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The Department of Mass Education Extension & Library Services was carved out of the Education Department way back in 1988. The basic purpose behind the creation of the Department was to direct the Literacy and Library Movements in the State for the benefit of the common people. With the assumption of office by the present Government in May 2011, the whole spectrum of activities of the Department received a fresh lease of life, and accordingly, it has redefined its role, redesigned its functional pattern and reworked its priorities for catering to the needs of the people across the State. The Department has under its administrative control two Directorates viz. (1) Directorate of Mass Education Extension and (2) Directorate of Library Services. Besides, West Bengal State Literacy Mission Authority (WBSLA), a body registered under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961, functions under the overall administrative control of the Department.
Directorate of Mass Education Extension is responsible for execution of the various policies formulated by the Government and is assigned the responsibilities for implementation of various programmes of the Department in a time bound manner. At present, the Directorate is entrusted with the responsibilities of carrying out the following activities:

1) State-funded Literacy Programme
2) Running of Social Welfare Homes
3) Education and training for the disabled students
4) Audio Visual Education
5) Running of Adult High Schools
6) Running of Shramik Vidyapith, Kolkata
7) Running of People's (Janata) Government College, Banipur, North 24 Parganas and People's (Janata) Government College at Kalimpong.

West Bengal State Literacy Mission Authority (WBSLMA) is responsible for implementation of the Centrally sponsored literacy programme - Saakshar Bharat in nine (9) districts of the State in accordance with the policy guidelines of the National Literacy Mission Authority (NLMA), GOI, and under the overall control of the Department Directorate of Library Services, through its well spread out Library network, caters to the needs of the people of the State cutting across caste, creed, sex and religious beliefs. With a rich tradition of Library Movement dating back to the days of Bengali Renaissance and strong legislative framework, the Directorate of Library Services has 12 ( twelve) Government Libraries( including the State Central Library in Kolkata ) and 2460 ( two thousand four hundred sixty) sponsored Libraries Besides, there are 7 (Seven) Government aided Libraries run by Non-Government organizations with State Government's regular financial assistance. The central focus of the Library system of the State is not only to intellectually empower the people but also to disseminate information to the rural and urban youths so as to enable them to equip themselves for successfully competing in the stiff employment market. This apart, preservation of the rare and old books, digitization of the Library system, and modernization of the libraries in terms of their infrastructure and facilities for the benefit of the readers and further expansion of the Library network are the major areas of activities of the Directorate. 


Janab Siddiqullah Choudhury

Address: Bikash Bhavan, 5th Floor, Salt Lake, Kolkata - 700091
Phone: 2334-4791, 2358-9354,2334- 3938
Fax: 2334-3938


Smt. Smaraki Mahapatra, IAS

Address: Bikash Bhavan, 9th Floor, Salt Lake, Kolkata - 700091
Phone: 2334-2764
Fax: 2334-8535

Nodal Officer

Sri Sampadtaran Nayak, Joint Secretary

Address: Bikash Bhavan, Salt Lake, Kolkata - 700091
Phone: 2359-7344

Last updated on: Sunday, 31 December 2023
Information Source: Department of Mass Education Extension and Library Services, Government of West Bengal
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