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New India - Assessment

New India - Old India, new India

New India

This section explores how and why India is changing.

Key questions

  • How do India and other countries depend on each other?
  • Why is India important in the world?

Key Concepts

  • Interdependence
  • Human processes
  • Space
  • Cultural understanding and diversity

How do India and other countries depend on each other?

  • In the year 2004 to 2005 other countries invested in India to the tune of $5.3 billion. India’s attractiveness for foreign investment is growing
  • India is an increasingly popular tourist destination.. Tourist arrivals to India have gone from 2.12 million in 1995 to 3.92 million in 2005
  • More Indian nationals are going abroad abroad.  In 1991, 1.94 million Indians went abroad. In 2005 this figure was 7.18 million
  • India’s main agricultural products are rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugar cane, potatoes, cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, poultry, fish. In Assam state in the north-east there are 800 different tea plantations
  • India’s main exports are textiles, ready-made garments, agricultural products (including rice, cotton and tea), steel, gems and jewellery, leather products and chemicals. In 2005 India’s exports amounted to $80 billion
  • Destinations of exports: USA and Canada 22%, Europe 24.5%, Asia 34.9%, Africa 4.8%, Japan 3.2%, Latin America 3%, Central and Eastern Europe 1.7%, Other 5.9%
  • India’s main imports are aircraft and parts, machinery, fertiliser, computer hardware, oil
  • India imports 70% of its oil needs. In 2005 Indian imports amounted to $105 billion
  • India is the world’s largest producer of legal opium for the pharmaceutical trade

Why is India important in the world?

There are various reasons for India’s economic success: Economic reform took place in 1991 which opened up the economy. India has an abundant and well-educated work force who speak English. Wages are low compared to the West encouraging international software companies to outsource IT work to India. Specialized economic zones (SEZs) further encourage companies to set up in India. The Indian government offers tax breaks to software firms. 






In money terms, globalisation is about trade and investments crossing country borders.

It is also about increasing interdependence – that means countries relying more on each other.

Open the Interdependent India interactive or download the Interdependent India document.



In 1991 India decided to open its economy up to the world. Until then it had not allowed many foreign companies to work there. This is one of the reasons why it is changing at a dizzying pace.

Read the Success ranking document to find other reasons for India’s economic success.

Then work through the columns and the rows for each pair of ‘successes’ and decide which is the most important. There are no correct answers; you just need to justify your choices.

Multinational companies have been bending over backwards to appeal to Indian consumers in recent years.

You could draw or download the India table, then put an image in one column and the explanation in the other. Search the links above and use a search engine to find image examples to use.

Do you think its right that companies do this?

Does it destroy cultures or improve them?



Chat for 60 seconds about how your life is linked to changes happening in India.

Take five minutes to prepare, then tell all.

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