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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 Himalayan mountain range in North Sikkim

Sikkim is a landlocked Indian state nestled in the Himalayas. It is the least populous state in India, and the second smallest. Sikkim was an independent state ruled by the Chogyal monarchy until 1975, when a referendum to make it India's twenty-second state succeeded. The thumb-shaped state borders Nepal in the west, Tibet to the north and east, and Bhutan in the south-east. The Indian state of West Bengal borders Sikkim to its south. The official language is Nepali, and the predominant religions are Hinduism and Vajrayana Buddhism. Gangtok is the capital and largest town. Despite its small size, Sikkim is geographically diverse, owing to its location at the Himalayan foothills. Terrain ranges from tropical in the south to tundra in the north. Kanchenjunga, the world's third highest peak, is located in Sikkim, straddling its northern border with Nepal. Sikkim has become one of India's most visited states owing to its reputation for untouched scenic beauty and political stability. (more...)

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Gautama Buddha
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OldParliment.jpg
The Old Parliament Building of Sri Lanka near the Galle Face Green is now the Presidential Secretariat of the country.
Photo credit: Mystìc
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The Islamic Centre, housing the mosque Masjid-al-Sultan

  • ...that Neolithic tools found in the Kathmandu Valley indicate that people have been living in the Himalayan region for at least nine thousand years?
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Flag of Pakistan
Emblem of Pakistan
Location on the world map
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The Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Urdu: اسلامی جمہوریۂ پاکستان, islāmī jamhūriya i pākistān), or Pakistan (Urdu: پاکستان, pākistān), is a country located in South Asia. Its strategic location at a crossroads of political and religious ideologies has kept it at the forefront of world events. Its culture and history have been enriched by the countless invaders, traders, and settlers who have been a part of the region’s past. The country borders India, Afghanistan, Iran (Persia), China and the Arabian Sea. With around 178 million inhabitants, it is the sixth most populous country, the second most populous Muslim-majority nation. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and the OIC.

The area of Pakistan has a long history of settlement and civilisation that includes some of the most ancient cultures. The region was invaded by Mongols, Greeks, Persians, Arabs, and Turks before being invaded by the British Raj in the Eighteenth century. Pakistan became independent on 14 August 1947 as one of two successor states to British India. (The other successor state was the Union of India, which became the Republic of India in 1950.) Following independence, Pakistan has seen repeated military coups, the loss of East Pakistan in 1971, widespread Islamic fundamentalism and significant military and economic growth, with the second-fastest growing economy amongst the ten most populous countries in the world in 2005 and the twenty-seventh largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity. Pakistan has the seventh largest armed forces in the world and is one of eight declared nuclear weapons states.

At a glance
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Bengal 1907

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

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Adi Shankara (Malayalam: ആദി ശങ്കരന്‍, Devanāgarī: आदि शङ्कर, Ādi Śaṅkara, IPA: [aːd̪i ɕəŋkərə]); (possibly 788820 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")[1] 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

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عربى (Arabic) • 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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Mountains of Kabul
Kābul (Persian: کابل, former English: Caubul), is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan, with population of about 3 million people. It is an economic and cultural center, situated 5,900 feet (1,800 m) above-sea-level in a narrow valley, wedged between the Hindu Kush mountains along the Kabul River. Kabul is linked with Ghazni, Kandahar, Herat and Mazari Sharif via a long beltway (circular highway) that stretches across the country. It is also linked by highways with Pakistan to the southeast and Tajikistan to the north. Kabul's main products include munitions, cloth, furniture, and beet sugar, though, since 1978, a state of nearly continuous war has limited the economic productivity of the city.

Kabul is over 3,000 years old. Many empires long fought over the city, due to its strategic location along the trade routes of Southern and Central Asia. In 1504, Babur captured Kabul and made the city his headquarters. Finally, in 1776, Timur Shah Durrani made it the capital of modern Afghanistan. The population of the city is multi-cultural and multi-ethnic, reflecting the diversity of the entire country.

Kabul was captured by the Taliban in September of 1996. Approximately five years later, in October 2001, the United States invaded Afghanistan. The Taliban abandoned Kabul in the following months due to extensive American bombing, while the Afghan Northern Alliance (former mujahideen or millias) came to retake control of the city. On December 20, 2001, Kabul became the capital of the Afghan Transitional Administration, which transformed to the present government of Afghanistan that is led by US-backed President Hamid Karzai. Since the beginning of 2003, the city is slowly developing with the help of foreign investment. Security is also improving by the year, despite the occasional attacks on government forces.(more)

Related portals
  1. ^ Adi means "the first"; the heads of a few Hindu mathas are also given the title Shankaracharya; Acharya means "teacher"

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:SAARC — Please support Wikipedia.
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30050 news items

Kathmandu Post

E Kantipur
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 19:15:00 -0700

KATHMANDU, JUL 30 - The Saarc Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Saarc CCI) has called for free trading in energy related materials, products and equipment in the Paro Declaration which wrapped up a conference entitled Cleaner, Greener South Asia: ...

Moneycontrol.com

Economic Times
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 03:30:00 -0700

In his address at the fourth meeting of SAARC Ministers on Poverty Alleviation here, Minister of State of Rural Development Sudarshan Bhagat said India will was ready to extend all possible assistance to any regional endeavours to remove the "scourge".

Kuensel, Buhutan's National Newspaper

Kuensel, Buhutan's National Newspaper
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 23:22:30 -0700

SAARC: In an effort to narrow down poverty alleviation strategy, the government has identified 3,154 poorest households in the country. During the fourth SAARC ministers' meeting on poverty alleviation held yesterday, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay ...

Firstpost

NDTV
Wed, 22 Jul 2015 12:30:00 -0700

... of this project is to develop a satellite for the SAARC region that enables a full range of services to all our neighbours in the areas of telecommunications and broadcasting applications like television, DTH, tele-education and disaster management ...

Firstpost

Firstpost
Thu, 23 Jul 2015 03:41:15 -0700

Minister A Gajapathi Raju today confirmed that there is some discussion within the ministry on extending the Open Skies policy beyond the Saarc region. Put simply, if the Open Skies policy is extended to other countries, it could mean easing of present ...
 
Hindu Business Line
Sun, 26 Jul 2015 08:10:57 -0700

Tata Power, an integrated power company, is keen to evaluate investment opportunities in Africa, Turkey and West Asia, South-East Asia and the SAARC region. In line with its international strategy, the company is to continue to assess favourable ...

Daily Times

Daily Times
Sun, 26 Jul 2015 09:30:00 -0700

ISLAMABAD – First Gender Policy Advocacy Group of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) meeting started here on Sunday in conviction with members' commitment to work together for the rights of the women. State Minister and ...

Times of India

Times of India
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 05:32:24 -0700

During a meeting of space experts from SAARC countries to discuss the modalities of the project last week, India also did not favour suggestions that it should be brought under the ambit of SAARC, asserting that deliberations at bloc level would delay ...
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