Mineral and energy resources
The mineral resources ( fig. ), Still only partially exploited, are concentrated in the Precambrian coasts of Bihar and Orissa, in the central highlands and in West Bengal. Coal is abundant and production tends to expand (over 447 million tonnes); the same is true for ferrous minerals, whose reserves are extraordinarily abundant (with an annual production of 150 million tons of iron contained); bauxite, chromium, zinc, manganese, radioactive minerals, precious stones, mica, rock salt complete the picture of the main mineral productions. The production of oil, despite the discovery of fairly productive offshore fields, remains completely insufficient (34 million t), as well as that of natural gas (32 million m3), unless the more recently identified fields do not prove to be more productive than appears at the moment; the result is a marked dependence on foreign supplies, a growing role of the country in the competition for the construction of pipelines and, on the other hand, the choice to increase the extraction of coal to be used above all for the production of electricity. This amounts to over 630 million kWh, 13% of water origin and over 84% of thermal origin (including 15 million kWh of nuclear power).
Industrial and craft activities
According to Topschoolsintheusa, the industry participates for about 27% in the formation of the national gross product and employs about 15% of the active population. Although some consolidated industrial areas have progressively strengthened, industrialization has spread fairly in the country, also thanks to the recent establishment of special economic regions, where the tax treatment of companies attracts foreign and national investments, and thanks to specific infrastructural efforts that they aim to connect the regions that make up the ‘golden quadrilateral’ (Delhi, Calcutta, Chennai and Mumbai), also strengthening the intermediate areas.
Taken together, Indian industry produces nearly 30% of the country’s wealth, occupying just 12% of the working population. An industrial region around Calcutta (textile, engineering, paper, chemical) was established in the 1950s; in particular in the Damodar valley the steel industry is very lively (26 million tons of cast iron and ferro-alloys and over 43 of steel). Another industrial district, higher than that of Calcutta for the textile sector and slightly lower for some others (mechanics, chemicals and rubber) gravitates around Mumbai, which is also the center of a thriving film industry and its related industries. Another well-established industrial region is in the southern Deccan (steel, chemical, railway material, aircraft and automotive construction, aluminum processing, textiles).
For a long time the three major districts concentrated 90% of workers in industries, but following the incentives, the improvement of agricultural production and the increase in consumption, a modern type of development of the ancient activities of transformation (processing of sugar cane, coffee and above all tea, rice and oilseeds, preparation of fruit preserves, dairy industry, etc.) and an enhancement of craftsmanship (embroidery, glass processing, leather and metals, silk and wool etc.).
In general, however, the widespread artisanal productions have an informal character, scarcely capitalized, with a very strong contribution of labor (female and even children); evidently this production contributes to the formation of income, but it is not easily calculated; it is believed that if the informal sector could be properly valued, the Indian economy as a whole would be much more relevant. Not a few cities of the Gangetic plain and Punjab have specialized in productions destined for local consumption or for placing on international markets under foreign brands (Agra, Kanpur, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Jullundur, Amritsar, and also Delhi and Varanasi); a similar industrialization process has seen some cities in the Deccan, such as Gwalior, Indore and Bhopal. Widespread almost everywhere following the development of urban aggregates is the cement industry, which has exceeded 155 million tons.
Between Hyderabad and Bangalore, a set of activities, both industrial in the proper sense and of service, related to electronics and information technology (in particular, software development and database management), rapidly developed, which in turn gave rise to the establishment of lively training and research centers. The remarkable development of research and production in the aerospace field should also be noted.
The tertiary sector, which includes both some very sophisticated fields of activity connected with the previous ones and trivial and very low productive activities such as traditional retail trade and the like, now comprises about 53% of GDP and employs about 28% of the workforce. ; the contribution of the sector to the formation of national wealth has been growing rapidly in recent years, above all thanks to more modern activities.
Foreign exchanges are intense and involve a large number of countries (United States, China, United Arab Emirates, numerous European countries), without a net prevalence of privileged partners; compared to a recent past, the weight of Russia and Japan in trade has significantly reduced. The trade balance is almost constantly in deficit, mainly due to the incidence of oil and machinery; export is based on textile, chemical, metalworking, electronic products. The balance of payments is to some extent balanced by remittances from emigrants and other invisible items: it should not be forgotten that some large Indian companies also make significant investments in foreign markets.
Routes of communication and transport
Equipped with a good railway network even if with different gauges (63,000 km, 90% built by the British administration and about a quarter electrified), the India he took care in particular of the road sector, including the minor roads between the villages and recently also a large motorway network; the goal of reaching at least all centers with more than 10,000 residents with a rolling road. however, it has not yet been achieved. However, with 8.6 million passenger cars, private traffic is growing steadily and rapidly, supporting one of the most vibrant automotive (and motorcycle) industries in the world. Roads and railways, with maximum density in the Gangetic plain and in the coastal strip, converge towards Delhi and the main ports: among the latter, Calcutta, Mumbai (with auxiliary port in Kandla), Visakhapatnam (recently developed and specialized in mineral trafficking), Chennai. Good development also has inland navigation.
Very intense air traffic (over 27.5 million passengers / km); Calcutta, Mumbai, Delhi, Trivandrum and Chennai have international ports of call. Tourist admissions are continuously and consistently increasing (over 4 million).
The monetary unit (Indian rupee) is divided into 100 paisa.