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South
South
Asia
Asia
or Southern Asia
Asia
(also known as Indian subcontinent) is a term used to represent the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan SAARC
SAARC
countries and, for some authorities, adjoining countries to the west and east. Topographically, it is dominated by the Indian Plate, which rises above sea level as Nepal
Nepal
and all parts of India
India
situated south of the Himalayas
Himalayas
and the Hindu
Hindu
Kush. South
South
Asia
Asia
is bounded on the south by the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
and on land (clockwise, from west) by West
West
Asia, Central Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. The current territories of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
form South
South
Asia.[7] The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is an economic cooperation organisation in the region which was established in 1985 and includes all eight nations comprising South
South
Asia.[8] South
South
Asia
Asia
covers about 5.2 million km2 (2 million mi2), which is 11.71% of the Asian continent or 3.5% of the world's land surface area.[7] The population of South
South
Asia
Asia
is about 1.749 billion or about one fourth of the world's population, making it both the most populous and the most densely populated geographical region in the world.[3] Overall, it accounts for about 39.49% of Asia's population, over 24% of the world's population, and is home to a vast array of peoples.[9][10][11] In 2010, South
South
Asia
Asia
had the world's largest population of Hindus, Jains and Sikhs. It also has the largest population of Muslims
Muslims
in Asia-Pacific
Asia-Pacific
region,[12][13] as well as over 35 million Christians
Christians
and 25 million Buddhists.[14]

Contents

1 Definitions

1.1 Indian subcontinent

2 History

2.1 Ancient era 2.2 Medieval era 2.3 Modern era

3 Geography

3.1 Boundary 3.2 Indian plate 3.3 Climate

4 Statistical data 5 Past and Future Population 6 Land and Water Area 7 Regional groups of countries 8 Demographics

8.1 Largest urban areas 8.2 Languages 8.3 Religions

9 Economy 10 Health and nutrition 11 Governance

11.1 Countries and territories from extended definitions

12 See also 13 Notes 14 References

14.1 Bibliography

15 External links

Definitions[edit]

United Nations
United Nations
cartographic map of South
South
Asia.[15] However, the United Nations does not endorse any definitions or area boundaries.[note 1]

The total area of South
South
Asia
Asia
and its geographical extent is not clear cut as systemic and foreign policy orientations of its constituents are quite asymmetrical.[16] Aside from the central region of South Asia, formerly part of the British Empire, there is a high degree of variation as to which other countries are included in South Asia.[17][18][19][20] Modern definitions of South
South
Asia
Asia
are consistent in including Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan
Bhutan
and Maldives
Maldives
as the constituent countries.[21][22][23][24][25][26] Myanmar is included by some scholars in South
South
Asia, but in Southeast Asia
Asia
by others.[18][27] Some do not include Afghanistan,[18] others question whether Afghanistan
Afghanistan
should be considered a part of South
South
Asia
Asia
or the Middle East.[28][29] The current territories of Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, which were the core of the British Empire
British Empire
prior to 1947, form the central region of South
South
Asia, in addition to Afghanistan,[21][22][23][24][25][26] which was a British protectorate until 1919, after the Afghans lost to the British in the Second Anglo-Afghan war. The mountain countries of Nepal
Nepal
and Bhutan, and the island countries of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
and Maldives are generally included as well. Myanmar
Myanmar
(formerly Burma) is often added, and by various deviating definitions based on often substantially different reasons, the British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory and the Tibet
Tibet
Autonomous Region
Region
are included as well.[16][30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37] The common concept of South
South
Asia
Asia
is largely inherited from the administrative boundaries of the British Raj,[38] with several exceptions. The Aden Colony, British Somaliland
British Somaliland
and Singapore, though administered at various times under the Raj, have not been proposed as any part of South
South
Asia.[39] Additionally Burma
Burma
was administered as part of the Raj until 1937, but is now considered a part of Southeast Asia
Asia
and is a member state of ASEAN. The 562 princely states that were protected by but not directly ruled by the Raj became administrative parts of South
South
Asia
Asia
upon joining Union of India
India
or Dominion of Pakistan.[40][41][42] Geopolitically, it had formed the whole territory of Greater India,[27][43] The South
South
Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), a contiguous block of countries, started in 1985 with seven countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan
Pakistan
and Sri Lanka – and added Afghanistan
Afghanistan
as an eighth member in 2007.[44][45] China
China
and Myanmar
Myanmar
have also applied for the status of full members of SAARC.[46][47] This bloc of countries include two independent countries that were not part of the British Raj – Nepal, and Bhutan. Afghanistan
Afghanistan
was a British protectorate from 1878 until 1919, after the Afghans lost to the British in the Second Anglo-Afghan war. The World Factbook, based on geo-politics, people, and economy defines South
South
Asia
Asia
as comprising Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.[48] The South
South
Asia
Asia
Free Trade Agreement incorporated Afghanistan
Afghanistan
in 2011, and the World Bank
World Bank
grouping of countries in the region also includes all eight members comprising South
South
Asia
Asia
and SAARC
SAARC
as well,[49][50] and the same goes for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).[51][52]

Definition by South
South
Asian Studies programs

When the Centre for South
South
Asian Studies at the University of Cambridge was established, in 1964, it promoted the study of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan,[53][54][55][56] the Himalayan Kingdoms (Nepal, Bhutan, and Sikkim[57]), and Burma
Burma
(now Myanmar). It has since included Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, the Philippines
Philippines
and Hong Kong.[58] The Centres for South
South
Asian Studies at both the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia
University of Virginia
include Tibet
Tibet
along with the eight members of SAARC
SAARC
in their research programs, but exclude the Maldives.[59][60] The South
South
Asian Studies Program of Rutgers University and the University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
Centre for South Asia
Asia
Studies also include the Maldives.[61][62] The South
South
Asian Studies Program of Brandeis University
Brandeis University
defines the region as comprising "India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and in certain contexts Afghanistan, Burma, Maldives
Maldives
and Tibet".[63] The similar program of Columbia University
Columbia University
includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka in their study and excludes Burma.[64] See also: Indology

The United Nations
United Nations
Statistics Division's scheme of sub-regions include all eight members of the SAARC
SAARC
as part of Southern Asia, along with Iran[65] only for statistical purposes.[66] Population Information Network (POPIN) includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma, India, Nepal, Pakistan
Pakistan
and Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
as part of South
South
Asia. Maldives, in view of its characteristics, was admitted as a member Pacific POPIN subregional network only in principle.[67] The Hirschman– Herfindahl index of the United Nations
United Nations
Economic and Social Commission for Asia
Asia
and the Pacific for the region includes only the original seven signatories of SAARC.[68] The British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory is connected to the region by a publication of Jane's for security considerations.[69] The region may also include the disputed territory of Aksai Chin, which was part of the British Indian princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, but is now administered as part of the Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang.[70] The inclusion of Myanmar
Myanmar
in South
South
Asia
Asia
is without consensus, with many considering it a part of Southeast Asia
Asia
and others including it within South
South
Asia.[18][27] Afghanistan
Afghanistan
was of importance to the British colonial empire, especially after the Second Anglo-Afghan War
Second Anglo-Afghan War
over 1878–1880. Afghanistan
Afghanistan
remained a British protectorate until 1919, when a treaty with Vladimir Lenin included the granting of independence to Afghanistan. Following India's partition, Afghanistan has generally been included in South
South
Asia, with some considering it a part of Southwest Asia.[16] During the Soviet war in Afghanistan (1979–1989) American foreign policy considered Pakistan
Pakistan
and Afghanistan
Afghanistan
in Southwest Asia, while others included it as a part of South
South
Asia.[7] There is no universal agreement among scholars on which countries should be included within South
South
Asia.[18] In the past, a lack of a coherent definition for South
South
Asia
Asia
resulted in not only a lack of academic studies, but also in a lack interest for such studies.[71] The confusion existed also because of the lack of a clear boundary – geographically, geopolitical, socio-culturally, economically or historically – between South
South
Asia and other parts of Asia, especially the Middle East
Middle East
and Southeast Asia.[72] Identification with a South
South
Asian identity was also found to be significantly low among respondents in an older two-year survey across Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.[73] However, modern definitions of South
South
Asia
Asia
are very consistent in including Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan
Bhutan
and Maldives
Maldives
as the constituent countries.[21][22][23][24][25][26] See also: South
South
Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and South Asian Free Trade Area Indian subcontinent[edit] Main article: Indian subcontinent According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term "subcontinent" signifies a "subdivision of a continent which has a distinct geographical, political, or cultural identity" and also a "large land mass somewhat smaller than a continent".[74][75] Historians Catherine Asher and Cynthia Talbot state that the term "Indian subcontinent" describes a natural physical landmass in South
South
Asia
Asia
that has been relatively isolated from the rest of Eurasia.[76] The Indian subcontinent is also a geological term referring to the land mass that drifted northeastwards from ancient Gondwana, colliding with the Eurasian plate nearly 55 million years ago, towards the end of Palaeocene. This geological region largely includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan
Pakistan
and Sri Lanka.[77] The use of the term Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
began in the British Empire, and has been a term particularly common in its successors.[78] This region has also been labelled as "India" (in its classical and pre-modern sense), "Greater India", or as South
South
Asia.[27][43] According to anthropologist John R. Lukacs, "the Indian Subcontinent occupies the major landmass of South
South
Asia",[79] while the political science professor Tatu Vanhanen states, "the seven countries of South Asia
Asia
constitute geographically a compact region around the Indian Subcontinent".[80] According to Chris Brewster, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal
Nepal
and Bhutan
Bhutan
constitute the Indian subcontinent; with Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and Maldives
Maldives
included it is more commonly referred to as South
South
Asia.[81] The geopolitical boundaries of Indian subcontinent, according to Dhavendra Kumar, include "India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan
Bhutan
and other small islands of the Indian Ocean".[82] Maldives, the country consisting of a small archipelago southwest of the peninsula, is considered part of the Indian subcontinent.[83] The terms "Indian subcontinent" and " South
South
Asia" are sometimes used interchangeably.[30][78] The South
South
Asia
Asia
term is particularly common when scholars or officials seek to differentiate this region from East Asia.[84] According to historians Sugata Bose
Sugata Bose
and Ayesha Jalal, the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
has come to be known as South
South
Asia
Asia
"in more recent and neutral parlance."[85] This "neutral" notion refers to the concerns of Pakistan
Pakistan
and Bangladesh, particularly given the recurring conflicts between India
India
and Pakistan, wherein the dominant placement of "India" as a prefix before the subcontinent might offend some political sentiments.[27] There is no globally accepted definition on which countries are a part of South
South
Asia
Asia
or Indian subcontinent.[18][19][20] While Afghanistan
Afghanistan
is not considered as a part of the Indian subcontinent, Afghanistan
Afghanistan
is often included in South
South
Asia.[20] Similarly, Myanmar
Myanmar
is included by some scholars in South
South
Asia
Asia
but not in Indian subcontinent.[27] History[edit] Main articles: History of South
South
Asia
Asia
and History of India Ancient era[edit] The history of core South
South
Asia
Asia
begins with evidence of human activity of Homo sapiens, as long as 75,000 years ago, or with earlier hominids including Homo erectus
Homo erectus
from about 500,000 years ago.[86] The Indus Valley
Valley
Civilization, which spread and flourished in the northwestern part of South
South
Asia
Asia
from c. 3300 to 1300 BCE in present-day Northern India, Pakistan
Pakistan
and Afghanistan, was the first major civilization in South
South
Asia.[87] A sophisticated and technologically advanced urban culture developed in the Mature Harappan
Mature Harappan
period, from 2600 to 1900 BCE.[88] The earliest prehistoric culture have roots in the mesolithic sites as evidenced by the rock paintings of Bhimbetka rock shelters
Bhimbetka rock shelters
dating to a period of 30,000 BCE or older,[note 2] as well as neolithic times.[note 3] According to anthropologist Possehl, the Indus Valley Civilization provides a logical, if somewhat arbitrary, starting point for South
South
Asian religions, but these links from the Indus religion to later-day South
South
Asian traditions are subject to scholarly dispute.[89] The Vedic period, named after the Vedic religion of the Indo-Aryans,[note 4] lasted from c. 1900 to 500 BCE.[91][92] The Indo-Aryans were pastoralists[93] who migrated into north-western India
India
after the collapse of the Indus Valley
Valley
Civilization,[90][94] Linguistic and archaeological data show a cultural change after 1500 BCE,[90] with the linguistic and religious data clearly showing links with Indo-European languages and religion.[95] By about 1200 BCE, the Vedic culture and agrarian lifestyle was established in the northwest and northern Gangetic plain of South
South
Asia.[93][96][97] Rudimentary state-forms appeared, of which the Kuru-Pañcāla union was the most influential.[98][99] The first recorded state-level society in South Asia
Asia
existed around 1000 BCE.[93] In this period, states Samuel, emerged the Brahmana and Aranyaka layers of Vedic texts, which merged into the earliest Upanishads.[100] These texts began to ask the meaning of a ritual, adding increasing levels of philosophical and metaphysical speculation,[100] or " Hindu
Hindu
synthesis".[101] Increasing urbanisation of India
India
between 800 and 400 BCE, and possibly the spread of urban diseases, contributed to the rise of ascetic movements and of new ideas which challenged the orthodox Brahmanism.[102] These ideas led to Sramana
Sramana
movements, of which Mahavira (c. 549–477 BCE), proponent of Jainism, and Buddha
Buddha
(c. 563-483), founder of Buddhism, were the most prominent icons.[103] The Greek army led by Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
stayed in the Hindu
Hindu
Kush region of South
South
Asia
Asia
for several years and then later moved into the Indus valley region. Later, the Maurya Empire
Maurya Empire
extended over much of South
South
Asia
Asia
in the 3rd century BCE. Buddhism
Buddhism
spread beyond the Indian subcontinent, through northwest into Central Asia. The Bamiyan Buddhas of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and the edicts of Aśoka suggest that the Buddhist monks spread Buddhism
Buddhism
(Dharma) in eastern provinces of the Seleucid Empire, and possibly even farther into West
West
Asia.[104][105][106] The Theravada school spread south from India
India
in the 3rd century BCE, to Sri Lanka, later to Southeast Asia.[107] Buddhism, by the last centuries of the 1st millennium BCE, was prominent in the Himalayan region, Gandhara, Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
region and Bactria.[108][109][110] From about 500 BCE through about 300 CE, the Vedic-Brahmanic synthesis or " Hindu
Hindu
synthesis" continued.[101] Classical Hindu
Hindu
and Sramanic (particularly Buddhist) ideas spread within Indian subcontinent, as well outside South
South
Asia.[111][112][113] The Gupta Empire
Gupta Empire
ruled over a large part of the subcontinent between 4th and 7th centuries, a period that saw the construction of major temples, monasteries and universities such as the Nalanda.[114][115][116] During this era, and through the 10th century, numerous cave monasteries and temples such as the Ajanta Caves, Badami cave temples
Badami cave temples
and Ellora Caves
Ellora Caves
were built in South
South
Asia.[117][118][119] Medieval era[edit] Islam
Islam
came as a political power in the fringe of South
South
Asia
Asia
in 8th century CE when the Arab general Muhammad bin Qasim
Muhammad bin Qasim
conquered Sindh and Multan
Multan
in southern Punjab
Punjab
in modern-day Pakistan.[120] By 962 CE, Hindu
Hindu
and Buddhist kingdoms in South
South
Asia
Asia
were under a wave of raids from Muslim
Muslim
armies from Central Asia.[121] Among them was Mahmud of Ghazni, who raided and plundered kingdoms in north India
India
from east of the Indus river to west of Yamuna river seventeen times between 997 and 1030.[122] Mahmud of Ghazni
Mahmud of Ghazni
raided the treasuries but retracted each time, only extending Islamic rule into western Punjab.[123][124] The wave of raids on north Indian and western Indian kingdoms by Muslim
Muslim
warlords continued after Mahmud of Ghazni, plundering and looting these kingdoms.[125] The raids did not establish or extend permanent boundaries of their Islamic kingdoms. The Ghurid Sultan Mu'izz al-Din Muhammad
Mu'izz al-Din Muhammad
began a systematic war of expansion into north India
India
in 1173.[126] He sought to carve out a principality for himself by expanding the Islamic world.[122][127] Mu'izz sought a Sunni Islamic kingdom of his own extending east of the Indus river, and he thus laid the foundation for the Muslim
Muslim
kingdom that became the Delhi Sultanate.[122] Some historians chronicle the Delhi
Delhi
Sultanate from 1192 due to the presence and geographical claims of Mu'izz al-Din in South
South
Asia
Asia
by that time.[128] The Delhi
Delhi
Sultanate covered varying parts of South
South
Asia, and was ruled by a series of dynasties, called Mamluk, Khalji, Tughlaq, Sayyid and Lodi dynasties. Muhammad bin Tughlaq came to power in 1325, launched a war of expansion and the Delhi
Delhi
Sultanate reached it largest geographical reach over the Indian subcontinent during his 26-year rule.[129] A Sunni Sultan, Muhammad bin Tughlaq persecuted non- Muslims
Muslims
such as Hindus, as well as non-Sunni Muslims
Muslims
such as Shia and Mahdi sects.[130][131][132] Revolts against the Delhi
Delhi
Sultanate sprang up in many parts of South Asia
Asia
during the 14th century. After the death of Muhammad bin Tughlaq, the Bengal Sultanate came to power in 1352 CE, as the Delhi
Delhi
Sultanate began disintegrating. The Bengal Sultanate remained in power through the early 16th century. It was reconquered by the armies of the Mughal Empire. The state religion of the Bengal Sultanate was Islam, and the region under its rule, a region that ultimately emerged as the modern nation of Bangladesh, saw a growth of a syncretic form of Islam.[133][134] In the Deccan region, the Hindu
Hindu
kingdom Vijayanagara Empire came to power in 1336 and remained in power through the 16th century, after which it too was reconquered and absorbed into the Mughal Empire.[135][136] About 1526, the Punjab
Punjab
governor Dawlat Khan Lodī reached out to the Mughal Babur
Babur
and invited him to attack Delhi
Delhi
Sultanate. Babur
Babur
defeated and killed Ibrahim Lodi in the Battle of Panipat in 1526. The death of Ibrahim Lodi ended the Delhi
Delhi
Sultanate, and the Mughal Empire
Mughal Empire
replaced it.[137] Modern era[edit] The modern history period of South
South
Asia, that is 16th-century onwards, witnessed the start of the Central Asian dynasty named the Mughals, with Turkish-Mongol roots and Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam
theology. The first ruler was Babur, whose empire extended the northwest and Indo-Gangetic Plain regions of South
South
Asia. The Deccan and northeastern region of the South Asia
Asia
was largely under Hindu
Hindu
kings such as those of Vijayanagara Empire and Ahom kingdom,[138] with some regions such as parts of modern Telangana
Telangana
and Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
under local Sultanates such as the Shia Islamic rulers of Golconda Sultanate.[139] The Mughal Empire
Mughal Empire
continued its wars of expansion after Babur's death. With the fall of Rajput kingdoms and Vijayanagara, its boundaries reached all of west, as well as the Marathi and Kannada
Kannada
speaking regions of the Deccan peninsula. The Mughal Empire
Mughal Empire
was marked by a period of artistic exchanges and a Central Asian and South
South
Asian architecture synthesis, with remarkable buildings such as the Taj Mahal.[140] It also marked an extended period of religious persecution.[141] Two of the religious leaders of Sikhism, Guru Arjan and Guru Tegh Bahadur
Guru Tegh Bahadur
were arrested under orders of the Mughal emperors, asked to convert to Islam, and executed when they refused.[142][143][144] Religious taxes on non- Muslims
Muslims
called jizya were imposed. Buddhist, Hindu
Hindu
and Sikh temples were desecrated. However, not all Muslim
Muslim
rulers persecuted non-Muslims. Akbar, a Mughal ruler for example, sought religious tolerance and abolished jizya.[145] After his death, the persecution of non- Muslims
Muslims
in South Asia
Asia
returned.[146] The persecution and religious violence in South Asia
Asia
peaked during Aurangzeb era, with him issuing orders in 1669, to all his governors of provinces to "destroy with a willing hand the schools and temples of the infidels, and that they were strictly enjoined to put an entire stop to the teaching and practice of idolatrous forms of worship".[147][148] In Aurangzeb's time, almost all of South
South
Asia
Asia
was claimed by the Mughal Empire. However, this claim was violently challenged in various regions of South
South
Asia, particularly by the Sikh Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh
in the northwest,[149] and by Shivaji
Shivaji
in the Deccan regions.[150] Maritime trading between South
South
Asia
Asia
and European merchants began after the Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama returned to Europe. After the death of Aurangzeb and the collapse of the Mughal Empire, the region came under the rule of many small Islamic sultanates and Hindu kingdoms. British, French, Portuguese colonial interests struck treaties with these rulers, and established their trading ports. In the northwest South
South
Asia, a large region was consolidated into the Sikh Empire by Ranjit Singh.[151][page needed][152] After his death, the British Empire
British Empire
expanded their interests till the Hindu
Hindu
Kush region. In the east, the Bengal region was split into Muslim
Muslim
East Bengal and Hindu
Hindu
West
West
Bengal, by the colonial British empire, in early 1900s, a split that was reversed. However, after the World War II, at the eve of India's independence, the region was split again into East Pakistan
Pakistan
and West
West
Bengal. East Pakistan
Pakistan
became Bangladesh
Bangladesh
in 1971.[153][154] Geography[edit] Further information: Geography of India, Geography of Pakistan, Geography of Afghanistan, Geography of Bangladesh, Geography of Bhutan, Geography of Sri Lanka, Geography of Nepal, and Geography of the Maldives

While South
South
Asia
Asia
had never been a coherent geopolitical region, it has a distinct geographical identity

The Indian subcontinent, and the Himalayas
Himalayas
on the northeast, is the result of the collision of the Indian Plate
Indian Plate
with the Eurasian Plate through tectonic activity between 20 and 50 million years ago.

According to Saul Cohen, early colonial era strategists treated South Asia
Asia
with East Asia, but in reality the South
South
Asia
Asia
region excluding Afghanistan
Afghanistan
is a distinct geopolitical region separated from other nearby geostrategic realms, one that is geographically diverse.[155] The region is home to a variety of geographical features, such as glaciers, rainforests, valleys, deserts, and grasslands that are typical of much larger continents. It is surrounded by three water bodies – the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
and the Arabian Sea – and has acutely varied climate zones. The tip of the Indian Peninsula
Peninsula
had the highest quality pearls.[156] Boundary[edit] The boundaries of South
South
Asia
Asia
vary based on how the region is defined. South
South
Asia's northern, eastern, and western boundaries vary based on definitions used, while the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
is the southern periphery. Most of this region rests on the Indian Plate
Indian Plate
and is isolated from the rest of Asia
Asia
by mountain barriers.[157][158] Much of the region consists of a peninsula in south-central Asia, rather resembling a diamond which is delineated by the Himalayas
Himalayas
on the north, the Hindu Kush in the west, and the Arakanese in the east,[159] and which extends southward into the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
with the Arabian Sea
Arabian Sea
to the southwest and the Bay of Bengal
Bay of Bengal
to the southeast.[30][32] According to Robert M. Cutler – a scholar of Political Science at Carleton University,[160] the terms South
South
Asia, Southwest Asia
Asia
and Central Asia
Asia
are distinct, but the confusion and disagreements have arisen due to the geopolitical movement to enlarge these regions into Greater South
South
Asia, Greater Southwest Asia
Asia
and Greater Central Asia. The frontier of Greater South
South
Asia, states Cutler, between 2001–2006 has been geopolitically extended to eastern Iran
Iran
and western Afghanistan
Afghanistan
in the west, and in the north to northeastern Iran, northern Afghanistan, and southern Uzbekistan.[160] Indian plate[edit] Main article: Indian plate Most of this region is a subcontinent resting on the Indian Plate, the northerly portion of the Indo-Australian Plate, separated from the rest of the Eurasian Plate. The Indian Plate
Indian Plate
includes most of South Asia, forming a land mass which extends from the Himalayas
Himalayas
into a portion of the basin under the Indian Ocean, including parts of South China
China
and Eastern Indonesia, as well as Kunlun and Karakoram ranges,[161][162][163][page needed] and extending up to but not including Ladakh, Kohistan, the Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
range and Balochistan.[164][165][166] It may be noted that geophysically the Yarlung Tsangpo River
Yarlung Tsangpo River
in Tibet
Tibet
is situated at the outside of the border of the Subcontinental structure, while the Pamir Mountains
Pamir Mountains
in Tajikistan
Tajikistan
are situated inside that border.[167] It was once a small continent before colliding with the Eurasian Plate about 50–55 million years ago and giving birth to the Himalayan range and the Tibetan plateau. It is the peninsular region south of the Himalayas
Himalayas
and Kuen Lun
Kuen Lun
mountain ranges and east of the Indus River and the Iranian Plateau, extending southward into the Indian Ocean between the Arabian Sea
Arabian Sea
(to the southwest) and the Bay of Bengal
Bay of Bengal
(to the southeast). Climate[edit]

South
South
Asia's Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
map[168] is based on native vegetation, temperature, precipitation and their seasonality.

  (Af) Tropical rainforest   (Am) Tropical monsoon   (Aw) Tropical savanna, wet & dry   (BWh) Hot desert   (BWk) Cold desert   (BSh) Hot semi arid   (BSk) Cold semi arid   (Csa) Mediterr. dry, hot summer   (Cwa) Subtropical humid summer, dry winter   (Cwb) Subtropical highland, dry winter   (Cfa) Subtropical humid summer (no dry)   (Dsa) Continental hot summer   (Dsb) Continental warm summer   (Dwb) Continental dry winter   (Dwc) Contin subarctic, dry winter

The climate of this vast region varies considerably from area to area from tropical monsoon in the south to temperate in the north. The variety is influenced by not only the altitude, but also by factors such as proximity to the sea coast and the seasonal impact of the monsoons. Southern parts are mostly hot in summers and receive rain during monsoon periods. The northern belt of Indo-Gangetic plains also is hot in summer, but cooler in winter. The mountainous north is colder and receives snowfall at higher altitudes of Himalayan ranges. As the Himalayas
Himalayas
block the north-Asian bitter cold winds, the temperatures are considerably moderate in the plains down below. For most part, the climate of the region is called the Monsoon
Monsoon
climate, which keeps the region humid during summer and dry during winter, and favours the cultivation of jute, tea, rice, and various vegetables in this region. South
South
Asia
Asia
is largely divided into four broad climate zones:[169]

The northern Indian edge and northern Pakistani uplands have a dry subtropical continental climate The far south of India
India
and southwest Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
have a equatorial climate Most of the peninsula have a tropical climate with variations:

Hot subtropical climate in northwest India Cool winter hot tropical climate in Bangladesh Tropical semi-arid climate in the center

The Himalayas
Himalayas
have an Alpine climate

Maximum relative humidity of over 80% has been recorded in Khasi and Jaintia Hills and Sri Lanka, while the area adjustment to Pakistan
Pakistan
and western India
India
records lower than 20%–30%.[169] Climate of South
South
Asia is largely characterized by monsoons. South
South
Asia
Asia
depends critically on monsoon rainfall.[170] Two monsoon systems exist in the region:[171]

The summer monsoon: Wind blows from southwest to most of parts of the region. It accounts for 70%–90% of the annual precipitation. The winter monsoon: Wind blows from northeast. Dominant in Sri Lanka and Maldives.

The warmest period of the year precedes the monsoon season (March to mid June). In the summer the low pressures are centered over the Indus-Gangetic Plain
Indus-Gangetic Plain
and high wind from the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
blows towards the center. The monsoons are second coolest season of the year because of high humidity and cloud covering. But, at the beginning of June the jetstreams vanish above the Tibetan Plateau, low pressure over the Indus Valley
Valley
deepens and the Intertropical Convergence Zone
Intertropical Convergence Zone
(ITCZ) moves in. The change is violent. Moderately vigorous monsoon depressions form in the Bay of Bengal
Bay of Bengal
and make landfall from June to September.[169] Statistical data[edit]

Country [172][172][173][174] Capital [174][175][176] Area (km2) [177] Population (2017)[178] Density (per km2) Nominal GDP (2017)[179] GDP per capita (2017)[180]

HDI (2016)[181]

 Afghanistan Kabul 652,864 34,169,169 53.3 $20.57 billion $559 0.479

 Bangladesh Dhaka 147,570 164,827,718 1,116.6 $248.85 billion $1,520 0.579

 Bhutan Thimphu 38,394 792,877 20.6 $2.31 billion $2,870 0.607

 India New Delhi 3,287,263 1,342,512,706 408.4 $2.450 trillion $1,850 0.624

 Maldives Malé 298 375,867 1,261.3 $3.58 billion $9,950 0.701

   Nepal Kathmandu 147,181 29,187,037 198.3 $24.64 bilion $866 0.558

 Pakistan Islamabad 881,913 207,774,520 223.1 $304.4 billion $1,629 0.550

 Sri Lanka Colombo 65,610 20,905,335 318.6 $84.02 billion $3,930 0.766

Total 5,221,093 1,800,545,229 - - - -

Past and Future Population[edit]

Main article: List of countries by past and future population

Main article: List of countries by future population (United Nations, medium fertility variant)

List of countries by past and future population provide 1950, 2000 and 2050 population while List of countries by future population (United Nations, medium fertility variant) provide 2100 population.

Rank Country Area 1950 2000 2050 2100

1  India 3,287,263 369,881,000 1,006,301,000 1,656,554,000 1,659,786,000

2  Pakistan 881,913 40,383,000 152,430,000 300,848,000 364,283,000

3  Bangladesh 147,570 45,646,000 132,151,000 201,249,000 169,541,000

4  Afghanistan 652,864 8,151,000 22,462,000 63,796,000 57,638,000

5    Nepal 147,181 8,990,000 24,819,000 45,985,000 29,677,000

6  Sri Lanka 65,610 7,534,000 19,042,000 25,167,000 14,857,000

7  Bhutan 38,394 164,000 606,000 952,000 793,000

8  Maldives 298 80,000 300,000 445,000 438,000

Total 5,221,093 480,829,000 1,358,111,000 2,294,996,000 2,297,013,000

Land and Water Area[edit]

Main article: Exclusive economic zone

Main article: Indian Ocean

This list includes dependent territories within their sovereign states (including uninhabited territories), but does not include claims on Antarctica. EEZ+TIA is exclusive economic zone (EEZ) plus total internal area (TIA) which includes land and internal waters.

Rank Country Area EEZ Shelf EEZ+TIA

1  India 3,287,263 2,305,143 402,996 5,592,406

2  Pakistan 881,913 290,000 51,383 1,117,911

3  Bangladesh 147,570 86,392 66,438 230,390

4  Afghanistan 652,864 0 0 652,864

5    Nepal 147,181 0 0 147,181

6  Sri Lanka 65,610 532,619 32,453 598,229

7  Bhutan 38,394 0 0 38,394

8  Maldives 298 923,322 34,538 923,622

Total 5,221,093 4,137,476 587,808 9,300,997

Regional groups of countries[edit]

Name of country/region, with flag Area (km2) Population Population density (per km2) Capital or Secretariat Currency Countries included Official languages Coat of Arms

Core Definition (above) of South
South
Asia 5,220,460 1,726,907,000 330.79 N/A N/A Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka N/A N/A

UNSD of South
South
Asia 6,778,083 1,702,000,000 270.77 N/A N/A Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka N/A N/A

SAARC 4,637,469 1,626,000,000 350.6 Kathmandu N/A Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka English N/A

BBIN 3,499,559 1,465,236,000 418.69 N/A N/A Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal N/A N/A

SASEC 3,565,467 1,485,909,931 416.75 N/A N/A Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives N/A N/A

Demographics[edit] The population of South
South
Asia
Asia
is about 1.749 billion which makes it the most populated region in the world.[182] It is socially very mixed, consisting of many language groups and religions, and social practices in one region that are vastly different from those in another.[183] Largest urban areas[edit] South
South
Asia
Asia
is home to some of the most populated cities in the world. Delhi, Karachi, Mumbai, and Dhaka
Dhaka
are four of the world's largest megacities.

Rank City Province/State Country Population[184] Area (km2)[184] Density (/km2)[184] Classification

1 Delhi National Capital Region  India 24,998,000 2,072 12,100 Capital region

2 Karachi Sindh  Pakistan 24,300,000[185][186] 945 23,400 Metropolis

3 Mumbai Maharashtra  India 17,712,000 546 32,400 Megacity

4 Dhaka Dhaka
Dhaka
Division  Bangladesh 15,669,000 360 43,500 City corporation

5 Kolkata West
West
Bengal  India 14,667,000 1,204 12,200 Megacity

6 Lahore Punjab  Pakistan 10,052,000 790 12,700 Metropolis

7 Bengaluru Karnataka  India 9,807,000 1,116 8,400 Metropolis

8 Chennai Tamil Nadu  India 9,714,000 375 25,900 Metropolis

9 Hyderabad Telangana  India 8,754,000 971 10,000 Metropolis

10 Ahmedabad Gujarat  India 7,186,000 464 20,600 Metropolis

Languages[edit] Main article: Languages of South
South
Asia

Ethno-linguistic distribution map of South
South
Asia.

There are numerous languages in South
South
Asia. The spoken languages of the region are largely based on geography and shared across religious boundaries, but the written script is sharply divided by religious boundaries. In particular, Muslims
Muslims
of South
South
Asia
Asia
such as in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and Pakistan
Pakistan
use the Arabic alphabet
Arabic alphabet
and Persian Nastaliq. Till 1971, Muslim
Muslim
Bangladesh
Bangladesh
(then known as East Pakistan) too mandated only the Nastaliq script, but thereafter has adopted regional scripts and particularly Bengali. Non- Muslims
Muslims
of South
South
Asia, and some Muslims
Muslims
in India, on the other hand use their traditional ancient heritage scripts such as those derived from Brahmi script
Brahmi script
for Indo-European languages and non-Brahmi scripts for Dravidian languages and others.[187] The Nagari script
Nagari script
has been the primus inter pares of the traditional South
South
Asian scripts.[188] The Devanagari
Devanagari
script is used for over 120 South
South
Asian languages,[189] including Hindi,[190] Marathi, Nepali, Pali, Konkani, Bodo, Sindhi and Maithili among other languages and dialects, making it one of the most used and adopted writing systems in the world.[191] The Devanagari
Devanagari
script is also used for classical Sanskrit
Sanskrit
texts.[189] The largest spoken language in this region is Hindi, followed by Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Gujarati and Punjabi.[187] In the modern era, new syncretic languages developed in the region such as Urdu
Urdu
that is used by Muslim
Muslim
community of northern Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
(particularly Pakistan
Pakistan
and northern states of India).[192] The Punjabi language spans three religions: Islam, Hinduism
Hinduism
and Sikhism. The spoken language is similar, but it is written in three scripts. The Sikh use Gurmukhi alphabet, Muslim
Muslim
Punjabis in Pakistan
Pakistan
use the Nastaliq script, while Hindu
Hindu
Punjabis in India
India
use the Gurmukhi or Nāgarī script. The Gurmukhi and Nagari scripts are distinct but close in their structure, but the Persian Nastaliq script is very different.[193] English, with British spelling, is commonly used in urban areas and is a major economic lingua franca of South
South
Asia.[194] Religions[edit] Main articles: Hinduism
Hinduism
in India, Islam
Islam
in South
South
Asia, and Christianity in India

A map of major denominations and religions of the world

In 2010, South
South
Asia
Asia
had the world's largest population of Hindus, Jains and Sikhs,[12] about 510 million Muslims,[12] as well as over 25 million Buddhists
Buddhists
and 35 million Christians.[14] Hindus
Hindus
make up about 68 percent or about 1 billion and Muslims
Muslims
at 31 percent or 510 million of the overall South
South
Asia
Asia
population,[195][196] while Buddhists, Jains, Christians
Christians
and Sikhs
Sikhs
constitute most of the rest. The Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs
Sikhs
and Christians
Christians
are concentrated in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
and Bhutan, while the Muslims
Muslims
are concentrated in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
(99%), Bangladesh
Bangladesh
(90%), Pakistan
Pakistan
(96%) and Maldives (100%).[12] Indian religions
Indian religions
are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent; namely Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism
Buddhism
and Sikhism.[197] The Indian religions
Indian religions
are distinct yet share terminology, concepts, goals and ideas, and from the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
spread into East Asia
Asia
and southeast Asia.[197] Early Christianity and Islam
Islam
were introduced into coastal regions of South
South
Asia
Asia
by merchants who settled among the local populations. Later Sindh, Balochistan, and parts of the Punjab
Punjab
region saw conquest by the Arab caliphates along with an influx of Muslims from Persia and Central Asia, which resulted in spread of both Shia and Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam
in parts of northwestern region of South
South
Asia. Subsequently, under the influence of Muslim
Muslim
rulers of the Islamic sultanates and the Mughal Empire, Islam
Islam
spread in South Asia.[198][199]

Afghanistan[200] Islam
Islam
(99%), Hinduism, Sikhism
Sikhism
and Christianity (1%)

Bangladesh[201] Islam
Islam
(90%), Hinduism
Hinduism
(9%), Buddhism
Buddhism
(0.6%), Christianity (0.3%), Others (0.1%)

Bhutan[202] Buddhism
Buddhism
(75%), Hinduism
Hinduism
(25%)

India[202][203] Hinduism
Hinduism
(79.8%), Islam
Islam
(14.5%), Christianity (2.3%), Sikhism
Sikhism
(1.7%), Buddhism
Buddhism
(0.7%), Jainism
Jainism
(0.4%), Others (0.9%)

Maldives[204] Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam
(100%) (One must be a Sunni Muslim
Muslim
to be a citizen on the Maldives[205][206])

Nepal[207] Hinduism
Hinduism
(82%), Buddhism
Buddhism
(9.0%), Islam
Islam
(4.4%), Kirat (3.1%), Christianity (1.4%), Others (0.8%)

Pakistan[208] Islam
Islam
(96.28%), Hinduism
Hinduism
(2%), Christianity (1.59%), Ahmaddiyya (0.22%)

Sri Lanka[209] Buddhism
Buddhism
(70.19%), Hinduism
Hinduism
(12.61%), Islam
Islam
(9.71%), Christianity (7.45%).

Further information: Religion in Afghanistan, Religion in Bangladesh, Religion in Bhutan, Religion in India, Religion in Nepal, Religion in Pakistan, and Religion in Sri Lanka Economy[edit] Further information: Economy of Afghanistan, Economy of Bangladesh, Economy of India, Economy of Nepal, Economy of Pakistan, and Economy of Sri Lanka

Countries under the South
South
Asian Free Trade Area

India
India
is the largest and fastest growing economy in the region (US$2.180 trillion) and makes up almost 82% of the South
South
Asian economy; it is the world's 7th largest in nominal terms and 3rd largest by purchasing power adjusted exchange rates (US$8.020 trillion).[210] India
India
is the only member of powerful G-20 major economies and BRICS
BRICS
from the region. It is the fastest growing major economy in the world and one of the world's fastest registering a growth of 7.3% in FY 2014–15. Pakistan
Pakistan
has the next largest economy($304.3 billion) and the 5th highest GDP per capita in the region,[211] followed by Bangladesh
Bangladesh
and then by Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
which has the 2nd highest per capita and is the 4th largest economy in the region. According to a World Bank
World Bank
report in 2015, driven by a strong expansion in India, coupled with favorable oil prices, from the last quarter of 2014 South
South
Asia
Asia
become the fastest-growing region in the world[212] The Major Market stock exchanges in the region are Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) with market Capitalization of $1.68 trillion (11th largest in the world), National Stock Exchange of India
India
(NSE) with market capitalization of $1.64 trillion (12th largest in the world), and Karachi
Karachi
Stock Exchange with market capitalization of $60 billion.[213] Economic data is sourced from the International Monetary Fund, current as of April 2017, and is given in US dollars.[214]

Country [172][172][173][174] Currency Population (2017)[178] Nominal GDP (2017)[179] GDP per capita (2017)[180]

GDP growth (2017)[215]

Inflation (2017)[216]

 Afghanistan ؋ Afghani 34,169,169 $20.57 billion $559 3% 6%

 Bangladesh ৳ Taka 164,827,718 $248.85 billion $1,520 6.9% 6.4%

 Bhutan Nu. Ngultrum 792,877 $2.31 billion $2,870 5.9% 4.1%

 India ₹ Rupee 1,342,512,706 $2.450 trillion $1,850 7.2% 4.8%

 Maldives ރ Rufiyaa 375,867 $3.58 billion $9,950 4.1% 2.5%

   Nepal रु Rupee 29,187,037 $24.64 billion $865 7.7% 6.7%

 Pakistan ₨ Rupee 207,774,520 $304.4 billion $1,629 5% 4.3%

 Sri Lanka රු/ரூ Rupee 20,905,335 $84.02 billion $3,930 4.5% 5.8%

Health and nutrition[edit]

Afghanistan Bangladesh Bhutan India Maldives Nepal Pakistan Sri Lanka

Population undernourished (2015)[217] 26.8% 16.4% N/A 15.2% 5.2% 7.8% 22% 22%

Population below poverty line (CIA Factbook)[218] 35.8% 31.5% 12% 29.8% 16% 25.2% 22.3% 8.9%

According to WHO, South
South
Asia
Asia
is home to two out of the three countries in the world still affected by polio, Pakistan
Pakistan
and Afghanistan, with 306 & 28 polio cases registered in 2014 respectively.[219] Attempts to eradicate polio have been badly hit by opposition from militants in both countries, who say the program is cover to spy on their operations. Their attacks on immunization teams have claimed 78 lives since December 2012.[220] According to the World Bank's 2011 report, based on 2005 ICP PPP, about 24.6% of the South
South
Asian population falls below the international poverty line of $1.25/day.[221] Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and Bangladesh
Bangladesh
rank the highest, with 30.6% and 43.3% of their respective populations below the poverty line. Bhutan, Maldives
Maldives
and Sri Lanka have the lowest number of people below the poverty line, with 2.4%, 1.5% and 4.1% respectively. India
India
has lifted the most people in the region above the poverty line between 2008 and 2011, around 140 million. As of 2011, 21.9% of India's population lives below the poverty line, compared to 41.6% in 2005.[222][223] The World Bank
World Bank
estimates that India
India
is one of the highest ranking countries in the world for the number of children suffering from malnutrition. The prevalence of underweight children in India
India
is among the highest in the world, and is nearly double that of Sub Saharan Africa
Africa
with dire consequences for mobility, mortality, productivity and economic growth.[224] According to the World Bank, 70% of the South
South
Asian population and about 75% of South
South
Asia's poor live in rural areas and most rely on agriculture for their livelihood[225] according to the UN's Food and Agricultural Organisation. In 2015, approximately 281 million people in the region were malnourished. The report says that Nepal
Nepal
reached both the WFS target as well as MDG and is moving towards bringing down the number of undernourished people to less than 5% of the population.[217] Bangladesh
Bangladesh
reached the MDG target with the National Food Policy framework – with only 16.5% of the population undernourished. In India, the malnourished comprise just over 15 percent of the population. While the number of malnourished people in neighborhood has shown a decline over the last 25 years, the number of under-nourished in Pakistan
Pakistan
displays an upward trend.There were 28.7 million hungry in Pakistan
Pakistan
in the 1990s – a number that has steadily increased to 41.3 million in 2015 with 22% of the population malnourished. Approximately 194.6 million people are undernourished in India, which accounts for the highest number of people suffering from hunger in any single country.[217][226] The 2006 report stated "the low status of women in South
South
Asian countries and their lack of nutritional knowledge are important determinants of high prevalence of underweight children in the region". Corruption and the lack of initiative on the part of the government has been one of the major problems associated with nutrition in India. Illiteracy in villages has been found to be one of the major issues that need more government attention. The report mentioned that although there has been a reduction in malnutrition due to the Green Revolution
Green Revolution
in South
South
Asia, there is concern that South Asia
Asia
has "inadequate feeding and caring practices for young children".[227] Governance[edit] See also: List of legislatures in South
South
Asia

Country Capital Forms of government Head of state Head of government Legislature Official language Coat of arms/ National Emblems

 Afghanistan Kabul Unitary presidential Islamic republic

President

House of Elders, House of the People Pashto, Dari

 Bangladesh Dhaka Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic President Prime Minister Jatiya Sangsad Bengali

 Bhutan Thimphu Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy King Prime Minister National Council, National Assembly Dzongkha

 India New Delhi Federal parliamentary constitutional republic President Prime Minister Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha Hindi, English

 Maldives Malé Unitary presidential constitutional republic

President

People's Majlis Dhivehi

   Nepal Kathmandu Federal parliamentary constitutional republic President Prime Minister National Assembly, House of Representatives Nepali

 Pakistan Islamabad Federal parliamentary Islamic republic President Prime Minister Senate, National Assembly Urdu, English

 Sri Lanka Colombo Unitary semi-presidential constitutional republic President Prime Minister Parliament Sinhalese, Tamil, English

Countries and territories from extended definitions[edit]

Country
Country
or region Capital Administrative division type Head of government Area (km2) Population Official language Coat of arms

British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory Diego Garcia British Overseas Territory Commissioner 54,400 2,500 English

 Myanmar Naypyidaw Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic State Counsellor 676,578 51,486,253 Burmese

Tibet
Tibet
Autonomous Region Lhasa Autonomous Region
Region
of China Chairman 1,228,400 3,180,000 Tibetan, Mandarin

India[228][229][230] and Pakistan[231][232] are the dominant political powers in the region. India
India
is by far the largest country in the area covering around three-fourths the land area of the subcontinent.[citation needed] India
India
has the largest population of around three times the combined population of the 6 other countries in the subcontinent.[233] India
India
is also the world's largest democracy[234] India's annual defence budget for 2013–14 is $39.2 Billion[235] which is equal to the whole Pakistan's Federal budget of $39.3 billion for 2014–15.[236] Bangladesh
Bangladesh
is a unitary state and parliamentary democracy.[237] Bangladesh
Bangladesh
also stands out as one of the few Muslim-majority democracies. “It is a moderate and generally secular and tolerant — though sometimes this is getting stretched at the moment — alternative to violent extremism in a very troubled part of the world”, said Dan Mozena, the U.S. ambassador to Bangladesh. Although Bangladesh's legal code is secular, more citizens are embracing a conservative version of Islam, with some pushing for sharia law, analysts say. Experts say that the rise in conservatism reflects the influence of foreign-financed Islamic charities and the more austere version of Islam
Islam
brought home by migrant workers in Persian Gulf countries.[238] Diplomacy among the countries of South
South
Asia
Asia
has been mainly driven by populist politics, with the centre-stage taken by India-Pakistan conflict ever since their independence in 1947, and then the creation of Bangladesh
Bangladesh
under tense circumstances in 1971. During the height of Cold war, the elite political leaders of Pakistan
Pakistan
aligned with the US, while India
India
played crucial role in forming the Non-Aligned Movement and while maintaining goodwill relations with the USSR. Pakistan's governance is one of the most conflicted in the region. The military rule and the unstable government in Pakistan
Pakistan
has become a concern for the South
South
Asian region. In Nepal, the governance has struggled to come in the side of democracy and it only showed signs in the recent past, basically in the 21st century, to support the democratic system. The political situation in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
has been dominated by an increasingly assertive Sinhalese nationalism, and the emergence of a Tamil separatist movement under LTTE, which was suppressed in May 2009. Myanmar's politics is dominated by a military Junta, which has sidelined the democratic forces led by Aung San Suu Kyi.

Governance and education index rankings of South
South
Asian countries

Afghanistan Bangladesh Bhutan India Maldives Nepal Pakistan Sri Lanka

Inequality-adjusted HDI (2016)[239] (global ranking of 187) 166 141 135 127 114 142 149 65

Corruption Perception Index (2016)[240] (global ranking of 168) 169 145 27 79 95 131 116 95

The Worldwide Governance Indicators (2015)[241]

Government Effectiveness 8% 24% 68% 56% 41% 13% 27% 53%

Political stability and absence of violence/terrorism

1% 11% 89% 17% 61% 16% 1% 47%

Rule of law 2% 27% 70% 56% 35% 27% 24% 60%

Voice and accountability 16% 31% 46% 61% 30% 33% 27% 36%

Population below poverty line (2011)[242] 35.8% 31.5% 23.7% 21.9% 16% 25.2% 21.4% 8.9%

Primary School Enrollment[243] 29% 90% 85% 92% 94% 96% 73% 98%

Secondary School Enrollment[244] 49% 54% 78% 68% N/A 72% 38% 96%

See also[edit]

South
South
Asia
Asia
portal Asia
Asia
portal

Genetics and archaeogenetics of South
South
Asia Indian subcontinent List of tallest buildings and structures in South
South
Asia South
South
Asia
Asia
Disaster Report South
South
Asian cuisine

Notes[edit]

^ According to the UN cartographic section website disclaimers, "DESIGNATIONS USED: The depiction and use of boundaries, geographic names and related data shown on maps and included in lists, tables, documents, and databases on this web site are not warranted to be error free nor do they necessarily imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations."[15] ^ Doniger 2010, p. 66: "Much of what we now call Hinduism
Hinduism
may have had roots in cultures that thrived in South
South
Asia
Asia
long before the creation of textual evidence that we can decipher with any confidence. Remarkable cave paintings have been preserved from Mesolithic sites dating from c. 30,000 BCE in Bhimbetka, near present-day Bhopal, in the Vindhya Mountains in the province of Madhya Pradesh." ^ Jones & Ryan 2006, p. xvii: "Some practices of Hinduism must have originated in Neolithic times (c. 4000 BCE). The worship of certain plants and animals as sacred, for instance, could very likely have very great antiquity. The worship of goddesses, too, a part of Hinduism
Hinduism
today, may be a feature that originated in the Neolithic." ^ Michaels: "They called themselves arya ("Aryans," literally "the hospitable," from the Vedic arya, "homey, the hospitable") but even in the Rgveda, arya denotes a cultural and linguistic boundary and not only a racial one."[90]

References[edit]

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South
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Asia
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South
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South
Asia
Asia
occupies 2.4% of the world land mass and is home to 16.5% of the world population...." ^ "Asia" > Overview. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online, 2009: "The Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
is home to a vast diversity of peoples, most of whom speak languages from the Indo-Aryan subgroup of the Indo-European family." ^ "Indian Subcontinent". Encyclopedia of Modern Asia. Macmillan Reference USA (Gale Group), 2006: "The area is divided between five major nation-states, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan
Pakistan
and Sri Lanka, and includes as well the two small nations of Bhutan
Bhutan
and the Maldives Republic... The total area can be estimated at 4.4 million square kilometres, or exactly 10 percent of the land surface of Asia... In 2000, the total population was about 22 percent of the world's population and 34 percent of the population of Asia." ^ a b c d "Region: Asia-Pacific". 27 January 2011.  ^ "10 Countries With the Largest Muslim
Muslim
Populations, 2010 and 2050". Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project. 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2017-02-07.  ^ a b Religion population totals in 2010 by Country
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United Nations
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– Religion, countrystudies.us ^ "NEPAL" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-08-23.  ^ "Population by religions" (PDF). Statistics Division of the Government of Pakistan. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 June 2006.  ^ "Table 1". Web.archive.org. 2007-05-13. Archived from the original on 2007-05-13. Retrieved 2010-08-23.  ^ "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". www.imf.org.  ^ "Welcome to WorldBank Group". World Bank. Retrieved 2010-08-23.  ^ " South
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Hindu
Temple: An Introduction to Its Meaning and Forms, University of Chicago Press, ISBN 9780226532301  Possehl, Gregory L. (11 November 2002), "Indus religion", The Indus Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective, Rowman Altamira, pp. 141–156, ISBN 978-0-7591-1642-9  Ramstedt, Martin (2004). Hinduism
Hinduism
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Kur-Araz Lowland Lankaran Lowland Alborz Absheron Peninsula

Anatolia Cilicia Cappadocia Alpide belt

South

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America

East

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North

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South
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West
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South

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West

Andes

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West
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Arctic
Arctic
Ocean

Amundsen Gulf Barents Sea Beaufort Sea Chukchi Sea East Siberian Sea Greenland
Greenland
Sea Gulf of Boothia Kara Sea Laptev Sea Lincoln Sea Prince Gustav Adolf Sea Pechora Sea Queen Victoria Sea Wandel Sea White Sea

Atlantic Ocean

Adriatic Sea Aegean Sea Alboran Sea Archipelago
Archipelago
Sea Argentine Sea Baffin Bay Balearic Sea Baltic Sea Bay of Biscay Bay of Bothnia Bay of Campeche Bay of Fundy Black Sea Bothnian Sea Caribbean Sea Celtic Sea English Channel Foxe Basin Greenland
Greenland
Sea Gulf of Bothnia Gulf of Finland Gulf of Lion Gulf of Guinea Gulf of Maine Gulf of Mexico Gulf of Saint Lawrence Gulf of Sidra Gulf of Venezuela Hudson Bay Ionian Sea Irish Sea Irminger Sea James Bay Labrador Sea Levantine Sea Libyan Sea Ligurian Sea Marmara Sea Mediterranean Sea Myrtoan Sea North Sea Norwegian Sea Sargasso Sea Sea of Åland Sea of Azov Sea of Crete Sea of the Hebrides Thracian Sea Tyrrhenian Sea Wadden Sea

Indian Ocean

Andaman Sea Arabian Sea Bali Sea Bay of Bengal Flores Sea Great Australian Bight Gulf of Aden Gulf of Aqaba Gulf of Khambhat Gulf of Kutch Gulf of Oman Gulf of Suez Java Sea Laccadive Sea Mozambique Channel Persian Gulf Red Sea Timor
Timor
Sea

Pacific Ocean

Arafura Sea Banda Sea Bering Sea Bismarck Sea Bohai Sea Bohol Sea Camotes Sea Celebes Sea Ceram Sea Chilean Sea Coral Sea East China
China
Sea Gulf of Alaska Gulf of Anadyr Gulf of California Gulf of Carpentaria Gulf of Fonseca Gulf of Panama Gulf of Thailand Gulf of Tonkin Halmahera Sea Koro Sea Mar de Grau Molucca Sea Moro Gulf Philippine Sea Salish Sea Savu Sea Sea of Japan Sea of Okhotsk Seto Inland Sea Shantar Sea Sibuyan Sea Solomon Sea South
South
China
China
Sea Sulu Sea Tasman Sea Visayan Sea Yellow Sea

Southern Ocean

Amundsen Sea Bellingshausen Sea Cooperation Sea Cosmonauts Sea Davis Sea D'Urville Sea King Haakon VII Sea Lazarev Sea Mawson Sea Riiser-Larsen Sea Ross Sea Scotia Sea Somov Sea Weddell Sea

Landlocked seas

Aral Sea Caspian Sea Dead Sea Salton Sea

  Book   Category

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Geography of South
South
Asia

Mountains and plateaus

Himalayas

Mount Everest

Western Ghats Eastern Ghats Aravalli Range Nilgiris Vindhya Range Satpura Range Garo Hills Shivalik Hills Mahabharat Range Khasi Hills Anaimalai Hills Cardamom Hills Sulaiman Mountains Toba Kakar Range Karakoram Hindu
Hindu
Kush Chittagong Hill Tracts Deccan Plateau Thar Desert Makran Chota Nagpur Naga Hills Mysore Plateau Ladakh
Ladakh
Plateau Gandhamardan Hills Malwa

Lowlands and islands

Indo-Gangetic plain Doab Indus Valley Indus River
Indus River
Delta Ganges Basin Ganges Delta Terai Atolls of the Maldives Coromandel Coast Konkan Lakshadweep Andaman and Nicobar Islands Sundarbans Reserve Forest Greater Rann of Kutch Little Rann of Kutch Protected areas in Tamil Nadu

By country

India Pakistan Nepal Bhutan Sri Lanka Bangladesh Maldives Afghanistan

v t e

Major languages of South
South
Asia

Main articles

Languages of India

list by number of speakers scheduled

Languages of Pakistan Languages of Bangladesh Languages of Bhutan Languages of the Maldives Languages of Nepal Languages of Sri Lanka

Contemporary languages

Austronesian

Sri Lankan Creole Malay

Dravidian

Brahui Jeseri Kannada Malayalam Tamil Telugu Tulu

Indo-Aryan

Angika Assamese Bhojpuri Bengali Chakma Chittagonian Dhivehi Dogri Gujarati Hindi Hindko Kashmiri Konkani Kumaoni Magahi Mahal Maithili Marathi Nepali Odia Punjabi Sanskrit Saraiki Sindhi Sinhala Sylheti Rajasthani language Urdu

Iranian

Balochi Pashto Wakhi

Isolates

Great Andamanese Burushaski Nihali Kusunda

Mon–Khmer

Khasi Nicobarese

Munda

Ho Korku Mundari Santali Sora

Ongan

Önge Jarawa

Tibeto-Burman

Ao Bodo Dzongkha Garo Meithei Mizo Nepal
Nepal
Bhasa Sikkimese Tenyidie Tibetan Tripuri

European influence

English

Indian English Pakistani English Sri Lankan English

French Portuguese

Scripts

Historical

Indus (Undeciphered) Brahmi (Abugida) Kharosthi

Brahmic

Devanagari Bengali Gujarati Gurmukhī Malayalam Kannada Odia Ranjana Sinhala Tamil Telugu

European

Latin alphabet

Arabic

Arwi Nastaʿlīq Shahmukhi Arabi Malayalam

Language activism

Hela Havula Bengali Language Movement Sanskrit
Sanskrit
revival Pure Tamil movement Nepal
Nepal
Bhasa movement Punjabi Language Movement Urdu
Urdu
movement

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 254470885 GND: 40584

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