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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)

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Shaheed minar Roehl.jpg

Bengali, also Bangla (Bengali: বাংলা [ˈbaŋla]) is an Indo-Aryan language of East South Asia, evolved from Prakrit, Pali and Sanskrit. With nearly 200 million native speakers, Bengali is one of the most widely spoken languages of the world (it is ranked between four and seven based on the number of speakers). Bengali is the main language spoken in Bangladesh, and the second most commonly spoken language in India (after Hindi-Urdu). Along with Assamese, it is geographically the most eastern of the Indo-European languages. Owing to the Bengal renaissance in the 19th and 20th centuries, Bengali literature emerged among the richest in South Asia, and includes luminaries such as Rabindranath Tagore, the first Asian to be awarded a Nobel Prize. Like most other modern Indic languages, Bengali arose from the Apabhramsha melting pot of Middle Indic languages, around the turn of the first millennium CE. Some argue for much earlier points of divergence - going back to even 500 BCE, but the language was not static, and different varieties co-existed concurrently, and authors often wrote in multiple dialects. In particular, the eastern region language known as Abahatta (with considerable overlap with Purvi and Magadhi Apabhrangsha), had begun to emerge by the seventh century AD. Hiuen Tsang has noted that the same language was spoken in most of Eastern India. (more...)

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Gautama Buddha
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Gateway of India
The Gateway of India is a monument located on the waterfront of South Mumbai. Its central dome is a a basalt arch, 15 metres in diameter and 26 metres above ground at its highest point. While Indo-Saracenic in architectural style, elements are derived from the Muslim architectural styles of 16th century Gujarat. The Gateway is traditionally the first thing visitors arriving by boat would see of Mumbai.
Photo credit: Rhaessner
Did you know

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Maya Devi Temple in Lumbini, Nepal

  • ...that Ram Shastri, a celebrated 18th-century judge in the Maratha Empire, created judicial history in India by sentencing the incumbent Peshwa (de facto ruler) to death on a charge of murder?
  • ...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 Nepal

Location on the world map

Shortcut:
Nepal, officially known, according to its Interim Constitution, as the State of Nepal (previously known as Kingdom of Nepal) (Nepali: नेपाल About this sound [neˈpaːl] ) is a landlocked Himalayan country in South Asia. In Nepal Bhasa, Nepal is called as Nepa: (Nepal Bhasa: नेपा:). It is bordered by China (Tibet) to the north and by India (Bihar, Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal) to the south, east and west.

For a small territory, the Nepali landscape is uncommonly diverse, ranging from the humid Terai in the south to the lofty Himalayas in the north. Eight of the world's ten highest mountains are in Nepal, including Mount Everest. The country is famous for: tourism, trekking, hiking, camping, mountain biking, national wildlife parks, jungle safaris, river rafting, sport fishing, and its many beautiful temples and places of worship.

Kathmandu is the capital and largest city. Other main cities include Dharan, Thimi, Pokhara, Biratnagar, Lalitpur (Patan), Bhaktapur. other main towns includes Birendranagar, Bharatpur, Nepal, Siddhartanagar (Bhairahawa), Birganj (Birgunj), Butwal, Janakpur, Nepalganj (Nepalgunj), Hetauda, Damak, Dhangadhi, and Mahendranagar.



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
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Kashmir map

Map of Kashmir highlighting the disputed territory : Shown in green is Kashmiri region under Pakistani control. The orange-brown region represents Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir while the Aksai Chin is under Chinese occupation.

Map credit: CIA

Selected Biography

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A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam (Tamil: அவுல் பகீர் ஜைனுலாப்தீன் அப்துல் கலாம்) born October 15, 1931, Tamil Nadu, India, usually referred to as Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam ^) was the twelfth President of India, serving from 2002 to 2007. A notable scientist and engineer, he is often referred to as the Missile Man of India for his work and is considered a progressive mentor, innovator and visionary in India. His term as president ended on July 25, 2007.

Kalam has received honorary doctorates from as many as thirty universities. The Government of India has honored him with the nation's highest civilian honors: the Padma Bhushan in 1981; the Padma Vibhushan in 1990; and the Bharat Ratna in 1997. Kalam is the third President of India to have been honoured with a Bharat Ratna before being elected to the highest office. He is also the first scientist and first bachelor to occupy Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Kalam's probable views on certain issues have been espoused by him in his book "India 2020" where he strongly advocates an action plan to develop India into a knowledge superpower and into a developed nation by the year 2020. Kalam is credited with the view that India ought to take a more assertive stance in international relations; he regards his work on India's nuclear weapons program as a way to assert India's place as a future superpower.

Referred to as the "People's President", Kalam is often considered amongst India's greatest presidents, going on to win a poll conducted by news channel CNN-IBN for India's Best President. (more)

Wikipedia in South Asian Languages

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عربى (Arabic) • 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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View over Malé
Malé (Dhivehi: މާލެ), (pronounced: "Maa-lay") population 81,647 (2004), is the capital of the Republic of Maldives located at the southern edge of North Male' Atoll Kaafu Atoll. Traditionally it was the King's Island from where the ancient Maldive Royal dynasties ruled and where the palace was located. Formerly it was a walled city surrounded by fortifications and gates (doroshi). The Royal Palace (Gan'duvaru) was destroyed along with the picturesque forts (kotte) and bastions (buruzu), when the city was remodelled under Ibrahim Nasir's rule.

Although Malé is geographically located in Male' Atoll, Kaafu Atoll, administratively it is not considered part of it. A commercial harbour is located in the Island. It is the heart of all commercial activities in the country. Many government buildings and agencies are located on the waterfront. Malé International Airport is on adjacent Hulhule Island which includes a seaplane base for internal transportation. Several land reclamation projects have expanded the harbour. Malé is located at 4°10' North, 73°30' East (4.1667, 73.5).

Malé was struck by the tsunami that swept across the western coast of Sumatra on December 26, 2004. It was affected by the Indian Ocean earthquake which followed with the waves flooding two-thirds of the city. The earthquake and subsequent tsunamis reportedly killed over 220,000 people around the rim of the Indian Ocean. (more)

Related portals

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:SAARC — Please support Wikipedia.
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212358 news items

Indiainfoline

Indiainfoline
Mon, 22 Dec 2014 03:26:15 -0800

Anil Bhasin, Managing Director - India and SAARC region, Palo Alto Networks based in Mumbai has over 25 years' experience in the industry, and joined Palo Alto Networks from Cisco, where he spent 12 years in leadership roles including the Services ...

Aljazeera.com

Aljazeera.com
Fri, 28 Nov 2014 06:37:30 -0800

The 18th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) has concluded in Kathmandu, Nepal, with an outcome far below expectations. On top of the agenda were three connectivity agreements on road, rail and energy, to be ...

The Diplomat

The Diplomat
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 02:57:51 -0800

Three important agreements related to connectivity—the Agreement for the Regulation of Passenger and Cargo Vehicular Traffic, the SAARC Regional Agreement on Railways, and the SAARC Framework Agreement for Energy Cooperation (Electricity), were ...
 
E Kantipur
Tue, 16 Dec 2014 18:00:09 -0800

Now that the excitement, euphoria, and anxiety of the Saarc Summit have passed, more comprehensive reviews and stocktaking of the Summit achievements must be forthcoming. In the meantime, let me share some of my impressions. Greater connectivity or ...

The Express Tribune

E Kantipur
Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:48:45 -0800

This year, South Asia's migrant workers have a good reason to celebrate International Migrants Day on December 18. In a landmark commitment, the Saarc countries agreed at the recent Kathmandu Summit to work together to improve conditions for their ...

Times of India

Times of India
Thu, 27 Nov 2014 23:06:37 -0800

KATHMANDU: India pledged a slew of regional investments at Saarc summit this week, seeking to counter China's growing economic inroads into its backyard as it remains embroiled in bitter rivalry with Pakistan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said South ...
 
Times of India
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 12:37:30 -0800

UDAIPUR: More than 200 universities of the SAARC nations and other South Asian countries may get to learn about the 5,000-years-old rich cultural heritage of India. The scholars studying religion and philosophy across these universities may soon have a ...

Chandigarh Tribune

Daily News & Analysis
Mon, 01 Dec 2014 15:35:41 -0800

If the best that Narendra Modi's spin doctors could do to underscore his success at the recent SAARC summit was to boast that he stuck to a simple vegetarian meal while Pakistan's Nawaz Sharif feasted on halal meat, evidently there is little else to ...
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