Governance Wins West Bengal

Dark Horse of Development

The West Bengal government has made great strides in the Health sector even before the pandemic. That Didi herself has headed this particular ministry is no coincidence. For 2018, SKOCH studied the Fair Price Diagnostic Center Monitoring system (FPDC) by the Department of Health and Family Welfare. Unique healthcare needs of women are prioritised under her leadership. ‘Waiting Huts for Pregnant Women’ is a project that offers pregnant women in remote rural areas better maternal care facilities under the supervision of doctors.

The Jaago scheme under the Department of Self Help Group & Self Employment is doing incredible work by offering ‘no strings attached funding’ to around 10 lakh SHGs across the states directly benefiting around 1 crore women. The SHGs receive Rs 5,000 through DBT. The primary objective is to increase the participation of women in economic decision-making and social issues.

The South Bengal State Transport Corporation has introduced the Integrated Traffic Management System to streamline the transport services sector and traveller experience.

The MSME & Textiles Dept submitted a project for evaluation in 2015 and we found the ‘’ portal to be a crucial milestone in improving the ease of doing business in the state. Since 2017, the West Bengal Small Industries Development Corporation Limited is using a digital platform for improved G2C delivery for Online Land Allotment. In 2018, we also awarded Silpasathi–a Single Window Licensing System for all MSME statutory clearances, reducing the process from 45 days to 7. The project is evaluated once again in 2021 for scale and incremental progress.

Women Lead the Way

Another defining feature of West Bengal is the role of women in the decision-making process at every tier. The women-led, women-centric character of the government under Didi is evident in her appointment of Dr Shashi Panja, a doctor-turned-minister, who is combining her professional and personal strengths for the upliftment of women in the state as the Minister for the Department of Women & Child Development and Social Welfare.

The schemes like Kanyashree Prakalpa help young girls from socio-economically disadvantaged families by giving them cash grants so that they are educated and are not married until the legal age of 18. As a result, the female gender ratio in higher education has gone up from 42% in 2010 to 47.3% in 2019.

Equally important is Rupashree Prakalpa, – one-time marriage grant of Rs 25,000 to women from disadvantaged backgrounds. It protects women’s interests and pushes for safe marriages through its legal age to marry criteria.

The department has also done some monumental work in tackling the evil that is human trafficking. The department has set up a dedicated State Task Force, operational guidelines and committees monitoring State Plan of Action for the same.

Read the complete story on Inclusion here.

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