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India vs. Afghanistan

Introduction

IndiaAfghanistan
BackgroundThe Indus Valley civilization, one of the world's oldest, flourished during the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C. and extended into northwestern India. Aryan tribes from the northwest infiltrated the Indian subcontinent about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier Dravidian inhabitants created the classical Indian culture. The Maurya Empire of the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. - which reached its zenith under ASHOKA - united much of South Asia. The Golden Age ushered in by the Gupta dynasty (4th to 6th centuries A.D.) saw a flowering of Indian science, art, and culture. Islam spread across the subcontinent over a period of 700 years. In the 10th and 11th centuries, Turks and Afghans invaded India and established the Delhi Sultanate. In the early 16th century, the Emperor BABUR established the Mughal Dynasty, which ruled India for more than three centuries. European explorers began establishing footholds in India during the 16th century.
By the 19th century, Great Britain had become the dominant political power on the subcontinent. The British Indian Army played a vital role in both World Wars. Years of nonviolent resistance to British rule, led by Mohandas GANDHI and Jawaharlal NEHRU, eventually resulted in Indian independence, which was granted in 1947. Large-scale communal violence took place before and after the subcontinent partition into two separate states - India and Pakistan. The neighboring nations have fought three wars since independence, the last of which was in 1971 and resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. India's nuclear weapons tests in 1998 emboldened Pakistan to conduct its own tests that same year. In November 2008, terrorists originating from Pakistan conducted a series of coordinated attacks in Mumbai, India's financial capital. Despite pressing problems such as significant overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and widespread corruption, economic growth following the launch of economic reforms in 1991 and a massive youthful population are driving India's emergence as a regional and global power.
Ahmad Shah DURRANI unified the Pashtun tribes and founded Afghanistan in 1747. The country served as a buffer between the British and Russian Empires until it won independence from notional British control in 1919. A brief experiment in democracy ended in a 1973 coup and a 1978 communist countercoup. The Soviet Union invaded in 1979 to support the tottering Afghan communist regime, touching off a long and destructive war. The USSR withdrew in 1989 under relentless pressure by internationally supported anti-communist mujahidin rebels. A series of subsequent civil wars saw Kabul finally fall in 1996 to the Taliban, a hardline Pakistani-sponsored movement that emerged in 1994 to end the country's civil war and anarchy. Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, a US, Allied, and anti-Taliban Northern Alliance military action toppled the Taliban for sheltering Usama BIN LADIN.
A UN-sponsored Bonn Conference in 2001 established a process for political reconstruction that included the adoption of a new constitution, a presidential election in 2004, and National Assembly elections in 2005. In December 2004, Hamid KARZAI became the first democratically elected president of Afghanistan, and the National Assembly was inaugurated the following December. KARZAI was reelected in August 2009 for a second term. The 2014 presidential election was the country's first to include a runoff, which featured the top two vote-getters from the first round, Abdullah ABDULLAH and Ashraf GHANI. Throughout the summer of 2014, their campaigns disputed the results and traded accusations of fraud, leading to a US-led diplomatic intervention that included a full vote audit as well as political negotiations between the two camps. In September 2014, GHANI and ABDULLAH agreed to form the Government of National Unity, with GHANI inaugurated as president and ABDULLAH elevated to the newly-created position of chief executive officer. The day after the inauguration, the GHANI administration signed the US-Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement and NATO Status of Forces Agreement, which provide the legal basis for the post-2014 international military presence in Afghanistan.
Despite gains toward building a stable central government, the Taliban remains a serious challenge for the Afghan Government in almost every province. The Taliban still considers itself the rightful government of Afghanistan, and it remains a capable and confident insurgent force despite its last two spiritual leaders being killed; it continues to declare that it will pursue a peace deal with Kabul only after foreign military forces depart.

Geography

IndiaAfghanistan
LocationSouthern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan
Southern Asia, north and west of Pakistan, east of Iran
Geographic coordinates20 00 N, 77 00 E
33 00 N, 65 00 E
Map referencesAsia
Asia
Areatotal: 3,287,263 sq km
land: 2,973,193 sq km
water: 314,070 sq km
total: 652,230 sq km
land: 652,230 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly more than one-third the size of the US
almost six times the size of Virginia; slightly smaller than Texas
Land boundariestotal: 13,888 km
border countries (6): Bangladesh 4,142 km, Bhutan 659 km, Burma 1,468 km, China 2,659 km, Nepal 1,770 km, Pakistan 3,190 km
total: 5,987 km
border countries (6): China 91 km, Iran 921 km, Pakistan 2,670 km, Tajikistan 1,357 km, Turkmenistan 804 km, Uzbekistan 144 km
Coastline7,000 km
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
none (landlocked)
Climatevaries from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north
arid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers
Terrainupland plain (Deccan Plateau) in south, flat to rolling plain along the Ganges, deserts in west, Himalayas in north
mostly rugged mountains; plains in north and southwest
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 160 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Kanchenjunga 8,586 m
mean elevation: 1,884 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Amu Darya 258 m
highest point: Noshak 7,492 m
Natural resourcescoal (fourth-largest reserves in the world), iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite, rare earth elements, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, diamonds, petroleum, limestone, arable land
natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones, arable land
Land useagricultural land: 60.5%
arable land 52.8%; permanent crops 4.2%; permanent pasture 3.5%
forest: 23.1%
other: 16.4% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 58.07%
arable land 20.5%; permanent crops 0.37%; permanent pasture 79%
forest: 2.07%
other: 39.86% (2014 est.)
Irrigated land667,000 sq km (2012)
32,080 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsdroughts; flash floods, as well as widespread and destructive flooding from monsoonal rains; severe thunderstorms; earthquakes
volcanism: Barren Island (354 m) in the Andaman Sea has been active in recent years
damaging earthquakes occur in Hindu Kush mountains; flooding; droughts
Environment - current issuesdeforestation; 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 throughout the country; huge and growing population is overstraining natural resources
limited natural freshwater resources; inadequate supplies of potable water; soil degradation; overgrazing; deforestation (much of the remaining forests are being cut down for fuel and building materials); desertification; air and water pollution
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation
Geography - notedominates South Asian subcontinent; near important Indian Ocean trade routes; Kanchenjunga, third tallest mountain in the world, lies on the border with Nepal
landlocked; the Hindu Kush mountains that run northeast to southwest divide the northern provinces from the rest of the country; the highest peaks are in the northern Vakhan (Wakhan Corridor)
Population distributionwith the notable exception of the deserts in the northwest, including the Thar Desert, and the mountain fringe in the north, a very high population density exists throughout most of the country; the core of the population is in the north along the banks of the Ganges, with other river valleys and southern coastal areas also having large population concentrations
populations tend to cluster in the foothills and periphery of the rugged Hindu Kush range; smaller groups are found in many of the country's interior valleys; in general, the east is more densely settled while the south is sparsely populated

Demographics

IndiaAfghanistan
Population1,281,935,911 (July 2017 est.)
34,124,811 (July 2017 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 27.34% (male 186,087,665/female 164,398,204)
15-24 years: 17.9% (male 121,879,786/female 107,583,437)
25-54 years: 41.08% (male 271,744,709/female 254,834,569)
55-64 years: 7.45% (male 47,846,122/female 47,632,532)
65 years and over: 6.24% (male 37,837,801/female 42,091,086) (2017 est.)
0-14 years: 40.92% (male 7,093,980/female 6,869,737)
15-24 years: 22.22% (male 3,859,696/female 3,723,679)
25-54 years: 30.35% (male 5,273,969/female 5,082,972)
55-64 years: 3.92% (male 659,635/female 678,942)
65 years and over: 2.59% (male 407,437/female 474,764) (2017 est.)
Median agetotal: 27.9 years
male: 27.2 years
female: 28.6 years (2017 est.)
total: 18.8 years
male: 18.8 years
female: 18.9 years (2017 est.)
Population growth rate1.17% (2017 est.)
2.36% (2017 est.)
Birth rate19 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
37.9 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Death rate7.3 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
13.4 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Net migration rate0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
-0.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.12 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female
total population: 1.08 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 39.1 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 38 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 40.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
total: 110.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 118 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 102.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 68.8 years
male: 67.6 years
female: 70.1 years (2017 est.)
total population: 51.7 years
male: 50.3 years
female: 53.2 years (2017 est.)
Total fertility rate2.43 children born/woman (2017 est.)
5.12 children born/woman (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.3% (2016 est.)
<.1% (2016 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Indian(s)
adjective: Indian
noun: Afghan(s)
adjective: Afghan
Ethnic groupsIndo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3% (2000)
Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, other (includes smaller numbers of Baloch, Turkmen, Nuristani, Pamiri, Arab, Gujar, Brahui, Qizilbash, Aimaq, Pashai, and Kyrghyz)
note: current statistical data on the sensitive subject of ethnicity in Afghanistan are not available, and ethnicity data from small samples of respondents to opinion polls are not a reliable alternative; Afghanistan's 2004 constitution recognizes 14 ethnic groups: Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Baloch, Turkmen, Nuristani, Pamiri, Arab, Gujar, Brahui, Qizilbash, Aimaq, and Pashai (2015)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS2.1 million (2016 est.)
7,500 (2016 est.)
ReligionsHindu 79.8%, Muslim 14.2%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.7%, other and unspecified 2% (2011 est.)
Muslim 99.7% (Sunni 84.7 - 89.7%, Shia 10 - 15%), other 0.3% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths62,000 (2016 est.)
<500 (2016 est.)
LanguagesHindi 41%, Bengali 8.1%, Telugu 7.2%, Marathi 7%, Tamil 5.9%, Urdu 5%, Gujarati 4.5%, Kannada 3.7%, Malayalam 3.2%, Oriya 3.2%, Punjabi 2.8%, Assamese 1.3%, Maithili 1.2%, other 5.9%
note: English enjoys the status of subsidiary official language but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindi is the most widely spoken language and primary tongue of 41% of the people; there are 14 other official languages: Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, and Sanskrit; Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language (2001 est.)
Afghan Persian or Dari (official) 80% (Dari functions as the lingua franca), Pashto (official) 47%, Uzbek 11%, English 5%, Turkmen 2%, Urdu 2%, Pashayi 1%, Nuristani 1%, Arabic 1%, Balochi, Shughni, Pamiri, Hindi, Russian, German, French <.5% each, don't know/refused <1%
note 1: data represent most widely spoken languages; shares sum to more than 100% because there is much bilingualism in the country and because respondents were allowed to select more than one language
note 2: the Turkic languages Uzbek and Turkmen, as well as Balochi, Pashayi, Nuristani, and Pamiri are the third official languages in areas where the majority speaks them (2017 est.)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 71.2%
male: 81.3%
female: 60.6% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 38.2%
male: 52%
female: 24.2% (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria
water contact disease: leptospirosis
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)
degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria (2016)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 12 years (2014)
total: 11 years
male: 13 years
female: 8 years (2014)
Education expenditures3.8% of GDP (2013)
3.4% of GDP (2015)
Urbanizationurban population: 33.5% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 2.28% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
urban population: 27.6% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 3.77% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 97.1% of population
rural: 92.6% of population
total: 94.1% of population
unimproved:
urban: 2.9% of population
rural: 7.4% of population
total: 5.9% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 78.2% of population
rural: 47% of population
total: 55.3% of population
unimproved:
urban: 21.8% of population
rural: 53% of population
total: 44.7% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 62.6% of population
rural: 28.5% of population
total: 39.6% of population
unimproved:
urban: 37.4% of population
rural: 71.5% of population
total: 60.4% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 45.1% of population
rural: 27% of population
total: 31.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 54.9% of population
rural: 73% of population
total: 68.1% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationNEW DELHI (capital) 25.703 million; Mumbai 21.043 million; Kolkata 11.766 million; Bangalore 10.087 million; Chennai 9.62 million; Hyderabad 8.944 million (2015)
KABUL (capital) 4.635 million (2015)
Maternal mortality rate174 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
396 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight35.7% (2015)
25% (2013)
Health expenditures4.7% of GDP (2014)
8.2% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density0.73 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
0.3 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density0.7 beds/1,000 population (2011)
0.5 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate3.9% (2016)
5.5% (2016)
Contraceptive prevalence rate53.5% (2015/16)
22.5% (2015/16)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 52.2
youth dependency ratio: 43.6
elderly dependency ratio: 8.6
potential support ratio: 11.7 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 88.8
youth dependency ratio: 84.1
elderly dependency ratio: 4.7
potential support ratio: 21.2 (2015 est.)

Government

IndiaAfghanistan
Country name"conventional long form: Republic of India
conventional short form: India
local long form: Republic of India/Bharatiya Ganarajya
local short form: India/Bharat
etymology: the English name derives from the Indus River; the Indian name ""Bharat"" may derive from the ""Bharatas"" tribe mentioned in the Vedas of the second millennium B.C.; the name is also associated with Emperor Bharata, the legendary conqueror of all of India
"
"conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
conventional short form: Afghanistan
local long form: Jamhuri-ye Islami-ye Afghanistan
local short form: Afghanistan
former: Republic of Afghanistan
etymology: the name ""Afghan"" originally referred to the Pashtun people (today it is understood to include all the country's ethnic groups), while the suffix ""-stan"" means ""place of"" or ""country""; so Afghanistan literally means the ""Land of the Afghans""
"
Government typefederal parliamentary republic
presidential Islamic republic
Capitalname: New Delhi
geographic coordinates: 28 36 N, 77 12 E
time difference: UTC+5.5 (10.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Kabul
geographic coordinates: 34 31 N, 69 11 E
time difference: UTC+4.5 (9.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions29 states and 7 union territories*; Andaman and Nicobar Islands*, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh*, Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli*, Daman and Diu*, Delhi*, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep*, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Puducherry*, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal
note: although its status is that of a union territory, the official name of Delhi is National Capital Territory of Delhi
34 provinces (welayat, singular - welayat); Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan, Balkh, Bamyan, Daykundi, Farah, Faryab, Ghazni, Ghor, Helmand, Herat, Jowzjan, Kabul, Kandahar, Kapisa, Khost, Kunar, Kunduz, Laghman, Logar, Nangarhar, Nimroz, Nuristan, Paktika, Paktiya, Panjshir, Parwan, Samangan, Sar-e Pul, Takhar, Uruzgan, Wardak, Zabul
Independence15 August 1947 (from the UK)
19 August 1919 (from UK control over Afghan foreign affairs)
National holidayRepublic Day, 26 January (1950)
Independence Day, 19 August (1919)
Constitutionhistory: previous 1935 (preindependence); latest draft completed 4 November 1949, adopted 26 November 1949, effective 26 January 1950
amendments: proposed by either the Council of States or the House of the People; passage requires majority participation of the total membership in each house and at least two-thirds majority of voting members of each house, followed by assent of the president of India; proposed amendments to the constitutional amendment procedures also must be ratified by at least one-half of the India state legislatures before presidential assent; amended many times, last in 2016 (2017)
history: several previous; latest drafted 14 December 2003 - 4 January 2004, signed 16 January 2004, ratified 26 January 2004
amendments: proposed by a commission formed by presidential decree followed by the convention of a Grand Council (Loya Jirga) decreed by the president; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the Loya Jirga membership and endorsement by the president (2017)
Legal systemcommon law system based on the English model; separate personal law codes apply to Muslims, Christians, and Hindus; judicial review of legislative acts
mixed legal system of civil, customary, and Islamic law
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Ram Nath KOVIND (since 25 July 2017); Vice President M. Venkaiah NAIDU (since 11 August 2017)
head of government: Prime Minister Narendra MODI (since 26 May 2014)
cabinet: Union Council of Ministers recommended by the prime minister, appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by an electoral college consisting of elected members of both houses of Parliament and state legislatures for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 17 July 2017 (next to be held in July 2022); vice president indirectly elected by an electoral college consisting of elected members of both houses of Parliament and state legislatures for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 5 August 2017 (next to be held in August 2022); following legislative elections, the prime minister is elected by parliamentary members of the majority party
election results: Ram Nath KOVIND elected president; percent of electoral college vote - Ram Nath KOVIND (BJP) 65.7% Meira KUMAR (INC) 34.3%; Mohammad Hamid ANSARI reelected vice president (2012 election); electoral college vote - Mohammad Hamid ANSARI 490, Jaswant SINGH 238
chief of state: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ashraf GHANI Ahmadzai (since 29 September 2014); CEO Abdullah ABDULLAH, Dr. (since 29 September 2014); First Vice President Abdul Rashid DOSTAM (since 29 September 2014); Second Vice President Sarwar DANESH (since 29 September 2014); First Deputy CEO Khyal Mohammad KHAN; Second Deputy CEO Mohammad MOHAQQEQ; note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ashraf GHANI Ahmadzai (since 29 September 2014); CEO Abdullah ABDULLAH, Dr. (since 29 September 2014); First Vice President Abdul Rashid DOSTAM (since 29 September 2014); Second Vice President Sarwar DANESH (since 29 September 2014); First Deputy CEO Khyal Mohammad KHAN; Second Deputy CEO Mohammad MOHAQQEQ
cabinet: Cabinet consists of 27 ministers appointed by the president, approved by the National Assembly
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held in 2 rounds on 5 April and 14 June 2014 (next to be held in 2018)
election results: Ashraf GHANI elected president in the second round; percent of vote in first round - Abdullah ABDULLAH (National Coalition of Afghanistan) 45%, Ashraf GHANI (independent) 31.6%, Zalmai RASSOUL 11.4%, other 12%; percent of vote in second round - Ashraf GHANI 56.4%, Abdullah ABDULLAH 43.6%
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral Parliament or Sansad consists of the Council of States or Rajya Sabha (245 seats; 233 members indirectly elected by state and territorial assemblies by proportional representation vote, and 12 members appointed by the president; members serve 6-year terms) and the House of the People or Lok Sabha (545 seats; 543 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 2 appointed by the president; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: House of the People - last held April-May 2014 in 10 phases; (next must be held by May 2019)
election results: House of the People - percent of vote by party - BJP 31.0%, INC 19.3%, AITC 3.8%, SP 3.4%, AIADMK 3.3%, CPI(M) 3.3%, TDP 2.6%, YSRC 2.5%, AAP 2.1%, SAD 1.8%, BJD 1.7%, SS 1.7%, NCP 1.6%, RJD 1.3%, TRS 1.3%, LJP 0.4%, other 15.9%, independent 3.0%; seats by party - BJP 282, INC 44, AIADMK 37, AITC 34, BJD 20, SS 18, TDP 16, TRS 11, CPI(M) 9, YSRC 9, LJP 6, NCP 6, SP 5, AAP 4, RJD 4, SAD 4, other 33, independent 3
description: bicameral National Assembly consists of the Meshrano Jirga or House of Elders (102 seats; 34 members indirectly elected by district councils to serve 3-year terms, 34 indirectly elected by provincial councils to serve 4-year terms, and 34 nominated by the president of which 17 must be women, 2 must represent the disabled, and 2 must be Kuchi nomads; members serve 5-year terms) and the Wolesi Jirga or House of People (249 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)
note: the constitution allows the government to convene a constitutional Loya Jirga (Grand Council) on issues of independence, national sovereignty, and territorial integrity; it can amend the provisions of the constitution and prosecute the president; it consists of members of the National Assembly and chairpersons of the provincial and district councils; no constitutional Loya Jirga has ever been held, and district councils have never been elected; the president appointed 34 members of the Meshrano Jirga that the district councils should have indirectly elected
elections: Meshrano Jirga - last held 10 January 2015 (next to be held in 2018); Wolesi Jirga - last held on 18 September 2010 (next originally scheduled on 15 October 2016 but postponed to 7 July 2018)
election results: Meshrano Jirga - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; Meshrano Jirga - percent of vote by party NA; seats by party - NA
Judicial branch"highest court(s): Supreme Court (the chief justice and 25 associate justices)
judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the president to serve until age 65
subordinate courts: High Courts; District Courts; Labour Court
note: in mid-2011, India’s Cabinet approved the ""National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reform"" to eliminate judicial corruption and reduce the backlog of cases
"
highest court(s): Supreme Court or Stera Mahkama (consists of the supreme court chief and 8 justices organized into criminal, public security, civil, and commercial divisions or dewans)
judge selection and term of office: court chief and justices appointed by the president with the approval of the Wolesi Jirga; court chief and justices serve single 10-year terms
subordinate courts: Appeals Courts; Primary Courts; Special Courts for issues including narcotics, security, property, family, and juveniles
Political parties and leadersAam Aadmi Party or AAP [Arvind KEJRIWAL]
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or AIADMK [Edappadi PALANISWAMY, Occhaathevar PANNEERSELVAM]
All India Trinamool Congress or AITC [Mamata BANERJEE]
Bahujan Samaj Party or BSP [MAYAWATI]
Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP [Amit SHAH]
Biju Janata Dal or BJD [Naveen PATNAIK]
Communist Party of India-Marxist or CPI(M) [Prakash KARAT]
Indian National Congress or INC [Rahul GANDHI]
Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) [Ram Vilas PASWAN]
Nationalist Congress Party or NCP [Sharad PAWAR]
Rashtriya Janata Dal or RJD [Lalu Prasad YADAV]
Samajwadi Party or SP [Akhilesh YADAV]
Shiromani Akali Dal or SAD [Parkash Singh BADAL]
Shiv Sena or SS [Uddhav THACKERAY]
Telegana Rashtra Samithi or TRS [K. Chandrashekar RAO]
Telugu Desam Party or TDP [Chandrababu NAIDU]
YSR Congress or YSRC [Jagan Mohan REDDY]
note: India has dozens of national and regional political parties
note - the Ministry of Justice licensed 57 political parties as of September 2016
Political pressure groups and leadersAll Parties Hurriyat Conference in the Kashmir Valley (separatist group)
Bajrang Dal (militant religious organization)
Jamiat Ulema-e Hind [Mahmood MADANI] (religious organization)
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS [Mohan BHAGWAT] (nationalist organization)
Vishwa Hindu Parishad [Pravin TOGADIA] (militant religious organization)
other: hundreds of social reform, anti-corruption, and environmental groups at state and local level; numerous religious or militant/chauvinistic organizations; various separatist groups seeking greater communal and/or regional autonomy
religious groups, tribal leaders, ethnically based groups, Taliban
International organization participationADB, AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIMSTEC, BIS, BRICS, C, CD, CERN (observer), CICA, CP, EAS, FAO, FATF, G-15, G-20, G-24, G-5, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAS (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC, SACEP, SCO (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNISFA, UNITAR, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
ADB, CICA, CP, ECO, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), SAARC, SACEP, SCO (dialogue member), UN, UNAMA, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Navtej Singh SARNA (since 18 January 2017)
chancery: 2107 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; note - Consular Wing located at 2536 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; telephone: [1](202) 939-7000
telephone: [1] (202) 939-7000
FAX: [1] (202) 265-4351
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, New York, San Francisco
chief of mission: Ambassador Hamdullah MOHIB (since 17 September 2015)
chancery: 2341 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-6410
FAX: [1] (202) 483-6488
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York, Washington, DC
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Kenneth JUSTER (since 23 November 2017)
embassy: Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [91] (11) 2419-8000
FAX: [91] (11) 2419-0017
consulate(s) general: Chennai (Madras), Hyderabad, Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay)
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Special Charge d'Affaires Hugo LLORENS (since December 2016)
embassy: Bibi Mahru, Kabul
mailing address: U.S. Embassy Kabul, APO, AE 09806
telephone: [00 93] 0700 108 001
FAX: [00 93] 0700 108 564
Flag descriptionthree equal horizontal bands of saffron (subdued orange) (top), white, and green, with a blue chakra (24-spoked wheel) centered in the white band; saffron represents courage, sacrifice, and the spirit of renunciation; white signifies purity and truth; green stands for faith and fertility; the blue chakra symbolizes the wheel of life in movement and death in stagnation
note: similar to the flag of Niger, which has a small orange disk centered in the white band
"three equal vertical bands of black (hoist side), red, and green, with the national emblem in white centered on the red band and slightly overlapping the other 2 bands; the center of the emblem features a mosque with pulpit and flags on either side, below the mosque are numerals for the solar year 1298 (1919 in the Gregorian calendar, the year of Afghan independence from the UK); this central image is circled by a border consisting of sheaves of wheat on the left and right, in the upper-center is an Arabic inscription of the Shahada (Muslim creed) below which are rays of the rising sun over the Takbir (Arabic expression meaning ""God is great""), and at bottom center is a scroll bearing the name Afghanistan; black signifies the past, red is for the blood shed for independence, and green can represent either hope for the future, agricultural prosperity, or Islam
note: Afghanistan had more changes to its national flag in the 20th century - 19 by one count - than any other country; the colors black, red, and green appeared on most of them
"
National anthem"name: ""Jana-Gana-Mana"" (Thou Art the Ruler of the Minds of All People)
lyrics/music: Rabindranath TAGORE
note: adopted 1950; Rabindranath TAGORE, a Nobel laureate, also wrote Bangladesh's national anthem
"
"name: ""Milli Surood"" (National Anthem)
lyrics/music: Abdul Bari JAHANI/Babrak WASA
note: adopted 2006; the 2004 constitution of the post-Taliban government mandated that a new national anthem should be written containing the phrase ""Allahu Akbar"" (God is Greatest) and mentioning the names of Afghanistan's ethnic groups
"
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; non-party state to the ICCt
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)the Lion Capital of Ashoka, which depicts four Asiatic lions standing back to back mounted on a circular abacus, is the official emblem; Bengal tiger; lotus flower; national colors: saffron, white, green
lion; national colors: red, green, black
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of India
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must have been born in - and continuously lived in - Afghanistan
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Economy

IndiaAfghanistan
Economy - overviewIndia's diverse economy encompasses traditional village farming, modern agriculture, handicrafts, a wide range of modern industries, and a multitude of services. Slightly less than half of the workforce is in agriculture, but services are the major source of economic growth, accounting for nearly two-thirds of India's output but employing less than one-third of its labor force. India has capitalized on its large educated English-speaking population to become a major exporter of information technology services, business outsourcing services, and software workers. Nevertheless, per capita income remains below the world average.

India is developing into an open-market economy, yet traces of its past autarkic policies remain. Economic liberalization measures, including industrial deregulation, privatization of state-owned enterprises, and reduced controls on foreign trade and investment, began in the early 1990s and served to accelerate the country's growth, which averaged nearly 7% per year from 1997 to 2017. India's economic growth slowed in 2011 because of a decline in investment caused by high interest rates, rising inflation, and investor pessimism about the government's commitment to further economic reforms and about slow world growth. Rising macroeconomic imbalances in India and improving economic conditions in Western countries led investors to shift capital away from India, prompting a sharp depreciation of the rupee through 2016.

Growth rebounded in 2014 through 2016, exceeding 7% each year, but slowed in 2017. Investors’ perceptions of India improved in early 2014, due to a reduction of the current account deficit and expectations of post-election economic reform, resulting in a surge of inbound capital flows and stabilization of the rupee. Since the election, the government has passed an important goods and services tax bill and raised foreign direct investment caps in some sectors, but most economic reforms have focused on administrative and governance changes largely because the ruling party remains a minority in India’s upper house of Parliament, which must approve most bills. Despite a high growth rate compared to the rest of the world, India’s government-owned banks faced mounting bad debt in 2015 and 2016, resulting in low credit growth and restrained economic growth.

The outlook for India's long-term growth is moderately positive due to a young population and corresponding low dependency ratio, healthy savings and investment rates, and increasing integration into the global economy. However, long-term challenges remain significant, including: India's discrimination against women and girls, an inefficient power generation and distribution system, ineffective enforcement of intellectual property rights, decades-long civil litigation dockets, inadequate transport and agricultural infrastructure, limited non-agricultural employment opportunities, high spending and poorly targeted subsidies, inadequate availability of quality basic and higher education, and accommodating rural-to-urban migration.
Afghanistan is gradually recovering from decades of conflict. Before 2014, the economy had sustained nearly a decade of strong growth, largely because of international assistance. Since 2014, however, the economy has slowed, in large part because of the withdrawal of nearly 100,000 foreign troops that had artificially inflated the country’s economic growth. Despite improvements in life expectancy, incomes, and literacy since 2001, Afghanistan is extremely poor, landlocked, and highly dependent on foreign aid. Much of the population continues to suffer from shortages of housing, clean water, electricity, medical care, and jobs. Corruption, insecurity, weak governance, lack of infrastructure, and the Afghan Government's difficulty in extending rule of law to all parts of the country pose challenges to future economic growth. Afghanistan's living standards are among the lowest in the world.

The international community remains committed to Afghanistan's development, pledging over $83 billion at ten donors' conferences between 2003 and 2016. In October 2016, the donors at the Brussels conference pledged an additional $3.8 billion in development aid annually from 2017 to 2020. Despite this help, the Government of Afghanistan will need to overcome a number of challenges, including low revenue collection, anemic job creation, high levels of corruption, weak government capacity, and poor public infrastructure.

In 2017 Afghanistan's growth rate was only marginally above that of the 2014-2016 average. The drawdown of international security forces that started in 2012 has negatively affected economic growth, as a substantial portion of commerce, especially in the services sector, has catered to the ongoing international troop presence in the country. Afghan President Ashraf GHANI Ahmadzai is dedicated to instituting economic reforms to include improving revenue collection and fighting corruption. However, the reforms will take time to implement and Afghanistan will remain dependent on international donor support over the next several years.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$9.447 trillion (2017 est.)
$8.852 trillion (2016 est.)
$8.265 trillion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
$69.51 billion (2017 est.)
$67.81 billion (2016 est.)
$66.25 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - real growth rate6.7% (2017 est.)
7.1% (2016 est.)
8% (2015 est.)
2.5% (2017 est.)
2.4% (2016 est.)
1.3% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$7,200 (2017 est.)
$6,800 (2016 est.)
$6,400 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
$1,900 (2017 est.)
$2,000 (2016 est.)
$2,100 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 16.8%
industry: 28.9%
services: 46.6% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 22%
industry: 22%
services: 56%
note: data exclude opium production (2015 est.)
Population below poverty line21.9% (2011 est.)
35.8% (2011 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 3.6%
highest 10%: 29.8% (2011)
lowest 10%: 3.8%
highest 10%: 24% (2008)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)3.8% (2017 est.)
4.5% (2016 est.)
6% (2017 est.)
4.4% (2016 est.)
Labor force521.9 million (2017 est.)
7.983 million (2013 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 47%
industry: 22%
services: 31% (FY 2014 est.)
agriculture: 78.6%
industry: 5.7%
services: 15.7% (FY08/09 est.)
Unemployment rate8.8% (2017 est.)
8% (2016 est.)
35% (2008 est.)
40% (2005 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $248.7 billion
expenditures: $330.3 billion (2017 est.)
revenues: $1.992 billion
expenditures: $6.636 billion (2016 est.)
Industriestextiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, software, pharmaceuticals
small-scale production of bricks, textiles, soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer, apparel, food products, non-alcoholic beverages, mineral water, cement; handwoven carpets; natural gas, coal, copper
Industrial production growth rate7.5% (2017 est.)
2.4% (2014 est.)
Agriculture - productsrice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, lentils, onions, potatoes; dairy products, sheep, goats, poultry; fish
opium, wheat, fruits, nuts; wool, mutton, sheepskins, lambskins, poppies
Exports$299.3 billion (2017 est.)
$268.6 billion (2016 est.)
$619.2 million (2016 est.)
$580 million (2015 est.)
note: not including illicit exports or reexports
Exports - commoditiespetroleum products, precious stones, vehicles, machinery, iron and steel, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, cereals, apparel
opium, fruits and nuts, handwoven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semi-precious gems
Exports - partnersUS 16%, UAE 11.7%, Hong Kong 5.1% (2016)
Pakistan 46.3%, India 37.6% (2016)
Imports$426.8 billion (2017 est.)
$376.1 billion (2016 est.)
$6.16 billion (2016 est.)
$7.034 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiescrude oil, precious stones, machinery, chemicals, fertilizer, plastics, iron and steel
machinery and other capital goods, food, textiles, petroleum products
Imports - partnersChina 17%, US 5.8%, UAE 5.4%, Saudi Arabia 5.2%, Switzerland 4.2% (2016)
Iran 19.3%, Pakistan 18.3%, China 16.7%, Kazakhstan 9.5%, Uzbekistan 6.1%, Turkmenistan 5.4%, Malaysia 4% (2016)
Debt - external$483.4 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$456.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.28 billion (FY10/11)
$2.7 billion (FY08/09)
Exchange ratesIndian rupees (INR) per US dollar -
65.17 (2017 est.)
67.195 (2016 est.)
67.195 (2015 est.)
64.152 (2014 est.)
61.03 (2013 est.)
afghanis (AFA) per US dollar -
67.87 (2016 est.)
67.87 (2016 est.)
67.87 (2015)
61.14 (2014 est.)
57.25 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year1 April - 31 March
21 December - 20 December
Public debt50.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
50.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
note: data cover central government debt, and exclude debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data exclude debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
8.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
9.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$407.2 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$359.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.477 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.232 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$33.68 billion (2017 est.)
-$15.23 billion (2016 est.)
$999 million (2017 est.)
$1.372 billion (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$2.439 trillion (2016 est.)
$21.06 billion (2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$1.516 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.558 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$1.139 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$NA
Commercial bank prime lending rate9.6% (31 December 2017 est.)
9.67% (31 December 2016 est.)
15% (31 December 2016 est.)
15% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$1.795 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.622 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$-240.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$-240.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$429.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$294.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.644 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$6.192 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Stock of broad money$2.063 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.773 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.945 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$6.544 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues10.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
9.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
-22.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 58.7%
government consumption: 11.6%
investment in fixed capital: 27.5%
investment in inventories: 4%
exports of goods and services: 18.4%
imports of goods and services: -20.2% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 108.6%
government consumption: 12.8%
investment in fixed capital: 18.2%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 6.6%
imports of goods and services: -46.2% (2014 est.)
Gross national saving28.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
29.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
31.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
22.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
25.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
21.4% of GDP (2015 est.)

Energy

IndiaAfghanistan
Electricity - production1.289 trillion kWh (2015 est.)
1.034 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - consumption1.048 trillion kWh (2015 est.)
4.741 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - exports5.15 billion kWh (2015 est.)
0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports5.244 billion kWh (2015 est.)
3.779 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Oil - production734,500 bbl/day (2016 est.)
0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - imports3.789 million bbl/day (2014 est.)
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Oil - exports0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Oil - proved reserves4.621 billion bbl (1 January 2017 es)
0 bbl (1 January 2017 es)
Natural gas - proved reserves1.227 trillion cu m (1 January 2017 es)
49.55 billion cu m (1 January 2017 es)
Natural gas - production31.24 billion cu m (2015 est.)
189 million cu m (2015 est.)
Natural gas - consumption102.3 billion cu m (2015 est.)
816 million cu m (2015 est.)
Natural gas - exports270 million cu m (2015 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports18.67 billion cu m (2015 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity308.8 million kW (30 November 2016 )
599,100 kW (2015 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels71.5% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
44.7% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants14.4% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
55.1% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels1.6% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources14.6% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
0.2% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production4.793 million bbl/day (2014 est.)
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption4.142 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
130,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports1.371 million bbl/day (2014 est.)
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports481,900 bbl/day (2014 est.)
127,200 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy1.887 billion Mt (2013 est.)
7.4 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesspopulation without electricity: 237,400,000
electrification - total population: 79%
electrification - urban areas: 98%
electrification - rural areas: 70% (2013)
population without electricity: 18,999,254
electrification - total population: 43%
electrification - urban areas: 83%
electrification - rural areas: 32% (2012)

Telecommunications

IndiaAfghanistan
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 24.404 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (July 2016 est.)
total subscriptions: 114,192
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (July 2016 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 1,127.809 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 89 (July 2016 est.)
total: 21,602,982
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 65 (July 2016 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: supported by recent deregulation and liberalization of telecommunications laws and policies, India has emerged as one of the fastest-growing telecom markets in the world; total telephone subscribership base exceeded 1 billion in 2015, an overall teledensity of roughly 80%, and subscribership is currently growing at roughly 5 million per month; urban teledensity now exceeds 100%, and rural teledensity has reached 50%
domestic: mobile cellular service introduced in 1994 and organized nationwide into four metropolitan areas and 19 telecom circles, each with multiple private service providers and one or more state-owned service providers; in recent years significant trunk capacity added in the form of fiber-optic cable and one of the world's largest domestic satellite systems, the Indian National Satellite system (INSAT), with 6 satellites supporting 33,000 very small aperture terminals (VSAT)
international: country code - 91; a number of major international submarine cable systems, including SEA-ME-WE-3 with landing sites at Cochin and Mumbai (Bombay), SEA-ME-WE-4 with a landing site at Chennai, Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) with a landing site at Mumbai (Bombay), South Africa - Far East (SAFE) with a landing site at Cochin, the i2i cable network linking to Singapore with landing sites at Mumbai (Bombay) and Chennai (Madras), and Tata Indicom linking Singapore and Chennai (Madras), provide a significant increase in the bandwidth available for both voice and data traffic; satellite earth stations - 8 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Inmarsat (Indian Ocean region); 9 gateway exchanges operating from Mumbai (Bombay), New Delhi, Kolkata (Calcutta), Chennai (Madras), Jalandhar, Kanpur, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, and Ernakulam (2015)
general assessment: limited fixed-line telephone service; an increasing number of Afghans utilize mobile-cellular phone networks
domestic: aided by the presence of multiple providers, mobile-cellular telephone service continues to improve rapidly; the Afghan Ministry of Communications and Information claims that more than 90 percent of the population live in areas with access to mobile-cellular services
international: country code - 93; multiple VSAT's provide international and domestic voice and data connectivity (2016)
Internet country code.in
.af
Internet userstotal: 374,328,160
percent of population: 29.5% (July 2016 est.)
total: 3,531,770
percent of population: 10.6% (July 2016 est.)
Broadcast mediaDoordarshan, India's public TV network, operates about 20 national, regional, and local services; a large and increasing number of privately owned TV stations are distributed by cable and satellite service providers; in 2015, more than 230 million homes had access to cable and satellite TV offering more than 700 TV channels; government controls AM radio with All India Radio operating domestic and external networks; news broadcasts via radio are limited to the All India Radio Network; since 2000, privately owned FM stations have been permitted and their numbers have increased rapidly (2015)
state-owned broadcaster, Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA), operates a series of radio and television stations in Kabul and the provinces; an estimated 150 private radio stations, 50 TV stations, and about a dozen international broadcasters are available (2007)

Transportation

IndiaAfghanistan
Roadwaystotal: 4,699,024 km
note: includes 96,214 km of national highways and expressways, 147,800 km of state highways, and 4,455,010 km of other roads (2015)
total: 42,150 km
paved: 12,350 km
unpaved: 29,800 km (2006)
Waterways14,500 km (5,200 km on major rivers and 485 km on canals suitable for mechanized vessels) (2012)
1,200 km; (chiefly Amu Darya, which handles vessels up to 500 DWT) (2011)
Pipelinescondensate/gas 9 km; gas 13,581 km; liquid petroleum gas 2,054 km; oil 8,943 km; oil/gas/water 20 km; refined products 11,069 km (2013)
gas 466 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Chennai, Jawaharal Nehru Port, Kandla, Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay), Sikka, Vishakhapatnam
container port(s) (TEUs): Chennai (1,571,000), Jawaharal Nehru Port (4,492,000) (2015)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Dabhol, Dahej, Hazira
river port(s): Kheyrabad, Shir Khan
Airports346 (2013)
43 (2016)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 253
over 3,047 m: 22
2,438 to 3,047 m: 59
1,524 to 2,437 m: 76
914 to 1,523 m: 82
under 914 m: 14 (2017)
total: 25
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 1 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 93
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 38
under 914 m: 45 (2013)
total: 18
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 5 (2016)
Heliports45 (2013)
9 (2013)
National air transport systemnumber of registered air carriers: 20
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 485
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 98,927,860
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 1,833,847,614 mt-km (2015)
number of registered air carriers: 4
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 20
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 1,929,907
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 33,102,038 mt-km (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefixVT (2016)
YA (2016)

Military

IndiaAfghanistan
Military branchesArmy, Navy (includes naval air arm), Air Force, Coast Guard (2011)
Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF): Afghan National Army (includes Afghan Air Force), Afghan National Police, Afghan Local Police (2016)
Military service age and obligation16-18 years of age for voluntary military service (Army 17 1/2, Air Force 17, Navy 16 1/2); no conscription; women may join as officers, currently serve in combat roles as pilots, and will soon be allowed in all combat roles (2016)
18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2016)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP2.47% of GDP (2016)
2.41% of GDP (2015)
2.5% of GDP (2014)
2.47% of GDP (2013)
2.54% of GDP (2012)
0.89% of GDP (2016)
0.99% of GDP (2015)
1.33% of GDP (2014)
1.06% of GDP (2013)
1.14% of GDP (2012)

Transnational Issues

IndiaAfghanistan
Disputes - internationalsince China and India launched a security and foreign policy dialogue in 2005, consolidated discussions related to the dispute over most of their rugged, militarized boundary, regional nuclear proliferation, Indian claims that China transferred missiles to Pakistan, and other matters continue
Kashmir remains the site of the world's largest and most militarized territorial dispute with portions under the de facto administration of China (Aksai Chin), India (Jammu and Kashmir), and Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas)
India and Pakistan resumed bilateral dialogue in February 2011 after a two-year hiatus, have maintained the 2003 cease-fire in Kashmir, and continue to have disputes over water sharing of the Indus River and its tributaries
UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan has maintained a small group of peacekeepers since 1949; India does not recognize Pakistan's ceding historic Kashmir lands to China in 1964; to defuse tensions and prepare for discussions on a maritime boundary, India and Pakistan seek technical resolution of the disputed boundary in Sir Creek estuary at the mouth of the Rann of Kutch in the Arabian Sea; Pakistani maps continue to show its Junagadh claim in Indian Gujarat State; Prime Minister Singh's September 2011 visit to Bangladesh resulted in the signing of a Protocol to the 1974 Land Boundary Agreement between India and Bangladesh, which had called for the settlement of longstanding boundary disputes over undemarcated areas and the exchange of territorial enclaves, but which had never been implemented; Bangladesh referred its maritime boundary claims with Burma and India to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea; Joint Border Committee with Nepal continues to examine contested boundary sections, including the 400 sq km dispute over the source of the Kalapani River; India maintains a strict border regime to keep out Maoist insurgents and control illegal cross-border activities from Nepal
Afghan, Coalition, and Pakistan military meet periodically to clarify the alignment of the boundary on the ground and on maps and since 2014 have met to discuss collaboration on the Taliban insurgency and counterterrorism efforts; Afghan and Iranian commissioners have discussed boundary monument densification and resurvey; Iran protests Afghanistan's restricting flow of dammed Helmand River tributaries during drought; Pakistan has sent troops across and built fences along some remote tribal areas of its treaty-defined Durand Line border with Afghanistan which serve as bases for foreign terrorists and other illegal activities; Russia remains concerned about the smuggling of poppy derivatives from Afghanistan through Central Asian countries
Illicit drugsworld's largest producer of licit opium for the pharmaceutical trade, but an undetermined quantity of opium is diverted to illicit international drug markets; transit point for illicit narcotics produced in neighboring countries and throughout Southwest Asia; illicit producer of methaqualone; vulnerable to narcotics money laundering through the hawala system; licit ketamine and precursor production
world's largest producer of opium; poppy cultivation increased 10 percent, to 201,000 hectares in 2016, while eradication declined significantly; the 2016 crop yielded an estimated 4,800 mt of raw opium, a 43% increase over 2015; the Taliban and other antigovernment groups participate in and profit from the opiate trade, which is a key source of revenue for the Taliban inside Afghanistan; widespread corruption and instability impede counterdrug efforts; most of the heroin consumed in Europe and Eurasia is derived from Afghan opium; Afghanistan is also struggling to respond to a burgeoning domestic opiate addiction problem; a 2015 national drug use survey found that roughly 11% of the population tested positive for one or more illicit drugs; vulnerable to drug money laundering through informal financial networks; illicit cultivation of cannabis and regional source of hashish
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 110,098 (Tibet/China); 63,162 (Sri Lanka); 15,561 (Burma); 7,693 (Afghanistan) (2015)
IDPs: 796,000 (armed conflict and intercommunal violence) (2016)
refugees (country of origin): 59,737 (Pakistan) (2016)
IDPs: 1.553 million (mostly Pashtuns and Kuchis displaced in the south and west due to natural disasters and political instability) (2016)

Source: CIA Factbook