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Country Background Information: India

Indian flag

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Key country facts


taj mahal

The Taj Mahal is a popular tourist attraction in Agra, India. It is considered to be the greatest example of Indo-Islamic architecture and was listed as a UN World Heritage Site in 1983. Local air pollution can cause discoloration to its centuries-old white marble.


Over 40 million hectares of India’s land is prone to flooding including its two main cities, Kolkota and Mumbai. As sea levels rise, by 2050 at least 40 million people are expected to be at risk.


The monsoon season in India is from June to December. Year to year changes in the monsoon can mean flooding or drought. The impact of climate change on the Indian monsoon is as yet not clear. Source: Flickr / Craig Cloutier


India is a rising economic power. Its financial and commercial centre is Mumbai where many of its industry sectors operate. These include electronics, manufacturing, and textile, contributing 25% to India’s industrial output. It is also the richest and most populous city in India. Source: Flickr / Puranjit Gangopadhyay / CIFOR

busy market

Over 1 380 million people live in India and its population continue to grow at a faster pace than China. It is therefore projected that by 2024, it will overtake China as the most populous country in the world. 21% of its population is below the poverty line.

wheat fields

Wheat is one of the main agricultural products of India, cultivated mostly in the Northern region. India is the second top producer of wheat in the world. Despite the existence of big commercial industries in Indian cities, more people (42%) still rely on agriculture for livelihood and employment.


The Indian Himalayan glaciers cover around 25,000 km2 of catchment area, flowing in three major river systems. Glacial meltwater is important for reservoirs and river flow. Any change in the ice cover and flow of melting glaciers can significantly affect river systems, potentially impacting water quality and availability, for domestic, agricultural and industrial use. Source: Flickr / Steynard

solar panels

Solar energy is India’s top and fastest growing renewable energy resource. It currently contributes 10% to the country’s energy mix, with a generation capacity of 37 GW. In 2017, solar power became cheaper than power from coal. Source: Flickr / CGIAR


Auto-rickshaws are a popular mode of transportation in Indian cities. In Mumbai alone, there are about 200,000 of them. Air pollution from rickshaws poses health risks. Source: Flickr / Melanie M


The Urban Heat Island effect means that many cities, like New Delhi, experience warmer temperatures, particularly at night. The warmest places are usually concentrated in residential, industrial, and commercial zones. Source: Flickr / Francisco Anzola