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India

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Summary

Overpopulation is one of the greatest problems facing the Indian environment, economy, and infrastructure. The population growth rate has been declining but is still significant. India’s recent economic success and consistent GDP growth of 7% over the last five years has resulted in vast wealth discrepancies between rural and urban populations. Malnutrition is a health threat for children under 5, and many women, girls, and ethnic minorities suffer from discrimination. Overpopulation has created major issues with air and water pollution, making access to clean drinking water increasingly difficult.1 1 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/in.html

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India Demographics

Demographics

Nationality
Indian
Population
1,220,800,359 (July 2013 est.)
Ethnic Groups
Languages
Religions

Causes in India

Learn more about specific causes in India that you can get involved in.

Environment
Human Rights
Education
Poverty
Religion
Clean Water
Economy
Government
Health
Children
Family
Animals

Environment

Some of the primary environmental issues facing India are air pollution, poor waste management, water scarcity, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity. India constitutes 2.4% of the world’s land while supporting 16% of the world’s population, and such overpopulation has contributed to a severe loss of natural resources. The nearly-poisonous air quality has resulted in the Indian government banning fireworks for major holidays like the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali.1 Agriculture, industry, and energy sectors are all in competition for the scarce supply of water in India. Common natural disasters that plague India are floods, droughts, cyclones, earthquakes, and landslides. Earthquakes are particularly devastating to the country because of the densely populated urban settlements. 58.6% of India’s landmass is prone to earthquakes and 68% of Read More the cultivable land is prone to droughts, further contributing to India’s rank as the 5th most vulnerable country in the world to natural disasters.2 Show Less

Human Rights

Human rights abuses in India include the restriction of Internet freedom, government corruption, gender marginalization, the caste system, and laws that restrict access to foreign funds for NGOs.1 There have been reports of violence against and harassment of human rights activists, along with extrajudicial executions and abuse of basic human rights.2 The government controls the police force and is slow to check corruption within its own branches. Additionally, there is no government regulation to prohibit the persecution of the country’s Dalits (untouchables), women, religious minorities, disabled population, and sexual minorities. Such persecution is commonly perpetuated by the police force, and the impunity of security forces, military, and police remains unchecked.3

Education

India’s law mandates free and compulsory education for every child between 6 and 14 years of age. There are discrepancies between the quality of education desired and what is actually implemented.1 71% of the population is literate, but 81% of these are men and only 60% are women.2 Class sizes in India are quite large; most classes have around 32 students per one teacher in primary, secondary, and tertiary classrooms.3 Additionally, the lack of trained teachers and resources contribute to problematic gaps in the education of students who are able to stay in primary school.4

Poverty

India’s upper class has benefitted from recent economic development, but the wealth has not been equally dispersed. 21.9% of India’s population lives below the international poverty line and 35.7% of children under 5 are malnourished. The unemployment rate is 8%.1 The rapid population expansion of the past decade has created a massive workforce that is largely unskilled, while India’s job market is not structured to provide substantial employment opportunities for unskilled laborers. Since rural areas have the lowest level of education and vocational training, the unemployment rate in rural regions is higher than the national average.2

Religion

India is the birthplace of many religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. Christianity, Islam, and Judaism also contribute substantially to India’s religious composition. Several major ethnic/religious conflicts have persisted in recent years,1 including conflicts in the Assam and Punjab states, as well as widespread Hindu-Muslim conflicts stemming from issues between the countries of India and Pakistan.2 80% of the population is Hindu, 14.2% Muslim, 2.3% Christian, and 1.7% Sikh.3

Clean Water

94% of the Indian population has access to clean water, and 40% of the population has access to sanitation facilities.1 The World Bank estimates that around 21% of communicable diseases in India are linked to contaminated water.2 The water supply in rural areas remains contaminated with biological and chemical pollutants.3 Additionally, India lacks a plan for long-term renewable water resources, further complicated by the rapid urbanization of the country. The country’s continued population growth has made it increasingly difficult to provide water and sanitation services to every citizen.4

Economy

In recent years, India’s economy has experienced rapid and widespread growth.1 Some politicians have begun campaigning for microfinance institutions run for women by women.2 India’s economy has grown by about 7% annually. The state is deeply entrenched in many areas of private business and stifles much entrepreneurial potential. The country is marked by the existence of extreme wealth and poverty side by side.3 The unemployment rate was 8% in 2016, down .5% from 2015. India’s main export partners are the US, UAE, and Hong Kong, and they import mainly from China, the US, UAE, and Saudi Arabia.4

Government

The Republic of India is the most populous democracy in the world, and is led by both a president and a prime minister. The government is officially a federal parliamentary republic. The religious divide in India contributes to frequent political and social tension. Over 80% of the population is Hindu, but the Muslim population is also one of the largest in the world.1 Political parties struggle to represent the interests of both religious majorities. Government corruption has long been an issue in India, with widespread monopolies and bribery existing within most government branches. At the beginning of 2014, a helpline in Delhi was established to counsel citizens who had been presented with demands for bribes by government officials. The call center received more than 4,000 Read More calls within the first few hours of being operational.2 India ranks 79th out of 176 countries for corruption, and the Indian public scores their own government at 40 out of 100 for perceived corruption.3 Show Less

Health

Life expectancy in India is 68 years old. Infant mortality is 39 deaths per 1,000 live births, and maternal mortality rates are 174 per 100,000 live births.1 The majority of health issues in India arise from drinking from unclean water sources. The Asian Development Bank reports that no major city in India has the infrastructural capability to distribute clean water for more than a few hours each day.2 Overpopulated cities like Delhi suffer from nearly 30 times the amount of air pollution considered safe by the World Health Organization. This causes numerous health risks.3 Dengue fever, hepatitis, tuberculosis, malaria, and pneumonia also plague India due to increased antibiotic drug resistance. Over-the-counter sales of drugs and antibiotics have led to an overall increase in patients with Read More drug-resistant infections. Additionally, India has the third highest number of HIV-infected citizens in the world.4 Show Less

Children

An estimated 242,000 children went missing in India between 2012 and 2017. The police force has displayed apathy for searching for missing children, girls especially, because of the sheer number of missing children. In many cases, the children are never even reported as missing in the first place, due to an outdated system that incentivizes officers to only open cases which they think they can solve easily. Child laborers have difficulty distinguishing potential employers from child traffickers.1 Amnesty International reports that crimes against children rose by 5% in. Child labor laws have been altered to prohibit working before the age of 14, but there are still many loopholes that allow underaged workers.2 47% of children are married before they are 18, and a further 18% Read More are married before they are 15. The legal age for marriage is 18 for women and 21 for men, but the law relies on the families to report the marriages, and the families are often the ones in support of child marriage.3 Show Less

Family

Arranged marriages are still common in India, with the exception of the urban middle class. Indian families are follow traditions of the caste system, with each caste having its traditions and ranking within Indian society.1 Abuse against women and girls is rampant in Indian society; over 327,000 cases of abuse were reported in 2015. There are still barriers to access to protective programs that would help women escape abusive relationships.2

Animals

Some of the species native to India are the Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros, Nilgiri Tahr, Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Lion, Black Buck, Lion Tailed Macaque, and Snow Leopard. These famous animals are in danger of habitat loss from the overpopulation and human invasion into their environment. Only 4% of India’s land is protected, and illegal hunting and poaching has greatly diminished local populations. The same issues of water and air pollution from human activities that adversely affect the human population also impact the local wildlife species.2
India

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