South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)


The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation is an intergovernmental organization for the development of economic and regional integration.

  • SAARC was established with the signing of the SAARC Charter in Dhaka on 8th December 1985.
  • Member states: SAARC comprises of eight Member States: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
  • The Secretariat of the Association was set up in Kathmandu.
  • Objectives: The objectives of the Association as outlined in the SAARC Charter are:
    • to promote the welfare of the peoples of South Asia and to improve their quality of life.
    • to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region.
    • to provide all individuals the opportunity to live in dignity and to realize their full potentials
    • to promote and strengthen collective self-reliance among the countries of South Asia
    • to contribute to mutual trust, understanding and appreciation of one another’s problems
    • to promote active collaboration and mutual assistance in the economic, social, cultural, technical and scientific fields
    • to strengthen cooperation among themselves and with other developing countries
    • to cooperate with international and regional organizations with similar aims and purposes.
  • Decisions at all levels are taken on the basis of unanimity
  • Bilateral and contentious issues are excluded from the deliberations of the Association.

SAARC bodies

SAARC has established various specialized bodies like

  1. South Asian University (SAU)
  2. South Asian Regional Standards Organization (SARSO)
  3. SAARC Development Fund (SDF)
  4. SAARC Arbitration Council (SARCO)

SAARC satellite for South Asia

ISRO successfully launched the South Asia Satellite (GSAT-9) in 2017. South Asia Satellite is a communication satellite built by ISRO to provide a variety of communication services over the South Asian region.  For this, it is equipped with Ku-band transponders

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