Dakshin Dinajpur or South Dinajpur is a district of the Indian state of West Bengal. Created on 1 April 1992 by the division of the erstwhile West Dinajpur district, it comprises two subdivisions: Balurghat and Gangarampur. As of 2011 it was the least populous district of West Bengal (out of 19).
The erstwhile Dinajpur District, at the time of the partition of India, was split up into West Dinajpur district and East Dinajpur. The East Dinajpur district, now called Dinajpur, became part of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). The West Dinajpur district was enlarged in 1956, when States Reorganisation Act recommendations were implemented, with the addition of some areas of Bihar. The district was bifurcated into Uttar Dinajpur and Dakshin Dinajpur on 1 April 1992.
Dakshin Dinajpur is predominantly an agricultural district with large area of land being under cultivation. The district is drained by north-south flowing rivers like Atreyee, Purnabhaba, Tangon and Brahmani, to give rise to a sizeable, unorganized fishing community.
Dakshin Dinajpur is a “Non Industry” district having no large-scale industry. The first industry in medium scale sector got off to a start in the district in November 2003. Internet access is available from most of the cities, even though broadband connections are not available. There is one State Highway with only 3 km of National Highway No. 34 in the district. A new railway line has been laid between Eklakhi and Balurghat, the district headquarters. Train services was started on 30 December 2004.
Bengali is the principal language of the district. The principal communities are Hindus and Muslims, constituting the major portion of the population.
There is one engineering college but no medical college. There are a few good schools in Balurghat and Gangarampur. Many government schools exist throughout the district. Balurghat College is the most popular college in the district. A government-funded girls’ college is in Balurghat. Balurghat has a law college and a B.Ed college. A college of agriculture has been set up under Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya at Majhian, 10 km from Balurghat. An agricultural Regional Research Station for Old Alluvial Zone under Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya is operating at Majhian.