Monday, October 21, 2013

India: Jewel of the East

By Kristopher Teubel
            As it is the subject for my design thesis, I would like to present some interesting information about the country and its people that I've found thus far:
            India is the second most populous country in the world.  According to the World Bank, in 2012, there were 1.24 billion Indian citizens ("India," 2012).  Therefore, of the approximately 7 billion people in the world, nearly two of every ten people are Indian citizens.  Many of India's citizens work in the production of textiles, transportation equipment, software, and pharmaceuticals (Central Intelligence Agency, 2013) .  With its booming population, which creates a surplus in man power, India's local labor market demands low labor wage rates.  This currently, along with various other aspects, puts a great strain on the average citizen in India. 
            Much of the Indian population practices either the Hindu (81.3%), or Muslim (12%) religions ("India - language," 2013) .  These two religions have shaped the culture of India both positively and negatively.  It is common to hear about skirmishes between the largely Hindu country of India and their Muslim neighbor, Pakistan, to their north-west.  Aljazeera recently reported that India test fired  a nuclear capable missile for the second time.  The missile is reported to have a 5,000 km range.  This event puts India on a very short list of countries including China, France, Russia, the Unites States, Britain, and Israel with long range nuclear capabilities (Bauck, 2013).
            Within the country, one may find many culturally distinct regions and cities.  Ironically, even though the population density throughout the country in 2012 was 411 people per square kilometer and growing steadily, versus the United States' 34 people per square kilometer, India still manages to maintain vibrant regional cultures ("Population density (people," 2012).  Within India are 28 culturally distinct states and union districts.  Many districts have more than one official language which continues to promote the regionalistic nature of the country ("India - language," 2013).  The difference in languages can create social and business difficulties between people of different regions.
            Within this considerably large subset of the world, many people live in poor conditions.  “About one in six Indian city residents lives in an urban slum with unsanitary conditions that are "unfit for human habitation," according to the first complete census of India's vast slum population.” (Johnson, 2013)   
            According to the 2001 Indian census, disposal of human waste is a major health hazard in the country.  Fifty-five percent of the total households in India have no toilet facilities at all. On average, seventy-four percent of rural households lack basic toilet facilities while only seventeen percent of urban households lack these amenities.  Nearly half of the country's households have to travel to access potable water.  Often, the responsibility of water collection is left to women and young girls.  Approximately one-third of the country's households boil their water to make it more fit for sanitary uses (Gupta, Arnold & Lhungdim, 2009).


India. (2012). Retrieved from

Central Intelligence Agency. (2013, August 22). South Asia:India. Retrieved from   

India - language, culture, customs and etiquette. (2013). Retrieved from      profile.html

Bauck, P. (2013, September 15). India tests nuclear-capable missile. Aljazeera

Population density (people per sq. km of land area). (2012). Retrieved from               order=wbapi_data_value_2011wbapi_data_value&sort=desc

Johnson, K. (2013, March 22). India slums: 1 in 6 Indian city dwellers live in conditions '  
            unfit for human habitation'. Retrieved from            slums_n_2931634.html

Gupta, K., Arnold, F., & Lhungdim, H. International Institute for Population Sciences,    

            (2009). Health and living conditions in eight Indian cities (400 088). Retrieved        from website:   

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