The Host Locality

The host locality is situated at Barasat, the northeastern suburb of Kolkata located at 22°43′N and 88°28′E. It is the headquarter of North 24 Parganas District of West Bengal, and is a part of the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) area. Barasat is also the name of a sub-division centering the municipal city. Being a regional transportation hub, Barasat is the junction for both rail and road network. The city is closeto the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (6 km) covering approximately 34 km2 area.

Situated within the Ganga Delta, its elevation varies between 10‒12 m. The India-Bangladesh border at Petrapole is located 70 km northeast of Barasat. The nearest river is the Hugli, about 12 km to the west from the western fringes of the city. Barasat has a tropical climate similar to the rest of West Bengal. The region experiences monsoon season from early June to end-September. The climate is characterised by dry winter and humid summer months. The Bay of Bengal coastline is located 130 km south of Barasat. Whereas, the World Heritage Site of the Sundarban mangroves is about 75 km away.

The Host University

The West Bengal State University was established in 2008 as the first public university in the North 24 Parganas District. One of the premier Universities of West Bengal at present, it now runs 30 academic departments whichinclude wide range of subjects related to language, literature, social science, science, commerce and management. As of 2020, the university has 54 affiliated institutes. The University has been accredited with 12B by the UGC in 2015.

The University campus is located at Berunanpukuria, located at Ichhapur-Nilgunj Gram Panchayat, 5 km west of Barasat. The Government of West Bengal has been generous in supporting the University and the process of modernisation in the University has been noticeable in recent times. The University has modern infrastructure including ICT-enabled smart classrooms for students. The library has almost attained full automation, offering service not only to students, scholars and teachers of the University but to researchers from other institutions as well. The University is expected to create or offer opportunities for further academic collaboration, consultancy and innovative ecosystem in diverse inter-disciplinary fields. It is also taking necessary steps to create an environment-friendly culture to focus on its natural biodiversity and resources.

Since its establishment, West Bengal State University has spread the light of education to the remotest corners of the district of North 24 Parganas where the minority population is quite large. The University has a significantly large number of students enrolling at the PG level, including a substantial number of female students, students coming from remote areas and students belonging to marginal and minority communities. The University has taken up an earnest effort of imparting higher education to a diverse group of students of which a large proportion is first generation learners, coming mostly from socially and economically backward classes. Above all, the University provides a sustainable academic environment coupled with quality teaching and research in terms of national and global standards.

The Host Department

The Department of Geography of the West Bengal State University was founded in 2008. The department offers a two-year full-time M.Sc. course as well as the PhD programme in Geography.The department admits 30 students in the M.Sc. course. The thrust areas of the department are Geomorphology, Application of Remote Sensing and GIS and Regional Development and Planning. The department emphasises on applied geography and field work which aim at giving hands-on-training on the application of theoretical knowledge in solving real-life geographical problems. The department tries to provide a stimulating research and learning environment together with quality teaching by appointing eminent guest faculties from different institutions.

The main facilities of the Department include:
• A Map Library
• An RS/GIS Laboratory housing 10 workstations with state-of-art facilities.
• A Pedologyand Sedimentology Laboratory.
• Cartographic Survey Facilities of the Department include advanced survey equipment like total station, theodolite, current meter and GNSS system.

The department arranged aNational Seminar on ‘Development and Environment’in 2016and a value-added course on Ecology and Sustainable Waste Management in 2019. Besides, it has organised a number of workshops related to the CBCS curriculum in the last couple of years.