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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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The Bombay Stock Exchange is the country's main stock exchange.

The economy of India is the fourth-largest in the world as measured by purchasing power parity (PPP), with a GDP of $3.3 trillion. When measured in USD exchange rates it is the tenth largest in the world, with a GDP of $691.8 billion. However India's huge population results in a relatively low per capita income ($3,100 at PPP). Services are the major source of economic growth in India today, though two-thirds of Indian workforce earn their livelihood directly or indirectly through agriculture. In recent times, India has also capitalised on its large number of highly-educated populace fluent in the English language to become a major exporter of software services, financial services and software engineers. For most of India's independent history, a socialist inspired approach was adhered to, with strict government control and regulation on private sector participation, foreign trade and foreign direct investment. Since the early 1990s, India has gradually opened up its markets through economic reforms by reducing government controls on foreign trade and investment. The socio-economic problems India faces are the burgeoning population, growing inequality, lack of infrastructure, growing unemployment and growing poverty. (more...)

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Rather than continuing to seek the truth, simply let go of your views.
Gautama Buddha
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View from inside of King Faisal Mosque at night in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Photo credit: Farazilu
Did you know

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

  • ...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 Maldives is the flattest country in the world, i.e. they have the lowest high-point (only 2.4 meter high) of any country in the world.
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Flag of Sri Lanka

Emblem of Sri Lanka
Location on the world map


Shortcut:

Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (Sinhalese: Sri Lanka Sinhala.jpg, Tamil: இலங்கை; known as Ceylon before 1972) is an island nation in South Asia, located about 31 kilometers (18½ mi) off the southern coast of India. Originally known as Heladiva, it is home to around twenty million people.

Sri Lanka is a strategic naval link between West Asia and South East Asia and has been a centre of Buddhist religion and culture from ancient times. Today, Sri Lanka is a multi-religious and multi-ethnic nation, with a fifth of the population following faiths other than Buddhism - notably Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. The Sinhalese community forms the majority of the population (around 80%), with Tamils, who are mostly concentrated in the north and east of the island, forming the largest ethnic minority. Other communities include the Muslim Moors and Malays as well as Burghers.

Famous for the production and export of tea, coffee, rubber and coconuts, Sri Lanka boasts a progressive and modern industrial economy. The natural beauty of Sri Lanka's tropical forests, beaches and landscape, as well as its rich cultural heritage make it a world famous tourist destination.

After over two thousand years of rule by local kingdoms, parts of Sri Lanka were colonized by Portugal and the Netherlands beginning in the 16th century, before the control of the entire country was ceded to the British Empire in 1815. During World War II Sri Lanka served as an important base for Allied forces in the fight against the Japanese Empire. A nationalist political movement arose in the country in the early 20th century, with the aim of obtaining political independence, which was eventually granted by the British after peaceful negotiations in 1948. Since then Sri Lanka has struggled in maintaining a liberal democracy and stunted economic progress due to the ongoing conflict between the Sri Lankan government and a separatist militant group known as the Tamil Tigers in the northeastern parts of the country.

At a glance

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Member Country Capital
Afghanistan Kabul
Bangladesh Dhaka
Bhutan Thimpu
Republic of India New Delhi
Maldives Malé
Nepal Kathmandu
Pakistan Islamabad
Sri Lanka Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte
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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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Ahmad Shah Abdālī (c.1723-1773) (Pashto/Persian: احمد خان ابدالی‎ - Ahmad Khan Abdālī), also known as Ahmad Shāh Durrānī, was the founder of the Durrani Empire. Most Historians view him as an Amir of Khorasan. The Pashtuns of Afghanistan often call him Ahmad Shāh Bābā.

Ahmad Shah began his career as head of the Abdali tribe by capturing Ghazni from the Ghilzai Pashtuns, and then wresting Kabul from the local ruler, and thus strengthened his hold over most of present-day Afghanistan. Leadership of the various Afghan tribes rested mainly on the ability to provide booty for the clan, and Ahmad Shah proved remarkably successful in providing both booty and occupation for his followers. Apart from invading the Punjab three times between the years 1747-1753, he captured Herat in 1750 and both Nishapur (Neyshabur) and Meshed (Mashhad) in 1751.

Although many historians accuse him of massacre and looting, his image is glorified in Afghanistan and to a lesser extent in Pakistan. In fact, he is considered to be the father of the nation for Afghanistan.A giant picture on a billboard is placed at Ghazi Stadium in the Afghan capital, Kabul. Similar picture on a billboard is placed at Kandahar's Stadium, in the southern city of Kandahar. (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)

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Dhaka (previously Dacca; Bengali: ঢাকা Ḍhākā; [ɖʱaka]) is the capital of Bangladesh and the principal city of Dhaka District. Located on the banks of the Buriganga River, Dhaka, along with its metropolitan area, has a population of 11 million, making it the largest city in Bangladesh and one of the most populous in the world.

Under Mughal rule in the 17th century, the city was also known as Jahangir Nagar, and was both a provincial capital and a centre of the world-wide muslin trade. The modern city, however, was developed chiefly under British rule in the 19th century, and soon became the second-largest city in Bengal after Calcutta. With the partition of India in 1947, Dhaka became the administrative capital of East Pakistan, and later, in 1972, the capital of an independent Bangladesh. During the intervening period, the city witnessed widespread turmoil; this included many impositions of martial law, the declaration of Bangladesh's independence, military suppression, devastation during war, and natural calamities.

Modern Dhaka is the centre of political, cultural and economic life in Bangladesh. It has both the highest literacy rate and the most diverse economy amongst Bangladeshi cities. Although its urban infrastructure is the most developed in the country, it nonetheless faces challenges such as pollution, congestion, supply shortages, poverty and crime. In recent decades, Dhaka has seen modernisation of transport, communications and public works. The city is attracting considerable foreign investment and greater volumes of commerce and trade. It is also experiencing an increasing influx of people from across the nation. (more)

Related portals

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:SAARC — Please support Wikipedia.
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1955 news items

 
Republica
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 04:43:49 -0700

KATHMANDU, April 23 : Secretary-General of South Asian Associations for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Arjun Bahadur Thapa on Wednesday left for Dhaka for an introductory visit. During his visit, Thapa will attend the second meeting of the Cabinet ...

Colombo Gazette

Colombo Gazette
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 02:43:01 -0700

699532-ShahbazSharif-1398327573-525-640x480 Pakistan says Sri Lanka was an important member of SAARC and Pakistan wants to have strong and stable relations among SAARC countries. Sri Lankan High Commissioner Air Chief Marshall (r) Jayalath ...

Financial Express Bangladesh

Financial Express Bangladesh
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 02:45:00 -0700

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has stressed the need for proper utilisation of resources in the Saarc region for the overall development of its member countries. She came up with the view when newly-appointed Saarc Secretary General Arjun Bahadur Thapa ...
 
Sri Lanka Guardian
Mon, 21 Apr 2014 20:45:00 -0700

This regional cooperation organization is South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC). It is true that SAARC is not a functional organization yet. Now it is needed to make it functional for the sake of the regional economy. So, SAARC ...
 
Pakistan Observer
Mon, 21 Apr 2014 07:15:00 -0700

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - Lahore—The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in collaboration with Punjab government and International Labour Organisation (ILO) is holding four-day mega event comprising SAARC International Exhibition and ...
 
Republica
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 23:45:00 -0700

Arjun Bahadur Thapa, Secretary-General of SAARC and Dr. Rebecca Tavares representative, UN Women Multi Country Office for India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka signed a fresh MoU between SAARC and UN Women for continued partnership for the ...

Business Standard

Business Standard
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 05:33:45 -0700

The second SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Insurance Regulators' Meet and International Conference concluded here on Wednesday. The aim of the conference was to develop a sound, stable and inclusive financial sector ...
 
Himalayan Times
Thu, 10 Apr 2014 11:56:15 -0700

The Cabinet has already decided to hold 18th SAARC Summit from November 9-14, a date that needs to be endorsed by other members — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Talking to THT at his office today, ...
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