About ICIMOD

India

Focal Ministry

Ministry of Environment and Forests
Government of India
Paryavaran Bhavan, CGO Complex
Lodhi Road, New Delhi - 110 003INDIA
Dr V. Rajagopalan
Secretary
Tel: 91 11 24361669, 24360605, 24360570
Fax: 91 11 24362746
Email:envisect@nic.in

Focal Institution

G B Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development
Kosi-Katarmal, Almora – 263 643Uttarakhand, INDIA
Tel: 91 5962 241041, 241154 (O)
Fax: 91 5962 241150, 241014, 224104, 231507
Email:psdir@gbpihed.nic.in,info@gbpihed.nic.in

Official name

Republic of India

Other names in use

India, Bharat, Hindustan

Area1

Total : 3,287,263 sq.km
HKH part : 482,920 sq.km (15%)

Population (mid 2007)

Total : 1,131.90 million2
HKH part : 72.36 million (6%)

Capital city

New Delhi

Major cities

Agra, Ahmedabad , Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Thiruvananthapuram, Guwahati

Nationality

Indian

Currency

Rupee

Official languages

Hindi, English and other 8th Schedule languages

National day

26th January (Republic Day)15th August (Independence Day)2nd October (Gandhi Jayanti)

Major holidays

Deepawali, Dusshera, Ramnavmi, Holi, Bakar-id, Maha Shivaratri, Christmas, Mahavir Jayanti, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Budha Purnima

International dialing code

91

Sources: 1Banskota, M., Sharma, P., 1994, Development of Poor Mountain Areas, ICIMOD; 2Census of India, Population Projection, 2007

Owl Image

Kangchenjunga (8,586 m)

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Nanda Devi (7,816 m)

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Kamet (7,756 m)

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Saser Kangri (7,672 m)

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Mana (7,273m)

Agreement/Convention

Status

Convention for the Protection of Ozone Layer (ViennaConvention) - 1988

Accession -

Convention on Biological Diversity

Signed
Ratified

The Cartegena Protocol on Biosafety

Signed
Ratified

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of WildFauna and Flora (CITES)

Ratified
Entry into force

Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals

Entry into force

Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements ofHazardous Wastes and their Disposal (Basel Convention) - 1992

Signed - 15 March 1990
Ratified - 24 June 1992

Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention)

Entry into force

Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa - 1994

Signed
Ratified
Entry into force

International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture -2001

Signed
Ratified

International Plant Protection Convention-1952

Signed
Ratified

International Tropical Timber Agreement - 1994

Signed
Ratified

Plant Protection Agreement for the Asia and the Pacific Region - 1956

Signed

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

Signed
Ratified


Male Declaration on Control and Prevention of Air Pollution and its Likely Transboundary Effects for South Asia

Endorsed

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Signed
Ratified
Entry into force


Male Declaration on Control and Prevention of Air Pollution and its Likely Transboundary Effects for South Asia

Endorsed

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Signed
Ratified
Entry into force


Kyoto Protocol

Accession
Entry into force

GDP per Capita (PPP)

Source: India-The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/in.html
US $3,200 (2009 est.)

Major agricultural products

Paddy, jute, wheat, tobacco, pulse, oil seeds, spices, vegetables, jack-fruit, coconut, banana, mango

Major industries

India is a biomass-based country where about 2/3rd of the population depend on agriculture for subsistence. Major farming products include rice, wheat, bajra, jowar, oilseed, rapeseed, mustard, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, potatoes; cttle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, poultry; and fish

Altitude range

Lowest point: 0 m (Indian Ocean) Highest point: 1,280 m (Tajingdong)

The Planning Commission has demarcated the geographical area of India into 15 agro-climatic regions, namely: The climate of India may be broadly described as tropical monsoon type. There are four seasons: (i) winter (January-February), (ii) hot weather summer (March-May); (iii) rainy southwestern monsoon (June-September) and (iv) post-monsoon, also known as northeast monsoon in the southern Peninsula (October-December). India's climate is affected by two seasonal winds: the northeast monsoon and the southwest monsoon. The north-east monsoon, commonly known as the winter monsoon blows from land to sea, whereas the south-west monsoon, known as the summer monsoon blows from sea to land after crossing the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, and the Bay of Bengal. The south-west monsoon brings most of the annual rainfall.(For more info: http://india.gov.in/knowindia/climate.php)

  • Western Himalayan Region
  • Eastern Himalayan Region
  • Lower Gangetic Plains Region
  • Middle Gangetic Plains Region
  • Upper Gangetic Plains Region
  • Trans-Gangetic Plains Region
  • Eastern Plateau and Hills Region
  • Central Plateau and Hills Region
  • Western Plateau and Hills Region
  • Southern Plateau and Hills Region
  • East Coast Plains and Hills Region
  • West Coast Plains and Ghat Region
  • Gujarat Plains and Hills Region
  • Western Dry Region, and
  • The Islands Region

 

The climate of India may be broadly described as a tropical monsoon type. There are four seasons: (i) winter (January-February), (ii) hot weather summer (March-May); (iii) rainy southwestern monsoon (June-September) and (iv) post-monsoon, also known as northeast monsoon in the southern Peninsula (October-December). India's climate is affected by two seasonal winds - the northeast monsoon and the southwest monsoon. The north-east monsoon, commonly known as winter monsoon blows from land to sea, whereas south-west monsoon, known as summer monsoon blows from sea to land after crossing the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, and the Bay of Bengal. The south-west monsoon brings most of the rainfall during a year in the country.(Source:http://india.gov.in/knowindia/climate.php)

Natural hazards such as droughts, landslides, and flash floods, cause hundreds of deaths and causalities every year. Destructive flooding from the monsoonal rains is also widespread. Earthquakes are inevitable since the Himalayan arc is one of the most seismically active regions of the world. Considering the fragility of the Indian Himalayan region, the Planning Commission published a task force report on “The Mountain Ecosystems (Environment and Forest Sectors)” for 11th Five Year Plan (2007-2011), which incorporates information on the state-of-the-art of the mountain environment, analysis of the potential impacts of climate change, review of institutional and individual capacities to address conservation and sustainable use of mountain Biodiversity and reviews the new EIA guidelines issued by Ministry of Environments and Forests. India is also especially vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change and over 2% of the GDP is currently spent on measures to adapt to these impacts (For more info www.planningcommission.nic.in/aboutus/committee/wrkgrp11/tf11_ecosys.pdf)


The government of India considers land degradation, biodiversity, air pollution (vehicular pollution in the cities), management of fresh water resources, and hazardous waste management (municipal solid waste management) as priority issues for environmental management. Besides, deforestation, soil erosion, overgrazing, desertification, air pollution from industrial effluents, water pollution from raw sewage and runoff of agricultural pesticides, huge and growing population, energy conservation, and forest conservation are some of the major environmental challenges. Regarding issues on energy consumption, the government through mitigation measures are promoting access to clean energy. Similarly broad areas where adaptation programmes are developed include crop improvement, drought proofing, disaster management, health, and livelihood preservation. The National Environment Policy 2006 provides the basis for the integration of environmental considerations in the policies of various sectors. The National Committee to Assess the Impacts of Climate Change is chaired by the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister, and includes meteorologists, climate modellers, hydrologists, and energy economists, as well as representatives of key Ministries. The Committee is evaluating the impact of climate change on key development, identifies key intervention priorities, and monitors the implementation of these interventions.


Major ethnic groups

The National Census of India does not recognise racial or ethnic groups within India but recognises tribal groups as scheduled castes and tribes. Major linguistic groups include Indo-Aryan (72%), Dravidian (25%), Mongoloid and others (3%)

Major religions

India is a country of diverse religions. The Constitution of India declares the nation to be a secular country showing respect to all religions. Hindu constitutes an overwhelming majority accounting for 80% of the population. The other large religion in India is Islam (13%) followed by religions such as Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism and Judaism. (Source:www.censusindia.gov.in/Census_Data_2001/India_at_glance/religion.aspx)

Major languages

There are 22 national languages recognised by the Constitution of India, of which Hindi is the official national language and a primary language of 30% of the people in the country; the other languages are Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu. In addition, there are 844 different dialects used in various parts of the Country. English often forms the most important language for national, political, and commercial communications

Major festivals

Festivals in India reflect the country’s diversity of culture and traditions and vary among states and communities. The festivals characterise the spirits of Indian mythology and heritage. The majority of the festivals in India are celebrated with vibrant colours, festivity, and much devotion, often emphasising in societal integrity. Festivals such as Holi are celebrated all over the country irrespective of caste and religion. Deepawali, the Festival of Lights is one of the most significant of all Hindu festivals, while Eid-ul-Fitr is the most auspicious one for Muslims and Onam is the most prominent festival in Kerala.