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India vs. Afghanistan

Introduction

IndiaAfghanistan
Background

The 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 and India was seen as the "Jewel in the Crown" of the British Empire. 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 in 1947. Large-scale communal violence took place before and after the subcontinent partition into two separate states - India and Pakistan. The neighboring countries 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. India's economic growth following the launch of economic reforms in 1991, a massive youthful population, and a strategic geographic location have contributed to India's emergence as a regional and global power. However, India still faces pressing problems such as environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and widespread corruption, and its restrictive business climate is dampening economic growth expectations.

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 increased 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. After two postponements, the next presidential election was held in September 2019.

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 fighting for the withdrawal of foreign military forces from Afghanistan, establishment of sharia law, and rewriting of the Afghan constitution. In 2019, negotiations between the US and the Taliban in Doha entered their highest level yet, building on momentum that began in late 2018. Underlying the negotiations is the unsettled state of Afghan politics, and prospects for a sustainable political settlement remain unclear.

Geography

IndiaAfghanistan
Location
Southern 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 coordinates
20 00 N, 77 00 E
33 00 N, 65 00 E
Map references
Asia
Asia
Area
total: 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 - comparative
slightly more than one-third the size of the US
almost six times the size of Virginia; slightly smaller than Texas
Land boundaries
total: 13,888 km
border countries (6): Bangladesh 4142 km, Bhutan 659 km, Burma 1468 km, China 2659 km, Nepal 1770 km, Pakistan 3190 km
total: 5,987 km
border countries (6): China 91 km, Iran 921 km, Pakistan 2670 km, Tajikistan 1357 km, Turkmenistan 804 km, Uzbekistan 144 km
Coastline
7,000 km
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
none (landlocked)
Climate
varies from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north
arid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers
Terrain
upland 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 extremes
mean elevation: 160 m
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Kanchenjunga 8,586 m
mean elevation: 1,884 m
lowest point: Amu Darya 258 m
highest point: Noshak 7,492 m
Natural resources
coal (fourth-largest reserves in the world), antimony, iron ore, lead, 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 use
agricultural land: 60.5% (2011 est.)
arable land: 52.8% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 4.2% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 3.5% (2011 est.)
forest: 23.1% (2011 est.)
other: 16.4% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 58.1% (2016 est.)
arable land: 11.8% (2016) / permanent crops: 0.3% (2016) / permanent pasture: 46% (2016)
forest: 2.07% (2016 est.)
other: 39% (2016)
Irrigated land
667,000 sq km (2012)
32,080 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards

droughts; 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 issues
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 throughout the country; huge and growing population is overstraining natural resources; preservation and quality of forests; biodiversity loss
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 in overcrowded urban areas
Environment - international agreements
party 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 - note
dominates 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 distribution
with 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
Population
1,326,093,247 (July 2020 est.)
36,643,815 (July 2020 est.)
Age structure
0-14 years: 26.31% (male 185,017,089/female 163,844,572)
15-24 years: 17.51% (male 123,423,531/female 108,739,780)
25-54 years: 41.56% (male 285,275,667/female 265,842,319)
55-64 years: 7.91% (male 52,444,817/female 52,447,038)
65 years and over: 6.72% (male 42,054,459/female 47,003,975) (2020 est.)
0-14 years: 40.62% (male 7,562,703/female 7,321,646)
15-24 years: 21.26% (male 3,960,044/female 3,828,670)
25-54 years: 31.44% (male 5,858,675/female 5,661,887)
55-64 years: 4.01% (male 724,597/female 744,910)
65 years and over: 2.68% (male 451,852/female 528,831) (2020 est.)
Median age
total: 28.7 years
male: 28 years
female: 29.5 years (2020 est.)
total: 19.5 years
male: 19.4 years
female: 19.5 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate
1.1% (2020 est.)
2.38% (2020 est.)
Birth rate
18.2 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
36.7 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Death rate
7.3 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
12.7 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Net migration rate
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
-0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.11 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.14 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
total population: 107.9 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 102.6 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Infant mortality rate
total: 35.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 34.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 36.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
total: 104.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 111.3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 96.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 69.7 years
male: 68.4 years
female: 71.2 years (2020 est.)
total population: 52.8 years
male: 51.4 years
female: 54.4 years (2020 est.)
Total fertility rate
2.35 children born/woman (2020 est.)
4.82 children born/woman (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
0.2% (2017 est.)
<.1% (2019 est.)
Nationality
noun: Indian(s)
adjective: Indian
noun: Afghan(s)
adjective: Afghan
Ethnic groups
Indo-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) (2015)

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

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
2.1 million (2017 est.)
11,000 (2019 est.)
Religions
Hindu 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 - deaths
69,000 (2017 est.)
<500 (2019 est.)
Languages
Hindi 43.6%, Bengali 8%, Marathi 6.9%, Telugu 6.7%, Tamil 5.7%, Gujarati 4.6%, Urdu 4.2%, Kannada 3.6%, Odia 3.1%, Malayalam 2.9%, Punjabi 2.7%, Assamese 1.3%, Maithili 1.1%, other 5.6% (2011 est.)

note: English enjoys the status of subsidiary official language but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; there are 22 other officially recognized languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu; Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language

Afghan Persian or Dari (official) 77% (Dari functions as the lingua franca), Pashto (official) 48%, Uzbek 11%, English 6%, Turkmen 3%, Urdu 3%, Pashayi 1%, Nuristani 1%, Arabic 1%, Balochi 1% (2017 est.)

note: 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: 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

Literacy
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 74.4%
male: 82.4%
female: 65.8% (2018)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 43%
male: 55.5%
female: 29.8% (2018)
Major infectious diseases
degree of risk: very high (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria
water contact diseases: leptospirosis
animal contact diseases: rabies
note: clusters of cases of a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are being reported across 27 States and Union Territories in India; as of 10 November 2020, India has reported a total of 8,507,754 cases of COVID-19 or 6,165 cumulative cases of COVID-19 per 1 million population with 91 cumulative deaths per 1 million population; on 16 March 2020, the government proposed extensive social distancing measures, including closure of all schools, museums, and cultural and social centers; prohibited gatherings of more than 50 people; and called on the public to avoid all non-essential travel; international commercial passenger flights remain suspended
degree of risk: intermediate (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: Crimea-Congo hemorrhagic fever, malaria
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 12 years
male: 11 years
female: 12 years (2019)
total: 10 years
male: 13 years
female: 8 years (2018)
Education expenditures
3.8% of GDP (2013)
4.1% of GDP (2017)
Urbanization
urban population: 34.9% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 2.37% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
urban population: 26% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 3.37% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Drinking water source
improved: urban: 96% of population
rural: 91% of population
total: 92.7% of population
unimproved: urban: 4% of population
rural: 9% of population
total: 7.2% of population (2017 est.)
improved: urban: 95.9% of population
rural: 61.4% of population
total: 70.2% of population
unimproved: urban: 3.2% of population
rural: 38.6% of population
total: 38.6% of population (2017 est.)
Sanitation facility access
improved: urban: 93.7% of population
rural: 61.1% of population
total: 72% of population
unimproved: urban: 6.3% of population
rural: 38.9% of population
total: 28% of population (2017 est.)
improved: urban: 83.6% of population
rural: 43% of population
total: 53.2% of population
unimproved: urban: 16.4% of population
rural: 57% of population
total: 46.8% of population (2017 est.)
Major cities - population
30.291 million NEW DELHI (capital), 20.411 million Mumbai, 14.850 million Kolkata, 1.237 million Bangalore, 10.971 million Chennai, 10.004 million Hyderabad (2020)
4.222 million KABUL (capital) (2020)
Maternal mortality rate
145 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
638 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight
33.4% (2016/18)
19.1% (2018)
Health expenditures
3.5% (2017)
11.8% (2017)
Physicians density
0.78 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
0.28 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
Hospital bed density
0.5 beds/1,000 population (2017)
0.4 beds/1,000 population (2017)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
3.9% (2016)
5.5% (2016)
Contraceptive prevalence rate
53.5% (2015/16)
18.9% (2018)
note:  percent of women aged 12-49
Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 48.7
youth dependency ratio: 38.9
elderly dependency ratio: 9.8
potential support ratio: 10.2 (2020 est.)
total dependency ratio: 88.8
youth dependency ratio: 75.3
elderly dependency ratio: 4.8
potential support ratio: 21 (2020 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 type
federal parliamentary republic
presidential Islamic republic
Capital
name: 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)
etymology: the city's name is associated with various myths and legends; the original name for the city may have been Dhilli or Dhillika; alternatively, the name could be a corruption of the Hindustani words "dehleez" or "dehali" - both terms meaning "threshold" or "gateway" - and indicative of the city as a gateway to the Gangetic Plain; after the British decided to move the capital of their Indian Empire from Calcutta to Delhi in 1911, they created a new governmental district south of the latter designated as New Delhi; the new capital was not formally inaugurated until 1931
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)
daylight saving time: does not observe daylight savings time
etymology: named for the Kabul River, but the river's name is of unknown origin
Administrative divisions
28 states and 8 union territories*; Andaman and Nicobar Islands*, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh*, Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu*, Delhi*, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir*, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Ladakh*, 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
Independence
15 August 1947 (from the UK)
19 August 1919 (from UK control over Afghan foreign affairs)
National holiday
Republic Day, 26 January (1950)
Independence Day, 19 August (1919)
Constitution
history: 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 2019
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
Legal system
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief 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 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 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 Lok Sabha 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%; M. Venkaiah NAIDU elected vice president; electoral college vote - M. Venkaiah NAIDU (BJP) 516, Gopalkrishna GANDHI (independent) 244
chief of state:

President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ashraf GHANI (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 (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 25 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 on 28 September 2019 (next to be held in 2024)
election results: Ashraf GHANI declared winner by the Independent Election Commission on 18 February 2020; Ashraf GHANI 50.6%, Abdullah ABDULLAH, Dr. 39.5%, other 0.9%
Legislative branch
description: bicameral Parliament or Sansad consists of:
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)
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: Council of States - last held by state and territorial assemblies at various dates in 2019 (next originally scheduled for March, June, and November 2020 but were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic)

House of the People - last held April-May 2019 in 7 phases (next to be held in 2024)
election results: Council of States - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - BJP 83, INC 46, AITC 13, DMK 11, SP, other 77, independent 6; composition - men 220, women 25, percent of women 10.2%

House of the People - percent of vote by party - BJP 55.8%, INC 9.6%, AITC 4.4%, YSRC 4.4%, DMK 4.2%, SS 3.3%, JDU 2.9%, BJD 2.2%, BSP 1.8%, TRS 1.7%, LJP 1.1%, NCP 0.9%, SP 0.9%, other 6.4%, independent 0.7%; seats by party - BJP 303, INC 52, DMK 24, AITC 22, YSRC 22, SS 18, JDU 16, BJD 12, BSP 10, TRS 9, LJP 6, NCP 5, SP 5, other 35, independent 4, vacant 2; composition - men 465, women 78, percent of women 14.3%; note - total Parliament percent of women 11.3%
description: bicameral National Assembly consists of:
Meshrano Jirga or House of Elders (102 seats; 34 members indirectly elected by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed by district councils to serve 3-year terms, 34 indirectly elected by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed by provincial councils to serve 4-year terms, and 34 appointed by the president from nominations by civic groups, political parties, and the public, of which 17 must be women, 2 must represent the disabled, and 2 must be Kuchi nomads; presidential appointees serve 5-year terms)

Wolesi Jirga or House of People (250 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)

elections:
Meshrano Jirga - district councils - within 5 days of installation; provincial councils - within 15 days of installation; presidential appointees - within 2 weeks after the presidential inauguration
Wolesi Jirga - last held on 20 October 2018) (next to be held in 2023)
election results:
Meshrano Jirga - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; composition - men 84, women 18, percent of women 17.6%
Wolesi Jirga - percent of vote by party NA; seats by party - NA; composition - NA
note: the constitution allows the government to convene a constitutional Loya Jirga (Grand Council) on issues of independence, national sovereignty, and territorial integrity; it consists of members of the National Assembly and chairpersons of the provincial and district councils; a Loya Jirga can amend provisions of the constitution and prosecute the president; 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
Judicial branch
highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of 28 judges, including the chief justice)
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 courts: 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 leaders
Aam 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) [Sitaram YECHURY]
Indian National Congress or INC
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 [Sukhbir 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 72 political parties as of April 2019 

International organization participation
ADB, 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 US
Ambassador Taranjit Singh SANDHU (since 6 February 2020)
chancery: 2107 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; Consular Wing located at 2536 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 939-7000
FAX: [1] (202) 265-4351
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, New York, San Francisco
Ambassador Roya RAHMANI (since 24 November 2018)
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 US
chief of mission: Ambassador Kenneth I. JUSTER (since 23 November 2017)
telephone: [91] (11) 2419-8000
embassy: Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021
mailing address: use embassy street address
FAX: [91] (11) 2419-0017
consulate(s) general: Chennai (Madras), Hyderabad, Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay)
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Ross WILSON (since 18 January 2020)
telephone: [00 93] 0700 108 001
embassy: Bibi Mahru, Kabul
mailing address: U.S. Embassy Kabul, APO AE 09806
FAX: [00 93] 0700 108 564
Flag description
three 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 Eastern Arabic 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 participation
accepts 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
Citizenship
citizenship 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 - overview

India'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. 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. Growth rebounded in 2014 through 2016. Despite a high growth rate compared to the rest of the world, India’s government-owned banks faced mounting bad debt, resulting in low credit 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.

The economy slowed again in 2017, due to shocks of "demonetizaton" in 2016 and introduction of GST in 2017. 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.

India has a young population and corresponding low dependency ratio, healthy savings and investment rates, and is 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.

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. Since 2014, 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.

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. Even with this help, Government of Afghanistan still faces 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. The government has implemented reforms to the budget process and in some other areas. However, many other reforms will take time to implement and Afghanistan will remain dependent on international donor support over the next several years.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$9.474 trillion (2017 est.)
$8.88 trillion (2016 est.)
$8.291 trillion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

$69.45 billion (2017 est.)
$67.65 billion (2016 est.)
$66.21 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - real growth rate
4.86% (2019 est.)
6.78% (2018 est.)
6.55% (2017 est.)
2.7% (2017 est.)
2.2% (2016 est.)
1% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$7,200 (2017 est.)
$6,800 (2016 est.)
$6,500 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

$2,000 (2017 est.)
$2,000 (2016 est.)
$2,000 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 15.4% (2016 est.)
industry: 23% (2016 est.)
services: 61.5% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 23% (2016 est.)
industry: 21.1% (2016 est.)
services: 55.9% (2016 est.)

note: data exclude opium production

Population below poverty line
21.9% (2011 est.)
54.5% (2017 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 3.6%
highest 10%: 29.8% (2011)
lowest 10%: 3.8%
highest 10%: 24% (2008)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
3.6% (2017 est.)
4.5% (2016 est.)
5% (2017 est.)
4.4% (2016 est.)
Labor force
521.9 million (2017 est.)
8.478 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 47%
industry: 22%
services: 31% (FY 2014 est.)
agriculture: 44.3%
industry: 18.1%
services: 37.6% (2017 est.)
Unemployment rate
8.5% (2017 est.)
8.5% (2016 est.)
23.9% (2017 est.)
22.6% (2016 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index
35.2 (2011)
37.8 (1997)
29.4 (2008)
Budget
revenues: 238.2 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 329 billion (2017 est.)
revenues: 2.276 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 5.328 billion (2017 est.)
Industries
textiles, 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 rate
5.5% (2017 est.)
-1.9% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - products
rice, 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
$304.1 billion (2017 est.)
$268.6 billion (2016 est.)
$784 million (2017 est.)
$614.2 million (2016 est.)

note: not including illicit exports or reexports

Exports - commodities
petroleum 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, and medical herbs
Exports - partners
US 15.6%, UAE 10.2%, Hong Kong 4.9%, China 4.3% (2017)
India 56.5%, Pakistan 29.6% (2017)
Imports
$452.2 billion (2017 est.)
$376.1 billion (2016 est.)
$7.616 billion (2017 est.)
$6.16 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
crude oil, precious stones, machinery, chemicals, fertilizer, plastics, iron and steel
machinery and other capital goods, food, textiles, petroleum products
Imports - partners
China 16.3%, US 5.5%, UAE 5.2%, Saudi Arabia 4.8%, Switzerland 4.7% (2017)
China 21%, Iran 20.5%, Pakistan 11.8%, Kazakhstan 11%, Uzbekistan 6.8%, Malaysia 5.3% (2017)
Debt - external
$501.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$456.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$284 million (FY10/11)
Exchange rates
Indian 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 -
7.87 (2017 est.)
68.03 (2016 est.)
67.87 (2015)
61.14 (2014 est.)
57.25 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year
1 April - 31 March
21 December - 20 December
Public debt
71.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
69.5% 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 intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental 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

7% of GDP (2017 est.)
7.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$409.8 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$359.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$7.187 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$6.901 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance
-$29.748 billion (2019 est.)
-$65.939 billion (2018 est.)
$1.014 billion (2017 est.)
$1.409 billion (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)
$2.602 trillion (2017 est.)
$20.24 billion (2017 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 rate
9.51% (31 December 2017 est.)
9.67% (31 December 2016 est.)
15% (31 December 2016 est.)
15% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$1.927 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.684 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
-$240.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$451.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$293.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.644 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$6.192 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Stock of broad money
$451.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$293.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.945 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$6.544 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
9.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
11.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-3.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
-15.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 22.5%
male: 22.2%
female: 24.2% (2018 est.)
total: 17.6%
male: 16.3%
female: 21.4% (2017)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 59.1% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 11.5% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 28.5% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 3.9% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 19.1% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -22% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 81.6% (2016 est.)
government consumption: 12% (2016 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 17.2% (2016 est.)
investment in inventories: 30% (2016 est.)
exports of goods and services: 6.7% (2016 est.)
imports of goods and services: -47.6% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving
28.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
29.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
30.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
22.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
25.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
21.4% of GDP (2015 est.)

Energy

IndiaAfghanistan
Electricity - production
1.386 trillion kWh (2016 est.)
1.211 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption
1.137 trillion kWh (2016 est.)
5.526 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports
5.15 billion kWh (2015 est.)
0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports
5.617 billion kWh (2016 est.)
4.4 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production
709,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
Oil - imports
4.057 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - exports
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - proved reserves
4.495 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves
1.29 trillion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
49.55 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - production
31.54 billion cu m (2017 est.)
164.2 million cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption
55.43 billion cu m (2017 est.)
164.2 million cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports
76.45 million cu m (2017 est.)
0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports
23.96 billion cu m (2017 est.)
0 cu m (2017 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity
367.8 million kW (2016 est.)
634,100 kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels
71% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
45% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants
12% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
52% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels
2% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources
16% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
4% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production
4.897 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption
4.521 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
35,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports
1.305 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports
653,300 bbl/day (2015 est.)
34,210 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy
2.383 billion Mt (2017 est.)
9.067 million Mt (2017 est.)
Electricity access
population without electricity: 6 million (2019)
electrification - total population: 99% (2019)
electrification - urban areas: 99% (2019)
electrification - rural areas: 99% (2019)
population without electricity: 18,999,254 (2012)
electrification - total population: 99% (2018)
electrification - urban areas: 98% (2016)
electrification - rural areas: 79% (2016)

Telecommunications

IndiaAfghanistan
Telephones - main lines in use
total subscriptions: 20,198,012
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1.54 (2019 est.)
total subscriptions: 125,232
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2019 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellular
total subscriptions: 1,105,250,941
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 84.27 (2019 est.)
total subscriptions: 21,239,280
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 59.36 (2019 est.)
Internet country code
.in
.af
Internet users
total: 446,759,327
percent of population: 34.45% (July 2018 est.)
total: 4,717,013
percent of population: 13.5% (July 2018 est.)
Telecommunication systems
general assessment: supported by deregulation and liberalization of telecommunication laws and policies, India has emerged as one of the fastest-growing telecom markets in the world; implementation of 4G/LTE services shift to data services across the country; highly competitive mobile market with price wars and value-added-services of mobile data; potential to become one of the largest five data center markets globally; steps taken towards 5G services; fixed broadband penetration is expected to grow at a moderate rate over the next five years to 2023 (2020)
domestic: fixed-line subscriptions stands at 2 per 100 and mobile-cellular at 84 per 100; 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 (2019)
international: country code - 91; a number of major international submarine cable systems, including SEA-ME-WE-3 & 4, AAE-1, BBG, EIG, FALCON, FEA, GBICS, MENA, IMEWE, SEACOM/ Tata TGN-Eurasia, SAFE, WARF, Bharat Lanka Cable System, IOX, Chennai-Andaman & Nicobar Island Cable, SAEx2, Tata TGN-Tata Indicom and i2icn that provide connectivity to Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South East Asia, numerous Indian Ocean islands including Australia ; satellite earth stations - 8 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Inmarsat (Indian Ocean region (2019)
note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
general assessment: progress has been made on Afghanistan's first limited fixed-line telephone service and nationwide optical fiber backbone; aided by the presence of multiple providers, mobile-cellular telephone service continues to improve swiftly; the Afghan Ministry of Communications and Information claims that more than 90% of the population live in areas with access to mobile cellular service; moderate growth through 2024, assuming stable governance and improving economic environment (2020)
domestic: less than 1 per 100 for fixed-line teledensity; 59 per 100 for mobile-cellular; an increasing number of Afghans utilize mobile-cellular phone networks (2019)
international: country code - 93; multiple VSAT's provide international and domestic voice and data connectivity (2019)
note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
Broadband - fixed subscriptions
total: 18.17 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2018 est.)
total: 15,999
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2018 est.)
Broadcast media
Doordarshan, India's public TV network, has a monopoly on terrestrial broadcasting and 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
state-owned broadcaster, Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA), operates a series of radio and television stations in Kabul and the provinces; an estimated 174 private radio stations, 83 TV stations, and about a dozen international broadcasters are available (2019)

Transportation

IndiaAfghanistan
Roadways
total: 4,699,024 km (2015)

note: includes 96,214 km of national highways and expressways, 147,800 km of state highways, and 4,455,010 km of other roads

total: 34,903 km (2017)
paved: 17,903 km (2017)
unpaved: 17,000 km (2017)
Waterways
14,500 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)
Pipelines
9 km condensate/gas, 13581 km gas, 2054 km liquid petroleum gas, 8943 km oil, 20 km oil/gas/water, 11069 km refined products (2013)
466 km gas (2013)
Ports and terminals
major seaport(s): Chennai, Jawaharal Nehru Port, Kandla, Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay), Sikka, Vishakhapatnam
container port(s) (TEUs): Chennai (1,549,457), Jawaharal Nehru Port (4,833,397), Mundra (4,240,260) (2017)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Dabhol, Dahej, Hazira
river port(s): Kheyrabad, Shir Khan
Airports
total: 346 (2013)
total: 46 (2020)
Airports - with paved runways
total: 253 (2017)
over 3,047 m: 22 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 59 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 76 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 82 (2017)
under 914 m: 14 (2017)
total: 29 (2020)
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 8
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 3
Airports - with unpaved runways
total: 93 (2013)
over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 38 (2013)
under 914 m: 45 (2013)
total: 17 (2020)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 5
Heliports
45 (2013)
1 (2020)
National air transport system
number of registered air carriers: 14 (2020)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 485
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 164,035,637 (2018)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 2,703,960,000 mt-km (2018)
number of registered air carriers: 3 (2020)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 13
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 1,722,612 (2018)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 29.56 million mt-km (2018)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefix
VT (2016)
YA (2016)

Military

IndiaAfghanistan
Military branches
Indian Armed Forces: Army, Navy (includes marines), Air Force, Coast Guard; Defense Security Corps (paramilitary forces); Ministry of Home Affairs paramilitary forces: Central Armed Police Force (includes Assam Rifles, Border Security Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, National Security Guards, Sashastra Seema Bal) (2019)
Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) are comprised of military, police, and other security elements:

Ministry of Defense: Afghan National Army ((ANA), Afghan Air Force, Afghan Special Security Forces (includes Special Operations Forces), Afghanistan National Army Territorial Forces (ANA-TF)); Afghan Border Force (ABF); Afghan National Civil Order Force (ANCOF)

Ministry of Interior: Afghan Uniform (National) Police (AUP); Public Security Police (PSP); Afghan Border Police (ABP); Afghan Anti-Crime Police; Afghan Local Police; Afghan Public Protection Force

National Directorate of Security ((NDS), intelligence service) (2020)
Military service age and obligation
16-18 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 under consideration for Army combat roles (2019)
18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2017)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP
2.4% of GDP (2019)
2.4% of GDP (2018)
2.5% of GDP (2017)
2.5% of GDP (2016)
2.4% of GDP (2015)
1.2% of GDP (2019)
1% of GDP (2018)
0.9% of GDP (2017)
1% of GDP (2016)
1% of GDP (2015)

Transnational Issues

IndiaAfghanistan
Disputes - international

since 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 drugs
world'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 63 percent, to 328,304 hectares in 2017; while eradication increased slightly, it still remains well below levels achieved in 2015; the 2017 crop yielded an estimated 9,000 mt of raw opium, a 88% increase over 2016; 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 (2018)
Refugees and internally displaced persons
refugees (country of origin): 108,008 (Tibet/China), 59,428 (Sri Lanka), 18,813 (Burma), 7,470 (Afghanistan) (2019)
IDPs: 470,000 (armed conflict and intercommunal violence) (2019)
stateless persons: 17,730 (2019)
refugees (country of origin): 72,191 (Pakistan) (2019)
IDPs: 2.993 million (mostly Pashtuns and Kuchis displaced in the south and west due to natural disasters and political instability) (2019)

Terrorism

IndiaAfghanistan
Terrorist groups - foreign based
al-Qa'ida (AQ):
aim(s): overthrow the Indian Government and, ultimately, establish a pan-Islamic caliphate under a strict Salafi Muslim interpretation of sharia
area(s) of operation: maintains an operational presence as al-Qa'ida in the Indian Subcontinent (2018)
al-Qa'ida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS): aim(s): establish an Islamic caliphate in the Indian subcontinent
area(s) of operation: targets primarily military and security personnel, especially in the states of Assam, Gujarat, and Jammu and Kashmir; present in large cities, including Delhi (2018)
Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM): aim(s): enhance its networks and paramilitary training in India and, ultimately, annex Kashmir into Pakistan and establish an Islamic state in Kashmir
area(s) of operation: conducts attacks against Indian troops and civilians in Kashmir (2018)
Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HUJI): aim(s): enhance its networks and operational capabilities in India
area(s) of operation: maintains an operational presence, especially in the south, including in Bangalore and Hubli (2018)
Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh (HUJI-B): aim(s): enhance its networks in India and, ultimately, install an Islamic state in Bangladesh
area(s) of operation: maintains a low-profile presence (2018)
Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham-Khorasan (ISIS-K): aim(s):  spread the ISIS caliphate by eliminating the Indian Government and, ultimately, unite Kashmir with Pakistan
area(s) of operation:  maintains a recruitment presence in major cities (2018)
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM): aim(s): annex Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan
area(s) of operation: operates primarily in Jammu and Kashmir State (2018)
Lashkar-e Tayyiba (LT): aim(s): annex Jammu and Kashmir State to Pakistan and, ultimately, install Islamic rule throughout South Asia
area(s) of operation: operational throughout India, especially in the north in Jammu and Kashmir State, since at least 1993
note: continues to be one of the largest and most deadly of the anti-India-focused armed groups (2018)
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE): aim(s): enhance its networks in India and, ultimately, revive the movement to establish a Tamil homeland
area(s) of operation: maintains safe havens, transit routes, human trafficking, and an operational presence in an effort to revive the movement and conduct attacks (2018)
al-Qa'ida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS): aim(s):  unite local jihadist movements in the Indian subcontinent, pursue the overthrow of local governments, exacerbate tensions between Hindus and Muslims, establish an Islamic caliphate in the Indian subcontinent
area(s) of operation:
heaviest presence is in Afghanistan, especially in the eastern and southern regions, where most of the Afghan-based leaders are located
note: targets primarily Afghan military and security personnel and US interests (2019)
Haqqani Taliban Network (HQN): aim(s): expel US and Coalition forces and replace the Afghan Government with an Islamic state operating according to a strict Salafi Muslim interpretation of sharia under the Afghan Taliban
area(s) of operation: stages attacks from Kurram and North Waziristan Agency in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) across from Afghanistan's southeastern border; operational throughout the country, especially in Kabul and Paktiya and Khost provinces
note: plays a leading role in planning and executing high-profile attacks against Afghan personnel, NATO's Resolute Support Mission, US and Coalition Forces, and other US and Western interests; strong ties with al-Qa'ida (2019)
Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM): aim(s): enhance its networks and paramilitary training in Afghanistan and, ultimately, incorporate Kashmir into Pakistan; establish an Islamic state in Kashmir
area(s) of operation: maintains paramilitary training camps in eastern Afghanistan (2019)
Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HUJI): im(s): seeks the annexation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and the expulsion of foreign forces from Afghanistan; implement sharia in Afghanistan
area(s) of operation: operations throughout Afghanistan, targeting primarily Afghan Government personnel and Coalition forces; has supplied fighters to the Taliban (2019)
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps -- Qods Force (IRGC-QF):

aim(s):  initially supported anti-Taliban initiatives that complemented US goals in 2001, however, it gradually adopted an anti-NATO/anti-Afghan government strategy and began supplying financial assistance, training, and weapons to the Taliban
area(s) of operations:  Taliban-dominated areas of Afghanistan

(2019)
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM): aim(s): annex the state of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan and expel international forces from Afghanistan.
area(s) of operation: historically operated in Afghanistan's eastern provinces (2019)
Jaysh al Adl: aim(s): enhance its operational networks and capabilities for staging cross-border attacks into Iran
area(s) of operation: operational in the greater Balochistan area, where fighters stage attacks targeting Iranian security forces
note: formerly known as Jundallah (2019)
Lashkar i Jhangvi (LJ): aim(s): enhance its networks and paramilitary training in Afghanistan; exterminate Shia Muslims, rid the Afghanistan-Pakistan region of Western influence
area(s) of operation:
headquartered in the east; operates paramilitary training camps near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border across from the central area of Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) region; operatives conduct operations mostly against targets in Pakistan, but also in Afghanistan; ties with al-Qa'ida and the Taliban (2019)
Lashkar-e Tayyiba (LT): aim(s): annex the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan and foment Islamic insurgency in India; attack Western, Indian, and Afghan interests in Afghanistan; support the Taliban's return to power; enhance its recruitment networks and paramilitary training in Afghanistan, and, ultimately, install Islamic rule throughout South Asia
area(s) of operation:
mostly focused on Indian troops and civilian targets, particularly in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, but has also targeted Coalition forces in Afghanistan; maintains several facilities, such as paramilitary training camps, medical clinics serving locals, and schools for youths; targets Pashtun youth for recruitment in the Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) region (2019)
Terrorist groups - home based
Hizbul Mujahideen (HM): aim(s): annex the state of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan
area(s) of operation: HM is an indigenous Kashmiri militant group that operates in Jammu and Kashmir (2018)
Indian Mujahedeen (IM): aim(s): establish Islamic rule in India and, ultimately, convert all non-Muslims to Islam; stated goal is to carry out terrorist attacks against Indians for perceived atrocities against Indian Muslims
area(s) of operation: formerly based in the western state of Maharashtra, India's third-largest and second-most populous state, and now probably operates mostly outside India, particularly Nepal (2018)
al-Qa'ida (AQ): aim(s): eject Western influence from the Islamic world, unite the worldwide Muslim community, overthrow governments perceived as un-Islamic, and ultimately, establish a pan-Islamic caliphate under a strict Salafi Muslim interpretation of sharia
area(s) of operation: maintains established networks and a longtime operational presence in Afghanistan, especially in the south, northwest, and northeast near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border; continues to view Afghanistan as a safe haven for its leadership (2019)
Islamic Jihad Union (IJU): aim(s): drive NATO forces out of Afghanistan and destabilize the country; overthrow the Government of Uzbekistan
area(s) of operation: conducts attacks in collaboration with other extremist groups, including the Taliban and al-Qa'ida, against NATO and Afghan forces across the country, especially in the northern and eastern Paktika, Paktia, and Nangarhar provinces
note:  IJU is a splinter movement of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU); IJU emerged in the early 2000s after internal splits over goals; IMU is focused on Central Asia, but the IJU sought a more global focus  (2019)
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU):
aim(s): enhance its networks and secure territory in Afghanistan to establish a secure presence from which it can pursue its historic goal of establishing an Islamic state in the Fergana Valley, a fertile valley spread across eastern Uzbekistan, southern Kyrgyzstan, and northern Tajikistan
area(s) of operation: operates mostly in the north along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, with its heaviest presence in Badakhshan Province, where IMU has operated paramilitary training camps and bases
note: the IMU is fractured and mostly supports ISIS-K although some members have continued working with the Taliban and al-Qa'ida (2019)
Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham-Khorasan (ISIS-K):
aim(s): establish an Islamic caliphate in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of Central Asia; counter Westerners and Shia Muslims
area(s) of operation: strongholds in Nangarhar and Kunar provinces near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and operating in Laghman, Jowzjan provinces with pockets of support throughout Afghanistan
note: recruits from among the local population, Central Asian extremists in Afghanistan, and other militant groups, such as Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, the Afghan Taliban, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan; ISIS-K and Afghan Taliban forces have fought sometimes over control of territory or because of political or differences (2019)
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP):
aim(s): drive foreign troops from Afghanistan; remove Pakistani forces from Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and, ultimately, overthrow the Pakistan Government to implement TTP's strict interpretation of sharia
area(s) of operation:
headquartered in several eastern Afghanistan provinces near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border; operates primarily along the northeastern Afghanistan-Pakistan border, especially in Kunar and Paktika provinces, where TTP has established sanctuaries (2019)

Source: CIA Factbook