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 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...)
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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
Afghanistan is administratively divided into thirty-four (34) provinces (welayats), and for each province there is a capital. Each province is then divided into many provincial districts, and each district normally covers a city or several townships. This map shows the 34 provinces of Afghanistan:
Map credit: Golbez and Morwen
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)
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 10:45:00 -0800
Diplomats from member countries of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the European Union (EU) on Wednesday lauded South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA)'s efforts for peace and cooperation in South Asia and ...
The News International
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 17:30:00 -0800
ISLAMABAD: Diplomats from member countries of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) and the European Union (EU) Wednesday lauded South Asian Free Media Association (Safma)'s efforts for peace and cooperation in South Asia ...
Times of India
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 14:18:45 -0800
NAGPUR: Dr Sanjeev Chaudhary, a senior orthopaedic surgeon who has long been working for creating awareness about osteoporosis in city and region, has now launched another awareness campaign about this disease in SAARC countries. Osteoporosis ...
Mon, 19 Jan 2015 03:46:26 -0800
To facilitate an integrated power grid for members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc), the Centre will soon approve cross-border trading on the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX). The move will initially enable short-term buying ...
The New Indian Express
The New Indian Express
Mon, 26 Jan 2015 23:18:45 -0800
"SAARC is probably the only region in the world where we celebrate love and marriages, pregnancies and child-births, and even deaths with songs. In our folk tales and folk songs, gods come to earth to interact with human beings; birds and animals speak ...
Daily News & Analysis
Daily News & Analysis
Mon, 12 Jan 2015 16:46:03 -0800
Promoters of MEHAIR company claim that the new venture will provide repair and maintenance services to seaplanes from not just India, but also the nearby SAARC countries, bringing in valuable foreign exchange to the nation. The project, for which the ...
Fri, 09 Jan 2015 22:51:50 -0800
Calling for a "dynamic" SAARC group, former President APJ Abdul Kalam today extolled the ideals of peace, harmony and good governance. "If after years of fighting world wars, nations of the European continent can form a parliament, then definitely ...
Sun, 11 Jan 2015 11:41:15 -0800
The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has decided the Saarc satellite would be a communication-cum-meteorology satellite to aid the neighbouring countries with their need for satellite transponders for communication and weather forecasting.
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