Increasing urbanisation of India between 800 and 400 BCE, and possibly the spread of urban diseases, contributed to the rise of ascetic movements and of new ideas which challenged the orthodox Brahmanism.
The Greek army led by Alexander the Great stayed in the Hindu Kush region of South Asia for several years and then later moved into the Indus valley region.
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The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), a contiguous block of countries, started in 1985 with seven countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – and added Afghanistan as an eighth member in 2007.
The South Asia Free Trade Agreement incorporated Afghanistan in 2011.
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The Centres for South Asian Studies at both the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia include Tibet along with the eight members of SAARC in their research programs, but exclude the Maldives.
The South Asian Studies Program of Brandeis University defines the region as comprising "India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and in certain contexts Afghanistan, Burma, Maldives and Tibet".
Population Information Network (POPIN) includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as part of South Asia.
This "neutral" notion refers to the concerns of Pakistan and Bangladesh, particularly given the recurring conflicts between India and Pakistan, wherein the dominant placement of "India" as a prefix before the subcontinent might offend some political sentiments.
The Indus Valley Civilization, which spread and flourished in the northwestern part of South Asia from c.