This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the Topic details “Santiniketan”. This Topic has relevance in the Art and Culture section of the UPSC CSE exam.


GS 1: Art and Culture


Why in the news:

During the 45th Session of the World Heritage Committee in Saudi Arabia on a Sunday, Santiniketan, a town in West Bengal, was granted a place on the UNESCO World Heritage list.



  • Santiniketan, situated in West Bengal’s Birbhum district, is a renowned center of culture and education, celebrated for its association with Rabindranath Tagore, a Nobel laureate poet, philosopher, and polymath. 
  • Its name, “Santiniketan,” translates to “Abode of Peace,” and it was founded by Tagore as an experimental hub for education and art, leaving an enduring impact on generations of artists, scholars, and thinkers.


Historical Roots

  • Santiniketan’s origins date back to 1901 when Rabindranath Tagore relocated to this serene environment, disenchanted with the conventional educational system. 
  • His vision was to create an institution that offered holistic education, blending arts, culture, and nature. Under his guidance, Santiniketan evolved into a distinctive educational and cultural center.


Visva-Bharati University

  • In 1921, Rabindranath Tagore established Visva-Bharati University within Santiniketan, with the aim of promoting universal, non-sectarian, and holistic education. 
  • Today, Visva-Bharati is a prestigious institution renowned for its focus on arts, literature, and social sciences, comprising various schools and centers dedicated to diverse disciplines.


Cultural Significance

  • Santiniketan has played a pivotal role in nurturing Indian art and culture. It was instrumental in the development of the Bengal School of Art, a significant movement that emphasized traditional Indian art forms, nature, and the essence of the land. 
  • The annual Poush Mela and Basanta Utsav (Holi festival) celebrations attract visitors from across India, showcasing the nation’s rich cultural heritage through music, dance, theater, and more.


Landmarks and Attractions

  • Upasana Griha (Prayer Hall): Designed by Tagore, this red-brick structure serves as a space for meditation and prayer.
  • Kala Bhavana: Visva-Bharati’s art college, carrying forward the legacy of the Bengal School of Art.
  • Patha Bhavana: The institution where Rabindranath Tagore’s educational principles are actively implemented.
  • Sangeet Bhavana: The music school, dedicated to the study and practice of Indian classical music.
  • Rabindra Bhavan: A museum and archive housing Rabindranath Tagore’s personal belongings, manuscripts, and artistic works, offering insights into his life and creative process.
  • Khoai: A nearby natural red soil ravine that provides picturesque beauty to the region.

Santiniketan is a testament to Tagore’s vision of an integrated and harmonious approach to education and culture, continuing to inspire and enchant visitors worldwide.



Download Yojna daily current affairs eng med 19th Sep 2023


Q.1 Visva-Bharati University is related to:

(a) Rabindranath Tagore

(b) Subhash Bose

(c) Aurobindo Ghosh

(d) Anand Mohan Bose




Q.2 Consider the following statements regarding Santiniketan:

  1. It was instrumental in the development of the Bengal School of Art.
  2. It was established to promote scientific and engineering education.

 Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2




Q.3 Shantiniketan was a centre of excellence in unconventional learning. Discuss the relevance of unconventional education systems in the present times

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