Image-in-Asian Television, Magazine and Cyberland are enjoyed by people from all parts of the world -- at least that's what we hear ;-) -- but our focus is on the following South Asian countries:

Please note: Some of the information (eg: heads of states) may not be up to date. (Hey, they keep changing them!)
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Bangladesh Bhutan India Nepal Pakistan Sri Lanka

  B A N G L A D E S H
  GEOGRAPHY

Location:

At the head of the Bay of Bengal, almost completely surrounded by India.

Total area:

144,000 sq. km.

Neighbors:

India and Burma.

Climate:

tropical; cool, dry winter (October to March); hot, humid summer (March to June); cool, rainy monsoon (June to October).

Terrain:

Mostly flat alluvial plain; hilly in southeast.

Natural resources:

natural gas, arable land, timber.
  PEOPLE

Population:

126,000,000.

Life expectancy at birth:

55 years.

Nationality:

Bangladesh. Ethnic divisions; Bengali 98%, Biharis 250,000, tribals less than one million. Religions: Muslim 83%, Hindu 16%, Buddhist, Christian, other 1%.

Languages:

Bangla (official), English. Literacy: 35%.

Labor force:

agriculture 65%, services 21%, industry and mining 14% (1989).
  GOVERNMENT

Type:

Republic.

capital:

Dhaka.

Chief of state:

President; Professor Dr Iajuddin Ahamed.
Head of government: Prime minister; Begum Khaleda Zia.
  ECONOMY

National product per capita:

$1000 (1993).

External debt:

$13.5 billion (1993).

Industries:

Jute manufacturing, cotton textiles, food processing, steel fertilizer.

Agriculture:

World's largest exporter of jute; commercial products: jute, rice, wheat, tea, sugar cane, potatoes, beef, milk, poultry.

Currency:

1 taka (Tk)=100 poiska.

Exchange:

taka (Tk) per US$1-51.61.
   
  B H U T A N
  GEOGRAPHY

Location:

Between China and India, in the Himalayas.

Total area:

47,000 sq km.

Neighbors:

India and China.
  PEOPLE

Population:

800,000.

Life expectancy at birth:

50 years.

Nationality:

Bhutanese.

Ethnic divisions:

Bhote 50%, ethnic Nepalese 35%, indigenous 15%.

Religions:

Lamaistic Buddhism 75%, Hinduism 25%.

Languages:

Dzongkha (official), Bhotes speak various Tibetan dialects; Nepalese speak various Nepalese dialects.

Labor force:

agriculture 93%, services 5%, industry and commerce 2%.
  GOVERNMENT

Type:

monarchy; special treaty relationship with India.

Capital:

Thimphu.

Chief of State and Head of Govt:

King Jigme Singye Wangchuck.
  ECONOMY

National product:

GDP-purchasing power equivalent- $500 million (1993 est).

National product real
growth rate:

5% (FY93 est).

National product
per capita:

$700 (1993 est.). External debt: $141 million (June 1993).

Industries:

cement, wood product, processed fruits, alcoholic beverages, calcium carbide.

Agriculture:

accounts for 45% of GDP; based on subsistence farming and animal husbandry; self-sufficient in food except for food grains; other production - rice, corn, root crops, citrus fruit, dairy products, eggs.

Currency:

1 ngultrum (Nu)= 100 chetrum; note- Indian currency is also legal tender.

Exchange rates:

ngultrum (Nu) per US$1 - 31.370 January 1994).
   
   
  I N D I A
  GEOGRAPHY

Location:

Bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Total area:

3,287,590 km2. Neighbors: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, China, Nepal and Pakistan.

Climate:

various from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north.

Terrain:

upland plain (Deccan plateau) in south, flat to rolling plain along the Ganges, deserts in west, Himalayas in north. Environment: deforestation; soil erosion; overgrazing.
  PEOPLE

Population:

1,000,000,000.

Life expectancy at birth:

58 years.

Nationality:

Indian.

Ethnic divisions:

Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and others 3%.

Religions:

Hindu 80%, Muslim 14%, Christian 2.4%, Sikh 2%, Buddhist 0.7%, Jains 0.5%, other 0.4%.

Languages:

English is used for national, political, and commercial communication. Hindi is the national language and primary tongue of 30% of the people. Other official languages are Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarathi, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Konkani and Sanskrit. Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu, spoken widely throughout northern India.

Literacy:

52%. Labor force: 315 million (1990) by occupation: agriculture 65%(1993 est.).
  GOVERNMENT

Type:

Federal republic.

Capital:

New Delhi.

Chief of state:

President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam. Head of government : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
  ECONOMY

National product:

GDP- purchasing power equivalent - $1.17 trillion (FY94 est.).

National product real
growth rate:

3.8% (FY94 est.).

National product
per capita:

$ 1,300 (FY94 est.). External debt: $90.1 billion (March 1993).

Industries:

textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery.

Agriculture:

principal crops- rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugar cane, potatoes; livestock–cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats, poultry; fish catch of about 3 million metric tons ranks India among the world's top 10 fishing nations.

Currency:

1 Indian rupee (Re) =100 paise.

Exchange rates:

Indian rupees (Rs) per US$1- 44.780
   
   
  N E P A L
  GEOGRAPHY

Location:

In the Himalayas, between China and India.

Total area:

140,800 sq km. Neighbors: China and India.

Climate:

varies from cool summers and severe winters in north to subtropical.

Terrain:

Terrain or flat river plain of the Ganges in South, central hill region, rugged Himalayas in north.

Natural resources:

quarts, water, timber, hydroelectric potential, scenic beauty, small deposits of lignite, copper, cobalt, iron ore.
  PEOPLE

Population:

21,042,000.

Life expectancy at birth:

53 years.

Nationality:

Nepalese.

Ethnic divisions:

Newars, Indians, Tibetans, Gurungs, Magars, Tamangs, Bhotias, Rais, Limbus, Sherpas.

Religions:

Hindu 90%, Buddhist 5%, Muslim 3%, others 2%. Note: only official Hindu state in the world, although there is no sharp distinction between many Hindu and Buddhist groups.

Languages:

Nepali (official) and other 20 languages divided in to numerous dialects.

Literacy:

26%.

Labor force:

8.5 million (1991 est.) by occupation: agriculture 93% , service 5%, industry 2%.
  GOVERNMENT

Type:

Parliamentary democracy.

Capital:

Kathmandu.

Chief of state:

King Gyanendra.
Prime Minister; Sher Bahadur Deuba.
  ECONOMY

National product:

GDP - purchasing power equivalent - $20.5 billion (1993 est.).

National product
real growth rate:

2.9% (FY93).

National product
per capita:

$1,000 (1993 est.).

Unemployment rate:

5%; underemployment estimated at 25%-40% (1987).

External debt:

$2 billion (FY est.).

Industries:

small rice, jute, sugar and oilseed mills; cigarette, textile, carpet, cement, and brick production; tourism.

Agriculture:

accounts for 60% of GDP and 93% of work force; farm products - rice, wheat, sugar cane, root crops, milk, buffalo meat.

Currency:

1 Nepalese rupee (NR) = 100 APIs.

Exchange rates:

Naples rupees (Ors) per US$1- 70.240.
   
   
  P A K I S T A N
  GEOGRAPHY

Location:

Along the Arabian Sea, between India and Afghanistan.

Total area:

803,904 sq km. Neighbors: Afghanistan, China, India and Iran.

Climate:

mostly hot, dry desert, temperate in northwest; arctic in north.

Terrain:

flat Indus plain in east; mountains in north and northwest; Balochistan plateau in west.

Natural resources:

land, extensive natural gas reserves, petroleum, coal, iron ore, copper, salt, limestone.
  PEOPLE

Population:

128,856,000.

Nationality:

Pakistani.

Ethnic division:

Punjabi, Sindhi, Pasthun (Pathan), Baloch, Muhajir.

Religions:

Muslim 97% (Sunni 77%, Shia 20%), Christian, Hindu, and other 3%.

Languages:

Urdu (official), English (official), Punjabi 64%, Sindhi 12%, Pashtu 8%, Urdu 7%, Baluchi and other 9%.

Literacy:

35%.

Labor forces:

28.9 million by occupation: agriculture 54%, mining and manufacturing 13%, service 33%.
  GOVERNMENT

Type:

Republic.

Capital:

Islamabad.

Chief of state:

General Pervez Musharraf
  ECONOMY

National product:

GNP- purchasing power equivalent - $ 239 billion (1993 est.).

National product real
growth rate:

3% (FY93 est.).National product per capita: $ 1,900 (1993 est.).

Unemployment rate:

10% (FY91 est.). External debt: $ 24 billion (1993 est.).

Industries:

textiles, food processing, beverages, construction materials, clothing's, paper products, shrimp.

Agriculture:

22% of GDP, over 50% of labor force, world's largest contiguous irrigation system; major crops - cotton, wheat, rice, sugar cane, fruits, vegetables; live stock product - milk, beef, mutton, eggs; self-sufficient in food grain.

Currency:

1 Pakistani Rupee (Pre)=100 paisa.

Exchange rates:

Pakistani rupees (PRs) per US$1 - 52.680.
   
   
  S R I . L A N K A
  GEOGRAPHY

Location:

29 km south east of India across the Palk strait in the Indian Ocean.

Total area:

65,610 sq km.

Climate:

tropical monsoon; northeast monsoon (December to March); Southwest monsoon (June to October).

Terrain:

mostly slow, flat to rolling plain; mountains in south-central interior.

Natural resources:

limestone, graphite, mineral sands, gems, phosphates, clay.

Environment:

current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; wildlife populations threatened by poaching; coastal degradation from mining activities and increased pollution; freshwater resources being polluted by industrial wastes and sewage runoff.
  PEOPLE

Population:

18,130,000. Note: since the outbreak of hostilities between the government and armed Tamil separatists in the mid 1980s, several hundred thousand Tamil civilians have fled the island; as of late 1992, nearly 115,000 were housed in refugee camps in south India, another 95,000 lived outside the Indian camps, and more than 200,000 Tamils have sought political asylum in the West.

Life expectancy at birth:

71.9 years.

Nationality:

Sri Lankan.

Ethnic divisions:

Sinhalies 74%, Tamil 18%, Moor 7%, Burgher, Malay and Vedda 1%.

Religions:

Buddhist 69%, Hindu 15%, Christian 8%, Muslim 8%.

Languages:

Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national language) 18%. English is commonly used in government and is spoken by about 10% of the population.

Literacy:

88%.

Labor force:

6.6 million by occupation : agriculture 45.9%, mining and manufacturing 13.3%, trade and transport 12.4%, service and other 28.4% (1985 est.).
  GOVERNMENT

Type:

Republic.

Capital:

Colombo.

Chief of state and
head of government:
Prime Minister:

President Chandrika Bandaranike Kumaratunga.

Mahinda Rajapaksa.
  ECONOMY

Industry :

dominated by the fast growing apparel industry - has surpassed agriculture as the main source of export earnings.

National product:

GDP - purchasing power equivalent - $53.5 billion (1993 est.).

National product real growth rate:

5% (1993 est.).

National product per capita:

$3,000 (1993 est.). Unemployment rate: 15% (1991 est.). External debt: $5.1 billion (1991).

Industries:

processing of rubber, tea, coconut, and other agricultural commodities; clothing, cement, petroleum refining, textile, tobacco.

Agriculture:

accounts for one-fourth of GDP and nearly half of labor force; most important staple crop is paddy rice; other filed crops- sugar cane, grains, pulses, oilseeds, roots, spices; cash crops-tea, rubber, coconut; animal products–milk, eggs, hides, meat.

Currency:

1 Sri Lankan rupee (SLRe)=100 cents.

Exchange rates:

Sri Lankan rupees (SLRes)per US$1 - 75.672.


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