The most important state in the eastern region of the country, West Bengal hosts the city of Kolkata, one time the seat of the British Empire in India and clearly the commercial capital of the country. It has an intellectually advanced population that is culturally enriched and still has many educational and scientific institutes of excellence and has a rich industrial heritage based on its mineral resources.

Agriculturally fertile, West Bengal is watered by the river Ganges and extends over several geographical zones (88,752 square kms); from the sea to the mountains in the north. Neighboured by Bihar, Jharkhand to its west and Orissa to its southwest, West Bengal is also the gateway to India’s northeast and Sikkim. The state has international borders with Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh while the Bay of Bengal lies to its south. West Bengal’s literacy and health indicators are better than the national average and the state has done well by the IT investors here. However, management of state finances is an area of concern.