Study Case of India


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  India Case Study Unedited Working Paper India Case Study Analysis of National Strategies for Sustainable Development This document is one of 19 country case studies that form the knowledge base for a synthesis report entitled “National Strategies for Sustainable Development: Challenges, Approaches, and Innovations Based on a 19-country Analysis.” The synthesis report and country case studies are available electronically at: measure/capacity/sdsip.asp June 2004 Notice to Reader Information in the country case studies was obtained primarily from publicly available sources (e.g., Internet and literature sources) and, where possible, was supplemented through interviews with government officials. The information was up-to-date as of May 2004. Every effort was made to ensure that official national sustainable development focal point contacts had the opportunity to provide feedback on the research, but such contacts were not successful in all cases. This case study is in an unedited, working paper format.  These case studies are made publicly available to add to the national sustainable development strategy knowledge base. The project’s research partners accept responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions. The views expressed in this working paper do not necessarily represent the views of the funding partners. The research partners welcome your comments on this country case study. Please e-mail comments to Darren Swanson at This National Sustainable Development Strategy research project is a collaborative effort. Its research partners are the International Institute for Sustainable  Development (IISD), the Canadian consulting firm Stratos Inc., and the  Environmental Policy Research Centre of the Freie Universität Berlin (FFU). The  study has been funded by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ; commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development – BMZ), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA),  Department of Foreign Affairs Canada, and Environment Canada. Advisors to the  project include IUCN – The World Conservation Union and the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. Prepared by: Environmental Policy Research Centre Freie Universität Berlin Doris Tharan Ihnestr. 22 D – 14195 Berlin Germany E-Mail: URL:    India Case Study Unedited Working Paper 2 1   Introduction: Country Description The federal Republic of India is located in Southern Asia bordering Pakistan in the West, China, Nepal and Bhutan in the Northeast, Myanmar and Bangladesh in the East and the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea in the South. Indian’s has 1,050  billion inhabitants, about 16 % of the world’s population on just 2.4% of the worlds land area. (CIA World Fact Book 2003)  Economy Since reforms started in 1990, India has been heading towards social market economy, although the public sector still dominates in key areas. Traditionally, India's economy is characterised by village farming, modern agriculture, handicrafts, a wide range of modern industries and a large number of support services. Apart from agriculture (rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea etc.), the main branches of economy are electricity production, consumer goods, cement, steel production and general infrastructure including telecommunications as well as insurance, banking, IT and software. In recent years, the economic change is obvious. One driving force behind this is the Information technology. The GDP approx. $ 2,664 trillion (2002) is composed of agriculture 24.8%, industry 26.4% and services 48.8%. India’s growth continues to be high, 5-6 %. The growth in the 1990s has generated less employment than was expected. The official unemployment is 4 %. India receives $ 2.9 billion in economic aid (1998/99) and pays interest on external debt of $100.6 billion (2001 est.). (CIA World Fact Book 2003, FFOG 2003, MoEF 2002a) Society India (Member of the Commonwealth of Nations) is divided into 28 states and 7 union territories. Legislative power is held by the bicameral Parliament or Sansad, consisting of the Council of States or Rajya Sabha (max. 250 members serving six-year terms) and the People's Assembly or Lok Sabha (545 members serving five-year terms). An electoral college consisting of elected members of both houses of Parliament and the legislatures of the States elects the President for a five-year term. Abdul KALAM has  been president since 2002. The vice-president is elected by both houses of Parliament also for a five-year term too. Bhairon Singh SHEKHAWAT has been vice-president since 2002. Following the legislative elections the prime minister will be elected. Atal Bihari VAJPAYEE (Bharatiya Janata Party), leader of the strongest party in the National Democratic Alliance government coalition, has been in office as Prime Minister since 1998. The president appoints the Cabinet or the Council of Ministers on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The judicial power is held by the Supreme Court. Its judges are appointed by the president and remain in office until they reach the age of 65. (CIA World Fact Book 2003, FFOG 2003) The national language and mother tongue of 30% of the people is Hindi. English has an associate status and is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication. India has many very well-educated people with fluent English. On the other hand, 42 % of the people are illiterate and a third of the people live in poverty. The infant mortality rate has stagnated at 72 per 1000 in recent years.  India Case Study Unedited Working Paper 3 The life expectancy of total population 63 years ( male:  63 years,  female:  64 years) (2003 est.). (World Bank Group 2004, CIA 2003) With a Human development index (HDI) of 0.59 in 2001, India is ranked 127 th  out 175 countries classified (UNDP 2003).  Environment The 3,287,590 sq km of the country are characterised by upland plain in the South, flat to rolling plain along the Ganges, deserts in the West, the Himalayas in the North. The climate varies from temperate in the North to tropical monsoon in the South. The monsoon causes severe droughts, flash floods and flooding of large areas because of monsoon rains and thunderstorms. (CIA 2003) Current environmental issues are deforestation, soil erosion, overgrazing, desertification, air pollution from industrial effluents and vehicle emissions, water  pollution from raw sewage and runoff of agricultural pesticides. Tap water is not  potable in some parts of the country. The huge and growing population is overstraining natural resources. Even before India’s independence in 1947, several environmental legislations existed. But only after the UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm 1972, the Government began to install a first well-developed framework. Under the influence of this declaration, the National Council for Environmental Policy and Planning within the Department of Science and Technology was set up in 1972. This Council evolved into the new Ministry of Environment and Forest in 1985. (MoEF 2002a)   After the UNCED, it developed a number of strategic environmental plans, ratified the Kyoto-Protocol and a number of other international treaties and paid strong attention to the implementation of Local Agenda 21. India is signatory of many important international treaties in the field of environment, e.g. the International Convention for the regulation of Whaling, the International Plant Protection Convention, the Antarctic Treaty, the Vienna Convention for the protection of the Ozone Layer; the Basel Convention on Trans-boundary movement of hazardous substances, the Framework Convention on Climate Change; Convention on the Conservation of Biodiversity and the Montreal Protocol on the Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. (CSD 2002)  India Case Study Unedited Working Paper 4  Note on sources This study is based on the analysis of government reports, OECD papers and reports  by science institutes. Table 1: Profile by Selected Indicators Indicator Value Human Development Index (and ranking) 0.59 (127th) Human Poverty Index (and ranking) 33.1 (53rd) Environmental Sustainability Index 41.6 (116th) GHG Emissions 1995: 1 tonnes CO 2  per capita GDP and GDP per capita $ 2,664 trillion, $ 2.600 Source: CIA 2003, UNDP 2003, Yale University and Columbia University 2002, Zittel and Treber 2003
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