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South Asia current affairs - Research Guide

Overview resources: regional fact books and chronicles

Asian survey. 1961-present. Bimontly, previously monthly.
Online via JSTOR (1961-present)
Each year's first issue (or first two issues), starting in 1963, is devoted to annual reviews of the political situation of each Asian country. See especially: For information on special thematic issues, see below.

Far East and Australasia. Europa Publications, 1969- . Annual.
Van Pelt Library: DS502 .F37 (1990-present, odd years only). LIBRA: DS502 .F37 (1969-1989)
South Asia. Europa Publications, 2003- . Annual.
Van Pelt South Asia Reference (Rm. 551): DS331 .S647 (2007-present).
South Asia was covered in the Far East ... yearbook up to 2002. The Europa series of world year books is a reference standard, with narratives on political, social, and economic developments, tabular government information, and general statistics on the region and on individual countries.

Asian news digest. 2000-2010. Weekly
Van Pelt Library: DS1 .A4747 (2006-2010, with unbound issues in Van Pelt South Asia Reference, Rm. 551). LIBRA: DS1 .A4747 (2000-2005)
Asian recorder. 1955-1999. Weekly
LIBRA: DS1 .A747 (1955-1999)
An excellent digest of regional news, similar in content but with much stronger regional coverage to Keesing's world news archive (1931-present) and Facts on File world news digest (1940-present)


Overview resources for India

India: a reference annual. India. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, 1953- . Annual.
Van Pelt Library: DS405 .I64 (1953-1957, 2006, 2009-present - latest issue in Van Pelt South Asia Reference, Room 551)
LIBRA: DS405 .I64 (1954, 1957-1996, 1998-2005, 2007-2008)
A general survey of the year in India, albeit an official survey. Includes chapters on "India and the world", commerce, defence, with a chronology of events.

India briefing. Boulder: Westview Press in collaboration with Asia Society, 1987-2005. Annual.
Van Pelt Library: DS480.853 .I447 (1994, 2002, 2005)
LIBRA: DS480.853 .I447 (1987-1993, 1995/1996, 1999)
A Western scholarly survey of the year in India. Includes a chapter on foreign relations.

Indian foreign policy: annual survey. New Delhi: Foreign Policy Research Centre, 1971-2000. Annual.
Van Pelt: DS480.832 .I535 (1971-1982, "currently received")
LIBRA: DS480.84 .I535 (1971-1974, 1981-1982, not currently received)
Produced by an independent Indian thinktank.

Yearbook on India's foreign policy. New Delhi: Sage, 1983-1991. Annual.
Storage: DS480.832 .Y42 (1982-1991)
Presents commissioned essays on current issues and significant features of Indian foreign policy during the year. Includes country profiles and reprints selected documents.


Overview resources for Pakistan

Pakistan year book. Karachi: East & West Pub. Co., 1969- . Annual
Van Pelt Library: DS376 .P3488 (1969-1995). Latest year in Van Pelt South Asia Reference
Short articles on topics of current interest, with some statistical information.

Twenty years of Pakistan, 1947-67. Karachi: Pakistan Publications, 1967.
Van Pelt Library: DS384 .T9
Precedes Pakistan year book.


Finding books and articles on South Asian current affairs: abstracts and indexing services

Bibliography of Asian studies.
Online via Penn Library Web (1971-present)
The comprehensive specialist indexing service covering scholarly western-language books, articles, and book chapters on all humanities and social sciences topics about Asia, its regions and countries, and its diasporic communities. Emphasis is given to specialist publications rather than citations in general disciplinary journals. The handy "Browse the BAS by Country-Subject" gives quick access to foreign relations research. Shortcuts:
Earlier BAS issues appeared as special issues of Journal of Asian studies (1956-1968) and Far Eastern quarterly (1946-1955). Both are available online through JSTOR but difficult to search.

PAIS International. 1915-present.
Online via Penn Library Web
Worldwide contemporary public affairs and policy coverage. Describes journal articles, books, government documents, and other materials. Its deep backfile makes this a very important historical record of public affairs material.

Parliamentary documentation. India. Lok Sabha Parliamentary Library. 1975-present. Fortnightly.
Browseable via Lok Sabha Parliament Library website (2007-present)
Searchable via Lok Sabha Parliament Library website
Intended "to keep the members of Parliament of India well informed of all the important and current articles published in newspapers, journals, books, etc. The entries contain bibliographical information of the select articles .. and are suitably annotated and arranged under a specially devised scheme of classification." Somewhat comparable to PAIS International covering India.

Journal of parliamentary information. Lok Sabha Secretariat. 1967-present. Quarterly.
Online via Lok Sabha Parliament Library website (2011-present)
Van Pelt Library: JQ201 .A32 (1967-present).
"This journal carries practice and problem oriented articles on constitutional and parliamentary subjects from members of Parliament and other experts in the field. It also serves as an authentic recorder of developments in practice and procedure and parliamentary events and activities in Indian and foreign legislatures."

Guide to Indian periodical literature. Quarterly. 1964-present.
Van Pelt Library South Asia Reference (Rm. 551): Z6958 .I4 G8 (2007-present).
LIBRA: Z6958 .I4 G8 (1964-2006)
Journal index for popular magazines and general scholarly journals in the social sciences and humanities published in India. Very similar in appearance to the U.S. Reader's guide to periodical literature.


Fulltext news sources

Economic and Political Weekly. 1966-present. Weekly.
Online via Penn Library Web (now: 2001-present; 1966- in development)
Online via JSTOR (1966-most recent 5 years)
Van Pelt Library: HC431 .E326 (1966-present)
The Economist for South Asia. Preceded by Economic weekly [Storage: HC431 .E34 (1950-1965) and Van Pelt Microtext: Microfiche 11 (1951-1965)].

Times of India. 1838-present.
Searchable fulltext with page images via Library.PressDisplay (most recent 12 weeks)
Searchable fulltext with page images via ProQuest (1838-2003)
Searchable fulltext (no images) via LexisNexis Academic, Factiva, or NewsBank (circa 2000-present)
India's newspaper of record.

Major Western newspapers
While not devoted to covering South Asia, searching these newspapers may help to identify events and actors for subsequent reading in unindexed South Asian newspapers.
These newspapers and many more including South Asian newspapers are available for recent years in the general fulltext news databases Factiva and LexisNexis Academic.

Open source news collections
These services collect and translate broadcast news sources and some print news sources from around the world.
  • Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports.
    Online via Readex (1941-1996).
    Produced by the U.S. government.
  • World News Connection.
    Online via Penn Library Web (1996-present).
    The public successor to FBIS. The restricted-access successor OpenSource.gov is not available at Penn.
  • Joint Publications Research Services.
    Online via Readex (1957-1994).
    Produced by the U.S. government, complementing FBIS. Digitization of this collection is still underway.
  • BBC Monitoring: International Reports
    Online via LexisNexis Academic (1977-present).
    Complements FBIS.

Library PressDisplay
Online via Penn Library Web (latest 45 days)
Page images of recent newspaper issues worldwide. Indian coverage includes The Hindu, The Times of India, Financial Chronicle, and many more. Also known as Newspaper Direct.

Other South Asian newspaper sources

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