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(kôlkŭt`ə), formerly


(kălkŭt`ə), city (1991 pop. 10,916,272), capital of West Bengal state, E India, on the Hugli River. It is the second largest city in India and one of the largest in the world. Ten of Kolkata's suburbs—Haora, South Suburban City, Bhatpara, South Dum Dum, Kamarhati, Garden Reach, Panihati, Baranagar, Hugli-Chinsura, and Serampore—have well over 100,000 people each. The area of the Kolkata metropolitan area is 228.5 sq mi (591 sq km), extending more than 40 miles along the Hugli. Kolkata is the major seaport (see HaldiaHaldia
, city (1991 pop. 100,109), West Bengal, NE India. Haldia is being developed as a major trade port for Kolkata (Calcutta), intended mainly for bulk cargoes. The city has a fertilizer factory and a refinery, in addition to various light industries.
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) and industrial center of E India; jute is milled, and textiles, chemicals, paper, and metal products are manufactured. Bengali, Hindi, and Urdu are the main languages. The city has terrible poverty, chronic unemployment, overcrowding, inadequate transportation, and resultant social unrest.

Kolkata was founded c.1690 as Calcutta by the British East India CompanyEast India Company, British,
1600–1874, company chartered by Queen Elizabeth I for trade with Asia. The original object of the group of merchants involved was to break the Dutch monopoly of the spice trade with the East Indies.
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. In 1756 the nawab of Bengal, Siraj-ud-Daula, captured Kolkata and killed most of its garrison by imprisoning it overnight in a small, stifling room, known as the notorious "Black Hole." Robert CliveClive, Robert, Baron Clive of Plassey
, 1725–74, British soldier and statesman. He went to India in 1743 as a clerk for the British East India Company and entered the military service of the company in 1744; he soon distinguished himself in the fighting against the French.
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 retook the city in 1757. From 1833 to 1912, the city was the capital of British India.

The Univ. of Calcutta (founded 1857), Jadavpur Univ., and the Indian Museum, which houses one of the world's outstanding natural history collections, are in the city. The Maidan, a large river-front park, is Kolkata's most attractive section. A subway through the central section of the city opened in 1986. The city was officially renamed Kolkata (its name in Bengali) in 2001.

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References in periodicals archive ?
A schoolteacher in a village near Calcutta, India, Amolik includes low-caste students (untouchables) in his classroom and sacrifices personal comfort and career advancement to defy the upper-caste landowners.
TRIBUTES: The shrine to murdered teacher Betty Yates, above, in Calcutta, India
Thereafter, it became mandatory to construct toilets in the slums of Calcutta, India's then capital.
She founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India in 1950, even though the world has come a long way since then, till today in the 21st century she is remembered on Mother's Day.
He studied art in the Government College of Art and Craft in Calcutta, India which he calls his "first love." "I have been among contemporary Indian artists who inspired me, to name a few Ganesh Pyne, Ganesh Haloi, Sunil Das, M.F.
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Chawla holds an engineering degree from the Institute of Engineering & Technology (IET), Lucknow, and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, India.- TradeArabia News Service
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Petersburg - 324,000 Russian rubles;- Arslan Mahmout, Honorary Consul of Kyrgyzstan to Mersin, Turkey - 80 tons of flour, cooking oil, sugar, pasta and other food items;- Pramod Saraf, Honorary Consul of Kyrgyzstan to Calcutta, India - $8,438;- Domenique Shill, Honorary Consul of Kyrgyzstan to UK - 2,000 British pounds (approx.
Indian rescue workers take out the body of the driver of the Uttarbanga Express at the site of an accident at Sainthia station, about 125 miles north of Calcutta, India
Indians and rescue workers gather at the site of the horrific crash at Sainthia station north of Calcutta, India, yesterday