India in brief

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India in brief

Sangeeta Doraiswami

Born in New Delhi, Sangeeta Doraiswami studied in Kolkata and graduated with a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Bangalore. She trained to become a psychologist up until marrying her husband in 1996. Reskilling herself with teaching degrees, Doraiswami decided to become a primary school teacher, due in large part to her fondness for children, especially early schoolers. During the past 16 years working in the profession, she has taught in almost every city her husband was stationed in, from New Delhi and Tashkent in Uzbekistan to New York and Beijing. Calling her life “entertaining,” Doraiswami moved to Beijing within a week after marrying her husband and had her son at the end of her stay there.

Indian Ambassador to Korea Vikram Doraiswami

Vikram Doraiswami attended a residential school in South India. He earned a master’s degree in history from the University of Delhi and specialized in Chinese after joining the Indian Foreign Service in 1992. Before moving to Korea in April this year to take charge as the ambassador, he served in Hong Kong, Beijing and the Indian Prime Minister's Office. He was also posted to the permanent mission to the UN, named the consul general in Johannesburg, and headed the Division for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and then the Division for North America at the Ministry of External Affairs. He served briefly as the ambassador in Tashkent last year.

India in brief

Capital: New Delhi

Major cities: Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai

Official languages: Hindi, English

Population: 1.3 billion

Religion: Hindu (80%), Muslim (14%), Christian (2%), Sikh (2%), other and unspecified (2%)

Area: 1.2 million square miles

Number of Korean expats: About 11,000 (2015)

Centuries-old ties

Diplomatic relations on the consular level were established in 1962 and upgraded to the ambassadorial level in 1973. Historical ties between the two countries, however, go as far back as A.D. 48, when King Suro of Geumgwan Gaya married Princess Suri Ranta from the Indian country of Ayodhya.

Healthy trade

Korea and India signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement that went into force in 2010. Trade volume crossed $20 billion in 2011 before dipping to $17.5 billion more recently. Korea exports auto parts, telecom products and electronics, among others. India exports naphtha, ores and aluminum, to name a few.

Heavy investment

There are over 640 Korean firms in India, including Hyundai, Samsung, LG and Posco. Total Korean investment is around $5 billion. Indian firms have also invested in Korea, with Mahindra, Tata and the Aditya-Birla Group (Novelis) having established a significant presence here worth over $2 billion.

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