Social indicators

Population growth rate (average annual %) 1.13 (2013)
Urban population growth rate (average annual %) 2.4(2010-2015)
Rural population growth rate (average annual %) 0.7( 2010-2015)
Urban population (%) 4(2014)
Population aged 0-14 years (%) 28.8 (2014)
Population aged 60+ years (females and males, % of total) 3/7.9 (2014)
Education: Government expenditure (% of GDP) 8 (2007-2013)
Sex ratio (males per 100 females) 107.0 (2014)
Life expectancy at birth (females and males, years) 68.1/64.6 (2010- 2015)
Infant mortality rate (per 1 000 live births) 43.8(2010- 2015)
Fertility rate, total (live births per woman) 2.5(2010- 2015)

Economic Indicators

GDP per capita 1,498.87 USD ‎(2013)
GDP growth rate 0% annual change ‎(2013)
GDP: (Agriculture) 17%
GDP: (Industry ) 26%
GDP: (Services) 57% (2013-14)

India is a vast South Asian country with diverse terrain – from Himalayan peaks to Indian Ocean coastline – and history reaching back 5 millennia. In the north, Mughal Empire landmarks include Delhi’s Red Fort complex, massive Jama Masjid mosque and Agra’s iconic Taj Mahal mausoleum. Pilgrims bathe in the Ganges in Varanasi, and Rishikesh is a yoga center and base for Himalayan trekking.

  • Capitals: New Delhi
  • Population: 1.417 billion (2022)
  • Pop. density (per sq km) 481 per Km-2
  • Area3,287,590 km2
  • Dialing code: +91
  • Currency: Indian rupee
  • President: Droupadi Murmu
  • Prime minister: Narendra Modi
  • National Focal Points for Environment:Ministry of Environment, Forest and climate change.
  • Official language:Hindi

Country’s Environmental Profile

India is the seventh largest country in the world . Bounded by the Great Himalaya in the North, it stretches southwards and at the Tropic of Cancer, tapers off into the Indian Ocean between the Bay of Bengal in the East and the Arabian Sea in the West. The country accounts for 2.42 per cent of the world’s total land area and sustains 16 per cent of the world population.

The climate of India is dominated by the Asiatic monsoon, most importantly by rains from the south-west between June and October, and drier winds from the north between December and February. From March to May the climate is dry and hot.

The northern most point of the Indian mainland lies in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and the southernmost point is Kanyakumari in TamilnaduFrom its northernmost point to the southern tip, India stretches 3,200 kilometres (2,000 miles) and has 26 states.

The mainland comprises of four regions,

  1. Great Northern Mountains
  2. Great Northern Plains
  3. Great Indian Plateau and
  4. Coastal Plains and Islands.


They include the mountains and plateaus of northern Kashmir, the Himalayas proper and the hills of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya.


This plain extends from west to east, between Himalayas in the north and Great Indian Plateau in the south. The plain extends from the arid and semi-arid areas of Rajasthan in the west to Brahmputra valley in the east. This plain is very fertile and a very sizeable part of the Indian population lives in innumerable villages and several big cities in this region.


The Great Indian Plateau lies to the South of the Great Northern Plains. This is the largest physiographic division of our country. It covers an area of about 16 lakh square km, i.e., about half of the total area of the country. It is an old rocky plateau region. The topography consists of a series of plateaus and hill ranges interspersed with river valleys.


The Great Plateau of India is surrounded by plains on all sides. In the north lies the Great Northern Plain and in south, along the east and west lie the Coastal Plains.

East Coastal Plain extends along the coast of the Bay of Bengal from Ganga Delta in the north to Kanyakumari in the south.

West Coastal Plain extends along the Arabian Sea from the Rann of Kutchch in the north to Kanyakumari in the south. Except for the Gujarat plain, the western coastal plains are narrower than the eastern coastal plain The total length of the coastline, including the mainland, Lakshadweep Islands, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is 7, 517 km.


There are two small groups of islands. One of these situated in the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of Myanmar is known as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The other is known as Lakshadweep and situated in Arabian Sea, off the coast of Kerala.

Bio Diversity

India has about 91,000 species of animals and 45,500 species of plants, that have been documented in its ten bio-geographic regions. Of these 12.6% of mammals, 4.5% of birds, 45.8% of reptiles, 55.8% of amphibians and 33% of Indian plants are endemic, being found nowhere else in the world. The country also contained many threatened species. These include 53 species of mammal, 69 birds, 23 reptiles and 3 amphibians. The country has three of 34 “global biodiversity hotspots” – unique, biologically rich areas which are facing severe conservation threats


India has a rich variety of wetland habitats. The total area of wetlands (excluding rivers) in India is 58,286,000ha, or 18.4% of the country, 70% of which comprises areas under paddy cultivation. A total of 1,193 wetlands, covering an area of about 3,904,543 ha,

Two sites – Chilka Lake (Orissa) and Keoladeo National Park (Bharatpur) – have been designated under the Convention of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) as being especially significant waterfowl habitats

Marine Environment

India’s coast is 7,517 km (4,671 miles) long; of this distance, 5,423 km (3,370 miles) belongs to peninsular India, and 2,094 km (1,301 miles) to the Andaman, Nicobar, and Lakshadweep Islands. The

mainland coast consists of the following: 43 per cent sandy beaches, 11 per cent rocky coast including cliffs, and 46 per cent mud flats or marshy coast. Notable coastal features of India comprise the marshy Rann of Kutch in the West and the alluvial Sundarbans Delta in the East, which India shares with

Bangladesh. India has two archipelagos – the Lakshadweep, coral atolls beyond India’s South-Western coast, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a volcanic island chain in the Andaman Sea.

The nearshore coastal waters of India are extremely rich fishing grounds. There are five species of marine turtle occur in Indian waters: Green turtle Chelonia mydas, Loggerhead Caretta caretta, Olive Ridley Lepidochelys olivacea, Hawksbill Eretmochelys imbricata and Leatherback Dermochelys coriacea.

The rivers

The rivers of India can be classified into four groups , the Himalayan rivers, the Deccan rivers, the coastal rivers, and rivers of the inland drainage basin.

Environment Indicators

Threatened species – 988 (2014)   
Forested area (% of land area) – 23.1 (2012)
Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected (%) – 3.1 (2014)
Population using improved drinking water sources (%) – 93.0 (2012)
Population using improved sanitation facilities (%) – 36.0 (2012)
CO2 emission estimates (000 metric tons and metric tons per capita) – 2074345/1.7 (2011)
Energy supply per capita (Gigajoules) – 28.0 (2012)

Principal Environmental Laws

MEAS signed

India is member of almost all major Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs),under four clusters,

  1. Nature conservation;
  2. Hazardous material;
  3. Atmospheric emissions; and
  4. Marine environment
  1. Nature conservation
  • Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
  • CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora)
  • TRAFFIC (The Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network)
  • CMS (Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species)
  • CAWT (Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking)
  • CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity)
  • ITTC (International Tropical Timber Organisation)
  • UNFF (United Nations Forum on Forests)
  • IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources)
  • GTF (Global Tiger Forum)
  1. Hazardous material
  • Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
  • SAICM (Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management)
  • Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
  • Basel Convention on the Control of Trans-boundary Movement of Hazardous Waste and Their Disposal
  • Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent (PIC) for certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade
  1. Atmospheric emissions
  • UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)
  • Kyoto Protocol
  • UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification)
  • Montreal Protocol (on Ozone Depleting Substances)
  1. Marine environment
  • IWC (International Whaling Commission)

Environmental Related Reports

State of Environment (SoE) Report – India

  1. India – 2009
  2. India – 2001
  3. India – 1999
  4. Andhra Pradesh
  5. Bihar
  6. Chandigarh
  7. Himachal Pradesh
  8. Karnataka: Synthesis Report 2003 ), SoER 2011
  9. Kerala
  10. Maharashtra
  11. Meghalaya
  12. Orissa
  13. Punjab
  14. Rajasthan
  15. Sikkim
  16. Tamil nadu
  17. Tripura
  18. Uttar Pradesh
  19. India’s Forest
  20. State of Environment(SoE) Atlas

Major Environmental Issues:

  • Population growth and environmental quality.
  • Water pollution.
  • Water resources.
  • Air pollution.
  • Solid waste pollution.
  • Noise pollution.

Important Web sites

  1. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change
  2. National Tiger Conservation Authority
  3. Environmental Information System
  4. Central Pollution Control Board
  5. Indian Forest Service
  6. National Afforestation & Eco-Development Board
  7. Bhuvan , Indian GEO platform
  8. Forest Survey of India
  9. Wildlife Crime Control Bureau
  10. Animal welfare board of India
  11. Zoological Survey of India
  12. National Zoological Parks of India
  13. Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education
  14. National Clean Development Mechanism Authority