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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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Procession march held on 21 February 1952 in Dhaka

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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Gautama Buddha
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Alamgiri Gate.jpg
The Lahore Fort, located in the northwestern corner of Lahore, Pakistan adjacent to the Walled City was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the Shalamar Gardens in 1981.
Photo Credit: Kaiser Tufail
Did you know

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Maya Devi Temple in Lumbini, Nepal

  • ...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?
  • ...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 Bhutan

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The Kingdom of Bhutan /bˈtɑːn/ 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 words Bhota-ant (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
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Sri Lanka provinces

Sri Lanka is divided into 9 provinces. This labeled map collaboratively created by wikipedia editors and released to public domain shows these provinces.

Map credit: Rarelibra, Snowolfd4 and QuartierLatin1968

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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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22542 news items

 
Financial Express
Sun, 24 May 2015 03:41:15 -0700

Sri Lanka is set to host the 2015 SAARC Film Festival in Colombo over a period of six days from May 26 to 31. According to ColomboPage, the festival has gained much momentum in the last four years as it promotes some of the best films from the SAARC ...
 
DhakaTribune
Thu, 21 May 2015 13:37:30 -0700

The government is yet to decide on whether to join Saarc satellite, an Indian initiative, as it might jeopardise the business prospect of its own satellite. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Saarc Summit held in Kathmandu last November urged ...

Huffington Post India

Huffington Post India
Thu, 07 May 2015 19:37:30 -0700

In particular, the Nepal quake is a warning bell for SAARC to get its act together to set up an effective disaster-response mechanism which can minimise and mitigate impact in an already disaster-prone region. According to reports, about 8.1 million ...

The Indian Express

The Indian Express
Sat, 02 May 2015 14:42:58 -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 ...
 
Financial Express Bangladesh
Sat, 23 May 2015 08:11:15 -0700

Sonia Khatun of Bangladesh clinched the women's section crown as unbeaten champion in the 1st SAARC International Deaf Chess Tournament held at the Bangladesh Chess Federation hall room in the city Saturday, reports UNB. Sonia earned maximum 3 ...
 
Times of India
Thu, 21 May 2015 04:02:57 -0700

Vice-president of the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sabir Malik said there was immense potential in trade sector among Saarc nations where both India and Pakistan could play a significant role. He said there were certain forces that didn ...

The Nation

E Kantipur
Sun, 17 May 2015 16:19:00 -0700

KATHMANDU, MAY 18 - Two Saarc regional centres—Saarc Disaster Management Centre (SDMC) and Saarc Food Bank (SFB)—set up to work during regional crisis failed to respond during Nepal's Great Earthquake. The SDMC has aimed to establish ...

ChannelWorld.in

ChannelWorld.in
Thu, 21 May 2015 01:48:45 -0700

Brocade has announced the appointment of Srikanth Natarajan to the position of director of Channels and Alliances for India and the participating countries in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), namely Bangladesh, Bhutan ...
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