From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Visva-Bharati University
Mains level : Nationalist education during freedom struggle
The Visva-Bharati University established by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore has completed its centenary.
Do you remember the scheme of education by Gandhi Ji, called Nai Talim?
- The university was set up by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore in 1921 at Santiniketan, Bolpur in West Bengal’s Birbhum district.
- It was founded by Rabindranath Tagore who called it Visva-Bharati, which means the communion of the world with India.
- Until independence, it was a college. Soon after independence, the institution was given the status of a central university in 1951 by an act of the Parliament.
- The origins of the institution date back to 1863 when Debendranath Tagore was given a tract of land by the zamindar of Raipur, the zamindar of Kirnahar.
- He set up an ashram at the spot that has now come to be called chatim tala at the heart of the town.
- The ashram was initially called Brahmacharya Ashram, which was later renamed Brahmacharya Vidyalaya.
- It was established with a view to encouraging people from all walks of life to come to the spot and meditate.
- In 1901 his youngest son Rabindranath Tagore established a co-educational school inside the premises of the ashram.
What makes it special?
- Rabindranath Tagore believed in open-air education and had reservations about any teaching done within four walls.
- This was due to his belief that walls represent the conditioning of the mind.
- Tagore did not have a good opinion about the Western method of education introduced by the British in India; on this subject, Tagore and Gandhiji’s opinion matched.
- So he devised a new system of learning in Visva-Bharati. He allowed students to continue their course till the student and his teacher both are satisfied.
- At Visva-Bharati, if a course demanded by a student is not available, then the university will design a course and bring teachers for that course.
- The university would not be bothered by the consideration of whether there is a demand for the course.