What’s the exact contract agreement when people in the US buy a phone with a contract tied to various carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc. and why can’t such a model be adopted in a country like India?

It is a horrible model. The cheapest contract plan is ~50 USD. You have to pay approximately Rs. 3,000 even if you don't make any calls. Why would you want to do that? Moreover, you are tied into the carrier for 2 years, even if you are unhappy with their service. Contract is a win-win for the carrier and it is a loss-loss for the consumer.

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