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South Asia's northern, eastern, and western boundaries vary based on definitions used, while the Indian Ocean is the southern periphery. Most of this region rests on the Indian Plate and is isolated from the rest of Asia by mountain barriers. According to Robert M. The frontier of Greater South Asia, states Cutler, between — has been geopolitically extended to eastern Iran and western Afghanistan in the west, and in the north to northeastern Iran, northern Afghanistan, and southern Uzbekistan.

Most of this region is resting on the Indian Plate , the northerly portion of the Indo-Australian Plate , separated from the rest of the Eurasian Plate.

South Asian Resources at Yale Library: Ethnomusicology - South Asia

The Indian Plate includes most of South Asia, forming a land mass which extends from the Himalayas into a portion of the basin under the Indian Ocean , including parts of South China and Eastern Indonesia , as well as Kunlun and Karakoram ranges, [] [] and extending up to but not including Ladakh , Kohistan , the Hindu Kush range and Balochistan. 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 and Kuen Lun mountain ranges and east of the Indus River and the Iranian Plateau , extending southward into the Indian Ocean between the Arabian Sea to the southwest and the Bay of Bengal to the southeast.

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.

South Asia

The mountainous north is colder and receives snowfall at higher altitudes of Himalayan ranges. As the 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 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 Asia is largely divided into four broad climate zones: []. South Asia depends critically on monsoon rainfall. 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 and high wind from the Indian Ocean blows towards the center. The monsoons are second coolest season of the year because of high humidity and cloud covering.

The change is violent. Moderately vigorous monsoon depressions form in the Bay of Bengal and make landfall from June to September. Below is the latest general statistical data for South Asian nations. Their total population, area and GDPs have been cited along with their shares of percentage of this attribute of total South Asia in bracket. Republic of India accounts for most of landmass, population and GDP and hence, heavily influences average of South Asian development attributes.

Sri Lanka and Maldives are leaders in the region in terms of Human Development Index and GDP per capita while Afghanistan scores lowest in terms of both the attributes in the region. Population of South Asian countries in , , , , , and projection from the United Nations.

Education Development after Independence

The population projections use medium fertility index. With India and Bangladesh approaching replacement rates fast, population growth in South Asia is facing steep decline and may turn negative in mid 21st century. Population is given in thousands. This list includes dependent territories within their sovereign states including uninhabited territories , but does not include claims on Antarctica.

The population of South Asia is about 1. South Asia is home to some of the most populated cities in the world. Dhaka , Delhi , Mumbai and Karachi are four of the world's largest megacities.

There are numerous languages in 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. Till , Muslim Bangladesh then known as East Pakistan too mandated only the Nastaliq script, but thereafter has adopted regional scripts and particularly Bengali. Non-Muslims of South Asia, and some Muslims in India, on the other hand use their traditional ancient heritage scripts such as those derived from Brahmi script for Indo-European languages and non-Brahmi scripts for Dravidian languages and others.

The Nagari script has been the primus inter pares of the traditional South Asian scripts. The spoken language is similar, but it is written in three scripts. The Gurmukhi and Nagari scripts are distinct but close in their structure, but the Persian Nastaliq script is very different. English, with British spelling, is commonly used in urban areas and is a major economic lingua franca of South Asia. In , South Asia had the world's largest population of Hindus , Jains and Sikhs , [9] about million Muslims , [9] as well as over 25 million Buddhists and 35 million Christians.

Indian religions are the religions that originated in the India; namely Hinduism , Jainism , Buddhism and Sikhism. Later Sindh , Balochistan , and parts of the 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 in parts of northwestern region of South Asia.

It is the fastest growing major economy in the world and one of the world's fastest registering a growth of 7. It has the fastest GDP growth rate in Asia. It is one of the emerging and growth-leading economies of the world and It is also listed among the Next Eleven countries. It is also one of the fastest growing middle-income countries. Then by Sri Lanka which has the 2nd highest per capita and is the 4th largest economy in the region.

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According to a World Bank report in , driven by a strong expansion in India, coupled with favorable oil prices, from the last quarter of South Asia become the fastest-growing region in the world []. Their attacks on immunization teams have claimed 78 lives since December Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka have the lowest number of people below the poverty line, with 2. India has lifted the most people in the region above the poverty line between and , around million. As of , The World Bank estimates that 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 is among the highest in the world, and is nearly double that of Sub Saharan Africa with dire consequences for mobility, mortality, productivity and economic growth. In , approximately million people in the region were malnourished. 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 displays an upward trend.

There were Approximately The report stated "the low status of women in 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 in South Asia, there is concern that South Asia has "inadequate feeding and caring practices for young children".

India [] [] [] and Pakistan [] [] are the dominant political powers in the region. India is by far the largest country in the area covering around three-fourths the land area of the South Asian region. Bangladesh is a unitary state and parliamentary democracy. 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 brought home by migrant workers in Persian Gulf countries.

Diplomacy among the countries of South Asia has been mainly driven by populist politics , with the centre-stage taken by India - Pakistan conflict ever since their independence in , and then the creation of Bangladesh under tense circumstances in Pakistan's governance is one of the most conflicted in the region.

The military rule and the unstable government in Pakistan has become a concern for the 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 has been dominated by an increasingly assertive Sinhalese nationalism, and the emergence of a Tamil separatist movement under LTTE , which was suppressed in May Myanmar 's politics is dominated by a military Junta , which has sidelined the democratic forces led by Aung San Suu Kyi.

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