Barasat is a neighborhood in Kolkata, situated in the Indian state of West Bengal. It functions as the headquarters of the North 24 Parganas district as well as the Barasat Sadar subdivision. Known for its strategic location at a railway and road junction, Barasat is a regional transportation hub. Several important roads, including National Highway 12, National Highway 112 pass through the town. During the Mughal period, Sankar Chakraborty (who was a commander of the king of Jessore in Bangladesh) came to Barasat and established himself. During the British era, the officials of the East India Company made Barasat a weekend retreat by constructing houses with gardens. Warren Hastings had built his villa in the heart of the region. The place was known for its indigo cultivation and thus contributed largely to the economy of the state. The city is located in the Gangetic plain. Today, the fertile land of the area ensures the cultivation of crops like rice, legumes, potatoes, sugarcane and coconuts. Prestigious academic institutes such as West Bengal State University, Barasat Government College, Brainware University, Adamas University, etc. are located in Barasat. The city has many Ashramas dedicated to different saints and gurus for the Hindu devotees.
In 2000, Indian Overseas Bank engaged in an initial public offering (IPO) that brought the governments share in the banks equity down to 75%. In 2001, the IOB acquired the Mumbai-based Adarsha Janata Sahakari Bank. Then in 2009, the bank took over Shree Suvarna Sahakari Bank, which was founded in 1969 and had its head office in Pune. Since 2006, Shree Suvarna Sahakari Bank had been in administration. It had nine offices in Pune, 2 in Mumbai and 1 in Shirpur. The total strength of employees was estimated to be more than 100. On 29 August 2003, the Indian Overseas Bank has opened an extension counter at New Kathiresan Temple complex, Bambalapitiya, Ceylon. The IOB opened a representative office in Guangzhou, China in 2005 followed which the bank opened another representative office in Kuala Lumpur and 2009 in Dubai, UAE. In the new millennium, international expansion started once again. The bank took over Bharat Overseas Bank in 2007. After three years, Malaysia granted a commercial banking license to a local bank jointly owned by BOB, IOB, and the Andhra Bank. The new bank named, India International Bank ( IIB Malaysia), began its business in 2012 in Kuala Lumpur and had a large population of Indians. The Andhra Bank holds a 25% stake in its joint-venture, BOB owns 40%, and remaining 35% is with IOB. On 31 August 2013, the Indian Overseas Bank has opened an offshore banking unit in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The bank also converted its existing Extension Counter at Ceylon into a full-fledged branch.