Currency: Indian rupee (INR)
Exchange rate: 89.88 INR / € 1 (December 31, 2020)
Time zone: UTC +5.5
Country code (phone): +91
Climate (for capital): continental-subtropical
India’s population has more than tripled since independence in 1947 – to around 1.34 billion today. This corresponds to a share of approx. 18% of the world population. Between the last two censuses in 2001 and 2011 alone, India’s population grew by around 181 million people. Although population growth has been declining since around 1975 (currently at 1.2%), a population decline due to the demographic inertia effect is still a long way off.
The regional demographic development in India is very uneven. The population growth is concentrated in the more backward states in the north of the country (the so-called BIMARU states – Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh). In many states in the south (Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu), on the other hand, a decline in population due to low birth rates is to be expected or has already been recorded.
According to Physicscat.com, India has a comparatively young population due to rapid population growth and decreased child mortality. According to the 2011 census, the proportion of the population under 15 years of age is just under 30%, the proportion of the working-age population (15-64 years) around 65%.
The majority of the Indian population still lives in villages, but the proportion of people who live in cities (currently 1/3 of the total population) is steadily increasing. In this context, rural exodus also plays a role, driven by the lack of economic incentives in the villages and the hope for a better life in the city.
Money and money transfer
Indian currency may neither be imported nor exported. The Indian rupee is fully convertible. Foreign currencies – preferably euros or US dollars – can usually be exchanged in the cities without any problems. Credit cards such as Mastercard / Eurocard, VISA, American Express or Diners Club are accepted in many places.
As a measure against corruption and black money, the Indian government took 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes out of circulation in November 2016 and gradually replaced them with new ones. There are no longer any problems with the cash supply.
When staying in India there are big differences in the daily costs, e.g. for accommodation and food, mainly depending on the hotel category and the place of stay.
Housing and supply
In the big cities of India there is everything that the traveler needs. The cost of living can be described as moderate, but there are some regional differences. The costs in big cities like Mumbai or New Delhi are generally higher.
Student dormitories offer inexpensive accommodation for students. In addition, as a so-called paying guest you can stay with Indian families and experience Indian life up close. When searching for apartments or houses, portals such as Easy Expat or Couchsurfing (free registration required) are available.
Grid fluctuations are common in India. Sensitive electronic devices such as laptops should definitely be connected to a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) so that these fluctuations are balanced out and damage to the devices is prevented.
You can find a German school in New Delhi and also in Mumbai. There is also a lot for children to discover outside of school, i.e. during the holidays or on weekends.
There are no generally applicable closing laws in India. Shops usually open around 9 a.m. on weekdays and close after 6 p.m. However, many shops still open later. The office hours of the authorities are from Monday to Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., often interrupted by a lunch break. Sunday is a general day of rest.
There are numerous public holidays in India, many of which are only of regional importance. National public holidays in India include Republic Day on January 26th, Good Friday, Independence Day on August 15th, Gandhi’s birthday on October 2nd and Boxing Day.
The Foreign Office gives safety instructions. India is generally considered a relatively safe country. You shouldn’t travel overland by car at night. You hardly see obstacles – there are many of them – or too late and in the event of an accident you cannot hope for quick help. When traveling in the country, you should leave your contact addresses and mobile phone number with friends or with German representations in India.
Certain Vaccinations (especially diphtheria, tetanus, polio) and other preventive measures are recommended when traveling to and in India. They depend in detail on the exact travel destination in India, the length of stay and the activity.
Currently, everyday & practical information tuberculosis is warned against the spread. In the rainy season there are also outbreaks of malaria, chikungunya and dengue fever. Therefore, insect repellants (e.g. Autan, Anti-Brumm) and long-sleeved clothing should be in your luggage, and a mosquito net if necessary.
Diarrhea is a common side effect of a stay in India. The intestinal flora must first adjust to the unfamiliar food. For prevention, it is advisable to only eat cooked food, peel fruit and under no circumstances drink tap water.
It is generally advisable to read the regularly updated medical information from the Federal Foreign Office.
Telecommunications, Internet and digitization
European cell phones also work in India and can be inexpensively equipped with a SIM card from an Indian network operator. Offers change quickly. Well-known mobile phone providers are, for example, Jio, Bharti Airtel or Vi (Vodafone Idea). The Indian mobile communications market has been in great flux in recent months.
If you want to check your e-mails, you can do so in the numerous internet cafés. The availability of free WiFi is steadily increasing (e.g. in the coffee chains that can be found everywhere), but is linked to prior registration, which is sometimes only possible with an Indian mobile number. Of course, you can also send and receive letters or parcels by post.