However, as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the country's external debt works out to be 23.8 percent at the end of March 2015, up from 23.6 percent as on March 2014.
"The rise in external debt was due to the rise in long-term debt particularly commercial borrowings and NRI deposits," Finance Ministry said in a statement.
The long-term debt at the end of March was USD 391.1 billion, reflecting an increase of 10.3 percent over the March 2014 level.
Long-term debt accounted for 82.2 percent of the total external debt in March as compared to 79.5 percent at March 2014, it added.
The short-term external debt was USD 84.7 billion in March, showing a decline of 7.6 percent over USD 91.7 billion at the end of March 2014.
Short-term debt, the release said, accounted for 17.8 per cent of the total external debt at the end of March, 2015 as against 20.5 percent at March 2014.
The shares of government (sovereign) debt in the total external debt were 18.9 percent at the end of March 2015.
"A cross country comparison based on International Debt Statistics 2015 of the World Bank which presents the debt data for 2013, shows that India continues to be among the less vulnerable countries with its external debt indicators comparing well with other indebted developing countries," the Finance Ministry said.
External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) are a significant component in India's external debt and the key driver of its magnitude, it said.
"The rise in commercial borrowings was due to spike in commercial bank loans and securitised borrowing. ECB has always been occupying the highest share in India's external debt over the years. As at end-March 2015, ECB has the highest share of 38.2 percent in India's external debt," it added.

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