History and Art and Culture
Context: Visva-Bharati University will soon get the ‘heritage’ tag from UNESCO to take the distinction of world’s first living heritage university.
About the university:
- It was founded by Rabindranath Tagore in 1921.
- Until Independence, it was a college and the institution was given the status of Central University in 1951 through a central Act.
- Its first vice-chancellor was Rathindranath Tagore, the son of Rabindranath Tagore.
- The second vice-chancellor was grandfather of another Nobel Laureate economist Amartya Sen.
- In 1922, Visva-Bharati was inaugurated as a Centre for Culture with exploration into the arts, language, humanities, music.
About Rabindranath Tagore
- Rabindranath Tagore was a Bengali poet, novelist, and painter, who was born in Calcutta on May 7, 1861 and was highly influential in introducing Indian culture to the west.
- He was also referred to as ‘Gurudev’, ‘Kabiguru’, and ‘Biswakabi’.
- He was the first non-European to receive the Nobel Prize for his work on Gitanjali in 1913.
- In 1915, Tagore was awarded knighthood by the British King George V. However, in 1919, following the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre he renounced his Knighthood.
- Rabindranath Tagore was a good friend of Mahatma Gandhi and is said to have given him the title of Mahatma.
- He gave the national anthems for two countries, India and Bangladesh.
- He inspired a Ceylonese student of his, to pen and compose the national anthem of Sri Lanka.
- 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 which allowed students to continue their course till the student and his teacher both are satisfied.
Source: Indian Express
Previous Year Questions
Q.1) With reference to Madanapalle of Andhra Pradesh, which one of the following statements is correct? (2021)
- Pingali Venkayya designed the tricolor Indian National Flag here.
- Pattabhi Sitaramaiah led the Quit India Movement of Andhra region from here.
- Rabindranath Tagore translated the National Anthem from Bengali to English here.
- Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott set up headquarters of Theosophical Society first here.
Q.2) Wellesley established the Fort William College at Calcutta because (2020)
- he was asked by the Board of Directors at London to do so
- he wanted to revive interest in oriental learning in India
- he wanted to provide William Carey and his associates with employment
- he wanted to train British civilians for administrative purpose in India
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