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∆░Indian State West Bangal░∆

About West Bengal
West Bengalis located in the northeastern part of the country. It is bounded on the north by Bhutan and the state of Sikkim, on the east by Bangladesh, on the northeast by the state of Assam
, on the south by the Bay of Bengal, on the southwest by the state of Orissa, on the northwest by Nepal, and on the west by the state of Bihar. The alluvial plain in the south is watered by the legendary River Hooghly and its tributaries - Mayurakshi, Damodar, Kangsabati and the Rupnarayan. The Himalayan north, comprising the districts of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Bihar are watered by the swift flowing rivers Tista, Torsa, Jaldhaka and Ranjit. Variations in altitude result in great variety in the nature and climate of West Bengal. From the northern highlands at the feet of the Himalayas to the tropical forests of Sunderbans, West Bengal is a land of myriad beauty, each region different from the other.
Facts on West Bengal
State CapitalKolkata
Population ('000s in 1991)68,078
Area ('000 sq. km)89
Females per 1000 males (1991)917
Literacy rate (1991)57.7
Ratio of urban population (1991)27.5
Net Domestic Product416,040
Principal LanguageBengali
Per Capita Income5,901
Districts19 Districts
State BirdWhite-throated Kingfisher
State AnimalFishing cat
State TreeDevil Tree
State FlowerNight-flowering Jasmine
West Bengal Facts
Although in area West Bengal ranks as one of the smaller states of India, it is one of the largest in population. The capital is Calcutta, India's third largest metropolitan city by population; other important cities and towns are Howrah, Asansol, Durgapur and Siliguri, Darjeeling, Kharagpur and Haldia. West Bengal has a single-chamber legislative assembly with 295 seats. The state sends 58 members to the Indian national parliament: 16 to the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) and 42 to the Lok Sabha (Lower House). Local government is based on 19 administrative districts.
West Bengal History
Bengal finds a coveted place even in pre-historic times. At the time of Alexander's invasion a powerful kingdom called Gangaridai ruled over Bengal. Ascendancy of the Guptas and the Mauryas had somewhat little effect on Bengal. Later Sasanka became the king of Bengal and is said to have played an important role in the early half of the seventh century. He was succeeded by Gopala who founded the Pala dynasty which ruled for centuries and had created a huge empire. The Palas were followed by the Sena dynasty which was ended by Muslim rulers from Delhi. Bengal was ruled by various Muslim rulers and governors till the Mughal period in sixteenth century.
Economy and Infrastructure of West Bengal
Agriculture plays a pivotal role in the state's income, and nearly three out of four persons in the state are directly or indirectly involved in agriculture. The state accounted for 66.5 percent of the country's jute production including mesta in 1993-94, and 22.2 percent of tea production during the same period. Important crops of the state include potatoes, oilseeds, betelvine, tobacco, wheat, barley and maize. The state also occupies a leading position among principal rice growing states of India, by contributing 15.3 percent of the total production of rice in the country. The state has a significant mineral output, including dolomite, limestone, and china clay. It has steel plants, an automobile-manufacturing plant, and numerous chemical, machinery-building, and light-engineering industries. Here's a profile of the state's infrastructure:
RoadsSurfaces - 25984 Km, Un-surfaced - 32016 Km, National Highways - 1631 Km
Railways3767 Km Eastern & South Eastern Railway Headquarters are in Calcutta.
TelecommunicationsBasic Telephone - Working Lines - 797800 Waiting list - 150200 Express Demand - 1.4 per 100 population VSNL has its International Gateway and Earthstation in and around Calcutta. Mobile Cellular Services (GSM) is provided by Modi - Telstra and Usha Martin Telecom Malaysia within Greater Calcutta. Mobile Services proposed in the rest of the State by Reliance/Nynex. Public Radio Paging Services provided by four operators E-mail Services available from a host of operators.
AirportsDomestic: Bagdogra
International: Calcutta
Major PortsCalcutta, Haldia
Society and Culture of West Bengal
About three quarters of the population lives in the villages. Of the different religions, Hinduism, with its substrata of castes and aboriginal tribes, claims the adherence of more than three-fourths the population, most of the remainder being Muslim. West Bengal contains about 40 recognized communities of tribes--the better known among them being the Santals, Oraons, Munas, Lepchas, and Bhutias--that make up less than one-tenth of the total population. Bengali is the language of most of the people, with Hindi, Urdu, Nepali, and English as minority languages. English, however, is the language of administration and a lingua franca for business purposes.
West Bengal Geography
The Geography of West Bengal is varied. The state of West Bengal is situated in the eastern part of India. On the east lies Bangladesh. Sikkim and Bhutan lie on the north of West Bengal. The state of Assam is situated on the north east of West Bengal. Bihar and Jharkhand is situated on the western side of the state. The geographical location of the state is 23 degree North latitude and 88 degree East longitude. The total area of West Bengal is 88,752 sq km. According to the census of 2001, the state has a population of 8,02,21,171. The population density of West Bengal per square kilometer is 904. Out of the total population of the state, the ratio between males and females is 934. The population of West Bengal is predominated by the Bengali population. But immigration from different states of India has enriched the population diversity of West Bengal.
West Bengal Government
The most stable state government of the country, the current West Bengal Government is in the power for the last thirty years at a stretch. The left front led state government of West Bengal has excelled in many aspects over the years. However it has also faced severe criticism in some areas of its activities. The political scenario of the state comprised of the national parties like the Communist Party of India Marxist, CPI, All India Forward Block, Bahujan Samaj Party, the Indian National Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party, Samajwadi Party, National Congress Party and regional parties like the Trinamool Congress, SUCI, CPIML, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, PDS, JDS, JDU, RSP, etc

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