Releasing a book 'Education of Muslims: An Islamic Perspective of Knowledge and Education - Indian Context' here, Modi said: "Education can become the strength of the entire SAARC region. If the region does not embrace modernity, it will get left behind, as the rest of the world progresses."
He described "ilm" (knowledge) as the focal point of all religions.
The prime minister said it is the "good fortune of people living in India" that we have the opportunity to follow, understand and learn so many different religions, and strands of thought at one place.
Modi said that as India is now free of polio, it is ready to assume responsibility for eradicating it from the entire SAARC region.
He also spoke about India's plans to launch a SAARC satellite, which will work for the benefit of the entire SAARC region.
About the book, he said, it can help us in "understanding each other" - understanding different points of view.