Cruising to India
The Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world, dates back at least 5,000 years. Aryan tribes from the northwest infiltrated onto Indian lands about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier Dravidian inhabitants created the classical Indian culture. Arab incursions starting in the 8th century and Turkish in the 12th were followed by those of European traders, beginning in the late 15th century. By the 19th century, Britain had assumed political control of virtually all Indian lands.
Indian armed forces in the British army played a vital role in both World Wars. Nonviolent resistance to British colonialism led by Mohandas GANDHI and Jawaharlal NEHRU brought independence in 1947. The subcontinent was divided into the secular state of India and the smaller Muslim state of Pakistan. A third war between the two countries in 1971 resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh.
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.
Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of
Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Varies from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north
Upland plain (Deccan Plateau) in south, flat to rolling plain along the Ganges, deserts in west, Himalayas in north
Lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
India'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 half of India's output with less than one quarter of its labor force. About three-fifths of the work-force is in agriculture, leading the UPA government to articulate an economic reform program that includes developing basic infrastructure to improve the lives of the rural poor and boost economic performance.
Government controls on foreign trade and investment have been reduced in some areas, but high tariffs (averaging 20% on non-agricultural items in 2004) and limits on foreign direct investment are still in place. The government in 2005 liberalized investment in the civil aviation, telecom, and construction sectors. Privatization of government-owned industries essentially came to a halt in 2005, and continues to generate political debate; continued social, political, and economic rigidities hold back needed initiatives.
The economy has posted an average growth rate of more than 7% in the decade since 1994, reducing poverty by about 10 percentage points. India achieved 7.6% GDP growth in 2005, significantly expanding manufacturing. India 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. Despite strong growth, the World Bank and others worry about the combined state and federal budget deficit, running at approximately 9% of GDP; government borrowing has kept interest rates high. Economic deregulation would help attract additional foreign capital and lower interest rates. The huge and growing population is the fundamental social, economic, and environmental problem.
Airports: 334 (2005)
14,500 km; note: 5,200 km on major rivers and 485 km on canals suitable for mechanized vessels (2005)
Total: 313 ships (1000 GRT or over) 7,550,865 GRT/12,891,376 DWT
Sailing Specifics: Ports and terminals
Chennai, Haldia, Jawaharal Nehru, Kandla, Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay), New Mangalore, Vishakhapatnam
Other Sailing Destinations in the Region
Bahrain - Christmas Islands - Cocos Keeling - Comoros - Djibouti - Eritrea - India - Jordan - Kenya - Kuwait - Madagascar - Maldives - Mauritius - Mayotte - Mozambique - Oman - Pakistan - Qatar - Reunion Island - Saudi Arabia - Seychelles - Somalia - Sri Lanka - Sudan - Tanzania - United Arab Emirates - Yemen