Visva-Bharati is a public research central university and an Institution of National Importance located in Santiniketan, West Bengal, India is celebrating its centenary. 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 University followed the pedagogy devised by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, though gradually it evolved in the format in which modern Universities developed elsewhere. The Prime Minister is the Chancellor of the University. The origins of the institution date back to 1863 when Debendranath Tagore set up an ashram 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 1921 his youngest son Rabindranath Tagore established a co-educational school inside the premises of the ashram. From 1921 onwards, Tagore used the ashram to organise the Hindu Mela, which soon became a centre of nationalist activity. Rabindranath Tagore believed in open air education and had reservations about any teaching done within four walls.