West Bengal (, Bengali
: ''Paschim Banga'' ) is a state
in the eastern region of India
along the Bay of Bengal
. With over 91 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous state
and the fourteenth-largest state by area
in India. Covering an area of , it is also the seventh-most populous country subdivision
of the world. Part of the Bengal region
of the Indian subcontinent
, it borders Bangladesh
in the east, and Nepal
in the north. It also borders the Indian states of Odisha
. The state capital is Kolkata
, the third-largest metropolis
, and seventh largest city by population
in India. West Bengal includes the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region
, the Ganges delta
, the Rarh region
and the coastal Sundarbans
. The state's main ethnic group are the Bengalis
, with the Bengali Hindus
forming the demographic majority.
The area's early history featured a succession of Indian empires
, internal squabbling, and a tussle between Hinduism
for dominance. Ancient Bengal was the site of several major Janapadas
, while the earliest cities date back to the Vedic period
. The region was part of several ancient pan−Indian empires, including the Vangas
, and the Guptas
. The citadel of Gauḍa
served as the capital of the Gauḍa Kingdom
, the Pala Empire
, and the Sena Empire
was introduced through trade with the Abbasid Caliphate
, but following the Ghurid
conquests led by Bakhtiyar Khalji
and the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate
, the Muslim faith spread across the entire Bengal region. During the Bengal Sultanate
, the territory was a major trading nation
in the world, and was often referred by the Europeans as the "richest country to trade with".
, West Bengal has the sixth-highest GSDP
in India. GSDP at current prices (base 2004–2005) has increased from Rs 2,086.56 billion in 2004–05 to Rs 8,00,868 crores in 2014–2015, reaching Rs 10,21,000 crores in 2017–18. GSDP percent growth at current prices varied from a low of 10.3% in 2010–2011 to a high of 17.11% in 2013–2014. The growth rate was 13.35% in 2014–2015.
The state's per capita income has lagged the all India average for over two decades. As of 2014–2015, per capita NSDP at current prices was Rs78,903.
Per-capita NSDP growth rate at current prices varied from 9.4% in 2010–2011 to a high of 16.15% in 2013–2014. The growth rate was 12.62% in 2014–2015.
In 2015–2016, percentage share of Gross Value Added (GVA) at factor cost by economic activity at constant price (base year 2011–2012) was Agriculture-Forestry and Fishery—4.84%, Industry 18.51% and Services 66.65%. It has been observed that there has been a slow but steady decline in the percentage share of industry and agriculture over the years. Agriculture is the leading economic sector in West Bengal. Rice is the state's principal food crop. Rice, potato, jute
, sugarcane and wheat are the state's top five crops.
Tea is produced commercially in northern districts; the region is well known for Darjeeling
and other high-quality teas.
State industries are localised in the Kolkata region, the mineral-rich western highlands, and the Haldia Port
The Durgapur-Asansol colliery belt is home to a number of steel plants.
Important manufacturing industries include: engineering products, electronics, electrical equipment, cables, steel, leather, textiles, jewellery, frigates, automobiles, railway coaches and wagons. The Durgapur centre has established a number of industries in the areas of tea, sugar, chemical
s and fertiliser
s. Natural resources like tea and jute in nearby areas has made West Bengal a major centre for the jute and tea industries.
Years after independence, West Bengal is dependent on the central government for help in meeting its demands for food; food production remained stagnant, and the Indian green revolution
bypassed the state. However, there has been a significant increase in food production since the 1980s and the state now has a surplus of grains.
The state's share of total industrial output in India was 9.8% in 1980–1981, declining to 5% by 1997–1998. In contrast, the service sector has grown at a rate higher than the national rate.
The state's total financial debt stood at as of 2011.
In the period 2004–2010, the average gross state domestic product
(GSDP) growth rate was 13.9% (calculated in Indian rupee terms) lower than 15.5%, the average for all states of the country.
The economy of West Bengal has witnessed many surprising changes in direction. The agricultural sector in particular rose to 8.33% in 2010–11 before tumbling to −4.01% in 2012–13. Many major industries such as the Uttarpara Hindustan Motors
car manufacturing unit, the jute industry, and the Haldia Petrochemicals unit experienced shutdowns in 2014. In the same year, plans for a 300 billion Jindal Steel project was mothballed. The tea industry of West Bengal has also witnessed shutdowns for financial and political reasons. The tourism industry of West Bengal was negatively impacted in 2017 because of the Gorkhaland
However, over the years due to effective changes in the stance towards industrialisation, ease of doing business has improved in West Bengal. Steps are being taken to remedy this situation by promoting West Bengal as an investment destination. A leather complex
has been built in Kolkata. Smart cities are being planned close to Kolkata, and major roadway projects are in the offing to revive the economy. West Bengal has been able to attract 2% of the foreign direct investment
in the last decade.
File:NSCBI International airport.jpg|Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport is a hub for flights to and from Bangladesh, East Asia, Nepal, Bhutan and north-east India.
File:Durgapur Xpressway.jpg|Durgapur Expressway
File:SBSTC bus in karunamoyee.jpg|An SBSTC bus in Karunamoyee
File:Kolkata Metro.jpg|Kolkata Metro, India's first metro rail system
As of 2011, the total length of surface roads in West Bengal was over ;
and state highways .
As of 2006, the road density of the state was , higher than the national average of .
As of 2011, the total railway route length was around .
Kolkata is the headquarters of three zones of the Indian Railways
and South Eastern Railway
and the Kolkata Metro, which is the newly formed 17thzone of the Indian Railways.
The Northeast Frontier Railway
(NFR) serves the northern parts of the state. The Kolkata metro
is the country's first underground railway. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
, part of NFR, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport
at Dum Dum
, Kolkata, is the state's largest airport. Bagdogra Airport
near Siliguri is a customs airport
that offers international service to Bhutan and Thailand, besides regular domestic service. Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport
, India's first private sector airport, serves the twin cities of Asansol-Durgapur at Andal
, Paschim Bardhaman
Kolkata is a major river port in eastern India. The Kolkata Port Trust
manages the Kolkata and the Haldia
There is passenger service to Port Blair
on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
. Cargo ship
service operates to ports in India
and abroad, operated by the Shipping Corporation of India
. Ferries are a principal mode of transport in the southern part of the state, especially in the Sundarbans area. Kolkata is the only city in India to have trams
as a mode of transport; these are operated by the Calcutta Tramways Company.
Several government-owned organisations operate bus services in the state, including: the Calcutta State Transport Corporation
, the North Bengal State Transport Corporation
, the South Bengal State Transport Corporation
, the West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation
and the Calcutta Tramways Company
. There are also private bus companies. The railway system is a nationalised service without any private investment. Hired forms of transport include metered taxis and auto rickshaw
s, which often ply specific routes in cities. In most of the state, cycle rickshaw
s and in Kolkata, hand-pulled rickshaws
and electric rickshaw
s are used for short-distance travel.
According to the provisional results of the 2011 national census, West Bengal is the fourth-most-populous state in India with a population of 91,347,736 (7.55% of India's population).
, consisting of Bengali Hindus
, Bengali Muslims
, Bengali Christians
and a few Bengali Buddhists
, comprise the majority of the population.
speakers are scattered throughout the state; various indigenous ethnic Buddhist communities such as the Sherpas
and ethnic Tibetans
can be found in the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region. Native Magahi
speakers are found in Malda district
, a language considered to be a mix of Maithili and Bengali, is spoken across northern parts of the state. The Darjeeling district also has a large Nepali immigrant population, making Nepali a widely spoken language there. West Bengal is also home to indigenous tribal Adivasi
s such as: Santhal
and Toto tribe
. There are a small number of ethnic minorities
primarily in the state capital, including : Chinese
, Anglo-Indians, Armenians
India's sole Chinatown
is in eastern Kolkata.
The state's official languages are Bengali and English;
has additional official status in the three subdivisions of Darjeeling district.
In 2012, the state government passed a bill granting additional official status to Hindi
in areas where speakers exceed 10% of the population.
In 2019, another bill was passed by the government to include Kamtapuri
as additional official languages in blocks, divisions or districts where the speakers exceed 10% of the population.
On 24 December 2020, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced Telugu
as an additional official language.
As of 2001, in decreasing order of number of speakers, the languages of the state are: Bengali (85.27%), Hindi (7.17%), Santali (2.80%), Urdu (2.06%), and Nepali (1.28%).
West Bengal is religiously diverse, with regional cultural and religious specificities. Although Hindus
are the predominant community, the state has a large minority Muslim
population. Christians, Buddhists and others form a minuscule part of the population. As of 2011
is the most common religion, with adherents representing 70.54% of the total population.
Muslims, the second-largest community as well as the largest minority group, comprise 27.01% of the total population, Sikhism
, Buddhism and other religions make up the remainder.
Buddhism remains a prominent religion in the Himalayan region of the Darjeeling hills; almost the entirety of West Bengal's Buddhist population is from this region.
The state contributes 7.8% of India's population.
[Population of West Bengal (80,221,171) is 7.8% of India's population (1,027,015,247)]
The Hindu population of West Bengal is 64,385,546 while the Muslim population is 24,654,825, according to the 2011 census. The state's 2001–2011 decennial population growth rate was 13.93%,
lower than the 1991–2001 growth rate of 17.8%
and lower than the national rate of 17.64%.
The gender ratio is 947 females per 1,000 males.
As of 2011, West Bengal had a population density of making it the second-most densely populated state in India, after Bihar.
The literacy rate is 77.08%, higher than the national rate of 74.04%.
Data from 2010 to 2014 showed the life expectancy in the state was 70.2years, higher than the national value of 67.9.
The proportion of people living below the poverty line in 2013 was 19.98%, a decline from 31.8% a decade ago. Scheduled castes and tribes
form 28.6% and 5.8% of the population, respectively, in rural areas and 19.9% and 1.5%, respectively, in urban areas.
In September 2017, West Bengal achieved 100% electrification, after some remote villages in the Sunderbans became the last to be electrified.
As of September 2017, of 125 towns and cities in Bengal, 76 have achieved open defecation free
(ODF) status. All towns in the districts of: Nadia, North 24 Parganas, Hooghly, Burdwan and East Midnapore are ODF zones, with Nadia becoming the first ODF district in the state in April 2015.
A study conducted in three districts of West Bengal found that accessing private health services to treat illness had a catastrophic impact on households. This indicates the importance of public provision of health services to mitigate against poverty and the impact of illness on poor households.
The latest Sample Registration System (SRS) statistical report shows that West Bengal has the lowest fertility rate
among Indian states. West Bengal's total fertility rate was 1.6, lower than Bihar's 3.4, which is the highest in the entire country. Bengal's TFR of 1.6 roughly equals that of Canada.
The Bengali language boasts a rich literary heritage it shares with neighbouring Bangladesh. West Bengal has a long tradition of folk literature, evidenced by the ''Charyapada
'', a collection of Buddhist mystic songs dating back to the 10th and 11thcenturies; ''Mangalkavya
'', a collection of Hindu narrative poetry composed around the 13thcentury; ''Shreekrishna Kirtana
'', a pastoral Vaishnava
drama in verse composed by Boru Chandidas
; ''Thakurmar Jhuli
'', a collection of Bengali folk and fairy tales compiled by Dakshinaranjan Mitra Majumder
; and stories of Gopal Bhar
, a court jester
in medieval Bengal. In the 19th and 20thcenturies, Bengali literature was modernised in the works of authors such as Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay
, whose works marked a departure from the traditional verse-oriented writings prevalent in that period; Michael Madhusudan Dutt
, a pioneer in Bengali drama
who introduced the use of blank verse
; and Rabindranath Tagore
, who reshaped Bengali literature
. Indian art
saw the introduction of Contextual Modernism
in the late 19th and early 20thcenturies. Other notable figures include Kazi Nazrul Islam
, whose compositions form the avant-garde
genre of ''Nazrul Sangeet
'', Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay
, whose works on contemporary social practices in Bengal are widely acclaimed, and Manik Bandyopadhyay
, who is considered one of the leading lights of modern Bengali fiction. In modern times, Jibanananda Das
has been acknowledged as "the premier poet of the post-Tagore era in India". Other writers include: Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay
, best known for his work ''Pather Panchali
''; Tarashankar Bandopadhyay
, well known for his portrayal of the lower strata of society; Manik Bandopadhyay
, a pioneering novelist; and Ashapurna Devi
, Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay
, Saradindu Bandopadhyay
, Buddhadeb Guha
, Mahashweta Devi
, Samaresh Majumdar
, Sanjeev Chattopadhyay
, Shakti Chattopadhyay
, Buddhadeb Basu
and Sunil Gangopadhyay
Music and dance
A notable music tradition is the Baul music, practised by the Baul
s, a sect of mystic minstrel
Other folk music forms include Gombhira
. Folk music in West Bengal is often accompanied by the ektara
, a one-stringed instrument. Shyama Sangeet
is a genre of devotional songs, praising the Hindu goddess Kali
is devotional group songs dedicated to the god Krishna
Like other states in northern India, West Bengal also has a heritage in North Indian classical music
, songs composed and set to words by Rabindranath Tagore, and Nazrul geeti
(by Kazi Nazrul Islam) are popular. Also prominent are Dwijendralal
's songs, and ''adhunik'' or modern music from films and other composers. From the early 1990s, new genres
of music have emerged, including what has been called Bengali ''Jeebonmukhi Gaan'' (a modern genre based on realism). Bengali dance forms draw from folk traditions, especially those of the tribal groups, as well as the broader Indian dance traditions
. Chhau dance
of Purulia is a rare form of masked dance.
West Bengali films
are shot mostly in studios in the Kolkata neighbourhood of Tollygunge
; the name "Tollywood" (similar to Hollywood and Bollywood
) is derived from that name. The Bengali film industry is well known for its art film
s, and has produced acclaimed directors like Satyajit Ray
who is widely regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century, Mrinal Sen
whose films were known for their artistic depiction of social reality, Tapan Sinha
who was one of the most prominent Indian film directors of his time,
and Ritwik Ghatak
. Some contemporary directors include veterans such as: Buddhadeb Dasgupta
, Tarun Majumdar
, Goutam Ghose
, Aparna Sen
, and Rituparno Ghosh
, and a newer pool of directors such as Kaushik Ganguly
and Srijit Mukherji
There are significant examples of fine arts in Bengal from earlier times, including the terracotta art of Hindu temples and the Kalighat paintings. Bengal has been in the vanguard of modernism in fine arts. Abanindranath Tagore
, called the father of modern Indian art, started the Bengal School of Art, one of whose goals was to promote the development of styles of art outside the European realist tradition that had been taught in art colleges under the British colonial administration. The movement had many adherents, including: Gaganendranath Tagore
, Ramkinkar Baij
, Jamini Roy
and Rabindranath Tagore. After Indian Independence, important groups such as the Calcutta Group
and the Society of Contemporary Artists were formed in Bengal and came to dominate the art scene in India.
The capital, Kolkata, was the workplace of several social reformers, including Raja Ram Mohan Roy
, Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar
and Swami Vivekananda
. Their social reforms eventually led to a cultural atmosphere that made it possible for practices like sati
, and caste-based discrimination
, or untouchability
, to be abolished.
[''History of the Bengali-speaking People'' by Nitish Sengupta, p 211, UBS Publishers' Distributors Pvt. Ltd. .]
The region was also home to several religious teachers, such as Chaitanya
and Paramahansa Yogananda
Rice and fish are traditional favourite foods, leading to a saying in Bengali, "''machhe bhate bangali''", that translates as "fish and rice make a Bengali".
Bengal's vast repertoire of fish-based dishes includes hilsa
preparations, a favourite among Bengalis. There are numerous ways of cooking fish depending on its texture, size, fat content and bones. Most of the people also consume eggs, chicken, mutton, and shrimp. ''Panta bhat
'' (rice soaked overnight in water) with onion and green chili is a traditional dish consumed in rural areas. Common spices found in a Bengali kitchen include cumin
, ajmoda (radhuni), bay leaf
, green chillies
. Sweets occupy an important place in the diet of Bengalis and at their social ceremonies. Bengalis make distinctive sweetmeats
from milk products, including ''Rôshogolla
'', ''Chômchôm'', ''Kalojam'' and several kinds of ''sondesh
, a kind of sweet cake, bread, or dim sum, are specialties of the winter season. Sweets such as ''narkol-naru'', ''til-naru'', ''moa'' and ''payesh'' are prepared during festivals such as Lakshmi puja
. Popular street food
s include Aloor Chop, Beguni
, Kati roll
, and phuchka
Bengali women commonly wear the ''sari
'', often distinctly designed according to local cultural customs. In urban areas, many women and men wear western attire. Among men, western dress has greater acceptance. Particularly on cultural occasions, men also wear traditional costumes such as the ''panjabi
'' with ''dhuti
'' while women wear ''salwar kameez
'' or ''sari''.
West Bengal produces several varieties of cotton and silk ''saris'' in the country. Handlooms are a popular way for the state's rural population to earn a living through weaving. Every district has weaving clusters, which are home to artisan communities, each specialising in specific varieties of handloom weaving. Notable handloom saris include ''tant'', ''jamdani
'', ''garad'', ''korial'', ''baluchari'', ''tussar'' and muslin.
is the biggest, most popular and widely celebrated festival in West Bengal.
The five-day-long colourful Hindu festival includes intense celebration across the state. Pandal
s are erected in various cities, towns, and villages throughout West Bengal. The city of Kolkata undergoes a transformation during Durga Puja. It is decked up in lighting decorations and thousands of colourful pandals are set up where effigies of the goddess Durga and her four children are displayed and worshipped. The idols of the goddess are brought in from Kumortuli
, where idol-makers work throughout the year fashioning clay-models of the goddess. Since independence in 1947, Durga Puja has slowly changed into more of a glamorous carnival than a religious festival. Today people of diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds partake in the festivities. On Vijayadashami
, the last day of the festival, the effigies are paraded through the streets with riotous pageantry before being dumped into the rivers.
is a Hindu festival which celebrates Jagannath
, a form of Krishna. It is celebrated with much fanfare in Kolkata as well as in rural Bengal. Images of Jagannath are set upon a chariot and pulled through the streets.
Other major festivals of West Bengal include: Poila Baishakh
the Bengali new year, Dolyatra
the festival of lights, Poush Parbon
, Kali Puja
, Nabadwip Shakta Rash
, Saraswati Puja
, Lakshmi Puja
Puja, Vishwakarma Puja
, Bhai Phonta
, Rakhi Bandhan
, Kalpataru Day
, Ganesh Chathurthi
, Maghotsav, Kartik Puja
, Akshay Tritiya
, Raas Yatra, Guru Purnima
Puja, Charak Puja
, Buddha Purnima
, Eid ul-Fitr
, Eid ul-Adha
. Rabindra Jayanti
, Kolkata Book Fair
, Kolkata Film Festival
, and Nazrul Jayanti. All are important cultural events.
is the most important Muslim festival in West Bengal. They celebrate the end of Ramadan
with prayers, alms-giving, shopping, gift-giving, and feasting.
Christmas, called ''Bôŗodin'' (Great day) is perhaps the next major festival celebrated in Kolkata, after Durga Puja. Just like Durga Puja, Christmas in Kolkata is an occasion when all communities and people of every religion take part. The state tourism department organises a gala Christmas Festival every year in Park Street
. The whole of Park Street is hung with colourful lights, and food stalls sell cakes, chocolates, Chinese cuisine, momo, and various other items. The state invites musical groups from Darjeeling and other North East India
states to perform choir recitals, carols, and jazz numbers. Buddha Purnima
, which marks the birth of Gautama Buddha, is one of the most important Hindu/Buddhist festivals and is celebrated with much gusto in the Darjeeling hills. On this day, processions begin at the various Buddhist monasteries, or ''gumpas'', and congregate at the Chowrasta (Darjeeling)
Mall. The Lamas chant mantras and sound their bugles, and students, as well as people from every community, carry the holy books or ''pustaks'' on their heads. Besides Buddha Purnima, Dashain
, or Dusshera
, Holi, Diwali, Losar
, Namsoong or the Lepcha New Year, and Losoong are the other major festivals of the Darjeeling Himalayan region.
Poush Mela is a popular winter festival of Shantiniketan
, with performances of folk music, Baul songs, dance, and theatre taking place throughout the town.
Ganga Sagar Mela coincides with the Makar Sankranti
, and hundreds of thousands of Hindu pilgrims converge where the river Ganges meets the sea to bathe enmasse during this fervent festival.
University of Calcutta 7383.JPG|University of Calcutta, the oldest public university of India.
West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata (front entrance, 2006).jpg|The front entrance to the academic block of NUJS, Kolkata.
RKMVERI Prajna Bhavan HR.jpg|Prajna Bhavan, housing the School of Mathematical Sciences and School of RKMVU.
West Bengal schools are run by the state government or private organisations, including religious institutions. Instruction is mainly in English or Bengali, though Urdu
is also used, especially in Central Kolkata. Secondary schools are affiliated with the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations
(CISCE), the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE)
, the National Institute of Open School (NIOS)
, West Bengal Board of Secondary Education
, or the West Bengal Board of Madrasah Education
As of 2016 85% of children within the 6 to 17-year age group attend school (86% do so in urban areas and 84% in rural areas). School attendance is almost
universal among the 6 to 14-year age group then drops to 70% with the 15 to 17-year age group. There is a gender disparity in school attendance in the 6 to 14-year age group, more girls than boys are attending school.
In Bengal, 71% of women aged 15–49 years and 81% of men aged 15–49 years are literate. Only 14% of women aged 15–49 years in West Bengal have completed 12 or more years of schooling, compared with 22% of men. 22% of women and 14% of men age 15–49 years have never attended school.
Some of the notable schools in the city are: Ramakrishna Mission Narendrapur
, Baranagore Ramakrishna Mission
, Sister Nivedita Girls' School
, Hindu School
, Hare School
, La Martiniere Calcutta
, Calcutta Boys' School
, St. James' School (Kolkata)
, South Point School
, St. Xavier's Collegiate School
, and Loreto House
, Loreto Convent, Asansol
some of which rank amongst the best schools in the country. Many of the schools in Kolkata and Darjeeling are colonial-era establishments housed in buildings that are exemplars of neo-classical architecture. Darjeeling's schools include: St. Paul's
, St. Joseph's
North Point, Goethals Memorial School
, and Dow Hill in Kurseong
West Bengal has eighteen universities.
Kolkata has played a pioneering role in the development of the modern education system in India. It was the gateway to the revolution of European education during the British Raj. Sir William Jones
established the Asiatic Society
in 1794 to promote oriental studies. People such as Ram Mohan Roy
, David Hare
, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
, Alexander Duff
and William Carey
played leading roles in setting up modern schools and colleges in the city.
The University of Calcutta
, the oldest and one of the most prestigious public universities in India, has 136 affiliated colleges. Fort William College
was established in 1810. The Hindu College was established in 1817. The Lady Brabourne College
was established in 1939. The Scottish Church College
, the oldest Christian liberal arts college in South Asia, started in 1830. The Vidyasagar College
was established in 1872 and was the first purely Indian-run private college in India
In 1855 the Hindu College was renamed the Presidency College.
The state government granted it university status in 2010 and it was renamed Presidency University
. Kazi Nazrul University
was established in 2012. The University of Calcutta and Jadavpur University
are prestigious technical universities.
is a central university and an institution of national importance.
Other higher education institutes of importance in West Bengal include: St. Xavier's College, Kolkata
, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade
, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta
(the first IIM
), Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata
, Indian Statistical Institute
, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
(the first IIT
), Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur
(the first IIEST
), Indian Institute of Information Technology, Kalyani
, National Institute of Technology, Durgapur
, National Institute of Technical Teachers' Training and Research, Kolkata
, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Kolkata
, and West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences
. In 2003 the state government supported the creation of West Bengal University of Technology
, West Bengal University of Health Sciences
, West Bengal State University
, and Gour Banga University
Jadavpur University (Focus area—Mobile Computing and Communication and Nano-science), and the University of Calcutta (Modern Biology) are among two of the fifteen universities selected under the "University with Potential for Excellence" scheme. University of Calcutta (Focus Area—Electro-Physiological and Neuro-imaging studies including mathematical modelling) has also been selected under the "Centre with Potential for Excellence in a Particular Area" scheme.
In addition, the state is home to Kalyani University
, The University of Burdwan
, Vidyasagar University
, and North Bengal University
all well as established and nationally renowned schools to cover education needs at the district level and the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata. Apart from this there is a Deemed university run by the Ramakrishna mission named Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University
at Belur Math.
There are several research institutes in Kolkata. The Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science
is the first research institute in Asia. C. V. Raman
was awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery (Raman Effect) done at the IACS. The Bose Institute
, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics
, S. N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences
, Indian Institute of Chemical Biology
, Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute
, Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute
Durgapur, Central Research Institute for Jute and Allied Fibers
, National Institute of Research on Jute and Allied Fibre Technology
, Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute
, National Institute of Biomedical Genomics
(NIBMG), Kalyani, and the Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre
are the most prominent.
Notable scholars who were born, worked, or studied in the geographic area of the state include physicists: Satyendra Nath Bose
, Meghnad Saha
and Jagadish Chandra Bose
chemist Prafulla Chandra Roy
statisticians Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis
and Anil Kumar Gain
physician Upendranath Brahmachari
educator Ashutosh Mukherjee
; and Nobel laureates Rabindranath Tagore, C. V. Raman,
, and Abhijit Banerjee
In 2005 West Bengal had 505 published newspapers,
of which 389 were in Bengali.
''Ananda Bazar Patrika
'', published in Kolkata with 1,277,801 daily copies, has the largest circulation for a single-edition, regional language newspaper in India.
Other major Bengali newspapers are: ''Bartaman
'', ''Sangbad Pratidin
'', ''Jago Bangla
'', ''Uttarbanga Sambad
'' and ''Ganashakti
''. Major English language newspapers include ''The Telegraph
'', ''The Times of India
'', ''Hindustan Times
'', ''The Hindu
'', ''The Statesman
'', ''The Indian Express
'' and ''Asian Age
''. Some prominent financial dailies such as: ''The Economic Times
'', ''Financial Express
'', ''Business Line
'' and ''Business Standard
'' are widely circulated. Vernacular newspapers such as those in Hindi, Nepali, Gujarati
, Odia, Urdu and Punjabi are also read by a select readership.
is the state-owned television broadcaster. Multi system operator
s provide a mix of Bengali, Nepali, Hindi, English and international channels via cable
. Bengali 24-hour television news channels
include ABP Ananda
, News18 Bangla
, Tara Newz
, Kolkata TV
, News Time
, Zee 24 Ghanta
, Mahuaa Khobor
, CTVN Plus, Channel 10
and R Plus
All India Radio
is a public radio station.
stations are available only in cities like Kolkata, Siliguri, and Asansol.
, Reliance Communications
, MTS India
, Idea Cellular
and Tata DoCoMo
are available cellular
phone providers. Broadband Internet is available in select towns and cities and is provided by the state-run BSNL and by other private companies. Dial-up access
is provided throughout the state by BSNL and other providers.
and association football
are popular sports in the state. West Bengal, unlike most other states of India, is noted for its passion and patronage of football.
Kolkata is one of the major centres for football in India
and houses top national clubs such as Mohun Bagan Athletic Club
, East Bengal Club
and Mohammedan Sporting Club
West Bengal has several large stadiums. Eden Gardens
was one of only two 100,000-seat cricket stadiums in the world;
renovations before the 2011 Cricket World Cup
reduced the capacity to 66,000. The stadium is the home to various cricket teams such as the Kolkata Knight Riders
, the Bengal cricket team
and the East Zone
. The 1987 Cricket World Cup
final was hosted in Eden Gardens. The Calcutta Cricket and Football Club
is the second-oldest cricket club in the world.
Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan
(VYBK), is a multipurpose stadium in Kolkata, with a current capacity of 85,000. It is the largest stadium in India by seating capacity. Before its renovation in 2011, it was the second largest football stadium in the world, having a seating capacity of 120,000. It has hosted many national and international sporting events like the SAF Games
of 1987 and the 2011 FIFA friendly football match between Argentina and Venezuela featuring Lionel Messi
. In 2008 legendary German goalkeeper, Oliver Kahn
played his farewell match on this ground.
The stadium hosted the final match of the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup
Notable sports persons from West Bengal include former Indian national cricket team captain Sourav Ganguly
, Pankaj Roy
, Olympic tennis bronze medal
list Leander Paes
and chess grand master Dibyendu Barua
* Bengali Language Movement
* Ghoti people
* List of colleges and universities in West Bengal
* List of people from West Bengal
* Outline of West Bengal
* Tourist attractions in West Bengal
* Richard Maxwell Eaton, The rise of Islam and the Bengal frontier, 1204–1760, 1993, University of California Press
, California, California,1993, .
* Ross Mallick. (1955). Development Policy of a Communist Government: West Bengal Since 1977, Cambridge University Press
, Cambridge (Reprinted 2008) .
* Government of West Bengal
, Law Department, Lagislative Notification. No. 182- L – 24 January 2013. West Bengal Act XXXVI of 2012. The West Bengal Official Language (Second Amendment) Act, 2012.
West Bengal Tourism
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