India Overview Essay, Research Paper
A Brief History of India
The roots of Indian civilization stretch back in time to pre-recorded history. The earliest human activity in the Indian sub-continent can be traced back to the Early, Middle and Late Stone Ages (400,000-200,000 BC). The first evidence of agricultural settlements on the western plains of the Indus is roughly contemporaneous with similar developments in Egypt, Mesopotamia and Persia.
The Indus Valley Civilization
This earliest known civilization in India, the starting point in its history, dates back to about 3000 BC. Discovered in the 1920s, it was thought to have been confined to the valley of the river Indus, hence the name given to it was Indus Valley civilization. This civilization was a highly developed urban one and two of its towns, Mohenjodaro and Harappa, represent the high watermark of the settlements.
The emergence of this civilization is as remarkable as its stability for nearly a thousand years. All the cities were well planned and were built with baked bricks of the same size; the streets were laid at right angles with an elaborate system of covered drains. There was a fairly clear division of localities and houses were earmarked for the upper and lower strata of society. There were also public buildings, the most famous being the Great Bath at Mohenjodaro and the vast granaries. Production of several metals such as copper, bronze, lead and tin was also undertaken and some remnants of furnaces provide evidence of this fact. The discovery of kilns to make bricks support the fact that burnt bricks were used extensively in domestic and public buildings. Evidence also points to the use of domesticated animals, including camels, goats, water buffaloes and fowls.
Trade seemed to be a major activity at the Indus Valley and the sheer quantity of seals discovered suggest that each merchant or mercantile family owned its own seal. These seals are in various quadrangular shapes and sizes, each with a human or an animal figure carved on it. Discoveries suggest that the Harappan civilization had extensive trade relations with the neighboring regions in India and with distant lands in the Persian Gulf and Sumer (Iraq). The Harappan society was probably divided according to occupations and this also suggests the existence of an organized government.
The Aryans and the Vedic Age
The Aryans are said to have entered India through the fabled Khyber pass, around 1500 BC. They intermingled with the local populace, and assimilated themselves into the social framework. They adopted the settled agricultural lifestyle of their predecessors, and established small agrarian communities across the state of Punjab. The Aryans are believed to have brought with them the horse, developed the Sanskrit language and made significant inroads in to the religion of the times. All three factors were to play a fundamental role in the shaping of Indian culture. Cavalry warfare facilitated the rapid spread of Aryan culture across North India, and allowed the emergence of large empires. With work specialization, the internal division of the Aryan society developed along caste lines. Their social framework was composed mainly of the following groups : the Brahmana (priests), Kshatriya (warriors), Vaishya (agriculturists) and Shudra (workers).
With land becoming property and the society being divided on the basis of occupations and castes, conflicts and disorders were bound to arise. Organized power to resolve these issues therefore emerged, gradually leading to formation of full-fledged state systems, including vast empires like The Mauryan Empire, the Gupta Empire, and the Cholas, Pandyas, Cheras, Chalukyas and Pallavas in the south.
The Great Mughals
The most important Islamic empire was that of the Mughals, a Central Asian dynasty founded by Babur early in the sixteenth century. His son Humayun succeeded Babur and under the reign of Humayun’s son, Akbar the Great (1562-1605), Indo-Islamic culture attained a peak of tolerance, harmony and a spirit of enquiry. The nobles of his court belonged to both the Hindu and the Muslim faiths, and Akbar himself married a Hindu princess. Mughal culture reached its zenith during the reign of Akbar’s grandson Shahjehan, a great builder and patron of the arts. Shahjehan moved his capital to Delhi and built the incomparable Taj Mahal at Agra. Aurangzeb, the last major Mughal, extended his empire over all but the southern tip of India, though he was constantly harried by Rajput and Maratha clans.
The power that came closest to imperial pretensions was that of the Marathas. Starting from scratch, the non-Brahmin castes in the Maharashtra region had been organized into a fighting force by their legendary leader, Shivaji. By the third quarter of the 18th century, the Marathas had under their direct administration or indirect subjection enough Indian Territory to justify use of the term “the Maratha Empire”, though it never came near the dimensions of the Mughal Empire. The Marathas also never sought to formally substitute themselves for the Mughals; they often kept the emperor under their thumb but paid him formal obeisance. Soon, however, they were to fall to India’s final imperial power, the British.
Coming of the Europeans
The next arrival of overwhelming political importance was that of the Europeans. The great seafarers of northwest Europe, the British, French, Dutch and Portuguese, arrived early in the seventeenth century and established trading outposts along the coasts. Early in the 16th Century, the Portuguese had already established their colony in Goa; but their territorial and commercial hold in India remained rather limited.
The Years of ‘The Raj’
The newcomers soon developed rivalries among themselves and allied with local rulers to consolidate their positions against each other militarily. In time they developed territorial and political ambitions of their own and manipulated local rivalries and enmities to their own advantage. The ultimate victors were the British, who established political supremacy over eastern India after the Battle of Plassey in 1757. They gradually extended their rule over the entire subcontinent, either by direct annexation, or by exercising suzerainty over local rajas and nawabs.
Unlike all former rulers, the British did not settle in India to form a new local empire. The English East India Company continued its commercial activities and India became ‘the Jewel in the Crown’ of the British Empire, giving an enormous boost to the nascent Industrial Revolution by providing cheap raw materials, capital and a large captive market for British industry. In certain areas farmers were forced to switch from subsistence farming to commercial crops such as indigo, jute, coffee and tea. This resulted in several famines of unprecedented scale.
In the first half of the 19th century, the British extended their hold over many Indian territories. A large part of the subcontinent was brought under the Company’s direct administration. By 1857, “the British empire in India had become the British empire of India.” The means employed to achieve this were unrestrained and no scruple was allowed to interfere with the imperial ambition.
A century of accumulated grievances erupted in the Indian mutiny of sepoys in the British army, in 1857. The uprising, however, was eventually brutally suppressed. The rebellion also saw the end of the East India Company’s rule in India. An Act of British Parliament transferred power to the British Crown in 1858. The Crown’s viceroy in India was to be the chief executive.
The Freedom Struggle
The British Empire contained within itself the seeds of its own destruction. The British constructed a vast railway network across the entire land in order to facilitate the transport of raw materials to the ports for export. This gave intangible form to the idea of Indian unity by physically bringing all the peoples of the subcontinent within easy reach of each other.
Since it was impossible for a small handful of foreigners to administer such a vast country, they set out to create a local elite to help them in this task; to this end they set up a system of education that familiarized the local intelligentsia with the intellectual and social values of the West. Ideas of democracy, individual freedom and equality were the antithesis of the empire and led to the genesis of the freedom movement among thinkers like Raja Rammohan Roy, Bankim Chandra and Vidyasagar. With the failure of the 1857 mutiny, the leadership of the freedom movement passed into the hands of this class and crystallized in the formation of the Indian National Congress in 1885. At the turn of the century, the freedom movement reached out to the common unlettered man through the launching of the Swadeshi movement by leaders such as Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Aurobindo Ghose. But the full mobilization of the masses into an invincible force only occurred with the appearance on the scene of one of the most remarkable and charismatic leaders of the twentieth century, perhaps in history.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was a British trained lawyer of Indian origin from South Africa. He had won his political spurs organizing the Indian community there against the vicious system of apartheid. During this struggle, he had developed the novel technique of non-violent agitation which he called ’satyagraha’, loosely translated as moral domination.
Under his leadership, the Congress launched a series of mass movements – the Non Cooperation Movement of 1920 -1922 and the Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930. The latter was triggered by the famous Salt March, when Gandhi captured the imagination of the nation by leading a band of followers from his ashram at Sabarmati, on a 200 mile trek to the remote village of Dandi on the west coast, there to prepare salt in symbolic violation of British law. In August 1942, the Quit India movement was launched. It became evident that the British could maintain the empire only at enormous cost. At the end of the Second World War, the British initiated a number of constitutional moves to affect the transfer of power to the sovereign State of India. For the first and perhaps the only time in history, the power of a mighty global empire ‘on which the sun never set’, had been challenged and overcome by the moral might of a people armed only with ideals and courage.
India achieved independence on August 15,1947. The progress and triumph of the Indian Freedom movement was one of the most significant historical processes of the twentieth century. Its repercussions extended far beyond its immediate political consequences. Within the country, it initiated the reordering of political, social and economic power. In the international context, it sounded the death knell of British Imperialism, and changed the political face of the globe.
The New State
Throughout history, India had absorbed and modified to suit its needs, the best from all the civilisations with which it has come into contact. India chose to remain within the British Commonwealth of Nations. It also adopted the British system of Parliamentary Democracy, and retained the judicial, administrative, defense and educational structures and institutions set up by the British. India is today the largest and most populous democracy on earth. Today India is a pluralistic society of over 1 billion people. It is a country of contrasts. On the one hand it is the twelfth largest industrial power in the world, and, on the other hand, it is the fifteenth poorest nation in per capita income. Urban and metropolitan India presents a picture of an affluent minority with hedonistic lifestyles and coexists with the grinding poverty of rural India
India?s population just crossed the billion milestone, more than three times that of the United States and about three?fourths of China. India?s population is growing at a rate of 2 percent annually, whereas in China the growth rate is 1.2 percent annually. India is also more densely populated with an average of 547 persons per square mile.
According to the 1990 census, about 25 percent of the population in India lived in urban areas (about 2500 cities and towns). The remaining 75 percent live in more than 500,000 villages. The drift to the urban areas is obviously revolutionary in its effects on Indian life. Many urban dwellers maintain their ties with village life. They take back to the villages new ideas of what is possible and desirable, and the villages themselves thereby change. The literacy rate lags in rural areas and among women, but for all of India, it has risen from 16.6 percent in 1951 to 43.5 percent in 1990.
The prevailing impression of the larger Indian city today is one of overcrowding of immense and diverse populations, but at the same time of a teeming and vigorous life. Traffic is often chaotic, animal transport (bullock carts, horse-drawn carriages and even camels in dry areas) mingling with modern vehicles. In dock areas there is even a good deal of human labor and this, together with the frequent use of two or more persons for an apparently simple task can be regarded as a form of disguised relief for India?s underemployed population.
India is the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. As a secular state, however, India has no official religion and religious toleration is guaranteed under the constitution. Hindus constitute about 83 percent of the population, Muslims, 11 percent, Christians 3 percent, Sikhs 2 percent and Buddhists and Jains less than 1 percent each.
The caste system, a set of social and occupational classes into which individuals are born, is an important facet of Hinduism and thus is a dominant feature of Indian life. Since independence, the government has been attempting to eliminate castes, but caste consciousness remains important in Indian politics, despite the fact that caste discrimination is unconstitutional. ?Harijans?, the lowest caste (traditionally the untouchables) who constitute 15 percent of the population and tribals, who constitute 7 percent are given special privileges in terms of reservations for education and jobs.
Education is a concurrent responsibility of the national and state governments, with the national government laying down policy directions and the states implementing them. The system of education is comprised of primary, secondary (with vocational and technical courses) and collegiate institutions. Education is free and compulsory through age fourteen. Literacy has risen from 17 percent in 1950 to 48 percent in 1990; in that year, 52 percent of all men and 31 percent of all women were literate. Literacy is generally higher in urban areas.
About 200 different languages are spoken in India and an appreciation of the linguistic divisions provides a key to better understanding of the nation. Four principal language groups are recognized of which the Aryan and Dravidian are most important. Hindi (belonging to the Aryan linguistic group) is the official language of the country. English is also widely used in government and business. In addition, fourteen other languages have received official recognition in the constitution; Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kashmiri, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sindhi and Urdu belonging to the Aryan group and Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu belonging to the Dravidian group, and Sanskrit that provides the root for many of the Indian languages. Sanskrit is no longer a spoken language. Many other languages are spoken by smaller groups and they are either regional variations or dialects.
A nation?s material life reflects on its economic advancement and the standard of living of her people. One indicator of material life is the overall consumption pattern. Currently, India?s families spend over 60 percent of their income on food, with expenditures on health care being as little as 2.5 percent and household furnishings accounting for only 4.2 percent. However, these aggregate figures fail to reveal an important fact of life in India. While a large population lives a mediocre life, a substantial proportion maintains a decent standard of living and the number of people in the latter group is rising, which potentially makes India a promising market for a variety of goods and services. India?s large population, the physical terrain, climate and culture are all conducive to the development of a consumption society.
Government and Politics
India follows a parliamentary system of government both at the center and the states. At the center, there are two houses of parliament: the ?Lok Sabha? (house of the people) and ?Rajya Sabha? (house of the state). The head of the country is the president, chosen by an electoral college of both houses of parliament and state legislatures. The president calls the leader of the majority party in the Lok Sabha to form the government. The leader of the majority party becomes the Prime Minister and runs the government with the help of a cabinet of ministers appointed by the president on the advice of the Prime Minister. The constitution vests all executive power in the President, but the real relationship between President and the council of ministers headed by the Prime Minister is analogous to that of British Monarch, who exercises ceremonial powers, and the British cabinet which actually governs. The country is divided into twenty-five States and seven Union Territories.
Despite India?s enormous problems, it has the distinction of being a true democracy. Since independence, twelve general elections have been held, all on time and all as free as in North America and Western Europe, but with the distinction of larger voter participation despite still low literacy and insufficient transportation. India has proved that democratic stability need not precede economic prosperity and that universal literacy is not a precondition for open and fair voting.
Many critics view India?s political future as bleak. They point to the continued problem of dealing with the Sikh extremists in Punjab and the political turbulence in Kashmir as symbols of a nation in disarray. India sometimes seems fragile but its strength lies in the large and apolitical army, a ponderous bureaucracy and a powerful commitment to political freedom at the grassroots level. India is a multi-ethnic nation with a population of over 1 billion people that represent a multitude of racial, religious and ideological types and subtypes. It is beset by such problems as widespread poverty and communal disharmony. Yet it is the world?s largest democracy where ancient civilization coexists with modern technology.
The Legal System
The main sources of law in India are the constitution, statutes (legislation), customary law and case law. The statutes are enacted by the parliament, the state legislatures and union territory legislatures. There is also a vast body of subordinate legislation, which takes the form of rules, regulations and by-laws that are made by the central and state governments and the local authorities like the municipal corporations and municipalities.
In addition, local customs and conventions that are not against the statute or morality or other wise undesirable are, to a limited extent, also recognized and taken into account by the courts while they administer justice in certain cases. Also, people of different religions and traditions are governed by different sets of personal law with respect to matters relating family affairs.
A single integrated system of courts administers both the central and state laws. The supreme court of India, located in New Delhi, is the highest body in the entire judicial system. Each state or a group of states has a high court under which there is a hierarchy of subordinate courts.
The president appoints the chief justice and the other judges of the Supreme Court. The supreme court?s original jurisdiction extends to the enforcement of fundamental rights given by the constitution and to any dispute among states and the government. It has an advisory jurisdiction in matters referred by the President of India. Its decisions are binding on all courts within the country.
While the judicial process is considered fair, a large backlog of cases to be heard and frequent adjournments have meant long delays before a case can be closed. Sometimes, matters of priority and public interest are dealt with expeditiously. But for the most part, the judicial process is a lengthy one. It is for this reason that companies are increasingly seeking to solve their disputes through the process of arbitration. The arbitration laws were amended and updated in 1996 so that they could more closely conform to international practice. The Indian council of Arbitration has recently been set up and currently has around 800 members. It has entered into arbitration service agreements with major international arbitral organizations in the United States and Europe
India has always placed a high value on economic growth for creating a prosperous society. However, its economic policy has been characterized by the pursuit of multiple and sometimes contradictory objectives. These objectives are embedded in two values: self-reliance and social equity. The pursuit of these objectives led the creation of perhaps the most regulated economy in the noncommunist world. The general guidelines of India?s economic strategy are enunciated by the national Planning Commission whose five-year plans establish development priorities, production goals and guidelines for allocating investments. A large public sector was created to ensure that strategic sectors of the economy remain responsive to state objectives. A comprehensive system of licensing was established to regulate industrial investment and production capacity. Trade policy became dominated be pervasive quantitative controls and some of the worlds highest tariffs and foreign investment and technology transfer have been closely regulated to safeguard the country?s self-reliance.
Recent Economic Reforms
Reforms of India?s economic policy can be traced back to the mid 1970?s. While no political leader has been more closely identified with reforms than the late Rajiv Gandhi, most of his reforms reflected an evolution in the thinking of India?s policy-making community that began long before his rise to power. Many analysts trace the improvement in India?s economic performance since the mid-1970?s to the impact of previous reform initiatives. Rajiv Gandhi?s identification with reform is in part explained by the fact that his reforms went further and were more systematic than those of his predecessors. He is also distinguished by his fascination with high technology. Rajiv Gandhi enunciated a sweeping rationale for reform, asserting that India had reached a watershed. Deploring the country?s high-cost industry with its technological obsolescence and inadequate attention to quality, he declared that India must address its shortcomings through greater efficiency, more competition and absorption of new technology.
Greater priority for Infrastructure
Since the late 1960?s, infrastructural bottlenecks have acted as major constraints on development. Energy demand outpaced supply leading to crippling power shortages. India?s railroads were unable to meet the needs for freight transport. Communications were antiquated and highly inefficient. In recent years, increased emphasis has been placed on investment in infrastructure.
Relaxing Industrial Regulation
Economic reforms initiated under Rajiv Gandhi and further strengthened by the recent Bharatiya Janata Party government have brought significant relaxation in industrial regulation. While the measures taken have curbed the intrusiveness of the regulatory regime, they reflect a continuing belief in the need for state intervention to guide the economy. The new measures are intended as much to promote structural changes in India?s industrial base by encouraging development of backward areas, high-tech industries and economies of scale as to alleviate inefficiencies resulting from regulation.
Promoting the Development of Capital Markets
Policy reforms creating new incentives for equity and debenture issues have helped to make India?s capital market an increasingly substantial source of investment finance. From 1980 to 1988, market capitalization more than tripled, from $7.5 billion to $23.8 billion. The value of equity traded increased from $2.8 billion to 12.2 billion.
Measures to Improve Technological Capabilities
Concern for improving India?s technological capabilities preceded Rajiv Gandhi?s rise to power. In 1984, a government White Paper on Technology Policy and the Report of The Committee on Trade Policies recommended measures to increase imports of modern technologies and to provide greater support for indigenous research and development. Rajiv Gandhi?s government stressed the importance of India?s technological modernization. In pursuit of this goal, he liberalized imports of capital goods, increased funding for research and development, reformed public sector research institutions and relaxed restrictions of foreign collaboration.
Recent reforms of India?s trade policies have attempted to remove the disadvantages and disincentives that exporters suffered as a result of the Indian regulatory regime. Measures to curtail quantitative controls and reduce tariffs on the import of capital and intermediate goods have been an important element of this strategy. These policies have been designed to benefit an array of ?Thrust Industries? that the government has selected for export promotion. India?s trade reform is predicated on a calculated risk that liberalization of imports in the short run will reduce trade deficits in the long run.
India?s economic reforms have important marketing implications. First, the deregulation should encourage competition in the market providing alternative choices of products and services to the consumers. Second, emphasis on technology should raise the quality of goods available. Finally, improvements in the infrastructure should encourage the development of new marketing institutions and enhance the level of services offered.
Increased Independence of States
The economy is also becoming more federalist in nature, as states compete among themselves for much needed foreign investment especially in infrastructure. Economic reforms have meant that states have been left to fend for themselves and rely on market forces to attract foreign investment. However, initial fears that the less developed states would lose out in the race to attract foreign investment or multilateral lending, have proved unfounded. States that have a relatively less-developed infrastructure or other such disadvantages have successfully wooed private investment through incentive schemes, professional marketing strategies, setting up a presence in the capital and by state government visits to potential investor countries.
Software and Hardware Boom
The country is also seeing a computer software boom. India, which was a late entrant in the field, has become one of the largest emerging markets, with its domestic market growing at a compound rate of 45 percent. Its computer software industry has grown at a compound rate of 46 percent to reach the $1.2 billion mark in 1995. Export, the mainstay of the software industry grew by more than 38 percent. The market for computer hardware too has been growing at an impressive rate of 30 percent. The major demand for computer systems comes from private firms, with an increasing demand from small office and home office end users.
Future of India?s economic Reforms
The change in government has not altered the course of Indian economic reforms. While inflation is still an important electoral issue, the relaxation of industrial regulation did not stir much controversy. Under India?s current Prime Minister, trends toward the liberalization of domestic industrial policy and the promotion of domestic capital markets and export are continuing. As a matter of fact, the new government appears to be adopting a more liberal stand. It wants to establish a worldwide economy through large-scale liberalization be freeing foreign investment conditions, cutting down protection for the Indian industry and streamlining bureaucratic procedures.
The role of foreign investment in the Indian economy is increasing. Far from being shunned as it was in the past, foreign investment is now recognized to be vital to the development of core sectors of the economy. Foreign direct investment has increased dramatically from $ 150 million in 199- to $2.1 billion in 1996 and according to estimates, 83 percent of this investment went into core sectors of the economy. Total net foreign portfolio investment in 1996 was $2 billion, with $652 million raised through Euro-Issues. Thus in 1996, total foreign investment was estimated at around $4.5 billion.
Foreign Businesses in India
There are about 250 foreign companies that maintain branch offices in India. In addition, there are 100 Indian subsidiaries of foreign companies in which they hold majority ownership; about half of these are from the United Kingdom. In addition, India approves about 1,000 collaborations between foreign and Indian companies annually. Some of these collaborations are one-time technology transfer agreements of licensing agreements, while others are joint-venture operations to manufacture the product or service in which the foreign partner can hold no more than 40 percent equity.
The United States followed by Germany and Italy remains India?s major foreign collaborators. Industry-wide, electrical equipment, industrial machinery and chemicals are the three leading industries in which India seeks foreign collaboration. The tempo of foreign collaborations increased significantly in the 1990?s as a result of sweeping changes in the foreign investment policies.
Trends and events taking shape guarantee better things for India in the new millennium. Gradual liberalization is encouraging investment and consumption leading to overall economic prosperity. There is an even more salient factor that may drive the country?s economic growth upward in the future, providing opportunities for international companies that position themselves intelligently. The general turn away from statism and import substitution policies, and the embrace of economic orthodoxy and market-based policies should provide a powerful impetus for change. Politically, such bold new thinking is not easy to adopt overnight, but there are trends that indicate a gradual shift in attitude among Indian politicians, especially in the light of structural changes being pursued in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
Perceived Problems of doing business in India
India?s colonial past, huge population and zealous concern for self-sufficiency put constraints on the extent and kind of business activities that foreign enterprises may pursue in India. Population exerts a strong pressure toward maintaining and enhancing high levels of employment which encourages labor-intensive measures in the economy. The insistence on self-sufficiency does not allow a total freedom of investment for foreign capital and makes protection for native industry obligatory; and the perception of regional power necessarily requires large defense expenditure in the foreseeable future. These factors should temper the comparison of India with the newly industrializing pacific powers.
India in its economic endeavors decided to pursue a mixed economy whereby both state-owned enterprises and private businesses have a role to play. Considering what India had in terms of infrastructure and basic industries, the government had to take the initiative to spur economic activity. At the same time, India pursued the nonalignment course. Putting them together, many multinational companies concluded that India would eventually become a socialist country. Such a conclusion missed an important trait of Indian culture that attributes high importance to personal freedom. India adapted its policies to become a true democracy, a secular state comprised of people with different religious beliefs and significant regional differences, speaking 16 different languages. In a way, India seeks values similar to those held dear in the United States, but India must do so in it?s own way, given its environment and limitations such as large population and limited resources. Despite the agreement in vision that India and the United States share, it is a pity that U.S. companies should perceive India differently when it comes to making business decisions.
Inadequacy of Infrastructure
India?s infrastructure has been considered inadequate to sustain foreign investment. Of course, India?s infrastructure is no match for the conditions in the industrialized countries, but despite its large population, India has a fairly good infrastructure to support foreign enterprises.
India has one the best infrastructures in terms of transport, communications, commerce, banking, technical training institutes, trained manpower and supporting services among the developing countries. India?s railroad network is the fourth largest in the world. All major cities are linked be air. There are five major ports and more and more international airports are opening in smaller towns across the nation. In addition to regular postal service, voice and teleprinter communication through telephones, cables, fax services, cellular telephony and paging services are available.
Inadequate Property Protection
Intellectual property rights in India are considered insecure. Here again, there is a problem of perception. India has a highly developed state of the law on this subject providing substantial protection to foreign companies. Trademark law is a little different from the United States in that the first person to register the trademark gets exclusive use of it rather than the first person to use it. Therefore, expeditious and proper registration is the only effective way to protect trademark rights in India.
The duration of patent protection in India has also been a debatable issue. International companies allege that the duration is inadequate and short. The duration of 14 years that Indian law provides for is comparable to similar laws around Asia. Considering the pace at which technology is moving now, the period of 14 years may seem even more reasonable now than it did when the Indian Patents Act was passed.
In the field of investment regulations and practices, India has often been judged more by perceived situations than by established realities.
India provides unprecedented market opportunities. For International firms, the emerging Indian market holds both a threat and a promise. The threat is dramatically increased competition from both local companies and those from other nations. As far as the promise, there is a growing market of more than 200 million consumers. In the last ten years, as India began its time-bending leap into the twenty-first century, millions of her people began an equally rapid transition from rural to urban, from agrarian to industrial, from feudal to contemporary society. With more of India?s population traveling to the urban areas to shop every day, the demand for goods and services from the most basic household commodities to sophisticated technical devices is soaring. In coming years, as incomes continue to bolster the spending power if India?s middle class, the opportunities for shrewd marketers will be unparalleled.
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