India Overview

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With over 30 million students and a total spending of 68 billion US dollars on research and development, India has not yet realized its enormous growth potential. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and numerous German funding and intermediary organizations are involved in cooperation with India, including through local representations.

india population - fertility rate

Population / geography

Country name Republic of India, Republic of India, Bharatiya Ganarajya (Hindi) Short form: Bharat (Hindi) / India
Capital New Delhi
Land area 3,287,000 kmĀ²
Population 1,296,834,042 (2018 estimate)
Growth of population 1.1 percent (2020 estimate)
Languages Hindi and English as national languages, 21 other recognized languages
Religions Hinduism (about 80.5 percent),Islam (about 13.4 percent),

Christianity (around 2.3 percent),

Sikhism (around 1.9 percent)

as well as Buddhism, Jainism, Parsees and others

Time zone CET + 4.5 (UTC + 5.5)No summer / winter time changeover in India
Currency 100 Indian Rupees INR / 100 PaiseCurrent exchange rate at – Currency converter (see links below)
Prefix +91



Politics / Administration

Country name Republic of India, Republic of India, Bharatiya Ganarajya (Hindi) Short form: Bharat (Hindi) / India
Capital New Delhi
Form of government Parliamentary democracy
Head of state Ram Nath KOVINDPresident, took office on July 25, 2017
Head of government Narendra MODIPrime Minister, took office May 26, 2014, second term since May 30, 2019 (Bharatiya Janata Party – BJP)
Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam JAISHANKAR(Minister of External Affairs, since May 30, 2019)
Minister of Education Ramesh Pokhriyal NISHANK(Minister of Human Resource Development, since May 31, 2019)
Science Minister Harsh VARDHAN(Minister of Science & Technology and Minister of Earth Sciences, since November 9, 2014)
Houses of Parliament Bicameral parliament

  • House of Commons / House of the People – Lok Sabha – max. 552 seats. 543 of these are elected for a five-year legislative period.
  • House of Lords / House of States – Rajya Sabha – no more than 250 members, of which up to 12 are appointed by the President. Every two years, one third of the remaining 233 members are elected for six years by the state parliaments.
Ruling parties National Democratic Alliance (NDA), 338 of a total of 543 (545) seats, led by the BJP (303 seats) with smaller parties.
Opposition parties The main opposition parties are:

  • Indian National Congress (INC),
  • All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK),
  • All India Trinamool Congress, Biju Janata Dal (BJD)
  • several left and communist parties, smaller regional parties
  • and the anti-corruption party AAP (Aam Admi Party), which only won a few seats in the lower house in Punjab, but is the government in the city-state of Delhi.
Administrative structure India is administratively divided into 29 states and 7 union territories.
National holiday January 26: Republic Day (January 26, 1950: Constitution comes into force)
Independence day August 15, 1947

Political system

With a population of over 1,326 billion, India is the most populous parliamentary democracy in the world. It is a secular, democratic and federal republic. India has 29 federal states and six so-called union territories.

The capital New Delhi has a special legal status. The central government has significantly greater powers than the state governments and can, in the event of internal problems, place a state under direct central government administration for a limited period of time.

After independence from Great Britain (1947), India enforced the principle of the separation of powers between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. The decisions of the state administration (bureaucracy, military, police) are controlled by the country’s free press. India also has a lively civil society that is involved in shaping politics with a variety of initiatives.

President Ram Nath Kovind has been Indian head of state since July 2017. The office primarily entails representative tasks, but the president has far-reaching powers in the event of a crisis.

Government and current politics

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP – Indian People’s Party) clearly won the elections for Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) in May / June 2019 with 303 out of 543 (545) seats. On May 30, 2019, the second term of the lead candidate Narendra Modi as Prime Minister of India was defended. The United Progress Alliance (UPA) coalition under the leadership of the Congress Party (Indian National Congress – INC) is represented in the new parliament with only 92 seats (INC: 52 seats).

A number of reforms were already carried out during Modi’s first reign: In August 2016, the long-awaited constitutional amendment to introduce a uniform sales tax throughout India was implemented. In autumn 2017, a comprehensive restructuring program was initiated for state banks that are suffering from high bad loans. The agenda of Modi’s second reign is still strongly shaped by economic policy. The government is working on new economic reforms, wants to professionalize the administration and try to create jobs for the many millions of Indians who pour into the labor market every year.

During the first reign, Hindu nationalist influences increased and the situation of religious minorities became more difficult. Influences of Hindu nationalist circles on education and cultural policy are criticized. However, democratic foundations remain robust.

Trade with Germany

Germany is India’s most important trading partner within the EU and the sixth most important trading partner in a global comparison. Since the beginning of Indian reform policy in 1991, the bilateral trade volume has increased rapidly. In the ranking of German trading partners, India ranks 26th, 27th for imports and 25th for exports.

In 2018, bilateral trade between India and Germany increased further and amounted to around 18.2 billion euros in the first few months. German exports totaled 10.5 billion in 2018. Euros (22 percent), while imports from India amounted to 8.5 billion. Euros (5 percent).

The share of German-Indian trade relations in the total German trade volume is less than 1 percent. The existing remains German trade surplus of around 2.9 billion euros (January.- Oct. 2018) is based on the high Indian demand, especially for German capital goods (machinery, which is about make up one third of total exports to India, as well as electrical technology, metal products, chemicals, Automobiles and automotive parts). The focus of Indian exports to Germany is in the textile sector, followed by chemical products, electrical technology, metal goods, leather and food. The social security agreement of 2011, which entered into force on April 5th, is one of the latest important German-Indian economic agreements.

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