A couple of days ago, a team of representatives from the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the Archaeological Survey of India visited Visva-Bharati, to assess whether the site met the parameters for inclusion on the Unesco World Heritage Sites list.
This is the second attempt to obtain a world heritage tag for Visva-Bharati. It may be recalled here that 11 years ago the Union Culture Ministry had appealed for the second time to secure the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site for Santiniketan to get recognition for Tagore’s cultural ark in the run-up to his 150th birth anniversary in 2010.
The ASI team has already surveyed the “original” parts of the university, including the Kanch Mandir Upsana Griha, Santiniketan Bari (the first building that housed Debendranath Tagore and his family after Bhubandanga was bought by him), Uttarayan complex, Kala Bhavana, Sangeet Bhavan and all other structures built by Tagore as part of his dream university. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) with the help of Viswa Bharati University has prepare a fresh dossier and has already submitted it to UNESCO.
Presently, renovation of various traditional buildings and invaluable sculptures scattered all over Visva Bharati is underway and the central government sanctioned about Rs 3 crore for this purpose.
However, the process to be followed for getting the World Heritage site tag is a lengthy and time consuming one. For this a nomination dossier has to be prepared and preparation of nomination dossier is a specialist’s job and numerous requirements have to be fulfilled.