Origin of Saarc
The SAARC or South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation is an organization of South Asian Nations established on Dec 8, 1985. It is established for the promotion of economic and social progress, cultural development within its members.
The members are India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. In April 2007, Afghanistan joined this association. The primary aim is to increase the process of economic and social development of its member states. Its first summit was held in Dhaka in 1985 and its secretariat is in Kathmandu(Nepal).
It meets once in two years and was recently held in 2018 in Sri Lanka. Saarc comprises 3% of the area of the world and 21% of the world’s population and its economy is 4.21% of the economy of the world as of 2019.
Functions of SAARC
Maintenance of Cooperation in the region, Prevention of common problems between the associate nations, Improving the relationship between member nations. Removal of poverty through various programmes, Prevention of terrorism in its regions, etc
SAPTA (SAARC Preferential Trading Agreement), for reduction of Tariff and non-traffic barriers on imports. Establishing technical committees for economic cooperation between its members in the field of Education, Health, Agriculture, etc.
Poverty reduction through various programmes passed in its member nation, a three-tier mechanism established for exchanging information. SAIC (SAARC Agricultural Information centre) was established in 1988, for fisheries, forestry, and agriculture, etc.
SADF(South Asian Development Fund) for Human Resource Development and infrastructure projects.