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Asia's Turning Point: An Introduction to Asia's Dynamic Economies at the Dawn of the New Century by Philippe Debroux, Ivan Tselichtchev

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19

India: The Next-Door Neighbor Knocking at the Door

A Few Basics

Overview

In terms of gross domestic product (GDP) (purchasing power parity (PPP)) India lies fourth after the US, China, and Japan. By nominal GDP, in 2007, it was twelfth between Russia and South Korea, and by per-capita GDP (PPP) it was 126th—above Nicaragua and below Moldova.

The share of agriculture in the GDP is 17.5 percent, for industry it is 27.9 percent, and for services it is 54.6 percent (Dutz 2007). Shares in the total number of persons employed are 55 percent, 18 percent, and 27 percent, respectively (ADB 2007).

However, as formal laborers account for only about 15 percent of the total, employment composition figures may be misleading. With a lot of people going back and forth from the countryside to the cities, the absence of monitoring of the grassroots situation by the authorities, and enormous numbers of micro-enterprises appearing and disappearing, the real situation with labor is difficult to grasp (Datt 2007).

Since independence, India has upheld an electoral system, with regular and fair elections, that has provided the foundation for give-and-take parliamentary policy. Defeated parties have always been ready to vacate office in an orderly manner. Contrary to its politically unstable neighbors, the country did not suffer military coups or civil wars.

More than 80 percent of India’s population is Hindu. However, people of all religions can, and do, hold high office or wield significant political ...

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