Bangla Govt embracing infotech: E-governance, fintech, AI, student competitions, cyber security

Under the initiative of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the State Government has embraced the use of information technology wholeheartedly. Every Bangla Government office, be they in Kolkata or the districts, is either wholly computerised or in the process of being so. The Government is also encouraging students to work on software technologies to create apps and other useful technologies.

E-governance has been made the norm. As a result, work has become faster – both for the Government offices as well as for the public being served.

All information technology-based aspects of the State Government are handled by the Information Technology & Electronics Department. Thus the department is playing a leading role in the digitisation of governance.

A report published by the McKinsey Global Institute last January had stated that Kolkata is poised to emerge as one of the top Indian cities and one of the epicentres of global financial activities by 2030. According to the report, by virtue of its relative proximity to Singapore and Hong Kong, Kolkata stands a bright chance of becoming a big IT hub.

The department is investing in the latest aspects of information technology. It has formed a core group which will interact with various stakeholders and prepare a repository of case studies of projects involving artificial intelligence (AI). Such cases will be taken up which can be adapted by various departments of the State Government.

The IT&E Department is coming up with is a Centre of Innovation. In an effort to give fresh graduates rent-free space for churning out ideas and designing innovative models, the department is setting up a Centre of Innovation at the IT park being built in Bantala, Kolkata. The blueprint for the centre has already been prepared. It will be functional from this financial year, and will have top academicians, scientists and industry members as its mentors.

The department is also encouraging software-based solutions from students, technical professionals and common citizens, particularly for the day-to-day problems of common people. For the last two years (2017 and 2018), the department has been organising Bengalathon, a competition for the development of apps for day-to-day needs.

Another sector the IT&E Department is actively promoting is fintech (short for ’financial technology’). Fintech is an emerging industry that comprises companies which use digital technology to provide financial services. These companies are involved in digital payment, automatic digital banking, share market analytics, insurance predictions and asset management.

The State Government has taken a leading role in developing fintech. A fintech hub is coming up in New Town, with plug-and-play infrastructure. Several companies have already rented space. The department came up with a stellar show at the Singapore FinTech Festival, held last November.

The department has already started working on emerging technologies like cyber security, blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, animation, IoT (internet of things), Industry 4.0 (a standard), analytics, animation and e-sports. Summits are being held every month on different emerging technologies.

An important avenue of growth and safety that the State Government has identified is cyber security. It has set up a Cyber Security Centre of Excellence in order to successfully confront cyber crimes.

The cyber security centre collects, analyses and disseminates information on cyber security incidents, executes emergency measures, coordinates response, and issues guidelines, advisories and vulnerability notes. It also acts as a monitoring authority for the State, which looks at every single incident and incorporates the information for research and development.

Harnessing technology in the best possible way tops the Bangla Government’s priorities, and the above measures provide ample proof of that.

Bantala leather industry to become major hunting ground for job seekers: Dr Amit Mitra

Bantala Leather Complex is going to have a renaissance in job generation in the next two years. With five lakh people already working in the complex, the state’s plan is to double the number in the next two years, state finance and industry minister Amit Mitra said on Monday.

Addressing the inauguration of 23rd India International Leather Fair (IILF), Mr Mitra said keeping an eye on job generation in the state, the state government is going whole hog to make the Bantala leather industry a major hunting ground for job seekers.

In this connection, the state government is making all out efforts to develop its infrastructure to double the number of workforce in the next two years. “It has to be kept in mind that about 55 percent of leather goods worth of Rs 7000 crore are exported from the state.

With the demands of the industry growing over the years, the job generation will be doubled in the next two years,” Mitra said. To underscore the industry’s booming state, state industries minister said leather exports from the state alone is 1 billion out of 8.25 billion.

In this context, Dr Mitra said, “The state has taken ambitious projects for infrastructure development on war footing to make Bantala leather industry environment-friendly.” “For that four effluent treatment plants are being set up at Bantala leather city.

Of which two are already under tendering process. To top it all, an effluent treatment transport system is also being put in place for quick disposal of hazardous wastes”, the minister said.

Dwelling on the infrastructure development further, Dr Mitra said, “We have built a Technical Training service centre at an investment of Rs 14 crore which is in operation now. We have set up Italian machinery worth $2 million there.”



চর্মশিল্পে ৫ বছরে ৫ হাজার কোটির লগ্নি: অর্থমন্ত্রী


চর্মশিল্পে রাজ্যে আগামী ৫ বছরে ৫ হাজার কোটি টাকা বিনিয়োগ হবে বলে আশা করছেন অর্থ ও শিল্প–বাণিজ্য মন্ত্রী অমিত মিত্র।

বিশ্ববঙ্গ কনভেনশন সেন্টারে এক অনুষ্ঠানের উদ্বোধন করতে গিয়ে তিনি বলেন, বানতলায় কলকাতা লেদার কমপ্লেক্স ঢেলে সাজানো হচ্ছে। ৩৫০ কোটি টাকা খরচ হবে। এই কমপ্লেক্সে ইউনিট খুলতে চেয়ে আবেদন জানিয়েছে ৩০০টি সংস্থা। কানপুর এবং চেন্নাই থেকে বেশ কয়েকটি বড় চর্মশিল্প সংস্থা আগ্রহ প্রকাশ করেছে এখানে বিনিয়োগের। বানতলা চর্মনগরীর বর্জ্য পরিশোধন ব্যবস্থাপনা আরও আধুনিক করে গড়ে তোলা হচ্ছে।

তিনি বলেন, এর মধ্যে এ রাজ্য থেকে ১০০ কোটি ডলার অর্থমূল্যের চামড়া রপ্তানি হয়েছে। আগামী ৫ বছরে এই পরিমাণ ৩ গুণ বাড়ানোর লক্ষ্যমাত্রা ধরা হয়েছে। এই মুহূর্তে বানতলা শিল্পনগরীতে বার্ষিক ২০০ কোটি ডলার অর্থমূল্যের ব্যবসা হয়। ৫ বছরে তা বাড়িয়ে ৬০০ কোটি ডলারে নিয়ে যাওয়ার পরিকল্পনা রয়েছে। এই মুহূর্তে কর্মসংস্থান হয় ৫ লক্ষ মানুষের। আরও ২ লক্ষ কর্মসংস্থানের সুযোগ তৈরী করা হবে।

প্রসঙ্গত, ২৬ তারিখ থেকে বিশ্ব বাংলা কনভেনশন সেন্টারে শুরু হয়েছে ২৩তম ভারত আন্তর্জাতিক চর্মমেলা এবং দ্বিতীয় টেক্স–স্টাইলস। উদ্যোক্তা ইন্ডিয়া ট্রেড প্রোমোশন অর্গানাইজেশন (আইটিপিও)। অংশ নিয়েছে ১৪টি দেশ।

Source: The Statesman

Remembering the martyrs of political violence in West Bengal during CPI(M) rule

The Left Front rule helped engender a lexicon of political violence in the West Bengal during its 34 years in power.

The A to Z of political violence:

  • A … Ananda Margi Massacre, 1982: 7 Ananda Margis charred to death on a bridge
  • B … Bantala, 1990: 3 health officers returning from an immunisation programme raped and killed by a mob. The then Chief Minister Jyoti Basu simply said, “Such things happen.”
  • C … Chhoto Angaria, 2001: 11 Trinamool workers burnt to death in their houses
  • D … Dhantala, 2003: 6 women, including four minors, raped

  • M … Marichjhanpi Massacre, Sundarbans, 1979: Police opened fire at refugees
  • N … Nandigram, 2007: 14 farmers shot dead in broad daylight; Netai, 2011

  • S … Sainbari,1970: Members of a family murdered by CPI(M) goons. The mother of the family was then fed rice mixed with the victims’ blood.
  • T … Tapasi Malik, 2006: She was raped and murdered

On January 2007, farmers in Nandigram erupted in protest against a proposed SEZ.

The then CM  Buddhadeb Bhattacharya showed no remorse as he said, “They (farmers and Trinamool activists) have been paid back in their own coin.”

Thankfully, the dark days of political vengeance are over. Under Mamata Banerjee, peace has prevailed in West Bengal now. The people are smiling once again.



বাম আমলে রাজনৈতিক হিংসার বলি শহীদদের স্মরণ

বাম আমলে ঘটে যাওয়া কিছু রাজনৈতিক প্রতিহিংসার ঘটনা, যা অত্যন্ত লজ্জাজনক ও নিন্দনীয়। ফিরে দেখা যাক সেইসব রক্তাক্ত ইতিহাসের দিনগুলিঃ

সাঁইবাড়ি – ১৯৭০ সালে বর্ধমানের সাঁইবাড়িতে এক পরিবারের সদস্যদের হত্যা করে সিপিএমের গুন্ডাবাহিনী। তারপর রক্তমাখা ভাত খাওয়ানো হয়েছিল তাদের মাকে।

মরিচঝাঁপি – ১৯৭৯ সালে শরণার্থীদের ওপর পুলিশের মাধ্যমে গুলি চালিয়েছিল।

আনন্দ মার্গী – ১৯৮২ সালে জীবন্ত মানুষদের পুড়িয়ে মারা হয়েছিল।

বানতলা – ১৯৯০ সালে একজন স্বাস্থ্য বিভাগের কর্তা তার একটি কর্মসূচি থেকে ফেরার সময় ধর্ষিত এবং নিহত হন। তখন মুখ্যমন্ত্রী জ্যোতি বসু বলেছিলেন ‘এরকম ঘটনা ঘটে থাকে’।

ছোট আঙ্গারিয়া – ২০০১ সালে তৃণমূল কর্মীদের নিজেদের বাড়িতে পুড়িয়ে হত্যা করা হয়েছিল।

ধানতলা – ২০০৩ সালে ৬ জন মহিলাকে ধর্ষণ করা হয়েছিল।

তাপসী মালিক – ২০০৬ সালে তাপসি মালিককে ধর্ষণ করে খুন করা হয়েছিল।

নন্দীগ্রাম – ২০০৭ সালে ১৪ জন কৃষককে দিনের আলোয় গুলি করে হত্যা করা হয়েছিল। সরকারি হিসেব অনুযায়ী বলা হয়েছিল ১৪ জন কৃষক নিহত হয়েছিল এবং ১০০ জন নিখোঁজ ছিল। ২০০৭ সালে নভেম্বর মাসে সিপিএম এর ক্যাডার বাহিনী নন্দীগ্রাম দখল করার চেষ্টা করেছিল। তখন তৎকালীন মুখ্যমন্ত্রী বুদ্ধদেব ভট্টাচার্য বলেছিলেন, ‘ওদের ভাষাতেই ওদের জবাব দেওয়া হয়েছে’।

এই রক্তে রাঙানো দিনগুলি এখন অতীত। পশ্চিমবঙ্গে এখন অনেক শান্তি। চারদিকে উন্নয়নের জোয়ার বইছে। বাংলা এখন হাসছে।


Job boom in Bengal infotech industry

The infotech sector in Bengal is on a recruitment drive. As many as 50,000 jobs will be created in 15 IT parks being set up in the state and as part of hiring plans of industry majors such as Wipro, Cognizant and TCS.

Bengal finance and industries minister Dr Amit Mitra, who is also in charge of information technology department, said at least eight of the 15 IT parks will be ready by the end of July or early August. These include the IT hubs in Rajarhat, Asansol, Durgapur Phase-II, Barjora, Purulia, Bolpur, Kharagpur and Siliguri Phase-II.

In the private sector, Wipro has assured the recruitment of 2,400 employees by this fiscal, he said. “The Wipro CEO told me that they are in the process of expanding their Saltlake facility for an additional 2,400 employees,” Dr Mitra said.

He added that Cognizant had promised to hire 5,000 employees this fiscal and has already recruited 1,500. “The vice-president of Cognizant has said he would take the total number of employees to 18,000 here.”

The minister added that TCS will be ready with its second campus soon. The campus will have an employment capacity of about 20,000.

Big numbers

The state government aims to create at least 20,000 jobs in 15 IT parks. Nasscom has come forward to promote the hubs in Kalyani, Durgapur and Siliguri.

“Work is proceeding at a fast pace in seven other locations as well (other than the eight almost ready),” said Mitra. These include Kalyani, Howrah, Haldia, Taratala, Bantola, Malda and Krishnanagar.

Mitra also spoke of a hardware hub in Sonarpur that will be operational in two months and will house small and medium enterprises. Additionally, Naihati and Palta will soon have one electronic manufacturing hub each.

Unprecedented success in information technology in Bengal

With a view to playing a leading role in information technology and electronics in India, the Mamata Banerjee Government put out the West Bengal Policy on Information and Communication Technology, 2012 and the West Bengal ICT Intensive Scheme, 2012. Special emphasis has been placed in the fields of hardware, gaming and animation.

The various aspects stressed upon as part of the policy include setting up information technology centres in the districts, proliferating the hardware and electronics industries, setting up national centres of education, setting up centres of excellence in information technology, taking up new e-governance initiatives, taking up e-district projects through which, among other things, all villages would be getting the benefits of Government schemes vis e-kiosks, turning all State Government offices into e-offices, digitising all Government information in order to enable the Document Management System, setting up state-wide wide area networks (WANs), setting up a State data centre, setting up a full-fledged State portal and a State Service Delivery Gateway, creation special computer education kits for all State Government schools, etc.

In 2012, the State Government was awarded the Data Quest E-Readiness Award.

Huge increase in budgetary allocation

The yearly Budget allotment for the information technology and electronics sector by the Trinamool Congress Government has been much more when compared to the previous Left Front Government, which points to the serious intent of the present Government to develop this sector.

The Left Front Government, in its last four years, spent a total of Rs 16,39,41,000 whereas the Trinamool Government, in its first four years (2011-12 to 2014-15) has spent a total of Rs 299,48,64,000 (Rs 29,58,14,000, Rs 43,09,60,000, Rs 100,10,90,000 and Rs 126,70,00,000, respectively). This is a massive increase of 1,726.79% over the previous four-year period. The plan outlay for the present financial year (2015-16) is even more.

Information technology parks in eight districts

The State Government is setting up information technology (IT) parks in eight districts in 2015-16. In the last three years, 15 IT parks have been announced of which eight are on their way to completion. The eight are located in Siliguri, Durgapur, Asansol, Barjora, Rajarhat (near Kolkata), Kharagpur, Bolpur and Purulia. These eight would create employment opportunities for 20,000 people.

The other seven would be located in Malda, Howrah, Haldia, Kalyani, Krishnanagar, Taratala and Bantala (the last two are in Kolkata).


Transparency in service, speed of service, efficiency of service – to ensure the implementation of these three aspects in all State Government work, the Trinamool Government has decided on e-governance as a backbone for implementation of all services and schemes.

  • E-office schemes have been implemented in North and South 24-Parganas districts.
  • E-office schemes have been implemented in North and South 24-Parganas districts.
  • Staff Selection Commission and the Depart of Information and Technology have been converted into e-offices.
  • As per the latest report, in 2013-14, Document Management Systems (DMS) have been implemented in 13 district magistrate offices.
  •  The same for the rest of the districts is going to be completed soon. For this purpose, 114 lakh documents would have to be scanned and stored digitally, 90% of which work is over.
  • The departments of Urban Development, School Education, and Commerce and Industries have already had electronic file tracking systems implemented in 2013-14, and Home and Higher Education in 2014-15.
  • Integrated Finance Management System (IFMS) has been implemented.
  • Tracking of taxis through radio frequency identification (RFID) tags has been implemented.
  • Information technology has been successfully used in the implementation of the Kanyashree project.
  • For this creating and maintaining this IT backbone, about 500 departmental staff are working relentlessly.



  • The e-district project is being implemented through the digitization of 36 services.
  • Of these 36, 16 have already been implemented as part of Phase-I.
  • As part of Phase-I, over 200 block offices in nine districts have been connected with LAN technology.
  • Project managers for the E-district project have been appointed in 17 districts.


IT majors setting up offices

  • TCS is setting up offices spread over 40 acres in New Town-Rajarhat, where 3,500 are currently employed.
  • Cognizant is setting up offices in the second Tower Complex in Bantala, where 5,000 would be employed.
  • Unitech is setting up offices in Rajarhat.
  • ITC has been given 17 acres in Rajarhat, where constructions are already underway.


Industrial and educational setups

  • Land for electronics manufacturing clusters (EMCs) has been granted in Naihati and Falta.
  • Work for a hardware park spread over 10 acres is on in Sonarpur; the work is going to be completed in the current financial year.
  • An Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) is coming up in Kalyani.



It is estimated that by the end of financial year 2015-16, 1,80,000 people would be employed in the IT and electronics sector, against the only 90,000 that got employment during the last year of Left Front rule (2010-11). On an average, employment in this sector is increasing by 20% annually.

IT in education

The State Government is implementing scholarship schemes online through State Service Delivery Gateway (SSDG). Computer systems with special education kits installed are being set up in schools in tribal regions. Schools for the blind are being supplied with state-of-the-art Braille monitor computers.

Hence, as we can see from the above information, the Maa-Mati-Manush Government of Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee has had unprecedented success in the information technology and electronics sector.