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 War in Afghanistan (2001–present) began on October 7, 2001, and was in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States of America (U.S.). This marked the beginning of the Bush Administration's campaign known as the War on Terrorism. The stated purpose of the invasion was to capture Osama bin Laden, destroy al-Qaeda, and remove the Taliban regime which had allegedly provided support and safe harbour to al-Qaeda.
The U.S. and the UK led the aerial bombing campaign, with ground forces supplied primarily by the Afghan Northern Alliance. In 2002, US and British infantry joined the attack. Later NATO troops were added. The U.S. military name of the conflict was Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
The war removed the Taliban from power for some time, but there has been a resurgence in Taliban forces. The war has been less successful in achieving the goal of restricting al-Qaeda's movement. Since the invasion, Afghanistan has become less stable due to increased warlord and Taliban activity, growing illegal drug production, and a fragile government with limited control outside of Kabul. (more...)
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Did you know
- ...that Nepal receives US$50 million a year through the Gurkha soldiers who serve in the Indian and British armies and are highly esteemed for their skill and bravery?
Selected Member Country
The Kingdom of Bhutan
is a landlocked nation
in the Himalaya Mountains
, sandwiched between India
and the People's Republic of China
in South Asia
. The local name for the country is Druk Yul
. It is also called Druk Tsendhen
(land of the thunder dragon), because the thunder there is said to be the sound of roaring dragons
. Historically Bhutan was known by many names, such as Lho Mon
(southern land of darkness), Lho Tsendenjong
(southern land of the cypress
), and Lhomen Khazhi
(southern land of four approaches). The origins of the name Bhutan
are unclear; historians have suggested that it may have originated in variations of the Sanskrit
(the end of Bhot – another word for Tibet
), or Bhu-uttan
(highlands). The word Bhutan
as a name for the country dates from the late 19th century
Bhutan is one of the most isolated and least developed nations in the world; however, the country maintains strong economic and cultural links with India. Foreign influences and tourism are heavily regulated by the government to preserve the country's traditional culture and national identity. The landscape ranges from subtropical plains in the south to the Himalayan heights in the north, with some peaks exceeding seven thousand metres. Mahayana Buddhism is the state religion and accounts for about half the population. Thimphu is the capital and largest city.
At a glance
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
Adi Shankara (Malayalam: ആദി ശങ്കരന്, Devanāgarī: आदि शङ्कर, Ādi Śaṅkara, IPA: [aːd̪i ɕəŋkərə]); (possibly 788 – 820 CE, but see below), also known as Śaṅkara Bhagavatpādācārya ("the teacher at the feet of God"), and Ādi Śaṅkarācārya ("the first Shankara in his lineage") was the first philosopher to consolidate the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta, a sub-school of Vedanta. His teachings are based on the unity of the soul and Brahman, in which Brahman is viewed as without attributes. In the Smārta tradition, Adi Shankara is regarded as an incarnation of Shiva.
Adi Shankara toured India with the purpose of propagating his teachings through discourses and debates with other philosophers. He founded four mathas ("monasteries") which played a key role in the historical development, revival and spread of post-Buddhist Hinduism and Advaita Vedanta. Adi Shankara was the founder of the Dashanami monastic order and the Shanmata tradition of worship.
His works in Sanskrit, all of which are extant today, concern themselves with establishing the doctrine of Advaita (Sanskrit, "Non-dualism"). Adi Shankara quotes extensively from the Upanishads and other Hindu scriptures in forming his teachings. He also includes arguments against opposing schools of thought like Samkhya and Buddhism in his works. (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)
- ^ Adi means "the first"; the heads of a few Hindu mathas are also given the title Shankaracharya; Acharya means "teacher"
nation.lk - The Nation Newspaper
nation.lk - The Nation Newspaper
Fri, 02 Oct 2015 11:33:45 -0700
The SAARC Investment Forum themed as “Turning point in South Asian Tourism” organized by SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAARC CCI) in collaboration with the Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sri Lanka (FCCISL) was ...
Wed, 30 Sep 2015 23:11:15 -0700
Foreign minister Dhunya Maumoon told her counterparts from the seven remaining SAARC member countries -- Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan -- that the relevance of SAARC has grown far greater than ever.
Huffington Post India
Wed, 30 Sep 2015 07:26:15 -0700
CHANDIGARH: Asserting that efforts of cooperation with Pakistan have not yielded desired progress and promises of regional integration among SAARC countries have "eluded" us, President Pranab Mukherjee today said India must "push ahead" with ...
Thu, 01 Oct 2015 00:41:15 -0700
New York, Oct 1: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj conducted a round of SAARC diplomacy here Wednesday, attending a lunch and holding bilateral meetings with foreign ministers from Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. At the lunch for SAARC ...
Wed, 30 Sep 2015 15:10:23 -0700
On the very day of his swearing-in ceremony as Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi demonstrated almost a dramatic sense of diplomacy and statesmanship by inviting all the heads of neighbouring SAARC countries, including India's adversaries. At one ...
Times of India
Thu, 01 Oct 2015 03:29:13 -0700
CHANDIGARH: In an attempt to boost the youth power, Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD), Regional Centre (Union ministry of youth affairs and sports) in collaboration with Yuvasatta organized the second SAARC youth ...
Wed, 30 Sep 2015 06:30:00 -0700
The prime minister asked all concerned departments to "ensure that development projects being implemented by India in the Saarc region, are implemented expeditiously". Chairing his sixth interaction through PRAGATI, the prime minister also reviewed the ...
Wed, 30 Sep 2015 23:11:15 -0700
NEW YORK: Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz participated in the informal session of the SAARC Council of Foreign Minister on the sidelines of the 70th Session of UNGA, today.
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