Under Curzon (1899-1905), edu­cation was restricted by official control and educated persons were motivated to express loyalty to the British rule. For improving the working and prospects of Indian Universities, a commission was appointed in 1902. It was headed by Sir Thomas Raleigh. The commission’s report led to the Indian Universities Act which was passed in 1904.

Under the Act, following changes in the universities, administration were proposed.

(i) The universities were required to make provision for promotion of study and research.
(ii) The number of senators in a university shall be between 50 and 100.
(iii) A senator would normally hold office for a period of five years and not for life.
(iv) The government was to appoint most (senators in a university.
(v) The government was vested with powers to the regulations passed by the senate of a universit
(vi) The Act laid down stricter conditions of affiliation to new colleges and periodical inspection of such co by a syndicate.
(vii) The Governor-General-in-Council was emp01 to define territorial limits of a university and to decic ‘affiliations of colleges.

The Act was condemned by the nationalists for various reasons. It increased the government control ove universities by (i) empowering the government to regulations passed by a university, (ii) allowing the ernment to appoint a majority of Fellows in a univE and (iii) empowering the Governor-General-in-Council decide a university’s territorial limits and even the , ations between universities and colleges. The educat policies of Curzon, however, deserve credit for a note thy contribution-that of heralding the system of government ment grants for education. In 1902, Rupees five lakhs sanctioned on an annual basis for five years for hi education purposes.


To evaluate the progress achieved under the Despatch of 1854, a commission under W.W. Hunter was set up in 1882. The commission’s views, restricted to primary and secondary education, emphasised (i) the State’s role in extending primary education; (ii) literary and practical learning for secondary-level educa tion; (iii) that female education had been largely ignored; and (iv) a whole-hearted attempt to involve private enter prise in education. The couple of decades that followed witnessed great improvements in secondary and college­level education, not least owing to activities of Indian philanthropists. Many institutions were set up to promote oriental and Indian learning as well. Teaching-cum-exam ining universities sprang up, an example being the Punjab University established in 1822. In 1887, the Allahabad University was founded.

In 1854, Charles Wood prepared a despatch on an educational system for India which came to be called the Magna Carta of education in the country. According to Wood’s scheme, the government needed to spread western educa tion through English medium for higher education. But vernacular primary schools should be set up in rural areas. Its other recommendations were a grants-in-aid system to encourage private enterprise’s involvement in education, a Department of Public Instruction in each of the five prov inces, universities in Calcutta, Bombay and Madras, teacher’s training institutions and promotion of education for women. Most of Wood’s proposals were implemented which led to westemisation of the Indian educational system.

Just when things were developing on the educational front, a major controversy erupted on the question of the kind of education to be imparted in colonial India. Views were split on this subject. The 10-member General Committee of Public Instruction had, on one hand, the Orientalists, who advocated the spread of Oriental literature and learning, and on the other, the Anglicists or the English Party, who approved promotion of western learning through the medium of English. The importance of encouraging the vernacular languages could not be ignored. Indians well acquainted with the classical and vernacular languages were required for administrative activities, the judicial department (as assessors to expound Hindu, Muslim laws), political correspondence with the various rulers, and communicating with the uneducated. However, the knowledge of English and western learning became essential for competing for various offices and earning emoluments. Many Indians, such as Raja Rammohan Roy, vociferously advocated western leam ing and English education. Some enlightened Bengalis had set up the Calcutta Hindu College in 1817 for the purpose.

In 1835, Lord Macaulay was made a law member of the Governor General-in-Council. Soon, he became the President of the General Committee of Public Institution. As the president of the committee, he put forward his education policy in Governor-General~in-Council on February 2, 1835, which ended the Orientalist-Anglicist row.

Under the Macaulay system of education (approved by Governor-General Bentinck), Persian was abolished as the court language and was substituted by English. Printing of English books were made free and these were available at a relatively low price. There was curtailment in the fund for oriental learning, while English education received more fund.

The approved Macaulayian system was an attempt to focus on educating the upper strata of societY through English and leaving it up to these people to promote vernacular languages and literature. Western learning would also seep through to the masses in this manner.

In 1823, a General Committee of Public Institution was ap pointed to look after the development of education in India. The Orientalists (see box) dominated the committee and advocated the promotion of Oriental learning rather than the Anglican one. However, different sections both in England and in India created mounting pressure on the Company to promote western education. As a result of the Orientalist-Anglicist controversy, the spread of education in India was halted until 1835, when Macaulay’s resolution provided a somewhat clear picture of the British education policy.

The traditional schools of learning in India suffered under the impact of colonial expansion. For one, the political tumult under the British regime could hardly foster concern on intellectual pursuits and secondly, the public endow­ments to these schools were not forthcoming any more. But later, pleas to promote learning by the Indian officers of the Company and others finally bore fruit. Warren Hastings set up the Calcutta Madrasa in 1781 to promote Persian and Arabic studies. A Sanskrit college was established at Banaras in 1791. The Christian missionaries were also eager to spread education through English in order to teach western literature and preach Christianity. Lord Wellesley set up the Fort William College in 1800 to train the Company’s civil servants. The college was, however, closed two years later.

THE 1813 ACT AND EDUCATION The English missionary activists, such as Charles Grant and William ORIENTALISTS V S. ANGLIOSTS Wilberforce, compelled the East India Company to give up its policy of non-intervention in ~ducation. For the first time, the British Parliament included in 1813 Charter ,a clause under which the Governor-General-in -Council was bound to keep a sum not less than one lakh rupees, for education. However, the Company used this fund for promoting Indian language and literature. The Charter allowed the Christian missionaries to spread their religious ideas in India. The greatest importance of the 1813 Act was that the Company for the first time acknowledged state responsibility for promotion of education in India.


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