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India Overview Political Stablility Indias well-established democratic system--the largest in the world--has provided its people with an unusual degree of political freedom and stability its emphasis on government intervention and public ownership In 1991 a new government emerged which focused on stabilizing the economy reforming trade the financial sector and public enterprises Initially growth declined sharply in response to the contractionary fiscal and monetary policies adopted to address the crisis But now it seems that this economic program produced remarkable results The India government continues to encourage healthy development of the capital markets through effective regulation and improved trading and settlement practices World Bank India may however face a severe economic setback as a result of its struggle to maintain this political stability and efforts to achieve regional trade flows continue Demographic India occupies only 24 of the worlds land area but accounts for over 15 of the worlds population Approximately 36 of Indians are under the age of 15 and 60 are between 15 and 65 with about 70 of its population living in rural areas The total population estimated at 931 million people in mid-1996 is second only to Chinas World Bank Population density is 756 people per square mile Dushkin 1997 1997 HIVAIDS is a newly emerging threat to Indias public health about 3 million people in India may be affected Adult literacy rates for women and men were 34 and 62 respectively Dushkin India has made impressive progress over the past three decades in reducing its birth rate from 6 children per woman to 32 children per woman but continues to rank first in terms of total number added to its population each year--about 16 million Economic Since 1991 India has gradually reduced its high import tariffs delicensed and liberalized imports including those of capital goods and strongly promoted exports The development of a free-trade block SAARC is another attempt to stimulate Indias growth Since the program began
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