The South Asian University here commemorated the 34th SAARC Charter Day Friday and thanked the partner countries for their contribution to the collaborative effort. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a message that as a founding member of SAARC, India was committed to strengthening regional cooperation and integration. "Our initiatives in recent years, such as the launch of South Asia Satellite, extension of India's National Knowledge Network to South Asian countries and ever continued support to the South Asian University and the SAARC Disaster Management Centre (Interim Unit) are geared towards promoting people-to-people contacts and connectivity in the region," he said.
The occasion marks the day the regional body came into being after the member states signed a charter in 1985. "The university has been continuing its efforts to engage in more international collaborations and also with atleast one institution of higher learning in each SAARC country as is evident from the MoUs with 17 universities, institutes till now, including some from beyond the SAARC region," said Kavita Sharma, President , South Asian University. Sharma also said the first phase of construction of the university's permanent campus at Maidangarhi was expected to be completed by early 2019.
SAU is an international university established, funded and maintained by the governments of the eight member nations of South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) viz. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. SAU started its operations from the academic year 2010. The university now offers masters and M Phil/PhD research programs in seven disciplines -- economics, computer science, biotechnology, applied mathematics, sociology, international relations and legal studies.