South Asia suffers from a identity crisis and a knowledge deficit. Misconceptions about the eight-nation region - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka - among South Asians themselves as well as outsiders gives rise to intra-regional distrust and misunderstandings.
Much of the knowledge /database and information dissemination on the region is sourced externally - largely from Western and extra-regional sources. Basic information about countries of the region and their national perspectives on key issues are hard to get and scattered across diverse sources whose authenticity and reliability remain in doubt.
In order to create a more credible and empathetic knowledge bank on the South Asian region - whose population comprises a fourth of mankind and which is home some of the world's fastest-growing economies, ancient cultures, volatile conflict theatres and is seen as a region of great geopolitical importance - and bridge the information gap inherent to it, a group of Delhi-based journalists, scholars, former diplomats and policy analysts created in 2002 the South Asia Monitor (www.southasiamonitor.org) - a niche, independent web journal and online resource site dealing with strategic, political, security, cultural and economic issues in the extended South Asian region and nations comprising it - from the Indian strategic and security perspective.
Developed to serve South Asia watchers, policymakers, thought leaders, scholars, journalists and students across the globe who have a keen interest in South Asian studies, or seeking in-depth knowledge or looking for reliable resource and documentation on this region, the site features exclusive commentaries, insightful analyses, interviews and reviews contributed by experts, diplomats, ex-armed forces personnel, journalists and analysts from this region and other parts of the world. It also aggregates news and views content related to the region from all eight South Asian countries.
As a holistic and independent platform of information and opinion/analysis on a region that is of growing strategic and commercial importance to the rest of the world - especially the US, China, the EU etc - SAM looks forward to attracting insights and views from domain experts, academicians, journalists, researchers and academics in order to make it an interactive and enriching source of learning and understanding. As the sole South Asia - based monitoring source on the whole region, it aims to bring to you views, voices and visions that are objective and informed yet non-parochial, unbiased and independent.
SAM also hosts SPS Roundtables and SAM Conversations - in short and long-duration formats - that involve discussions/conversersations on issues of relevance to India and South Asia with domain experts, policymakers, diplomatic, South Asia watchers and media analysts. These are also hosted on SAM YouTube channel.
South Asia Monitor is maintained and curated by the Society for Policy Studies (www.spsindia.in)