South Asian Forum aspires to provide a forum for students, faculty and staff, and surrounding community to discuss South Asian contours in the global context.
United nations geographical region has classified South Asia as the countries consisting of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The region is comprised of more than one fifth of the world's population and hence constitutes the most populous and densely populated region in the world. The core of South Asia consists of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, which was essentially part of British Empire until 1947, and is surrounded by Western Asia, Central Asia, Eastern Asia, Southeastern Asia and Indian Ocean.
The root of South Asia can be traced back to Indus Valley Civilization, followed by Vedic period and Mahajanapads, which saw a time of kingdoms and ancient empires and ended by the emergence of European traders who later became the rulers. Almost all South Asian countries were part of direct or indirect European Colony. Modern Bangladesh, India and Pakistan were part of European colonization and ware subsequently taken over by British rulers in 1757 in some capacity. British emperor took full control of the region in 1857 and continued to govern till 1947. Although the European ruling was rather short-lived compared to long history of South Asia, it made significant and long-lasting socioeconomic impact on the region. Impacts are quite visible on transportation and communication, banking, government structure, and also the infrastructure such as rail, post, telegraph, and education facilities have been built in the colonial era, which in some cases served as the base for further expansion in recent days.
As a consequence of World War II, most of South Asia became independent from British Rule by late 1940's. Since independence in 1947, South Asia region has made monumental progress in all areas. Most significant achievements are in the fields of education, industry, health care, computer science, information technology, research in the fields of cutting edge sciences and technologies, defense, international/global trade, business enterprises and exporting human resources. There has also been an increasing interest in developing regional cooperation in recent years. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation is an economic cooperation organization in the region, which was initiated in 1985 by Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In 2006, the membership was extended to Afghanistan as the eight member of SAARC.
South Asian Forum
South Asia at a Glance