Rabindra Bharati University, was founded on May 8, 1962 under the Rabindra Bharati Act to mark the birth centenary of poet Rabindranath Tagore at his residential house at Calcutta for the advancement of learning and culture particularly in the branches of music, dance and drama. Assent of the President of India to the Rabindra Bharati Act passed by the Legislature of West Bengal, was first published in the Calcutta Gazette, Extra ordinary, of the 10th January, 1962.
After the death of Rabindranath Tagore, the house belonging to Gaganendranath Tagore and Abanindranath Tagore on the south-west side of the main building was purchased by a private party. Late Suresh Chandra Majumdar on behalf of Rabindra Bharati Society collected from public around Rs. 15 Lakhs and part of the money was paid to the private party to acquire the property as stated above. In the meanwhile the private party went to the High Court for enhancement of the award and the party was given additional award of Rs. 3 Lakhs by the court. As Suresh Chandra Majumdar was facing severe fund crisis, he asked the West Bengal Government to release suitable grant. An agreement was signed between the Government and Rabindra Bharati Society and as a condition of the grant, the Government was given the right to use Rabindra Bharati property for use of its proposed Dance, Drama and Music Institute. Accordingly, the Institute, namely West Bengal State Akademy of Dance, Drama, Music and Visual Arts (present name) was established in 1955.
Uday Shankar, Ahindra Chowdhury and Ramesh Banerjee were put in charge of Dance, Drama and Music respectively. Uday Shankar subsequently left the Institute. In 1959, it was felt that the Government of West Bengal would establish a University as a memorial to Rabindranath.