The city nicknamed the "City of Joy" is widely regarded as the "cultural capital" of India and as of 2019, six Nobel Laureates have been associated with the city. Recent estimates of Kolkata Metropolitan Area's economy have ranged from $60 to $150 billion (GDP adjusted for purchasing power parity) making it the third most-productive metropolitan area in India, after Mumbai and Delhi. In the late 17th century, the three villages that predated Calcutta were ruled by the Nawab of Bengal under Mughal suzerainty.
Kolkata Megalopolis is the area surrounding Kolkata Metropolitan city with an additional population. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River approximately 80 kilometres (50 mi) west of the border with Bangladesh, it is the principal commercial, cultural, and educational centre of East India, while the Port of Kolkata is India's oldest operating port and its sole major riverine port.
Among professional scientific institutions, Kolkata hosts the Agri Horticultural Society of India, the Geological Survey of India, the Botanical Survey of India, the Calcutta Mathematical Society, the Indian Science Congress Association, the Zoological Survey of India, the Institution of Engineers, the Anthropological Survey of India and the Indian Public Health Association.
West Bengal's share of the Bengali film industry is based in the city, which also hosts venerable cultural institutions of national importance, such as the Academy of Fine Arts, the Victoria Memorial, the Asiatic Society, the Indian Museum and the National Library of India
Data and Facts
The literacy rate of Kolkata is 87.54% according to the Census 2011. This figure is way above the national average of 74.04%
The University of Kolkata is the first Western-style varsity to impart secular education in Asia! Established in the year 1857, here are some of the luminaries who were closely associated with the university - Rabindranath Tagore, Amartya Sen, C. V. Raman, Satyajit Ray and Aditya Birla.
The city has a very high population density of 24,000 people per square kilometre or 63,000 per square mile. This is one of the world's highest densities. The city itself qualifies as a megacity and covers an incredible amount of surface area that comes to a total of 205.00 square kilometres (79.150 square miles).
Kolkata is administered by several government agencies. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation, or KMC, oversees and manages the civic infrastructure of the city's 16 boroughs, which together encompass 144 wards. By means of the borough committees, the corporation undertakes urban planning and maintains roads, government-aided schools, hospitals, and municipal markets. As Kolkata's apex body, the corporation discharges its functions through the mayor-in-council, which comprises a mayor, a deputy mayor, and ten other elected members of the KMC.
The functions of the KMC include water supply, drainage and sewerage, sanitation, solid waste management, street lighting, and building regulation. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation was ranked 1st out of 21 Cities for best governance & administrative practises in India in 2014. The city has an apolitical titular post, that of the Sheriff of Kolkata, which presides over various city-related functions and conferences. Kolkata's administrative agencies have areas of jurisdiction that do not coincide.
The agency overseeing the latter, the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority, is responsible for the statutory planning and development of greater Kolkata. The Calcutta High Court is the oldest High Court in India. The Calcutta High Court has jurisdiction over the state of West Bengal and the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Kolkata Police, headed by a police commissioner, is overseen by the West Bengal Ministry of Home Affairs.
The Kolkata district elects two representatives to India's lower house, the Lok Sabha, and 11 representatives to the state legislative assembly.
Kolkata is the commercial and financial hub of East and North-East India and home to the Calcutta Stock Exchange. It is a major commercial and military port, and is the only city in eastern India, apart from Bhubaneswar to have an international airport. Once India's leading city, Kolkata experienced a steady economic decline in the decades following India's independence due to steep population increases and a rise in militant trade-unionism, which included frequent strikes that were backed by left-wing parties. From the 1960s to the late 1990s, several factories were closed and businesses relocated.
Flexible production has been the norm in Kolkata, which has an informal sector that employs more than 40% of the labour force. As of 2010, Kolkata, with an estimated gross domestic product by purchasing power parity of 150 billion dollars, ranked third among South Asian cities, after Mumbai and Delhi. Kolkata's GDP in 2014 was Rs 1.84 trillion, according to a collaborative assessment by multiple universities and climate agencies. Philips India, PricewaterhouseCoopers India, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Steel have their registered office and zonal headquarters in Kolkata.
Reserve Bank of India has its eastern zonal office in Kolkata, and India Government Mint, Kolkata is one of the four mints in India. Some of the oldest public sector companies are headquartered in the city such as the Coal India Limited, National Insurance Company, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers, Tea Board of India, Geological Survey of India, Zoological Survey of India, Botanical Survey of India, Jute Corporation of India, National Test House, Hindustan Copper and the Ordnance Factories Board of the Indian Ministry of Defence.
The Kolkata stock exchange plays an important part in the organized financial market of the country. Foreign banks also have a significant business base in Kolkata, although the city’s importance as an international banking centre has declined.
When it comes to Kolkata, everyone recognizes it as the cultural hub of India, but rarely would anyone agree to accept the city as a startup hub. The city is recently witnessing a rapid emergence of technology entrepreneurs, investors, and new-generation businessmen, who are trying to bring the wave of innovation into the city like never before. Right now, there’s a battery of startups that are thriving in Kolkata, and many more are rapidly coming up, driven by fresh initiatives which are briskly aiding the city’s startup boom. Let’s take a closer look at some of the significant factors boosting the startup culture in Kolkata.
The trend witnessed by the startups in Kolkata definitely marks the beginning of a new era that promises to transform the city into a booming startup hub. A thriving startup sector is also bound to bring the entrepreneurs, investors, and influencers on the same page, which will create new job opportunities for the youngsters of the city, and the country at large.
The Kolkata Metro, in operation since 1984, is the oldest underground mass transit system in India. It spans the north-south length of the city and Salt Lake and covers a distance of 33.02 km. As of 2020, four Metro rail lines were under construction. Kolkata has four long-distance railway stations, located at Howrah, Sealdah, Chitpur and Shalimar, which connect Kolkata by rail to most cities in West Bengal and to other major cities in India.
The yellow taxi remains a favourite despite the foray of rideshare companies in the transport market
Kolkata is the only Indian city with a tram network, which is operated by the Calcutta Tramways Company. The slow-moving tram services are restricted to certain areas of the city. Hired public conveyances include auto-rickshaws, which often ply specific routes, and yellow metered taxis. In parts of the city, cycle rickshaws and hand-pulled rickshaws are patronised by the public for short trips.
Due to its diverse and abundant public transportation, privately owned vehicles are not as common in Kolkata as in other major Indian cities. As of 2004, after adjusting for population density, the city's «road space» was only 6% compared to 23% in Delhi and 17% in Mumbai. The Kolkata Metro has somewhat eased traffic congestion, as has the addition of new roads and flyovers. The city's main bus terminals are located at Esplanade and Babughat.
While the tech success stories of Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad are well documented. Kolkata represents a unique challenge. Despite massive construction of commercial and residential buildings, the region continues to be beset by low credit-card acceptance and poor Internet connectivity, formidable deterrents to start-ups and established companies.
Kolkata is an intellectual hotbed, but there is a disparity between the well-educated and everyone else, he says. The leftist sentiment is another deterrent to tech in Kolkata, which remains a trading hub for grains and spices, and has been an industrial centre for car manufacturing.
What needs to improve in Kolkata and other cities, he says, are a skilled workforce, accommodating local governments, transportation access and an Anglo-speaking population. Known by residents as the «city of firsts,» Kolkata is where radio-wave technology, ambulance services and tram tracks got their starts.
Social Wellness and Human Resources
The central importance of Kolkata means levels of human development tend to be highest within the bigger Kolkata region and deteriorate in concentric circles in line with distance from this region. Given this, there are some regions that need explicit attention from the perspective of human development.
There are unit 3 specific sub-regions in West Bengal that face specific issues of development and constraints on up the conditions of well-being, thanks to historical reasons, or distance and location concerns, or social composition. Therefore, they have a tendency to be additional backwards in terms of infrastructure development and also human development indicators. The Paschimanchal region within the west of the state spans all the blocks of Birbhum and Purulia, and a few blocks of Bankura, Medinipur and Bardhaman. West Bengal highlights 3 important relationships that have crucial implications for human development anyplace.
The primary is that the inherent problem of an autonomous development flight inside a constituent province of a rustic, even with a federal system of the state, and also the role of broader economics processes indecisive outcomes even inside the state. The second is the importance of mobilising resources for public intervention, and also the attainable limitations upon the advance of human development obligatory by commercial enterprise constraints. The third is the crucial two-way relationship between institutional modification and economic processes, likewise because of the importance of continuing mobilisation and involvement of normal individuals within the infrastructure and delivery mechanisms necessary for improving conditions of human development. West Bengal has been successful in bringing down each birth rates and death rates, with one in every of the foremost speedy declines in the birth rate in India.
The sex ratio in West Bengal has shown improvement in recent times, so it’s currently simply on top of the national average, whereas the 0-6 years sex quantitative relation is far beyond the all-India average. West Bengal includes a far better record of guaranteeing the lives of girl infants than India as a full. The state Human Development Report brings out a mixed image of the present state of human development in the state, with some vital successes and additionally some areas of inadequate action, additionally as bound rising issues. Further, it makes an attempt to grasp the explanations on why the positive effects of those initiatives haven’t been a lot pronounced on human development attainments.
In addition to the «traditional» problems lined in an exceedingly human development report like health, education and livelihoods, and also the chapters ashore reforms and decentralization, the West Bengal HDR analyses problems like human security, material conditions, environment and issues of special regions inside the State.