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Kerala PSC India Year Book Study Materials Page 583Book's First Page
Relevant Website: www.up.gov.in Government Governor : Ram Naik Chief Secretary : Anup Chandra Pandey Chief Minister : Yogi Aditya Nath Jurisdiction of High : Allahabad High Court Court West Bengal Area : 88,752 sq km Population : 9.13 crore (prov. census 2011) Capital : Kolkata Principal Language : Bangla History The name of Bengal or Bangla is derived from the ancient kingdom of Vanga, or Banga. However, Stone Age tools dating back 20,000 years have been excavated in the state. The region was settled by Dravidian, Tibet-Burman, and Austro-Asiatic peoples and was a part of the Vanga kingdom of ancient India. It was a part of Magadha empire. It was one of the four main kingdoms of India during the times of Mahaveera and Buddha, and consisted of several Janapadas. Bengal was referred to as Gangaridai by the ancient Greeks around 100 BC, meaning, speculatively, a land with the river Ganga in its heart. The first recorded independent King of Bengal was Shashanka, reigning around the early 7th century. After a period of anarchy, the Buddhist Pala dynasty ruled the region for four hundred years, followed by a shorter region of the Hindu Sena dynasty. Islam came to Bengal in 12th century by Sufi missionaries. Later, occasional Muslim raiders reinforced the process of conversion by building mosques, madrassas and Sufi Khanqahh. Bengal was ruled by various Muslim rulers and governors till the Mughal period in the 16th century. History of modern Bengal begins with the advent of Europeans, more precisely, with the English trading companies. The Battle of Plassey in 1757 changed the course of history when the English first gained a strong foothold in Bengal and India as well. Bengal was partitioned in 1905 to achieve some political returns. The land frontiers touch Bangladesh in the east and are separated from Nepal in the west, Bhutan lies in the north-east, while Sikkim is on the north. On the west are the states of Bihar and Jharkhand, while in the south lies Odisha and the Bay of Bengal washes its southern frontiers. Agriculture Agriculture is the main source of income for about 70 per cent of the population. Jute and rice are the principal crops grown in the state, along with tea, maize, tobacco and sugarcane.