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Showing posts with label Visva Bharati. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Visva Bharati. Show all posts

Thursday, August 31, 2023

UNESCO Declares Visva-Bharati as the World's First Living Heritage University

Visva-Bharati University, founded by Rabindranath Tagore in 1921, may soon get 'heritage' status from UNESCO. Located in Shantiniketan, West Bengal, the century-old institution could become the world's first living heritage university. University's vice-chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty said all formalities have been completed, and only the formal meeting remains to be held which will take place either in April or May 2023. Normally, a heritage tag is given to a dead monument. For the first time in the world, a living university that is functioning is going to get the heritage tag from UNESCO.

The university spread across 1,130 acres, was named after Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, who was also its founder. When the Visva-Bharati Society was registered as an organisation in 1922, the university began to be known by the same name. Tagore had donated some of his property, including land and a bungalow, to the society.

  • Before Independence (in 1947), Visva-Bharati was a college. It was given the status of a Central University in 1951, and Tagore's son Rathindranath was appointed as the first Vice-Chancellor (VC). The second VC was Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen's grandfather, Kshitimohan Sen.
  • According to reports, the Union culture ministry had appealed for a UNESCO heritage site status for Santiniketan 11 years ago, to secure recognition for Tagore's cultural ark in the time leading up to his 150th birth anniversary.
  • The Nobel Laureate had settled in Shantiniketan in 1901, because of the ill health of his wife, Mrinalini Devi. It was after this that he founded this institution. Tagore believed in open-air education, a system he introduced to the university and it is still in place.