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SAARC portal

edit The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is an economic and political organization of eight countries in Southern Asia. In terms of population, its sphere of influence is the largest of any regional organization: almost 1.5 billion people, the combined population of its member states. In 1980, Bangladesh President Ziaur Rahman proposed the creation of a trade bloc consisting of South Asian countries. The Bangladeshi proposal was accepted by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka during a meeting held in Colombo in 1981. In August 1983, the leaders adopted the Declaration on South Asian Regional Cooperation during a summit which was held in New Delhi. The seven South Asian countries, which also included Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan, agreed on five areas of cooperation:

  • Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Telecommunications, Science, Technology and Meteorology
  • Health and Population Activities
  • Transport*
  • Human Resource Development

Afghanistan was added to the regional grouping at the behest of India on November 13, 2005, With the addition of Afghanistan, the total number of member states were raised to eight (8). The People's Republic of China, the European Union, the United States of America, South Korea, Iran, Myanmar, Australia, and Mauritus are observers to SAARC. (more)

Selected Article

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Procession march held on 21 February 1952 in Dhaka

The Bengali Language Movement (Bengali: ভাষা আন্দোলন; Bhasha Andolon), also known as the Language Movement, was a political effort in Bangladesh (then known as East Pakistan), advocating the recognition of the Bengali language as an official language of Pakistan. Such recognition would allow Bengali to be taught in schools and used in government affairs.

When the state of Pakistan was formed in 1947, its two regions, East Pakistan (also called East Bengal) and West Pakistan, were split over cultural, geographical, and linguistic lines. In 1948, the Government of Pakistan ordained Urdu as the sole national language, sparking extensive protests among the Bengali-speaking majority of East Pakistan. Facing rising sectarian tensions and mass discontent with the new law, the government outlawed public meetings and rallies. The students of the University of Dhaka and other political activists defied the law and organised a protest on 21 February 1952. The movement reached its climax when police killed student demonstrators on that day. The deaths provoked widespread civil unrest. After years of conflict, the central government relented and granted official status to the Bengali language in 1956. In 1999, UNESCO declared 21 February International Mother Language Day, in tribute to the Language Movement and the ethno-linguistic rights of people around the world.

The Language Movement catalysed the assertion of Bengali national identity in Pakistan, and became a forerunner to Bengali nationalist movements, including the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. In Bangladesh, 21 February is observed as Language Movement Day, a national holiday. (more...)

Selected Quotation

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Mahatma Gandhi
Selected Picture

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Alamgiri Gate.jpg
The Lahore Fort, located in the northwestern corner of Lahore, Pakistan adjacent to the Walled City was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the Shalamar Gardens in 1981.
Photo Credit: Kaiser Tufail
Did you know

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The Islamic Centre, housing the mosque Masjid-al-Sultan

  • ...that the state of Punjab ( meaning land of five rivers) gets its name from the fact that five tributaries of the river Indus - Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej - run through the state?
  • ...that the king of Bhutan lifted a ban on television and the Internet in 1999, making Bhutan one of the last countries to introduce television?
Selected Member Country

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Flag of Afghanistan

Emblem of Afghanistan
Location on the world map


Afġānistān, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (Pashto: د افغانستان اسلامي جمهوریت, Persian: جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان), is a landlocked country that is located in the heart of Asia. It is variously designated within Central or South Asia, as well as the Middle East. It has religious, ethno-linguistic, and geographic links with most of its neighbours. It is largely bordered by Pakistan in the south and east, Iran in the west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in the north, and the People's Republic of China in the far northeast. The name Afghanistan means the "Land of Afghans".

Afghanistan is a culturally mixed nation, a crossroads between the East and the West, and has been ancient focal point of trade and migration. It has an important geostrategical location, connecting South Asia, Central Asia and Middle East together. During its long history, the land has seen various invaders and conquerors, while on the other hand, local entities invaded the surrounding vast regions to form empires to themselves. Ahmad Shah Durrani created a large empire in the middle of the eighteenth century, with its capital at Kandahar. Subsequently, most of its territories were ceded to former neighboring countries. In the 19th century, Afghanistan became a buffer state in "The Great Game" played between the British Empire and Russian Empire. On August 19, 1919, following the third Anglo-Afghan war, the country regained full independence from the United Kingdom over its foreign affairs.

Since the late 1970s, Afghanistan has suffered continuous and brutal civil war, which included foreign interventions in the form of the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the 2001 US invasion of Afghanistan in which the ruling Taliban government was toppled. In December 2001, the United Nations Security Council authorized the creation of an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). This force, composed of NATO troops, has been involved in assisting the government of President Hamid Karzai in establishing authority across the nation. In 2005, the United States and Afghanistan signed a strategic partnership agreement committing both nations to a long-term relationship. In the meantime, about 40 billion US dollars have also been provided by the international community for the reconstruction of the country.

At a glance

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Member Country Capital
Afghanistan Kabul
Bangladesh Dhaka
Bhutan Thimpu
India New Delhi
Maldives Malé
Nepal Kathmandu
Pakistan Islamabad
Sri Lanka Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte
Selected Map

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Topography of Sri Lanka

This map shows the Geologic - Tectonic map of the Himalaya, modified after Le Fort (1988).

Map credit: Pierre Dèzes 1999, "Tectonic and metamorphic Evolution of the Central Himalayan Domain in Southeast Zanskar (Kashmir, India)".

Selected Biography

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Indira Gandhi

Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi (Hindi: इन्दिरा प्रियदर्शिनी गान्धी) (19 November 1917 - October 31, 1984) was an Indian politician who served as Prime Minister of India for three consecutive terms from 1966 to 1977 and for a fourth term from 1980 until her assassination in 1984.

Born in the politically influential Nehru dynasty, she grew up in an intensely political atmosphere. Her grandfather Motilal Nehru and father Jawaharlal Nehru were prominent Indian nationalist leaders. Returning to India from Oxford in 1941, she became involved in the Indian Independence movement.

In the 1950s, she served her father unofficially as a personal assistant during his tenure as India's first Prime Minister. After her father's death in 1964, she was appointed as a member of the Rajya Sabha by the President of India and became a member of Lal Bahadur Shastri's cabinet as Minister of Information and Broadcasting.

Chosen to become Prime Minister by Congress Party insiders after Shastri's death, Gandhi soon showed an ability to win elections and outmanoeuvre opponents through populism. She introduced more left-wing economic policies and promoted agricultural productivity. A crusing victory in the 1971 war with Pakistan was followed by a period of instability that led her to impose a state of Emergency in 1975; she paid for the authoritarian excesses of the period with three years in opposition.

Returned to office in 1980, she became increasingly involved in an escalating conflict with separatists in Punjab that eventually led to her assassination by her own bodyguards in 1984. (more...)

Wikipedia in South Asian Languages

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অসমিয়া (Assamese) • भोजपुरी (Bhojpuri) • বাংলা (Bengali) • ইমার ঠার/বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী (Bishnupriya Manipuri) • މަހަލް (Dhivehi) • ગુજરાતી (Gujarati) • हिन्दी (Hindi) • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada) • कॉशुर (Kashmiri) • മലയാളം (Malayalam) • मराठी (Marathi) • नेपाली (Nepali) • ଓଡ଼ିଆ (Oriya) • پښتو (Pashto) • فارسی (Persian) • ਪੰਜਾਬੀ (Punjabi) • संस्कृत (Sanskrit) •Santali (Santali) • सिनधि (Sindhi) • தமிழ் (Tamil) • తెలుగు (Telugu) • اردو (Urdu) • සිංහල (Sinhala)

Selected Destination

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Red Fort in Old Delhi
Delhi (Hindi: दिल्ली, Punjabi: ਦਿੱਲੀ, Urdu: دلی‎) sometimes referred to as Dilli, is the second-largest metropolis in India after Mumbai with a population of 13 million. Located in northern India on the banks of the River Yamuna, Delhi has the political status of a federally-administered union territory known as the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT). A constitutional amendment in 1991 gave Delhi a special status among the Union Territories; Delhi has its own legislative assembly with limited powers. The National Capital Territory of Delhi comprises eleven districts, 27 tehsils, three statutory towns viz. Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), New Delhi Municipal Committee (NDMC) and Delhi Cantonment Board (DCB), 59 census towns and 165 villages.

Delhi is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. Having been the capital of several empires in ancient India, Delhi was a major city in the old trade routes from northwest India to the Gangetic Plains. Many ancient monuments, archaeological sites and remains of national importance have been erected in its history. The Mughals built a section of the city (now known as Old City or Old Delhi) that served as the capital of Mughal Empire for a long period. During the British Raj, New Delhi was built as an administrative quarter of the city. New Delhi was declared the capital of India after India gained independence from British rule in 1947. As the seat of the Government of India, New Delhi houses important offices of the federal government, including the Parliament of India. Delhi has grown up to be a cosmopolitan city owing to the immigration of people from across the country. Like many other large cities of the world, Delhi suffers from urbanisation problems such as pollution, traffic congestion and scarcity of resources. The rapid development and urbanisation of New Delhi and surrounding areas coupled with the high average income of the populace has largely eclipsed socio-cultural traits that used to represent Delhi until a few years after independence. (more)

Related portals

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:SAARC — Please support Wikipedia.
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22206 videos foundNext > 

Nazariya - Global regionalism and SAARC

दुनिया में देशों ने आपसी गुट बनाकर आर्थिक और सामरिक विकास की गति को तेजी दी है। दक्षिण एशिया में 1985 में इन्हीं उद्देश्यों के लिए 'सार्क' की स्थापना हुई। ले...

What is Saarc?

The prime ministers of Pakistan and India pledged on Thursday to write a 'new chapter' in their otherwise fragile relationship on the margins of the summit o...

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PM Narendra Modi urged Indian space scientists to develop a satellite for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations. Read more at:...

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6832 news items

Livemint

Economic Times
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:33:45 -0700

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have a "SAARC-plus" programme when he travels to Nepal next month, his second visit after assuming office, to attend the 18th SAARC Summit on November 26-27 but there is no meeting planned with his ...

The New Indian Express

Economic Times
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 03:41:15 -0700

Chairing the second edition of the SAARC Education Ministers' meet here, she underlined the importance accorded to education in all SAARC Summits and stressed on harmonisation of academic standards and establishment of linkages between research ...
 
The Hindu
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:45:00 -0700

At the second meeting of Education Ministers of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) here on Friday, representatives of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka issued a joint statement titled ...
 
Republica
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:45:00 -0700

KATHMANDU, Nov 1 : Concerned over the sluggish logistical preparations including beautification of the city, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has taken a personal initiative to ensure that SAARC Summit preparations are completed well before the start of ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:53:36 -0700

The second meeting of Education Ministers of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) held here on Friday, was attended by representatives of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and chaired by ...

The Dollar Business

The Dollar Business
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:37:30 -0700

If charity begins at home, then foreign trade should definitely begin with neighbours. Unfortunately, the total value of India's trade with all the other SAARC members, put together, is less than a third of its total trade with just China. And while ...

The Diplomat

Times of India
Tue, 28 Oct 2014 11:56:15 -0700

NEW DELHI: There's a SAARC musical summit in town next month. Bhutan's heavy metal band The Forsaken, The Kinetic Operations from the Maldives and Bangladesh's fusion band Chirkutt will be among 14 groups performing at the eighth edition of the ...

The Diplomat

The Diplomat
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 12:52:30 -0700

Based on comments made earlier this week, Modi seems intent on changing SAARC's status in South Asia. According to Modi, South Asian countries should focus on identifying their common heritage, challenges, and opportunities to foster regional ...
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