India: Nandita Chaudhary and Neerja Sharma
Background Information Historically known for exotic spices and rich textiles, India is now recognized as one of the largest consumer societies in the world, with a population of over one billion. Although mostly poor, in absolute numbers Indians form one of the largest pools of technically qualifi ed personnel anywhere in the world. This paradox is the reality of India, where diversity in every sphere of life is more the norm than the exception. There are a total of 1,652 languages spoken in the country (Ramanujan, 1994), of which 22 are registered as offi cial languages. In terms of religious diversity, the populations of religious groups often outnumber total populations of countries. For instance, outside of Indonesia, India has the largest number of Muslims in any single country.