Portal:SAARC/Selected article archive

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This is a list of Selected Articles that appear on the main page of the portal, numbered without any particular order.

NO ARTICLE SUMMARY
1
The Bombay Stock Exchange is the country's main stock exchange.

The economy of India is the fourth-largest in the world as measured by purchasing power parity (PPP), with a GDP of $3.3 trillion. When measured in USD exchange rates it is the tenth largest in the world, with a GDP of $691.8 billion. However India's huge population results in a relatively low per capita income ($3,100 at PPP). Services are the major source of economic growth in India today, though two-thirds of Indian workforce earn their livelihood directly or indirectly through agriculture. In recent times, India has also capitalised on its large number of highly-educated populace fluent in the English language to become a major exporter of software services, financial services and software engineers. For most of India's independent history, a socialist inspired approach was adhered to, with strict government control and regulation on private sector participation, foreign trade and foreign direct investment. Since the early 1990s, India has gradually opened up its markets through economic reforms by reducing government controls on foreign trade and investment. The socio-economic problems India faces are the burgeoning population, growing inequality, lack of infrastructure, growing unemployment and growing poverty. (more...)

2
Emblem of India

The Fundamental Rights in India enshrined in the Constitution of India guarantee civil liberties such that all Indians can lead their lives in peace and harmony as citizens of India. These include individual rights common to most liberal democracies, such as equality before law, freedom of speech and expression, freedom of association and peaceful assembly, freedom to practice religion, and the right to constitutional remedies for the protection of civil rights by means of writs such as habeas corpus. The punishment for encroaching on these rights is upon the discretion of the judiciary and the punishments laid out in the Indian Penal Code.

The Fundamental Rights are defined as basic human freedoms which every Indian citizen has the right to enjoy for a proper and harmonious development of personality. These rights (defined in Part III of the Constitution of India) universally apply to all citizens, irrespective of race, place of birth, religion, caste, creed, colour or sex. They are enforceable by the courts, subject to certain restrictions. The Rights have their origins in many sources, including England's Bill of Rights, the United States Bill of Rights and France's Declaration of the Rights of Man. (more...)

3
Mohenjo-Daro

Mohenjo-daro (Urdu: موئن جودڑو, Sindhi: موئن جو دڙو, English: Mound of the dead) was a city of the Indus Valley Civilization built around 2600 BC and is located in the Sindh Province of Pakistan. This ancient five thousand year old city is the largest of Indus Valley and is widely recognized as one of the most important early cities of South Asia and the Indus Valley Civilization. Mohenjo Daro was one of the world’s first cities and contemporaneous with ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations. It is sometimes referred to as "An Ancient Indus Valley Metropolis".

Mohenjo-daro was built around 2600 BC, and was abandoned around 1700 BC. It was rediscovered in the 1920s by Sir John Marshall's archaeologists. His car is still in the Mohenjo-daro museum, showing his presence, struggle, and dedication for Mohenjo-daro. Further excavations were carried out in 1945 by Ahmad Hasan Dani and Mortimer Wheeler. Mohenjo-daro in ancient times was most likely the administrative center of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. It was the most developed and advanced city in South Asia during its peak. The planning and engineering showed the importance of the city to the people of the Indus valley. (more...)

4

The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, also known as the Second Kashmir War, was the culmination of a series of skirmishes that occurred between April 1965 and September 1965 between India and Pakistan. The war was the second fought between India and Pakistan over the region of Kashmir, the first having been fought in 1947. The war lasted five weeks, resulted in thousands of casualties on both sides and ended in a United Nations (UN) mandated ceasefire. It is generally accepted that the war began following the failure of Pakistan's "Operation Gibraltar" which was designed to infiltrate and invade Jammu and Kashmir.

Much of the war was fought by the countries' land forces in the region of Kashmir and along the International Border (IB) between India and Pakistan. The war also involved a limited participation from the countries' respective air forces. This war saw the largest amassing of troops in Kashmir, a number that was overshadowed only during the 2001-2002 military standoff between India and Pakistan. Many details of this war, like those of most Indo-Pakistani Wars, remain unclear and riddled with media biases. (more...)

5

Devastation in Sumatra

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, also known as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, was an undersea earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC (07:58:53 local time) on December 26, 2004. The earthquake triggered a series of lethal tsunamis that spread throughout the Indian Ocean, killing large numbers of people and devastating coastal communities across South and South East Asia, including parts of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and elsewhere. The number of casualties were 186,983 dead and 42,883 missing, for a total of 229,866 affected. This catastrophe is one of the deadliest disasters in modern history and is known in Asia and in the international media as the Asian Tsunami, and also called the Boxing Day Tsunami. The magnitude of the earthquake has been upgraded to between 9.1 and 9.3 on the Richter scale. This earthquake was also reported to be the longest duration of faulting ever observed, lasting between 500 and 600 seconds, and it was large enough that it caused the entire planet to vibrate at least half an inch, or over a centimetre. The earthquake originated in the Indian Ocean just north of Simeulue island, off the western coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia. The plight of the many affected people and countries prompted a widespread humanitarian response, with more than US$7 billion donated in aid for those affected. (more...)

6
Distribution of Tamil speakers in South India and Sri Lanka (1961)

Tamil (தமிழ் tamiḻ; IPA /t̪ɐmɨɻ/) is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamils in India and Sri Lanka, with smaller communities of speakers in many other countries. It is the official language of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, and also has official status in Sri Lanka and Singapore. With more than 77 million speakers, Tamil is one of the more widely spoken languages in the world.

Tamil has a literary tradition of over two thousand years. The earliest epigraphic records found date to around 300 BCE and the Tolkappiyam, oldest known literary work in Tamil, has been dated variously between second century BCE and fifth century CE. Tamil was declared a classical language of India by the Government of India in 2004 and was the first Indian language to have been accorded the status.

Tamil employs agglutinative grammar, where suffixes are used to mark noun class, number, and case, verb tense and other grammatical categories. Unlike other Dravidian languages, the metalanguage of Tamil, the language used to describe the technical linguistic terms of the language and its structure, is also Tamil (rather than Sanskrit). According to a 2001 survey, there were 1,863 newspapers published in Tamil, of which 353 were dailies. (more...)

7
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...)

8
Shaheed Minar in Dhaka, a symbol of the struggle for the Bengali language

Bengali, also Bangla (Bengali: বাংলা [ˈbaŋla]) is an Indo-Aryan language of East South Asia, evolved from Prakrit, Pali and Sanskrit. With nearly 200 million native speakers, Bengali is one of the most widely spoken languages of the world (it is ranked between four and seven based on the number of speakers). Bengali is the main language spoken in Bangladesh, and the second most commonly spoken language in India (after Hindi-Urdu). Along with Assamese, it is geographically the most eastern of the Indo-European languages. Owing to the Bengal renaissance in the 19th and 20th centuries, Bengali literature emerged among the richest in South Asia, and includes luminaries such as Rabindranath Tagore, the first Asian to be awarded a Nobel Prize. Like most other modern Indic languages, Bengali arose from the Apabhramsha melting pot of Middle Indic languages, around the turn of the first millennium CE. Some argue for much earlier points of divergence - going back to even 500 BCE, but the language was not static, and different varieties co-existed concurrently, and authors often wrote in multiple dialects. In particular, the eastern region language known as Abahatta (with considerable overlap with Purvi and Magadhi Apabhrangsha), had begun to emerge by the seventh century AD. Hiuen Tsang has noted that the same language was spoken in most of Eastern India. (more...)

9
Mount Everest

Mount Everest or Qomolangma or Sagarmatha (सगरमाथा) or Chomolungma (ཇོ་མོ་གླང་མ) pronounced as (Jongmalunga) is the highest mountain on Earth, as measured by the height of its summit above sea level. The mountain, which is part of the Himalaya range in High Asia, is located on the border between Nepal and Tibet, China. As of the end of the 2006 climbing season, there have been 3,050 ascents to the summit, by 2,062 individuals, and 203 people have died on the mountain. The conditions on the mountain are so difficult that most of the corpses have been left where they fell; some of them are easily visible from the standard climbing routes. Climbers are a significant source of tourist revenue for Nepal; they range from experienced mountaineers to relative novices who count on their paid guides to get them to the top. The Nepalese government also requires a permit from all prospective climbers; this carries a heavy fee, often more than $25,000 (USD) per person.

Recent studies find the mountain to be 8,848 m (29,028 ft) high, although there is some variation in the measurements. The mountain K2 comes in second at 8,611 m (28,251 ft) high. On May 22, 2005, the People's Republic of China's Everest Expedition Team ascended to the top of the mountain. After several months' complicated measurement and calculation, on October 9, 2005, the PRC's State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping officially announced the height of Everest as 8,844.43 m ± 0.21 m (29,017.16 ± 0.69 ft). They claimed it was the most accurate measurement to date. But this new height is based on the actual highest point of rock and not on the snow and ice that sits on top of that rock on the summit, so, in keeping with the practice used on Mont Blanc and Khan Tangiri Shyngy, it is not shown here. The Chinese also measured a snow/ice depth of 3.5 m, which implies agreement with a net elevation of 8,848 m. But in reality the snow and ice thickness varies, making a definitive height of the snow cap, and hence the precise height attained by summiteers without sophisticated GPS, impossible to determine. (more...)

0
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...)

11
A joint US/British patrol in Sangin, Helmand province.

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...)

12
Map of Indo-Greek Kingdom

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...)