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 Indo-Greek Kingdom (or sometimes Greco-Indian Kingdom) covered various parts of the northwest and northern Indian subcontinent from 180 BCE to around 10 CE, and was ruled by a succession of more than thirty Greek kings, often in conflict with each other. The kingdom was founded when the Greco-Bactrian king Demetrius invaded India in 180 BCE, ultimately creating an entity which seceded from the powerful Greco-Bactrian Kingdom centered in Bactria (today's northern Afghanistan).
During the two centuries of their rule, the Indo-Greek kings combined the Greek and Indian languages and symbols, as seen on their coins, and blended Ancient Greek, Hindu and Buddhist religious practices, as seen in the archaeological remains of their cities and in the indications of their support of Buddhism. The Indo-Greek kings seem to have achieved a level of cultural syncretism with no equivalent in history, the consequences of which are still felt today, particularly through the diffusion and influence of Greco-Buddhist art.
The Indo-Greeks ultimately disappeared as a political entity around 10 CE following the invasions of the Indo-Scythian, Indo-Parthian and Kushans, although pockets of Greek populations probably remained for several centuries longer. (more...)
|The Toda people are a small pastoral tribe of less than 1,000 people who reside in the Nilgiri hills of Tamil Nadu, Southern India. Shown here is a typical Toda hut, about 3 m (10 ft.) high, 5.5 m (18 ft.) long and 2.7 m (9 ft.) wide. They are built of bamboo fastened with rattan and thatched. The hut has only a tiny (about 0.9 x 0.9 m, 3 x 3 ft.) entrance at the front, which serves as protection from wild animals.
|Photo credit: Pratheepps
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 ?
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.
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
: मुंबई, IAST
: /'mumbəi/ (help·info)
), formerly known as Bombay
, is the capital of the state
, the most populous city
, and by some measures the most populous city in the world
with an estimated population of about 13 million
(as of 2007). Mumbai is located on Salsette Island
, off the west coast
of Maharashtra. Along with its neighbouring suburbs, it forms the world's fifth most populous metropolitan area
with a population of about 20 million. The metro population ranking is projected to rise to 4th in the world by 2015 due to an annual growth rate of 2.2%. The city has a deep natural harbour and the port handles over half of India's passenger traffic and a significant amount of cargo.
Mumbai is the commercial and entertainment capital of India, and houses important financial institutions, such as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) and the corporate headquarters of many Indian companies. Mumbai has attracted migrants from all over India because of the immense business opportunities, and the relatively high standard of living, making the city a potpourri of various communities and cultures. The city is home to India's Hindi film and television industry, known as Bollywood. Mumbai is also one of the few cities that accommodates a national park, the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, within its city limits. (more)
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