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
- 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)
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...)
Did you know
- ...that five mountains in Pakistan are more than 8,000 meters high, including K2 which is the second highest mountain in the world ?
- ...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?
Selected Member Country
, officially known, according to its Interim Constitution, as the State of Nepal
(previously known as Kingdom of Nepal
: नेपाल [neˈpaːl] (help·info)
) is a landlocked Himalayan country
in South Asia
. In Nepal Bhasa
, Nepal is called as Nepa: (Nepal Bhasa
: नेपा:). It is bordered by China
) to the north and by India
, Uttar Pradesh
, 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
This 1907 map of Eastern Bengal clearly shows the spread of Bengali culture towards the east, encompassing modern Bangladesh, Assam, Tripura, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. Today's West Bengal lies to the west of this region, forming the eastern bottleneck of India, stretching from the Himalayas in the north to the Bay of Bengal in the south. The state has a total area of 88,752 km². The Darjeeling Himalayan hill region in the northern extreme of the state belongs to the eastern Himalaya. This region contains Sandakfu (3,636 m) — the highest peak of the state. The narrow Terai region separates this region from the plains, which in turn transitions into the Ganges delta towards the south. The Rarh region intervenes between the Ganges delta in the east and the western plateau and high lands. A small coastal region is on the extreme south, while the Sundarbans mangrove forests form a remarkable geographical landmark at the Ganges delta.
Map credit: Astrokey44
Muhammad Ali Jinnah (Urdu: محمد على جناح (help·info)) (December 25, 1876 – September 11, 1948) was an Indian Muslim politician and leader of the All India Muslim League who founded Pakistan and served as its first Governor-General. He is officially known in Pakistan as Quaid-e-Azam (Urdu: قائد اعظم — "Great Leader") and Baba-e-Qaum ("Father of the Nation.") His birth and death anniversaries are national holidays in Pakistan.
Jinnah rose to prominence in the Indian National Congress expounding ideas of Hindu-Muslim unity and helping shape the 1916 Lucknow Pact with the Muslim League; he also became a key leader in the All India Home Rule League. Differences with Mohandas Gandhi led Jinnah to quit the Congress and take charge of the Muslim League. He proposed a fourteen-point constitutional reform plan to safeguard the political rights of Muslims in a self-governing India. His proposals failed amid the League's disunity, driving a disillusioned Jinnah to live in London for many years.
Several Muslim leaders persuaded Jinnah to return to India in 1934 and re-organise the League. Tempered by the failure to build coalitions with the Congress, Jinnah embraced the goal of creating a separate state for Muslims as in the Lahore Resolution. The League won most Muslim seats in the elections of 1946, and Jinnah launched the Direct Action campaign of strikes and protests to achieve "Pakistan", which degenerated into communal violence across India. The failure of the Congress-League coalition to govern the country prompted both parties and the British to agree to partition. As Governor-General of Pakistan, Jinnah led efforts to rehabilitate millions of refugees, and to frame national policies on foreign affairs, security and economic development. (more...)
Wikipedia in South Asian Languages
), formerly known as Madras (help·info)
, is the capital
of the state
of Tamil Nadu
and is India
's fourth largest
. It is located on the Coromandel Coast
of the Bay of Bengal
. With an estimated population of 7.06 million (2007), the 368-year-old city is the 34th largest metropolitan area
in the world.
Chennai is the third largest commercial and industrial centre in India, and is known for its cultural heritage and temple architecture. It is also a hub for south Indian classical music and dance performances. Chennai is considered the automobile capital of India, with a major percentage of the automobile industry having a base here and a major portion of the nation's vehicles being produced here. This has led to Chennai being referred to as the Detroit of South Asia. It has also become a major centre for outsourced jobs from the West. The 12-kilometre long Marina Beach along the Bay of Bengal forms the city's east coast. The city is known for its sport venues and hosts an ATP tennis event, the Chennai Open. Chennai is also one of the few cities in the world to accommodate a national park, the Guindy National Park, within its city limits. It is the sister city of Denver, Colorado, United States; Frankfurt, Germany and Volgograd, Russia.
In 2004 the Indian Ocean tsunami lashed the shores of Chennai, killing many and permanently altering the coastline. (more)
The Indian Express
The Indian Express
Tue, 05 May 2015 05:45:00 -0700
In a bid to give a fillip to 'price conscious' urban Indian consumer with a future outlook towards its existing presence in the SAARC, Middle East and African regions in future, global skin care brand Nivea opened its first manufacturing plant in India ...
Sun, 03 May 2015 16:26:15 -0700
Just five months before a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, killing nearly 7,000, South Asia's leaders had met in Kathmandu for the 18th Summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). SAARC, while long envisaged by ...
The Indian Express
The Indian Express
Sat, 02 May 2015 14:33:45 -0700
Officials here are already saying that the NDRF response makes a strong case for a SAARC regional response centre given that member-countries are highly vulnerable to natural disasters. A response centre pools resources and deploys them swiftly in an ...
Sat, 02 May 2015 11:11:15 -0700
As far as exclusive international clubs go, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) must be one that does not have a very long waiting list. In fact, it probably has no seekers at all, even for observer status. It is seen as a ...
Wed, 29 Apr 2015 09:52:30 -0700
One would ask, why is Saarc not invoking the operationalisation of the Saarc food bank? An Agreement on Establishing the Saarc Food Security Reserve was signed in Kathmandu in 1987. This agreement provides for a reserve of food grains to meet ...
Thu, 30 Apr 2015 13:48:45 -0700
A child is carried by a Nepalese soldier after being rescued from a village cut off by road near Chautara on Thursday. In the rubble-strewn hilltop town, the round-the-clock rescue effort by the military is helping to recast the image of a force once ...
Tue, 07 Apr 2015 21:41:15 -0700
New Delhi: India is all set to host the fifth meeting of health ministers belonging to SAARC countries on Wednesday to deliberate on key issues, including HIV/AIDS, prevention of communicable and non-communicable diseases, and to strengthen ...
Times of India
Times of India
Sun, 26 Apr 2015 12:24:35 -0700
NEW DELHI: India is taking a leadership role in implementing an agreement signed by all South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) states on rapid response to natural disasters -- visible in the humanitarian and technical assistance India ...
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