita: US$950
Currency: INR (Indian rupee);1USD = 43.3 rupees
Located in South Asia on the Indian subcontinent, India is the second most populous nation in the world. Proud of its ability to maintain unity amid diversity, this country is home to more than 300 tribes speaking some 1,600 languages and dialects. While the official language is Hindi, English is dominant in the courts and government. 
India emerged as a major power in the 1990s. It is militarily strong, has a big cultural influence and a fast-growing and powerful economy. However, it is still tackling huge social, economic and environmental problems. 
Today India ranks among the top 10 industrial nations in the world. Yet because its population is growing as fast as the economy, the Indian people have one of the world's lowest per-capita incomes. Approximately 70 percent of Indians depend on agriculture to earn a living, but drought or a poor harvest can lead farmers from home in search of other opportunities.

India also suffers from a low rate of literacy—especially among its female population. Approximately one in three adult females in India is literate, and only 40 percent of secondary school-age girls are enrolled in formal education.