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Administration in West Bengal


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Administration in West Bengal

West Bengal, with a population of nearly 91 million, is the fourth most populous state in India which is spread over nearly 89,000 square kilometers. Bangladesh and Tripura, in combination with West Bengal, are said to form the ethno-linguistic region (i.e. based upon ethnicity and local language) which is popularly known as Bengal. The state shares it borders with the neighboring states of Odisha, Bihar, Assam, Sikkim, Jharkhand and has international borders with Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.

West Bengal was the epicenter of a number of nationalist movements which had struck at the heart of the British Empire in the pre – independence days, and the state is thus steeped in historical heritage. West Bengal was also home to a democratically elected Communist government in the years between 1977 and 2011, following which Mamata Banerjee’s All India Trinamool Congress Party took over. In this article, we shall take a look at the salient features and some of the important details pertaining to the administration of West Bengal.

According to the provisions of the Indian Constitution, West Bengal follows the parliamentary representative style of democracy, which is common to both the Centre and states in the Indian democracy. Let us consider the administrative machinery in the state, by highlighting the legislature, executive and judiciary separately.

Legislative Assembly of West Bengal

The West Bengal Legislative Assembly came into existence in 1862, five years after the Sepoy Mutinty, to act as the legislative organ for the Bengal Presidency. This Presidency of the British era became a part of the Republic of India, in 1950, by the name of West Bengal.

Featuring a unicameral legislature (i.e. consisting of only one house, instead of two), the state’s legislative organ is the West Bengal Legislative Assembly. It consists of 295 MLAs, elected by the people of the state via direct elections which are held once in five years (except under exceptional circumstances). Out of the 295 elected members of the Assembly, 1 belongs to the Anglo Indian community and is nominated by the Governor of the state, while the other 294 are directly elected from their respective constituencies. At present, the 15th Legislative Assembly is functional in West Bengal and the important dignitaries featuring in it are as follows –
  • Chief Minister – Mamata Banerjee, AITC
  • Leader of the Opposition – Surya Kanta Mishra, CPI (M)
  • Major political parties – All India Trinamool Congress, Communist Party of India (M) and allied Leftist groups, Bharatiya Janata Party, Indian National Congress, Gorkha Janmulti Morcha (GJM)
  • Website -

Even though the nominal (titular) head of the state is the Governor, who is elected by the President of India, the collective decision making body that is vested with the real executive powers is the Council of Ministers, headed and guided by the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, heads this Council which is collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly for its policies and actions. The functioning of the Vidhan Sabha (as the Assembly is popularly known as) is more or less similar to the way the Indian Parliament functions, which is strictly according to the rules and regulations enshrined in the Constitution. At present, West Bengal contributes a total of 42 members to the Lok Sabha (Lower House) and 16 to the Rajya Sabha (Upper House).
The prominent Ministers in the Council are as follows –

Speaker - Biman Banerjee, AITC Administration in West Bengal
 Constituency - Baruipur Paschim (South 24 Parganas)
Party - AITC
Age - 63
Address - J-553 Paharpur Road Kolkata
Educational Details - Post Graduate, M.COM, LLB

West Bengal AdministrationDeputy Speaker – Sonali Guha , AITC
Constituency - Satgachia (South 24 Parganas)
Party - AITC
Age - 41
Address - 45, Sri Gopal Mullick Lane (Back Portion), Kolkata
Educational Details - Graduate, B.Sc.

Chief Minister - Mamata Banerjee Administrative setup of West Bengal
Constituency - Bhabanipur
Miniteries - Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Minority Affairs and Madrassah Education, Ministry of Hill Affairs
Party - AITC
Age - 54
Address - 30B, Harish Chatterjee Street, Kolkata - 700 026
Educational Details - Post Graduate, B.ED MA LLB

Amit Kumar Mitra - Minsitry of Finance, Ministry of Excise, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Information and Technology>/br> Constituency - Khardaha
Party - AITC
Age - 63
Address - 63 Baburam Ghosh Road, Kolkata -700040
Past - Secretary General, FICCI
Educational Details - Doctorate, Ph.D in economics

Manish Gupta - Ministry of Power
Party - AITC
Constituency - Jadavpur
Age - 69
Address - 20 Suren Tagore Road Kolkata
Past - Project and Marketing Consultant
Educational Details - Graduate, BSC

Partha Chatterjee - Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Ministry of Higher Education
Constituency - Behala Paschim
Party - AITC
Age - 56
Address - 9/4A Khanpur Raod, Kolkata
Past - Social Activist & HR Professional & Practitioner
Educational Details - Post Graduate, MBA ,LLB , PMIR(UK)

Subrata Mukherjee - Ministry of Public Health Engineering, Ministry of Panchayat and Rural Development
Constituency - Ballygunge
Party - AITC
Age - 64
Address - 15/1A, Gariahat, Road, Kolkata -700019
Past - Social Worker, Ex-State Minister and Ex-Mayor of Kolkata
Educational Details - Post Graduate, M.A.

Purnendu Bose - Ministry of Agriculture
Constituency - Rajarhat Gopalpur
Party - AITC
Age - 58
Address - 97, Shib Narayan Road, Kotrung Uttarpara, Dist. Hooghly
Past - Social Worker
Educational Details - Graduate, B.A.

Bratya Bose - Ministry of Tourism
Constituency - Dum Dum

Firad Hakim – Ministry of Urban Development
Constituency - Kolkata Port
Party - AITC
Age - 52
Address - 4, Peary Mohan Roy Road, Kolkata -700027
Past - Businessman
Educational Details - Graduate, B.COM.

Judiciary System in West Bengal

The Indian Constitution provides for an integrated system of judiciary, which means that there are no separate provisions for the judiciary at the state and Central level. The Supreme Court has the ultimate authority over all matters pertaining to the nation. The Calcutta High Court is the highest judicial forum in the state of West Bengal. Besides West Bengal, the Calcutta High Court also enjoys jurisdiction over the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, through its Circuit Bench, which constitute a separate Union Territory. The Court was established in 1862 during the British era. Presently, Mrs. Manjulla Chellur serves as the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court and is assisted by a sanctioned strength of 63 judges. The design of the imposing building of the Court was prepared by Sir Walter Granville.

Administration at the local level – Subdivisions in West Bengal

The districts of West Bengal are as follows –
North 24 Parganas
South 24 Parganas
West Midnapore
East Midnapore
North Dinajpur
Cooch Behar
Dakshin Dinajpur
West Bengal is subdivided into 19 districts, with North 24 Parganas as the most populous and Dakshin Dinajpur as the most sparsely populated ones.

The administration of each district is headed by a District Magistrate, who is a member of either the West Bengal Civil Service (state level public service) or the Indian Administrative Service (all India public service). The districts are subdivided into Sub Divisions, which are further subdivided into Blocks and Panchayats.

While Sub Divisional Magistrates act as administrative authorities in Sub Divisions, the Blocks are headed BDOs (Block Development Officers). Panchayats are the institutions of local or grassroots governance which cater to the needs and aspirations of the vast rural population of the state. The urban local institutions are known as Municipal Corporations, which are headed by Mayors.

Police Setup in West Bengal

The two main organs of the police administration in the state Bengal are Kolkata Police and West Bengal Police. While the former is allotted the task of maintaining the law and order situation in the metropolitan city of Kolkata, the latter is in charge of the rest of the 18 districts in the state.

Kolkata Police
With its headquarters in Lalbazar Street in Kolkata, this branch of the state police was formed in 1856 and was entrusted with the law and order situation of the capital city of the state by the Calcutta Police Act, 1866 and Calcutta Suburban Police Act, 1866. The police force has a strength of nearly 29,000 personnel, who are present in 8 divisions and 69 police stations across the city. The Commissioner is the highest authority in all matters pertaining to the matters in Kolkata Police Department.

Police Administration in West Bengal

West Bengal Police

This police division in West Bengal had come up before the Kolkata Police, via the Police Act, 1861 shortly after the Revolt of 1857, which had convinced the British authorities of the need to maintain an efficient police force to oversee the law and order in the state, which was spiraling out of control at that point of time. Shri GM Prabhu Rajasekhar Reddy presently heads the West Bengal Police as the designated Director General, who is directly accountable to the State Government.

Police officials in West Bengal
  • DG & IGP, WB – Shri GM Prabhu Rajasekhar Reddy, IPS.
  • ADG (Law & Order), WB – Shri Sivaji Ghosh, IPS
  • IGP (Law & Order), WB – Shri Anuj Shamr, IPS
  • Spl IG & DIG (Hqrs), WB Camp office – Shri Saroj Kumar Gazmer
  • DIG (Administration), WB – Shri Milan Kanta Das, IPS
  • Commissioner of Police, Biddhannagar, Kolkata – Shri Rajeev Kumar, IPS
  • Commissioner of Police, Siliguri – Shri Jag Mohan, IPS
  • Commissioner of Police, Assansol-Durgapur – Shri Vineet Kumar Goyal, IPS
  • Commissioner of Police, Barrackpur – Shri Niraj Kumar Singh, IPS
  • Commissioner of Police, Howrah – Shri Ajay Mukund Ranade, IPS

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