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Calcutta served as the capital of India during the British Raj until 1911. Once the centre of modern education, industry, science, culture and politics in India, Kolkata has witnessed intense political violence, clashes and economic stagnation since 1954. Since the year 2000, economic rejuvenation has spurred in the city's growth. Like other metropolitan cities in India, Kolkata continues to struggle with the problems of urbanisation: poverty, pollution and traffic congestion.
Kolkata is noted for its revolutionary history, ranging from the Indian struggle for independence to the leftist and trade union movements.
Kolkata is also known worldwide for its many bridges that link the city to its sister city of Howrah. The Kolkata Bridges include Howrah Bridge, Vidyasagar Setu, Vivekananda Setu, Nivedita Setu, and Jubilee Bridge (India).