Founded by the first non-European Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Thākur(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.
In May 1951, Visva-Bharati was declared to be a Central University and “An Institution of National Importance” by an Act of Parliament. It was granted the status of a unitary, teaching and residential university. It has been imparting teaching in various departments as per University framework.
However in Visva-Bharati there is an unique mission of including community based learning in its Sriniketan campus which hosts department like Social Work, Rural Extension Centre and Centre for Handicrafts Training. The vision is to instill the motto of rural reconstruction in the curriculum and teaching through ‘learning by doing’ among the students. The University also has a vibrant cultural environment with various seasonal fairs, festivals and specific days observed and organised involving not only the University community but also the village community in the neighbourhood.