Present Day Kolkata
21st Century – Modern Kolkata
The contemporary Kolkata is a boisterous and prominent metropolis of India. The city is most noted for its cultural tone. After all, it has given the world famous prodigies like Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak. Satyajit Ray’s ‘Panther Panchali’ won India its first Oscar and later many prestigious international awards. The visionary film maker has been a source of inspiration for many generation of film makers in India as well as worldwide. The famed Nandan cinema hall of Kolkata was once patronized by Satyajit Ray. There is a special archive at Nandan dedicated to the film maestro that displays his most outstanding works, scripts and documentaries. The SRFTI (Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute) is a tribute to the great stalwart of Indian cinema.
Kolkata is also most notable for its theatre culture. The Star Theatre along with Classic theatre and Minerva theatre was the center of theatrical performances. Girish Chandra Ghosh was known as the Father of Bengali theatre. His most well-known play was ‘Daksha Jagna’. Other prominent personalities were Noti Binodini Dasi, Saraju Devi, Shishir Bhaduri, Dani Mitra, Uttam Kumar, Soumitra Chatterjee, Geeta Dey, Sabitri Chatterjee and Madhabi Mukherjee who performed at these theatres. The repertoire of theatres in the city includes the Academy of fine arts, Rabindra Sadan, Girish Mancha, Madhusudan Mancha, Shishir Mancha, Gyan Mancha and Kala Mandir.
Apart from being the cultural hub of excellence, the city is also a premier center for education. The Calcutta University is the most prominent University here along with Jadavpur and Viswa Bharati Universities. Esteemed institutions like the Presidency College and St. Xavier’s College boast of an erudite list. ‘Varnaparichay’ which is India’s first integrated book-mall will be soon coming up at College Street, the hub of Kolkata’s literary crowd. This unique project has specially been designed by the West Bengal Government as a tribute to the book loving population of the city.
Kolkata is one of the leading cities in IT industry. Sector 5 in Salt Lake is the nucleus of IT industry in West Bengal. Home to many National and Multinational IT giants, this IT park houses one of the leading brands in the industry such as Infosys, IBM, Wipro, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Capgemini, Tech Mahindra, Ericsson Global Services, Genpact, Tata Interactive Systems, HCL Technologies, NIIT Technologies, Lexmark, Siemens IT Solutions and Services, Larsen & Toubro, etc. In 1991, with the objective of encouraging, promoting and boosting the Software Exports from India, the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) society was set up by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Government of India. West Bengal takes the lead as the most preferred IT destination for its excellent social, education & health facilities. 10% of the Indian Graduates are produced in Kolkata, which has historically been a place for technology and R&D based institutions in India.
The DLF IT Park is another IT hub of the city designed by renowned architect Hafeez Contractor. Located at Rajarhat in New Town which is also an evolving cityscape, the park has an area of 1.3 million square feet with three independent towers and a retail complex built around a large landscaped garden with food joints and ATM’s.
Kolkata is one of the most vibrant cities of India in terms of leisure and entertainment. The city boasts of plush malls and luxurious hotels. Most popular shopping malls are City Centre I and II, South City, Axis mall, Forum, Mani Square, Home Town, Metro Plaza, Vardhan Market, New Market, etc. Amusement parks of the city include Nicco Park, Nicco Super Bowl, Aquatica and Nalban. The city is also dotted with many clubs, pubs and restaurants. The city’s healthcare facilities are most avant-garde. It has the most sophisticated health centers with state of the art facilities. The city is also connected well by a large network of bridges and setus connecting roadways. Kolkata has the largest number of bridges on river Ganges than any other city in India. Some notable ones are Vidyasagar Setu and Nivedita Bridge.