Taj Mahal in India

India : Constitution and politics

India mainly sits on a vast peninsula in Southern Asia, surrounded by the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. In the north, it borders countries including Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and China. Its diverse geography includes a plateau region to the south, flat-to-rolling plains along the Ganges river, and the Himalayan mountain range to the north. 

Key Facts

  • Region: Asia 
  • Population: 1353 million (2018) 
  • Area: 3,166,391 square kilometres 
  • Capital: New Delhi 
  • President: Ram Nath Kovind 
  • Joined Commonwealth: 1947, following independence from Britain 
  • Commonwealth Youth Index: 34 out of 49 countries 

Secretariat support for India 

Countering violent extremism 

The Secretariat helped India share best practice on how to involve young people in preventing violent extremism and building strong communities. Officials from local government, civil society and non-governmental organisations took part in the training. 


India’s Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development used the Commonwealth’s Youth Mainstreaming Guide to help it with planning. In June 2018, the Commonwealth helped the institute develop a youth work qualification.

The Secretariat helped India set up youth workers’ associations using its 12-step guide. 

Senior officials from India worked with the Secretariat to develop plans to encourage young people to set up businesses. 


The Secretariat engaged with India’s National Health Agency to share experience on setting up health insurance for people living in poverty. 

Debt management 

5 debt managers from India were trained on the Commonwealth Secretariat's new debt management system, Meridian. 

Connectivity Agenda

India is a member of the Regulatory Connectivity cluster of the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda. The Connectivity Agenda is a platform for countries to exchange best practices and experiences to trade and investment and undertake domestic reform.

India in the Commonwealth 

India’s Kamalesh Sharma became Commonwealth Secretary-General in 2008. In 2012, the Commonwealth of Learning appointed Professor Asha Kanwar as its President and Chief Executive Officer. 

12 Indians have been regional winners in the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, while 3 have taken the Best Book or Best First Book awards. 

In 1993, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative established its HQ in New Delhi. 

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