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State of the Indian Union

The world's largest democracy and second most populous country has emerged as a major power after centuries of colonial barbarianism which virtually bankrupt the country. After independence in 1947, India tried centralized planning and controlled economy. Government controlled quota regime which says what and how much has to be produced constrained the economic growth and investment.

The economic reforms started in 1980's produced a burgeoning urban middle class and has made great strides in fields such as information technology. Its large, skilled workforce makes it a popular choice for international companies seeking to outsource work. India launches its own satellites and plans to send a spacecraft to the moon. India also boasts a massive cinema industry, the products of which are among the most widely-watched films in the world.

As a country of over a billion people with one-third of the population under the age of 15 and median age just under 25 it has the best assets for development and prosperity. But the vast mass of the rural population remains illiterate and impoverished. 4 out of 10 people over the age of 15 are illiterate. It is higher in the rural areas. Their lives continue to be dominated by the ancient Hindu caste system, which assigns each person a fixed place in the social hierarchy.

India is a nuclear weapon state and it has continued conflict with Pakistan and border disputes with China.

Services are the major source of economic growth which accounts for more than half of India's output with less than one quarter of its labor force. About three-fifths of the work force is in agriculture and their living conditions didn't changed much.

As the fourth largest and second fastest growing economy in the world, India is an economic powerhouse that continues to expand at an unprecedented rate. Over the last ten years, its GNP grew around 7 percent per year – solidly outpacing its population growth of approx. 2 percent annually. While much of the population currently remains in the agricultural and allied sectors, but India is both a source of new talent and an attractive market, as millions of young and educated graduates enter the economy each year, helping transform the Indian economy into one of the global major players.

Despite impressive gains in economic investment and output, India faces pressing problems such as the ongoing dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir, massive overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and ethnic and religious strife.