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Visva-Bharati University

Overview

Founded by the first non-European Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Th?kur(popularly known as Tagore) in 1921, Visva-Bharati was declared to be a central university and an institution of national importance by an Act of Parliament in 1951. The President of India is the Paridarsaka (Visitor) of the University, the Governor of West Bengal is the Pradhana (Rector), and the Prime Minister of India acts as the Acharya (Chancellor). The President of India appoints the Upacharya (Vice-chancellor) of the University. A study of the evolution of Visva-Bharati during the lifetime of its founder, Rabindranath Tagore, offers an insight into what this institution was intended to achieve. Rabindranath founded a school for children at Santiniketan and it was around this nucleus that the structure of an unconventional university developed through careful planning. In 1863, on a seven-acre plot at the site of the present institution, Debendranath Tagore, the poet's father, had built a small retreat for meditation, and in 1888 he dedicated, the land and buildings, towards establishment of a Brahmavidyalaya and a library. Rabindranath's school Brahmacharyasrama which started functioning formally from December 22, 1901 with no more than five students on the roll, was, in part, a fulfilment of the wishes of his father who was a considerable figure of his time in the field of educational reforms. From 1925 this school came to be known as Patha-Bhavana.

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