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Modern History / British Administration

Education Policy of British in India

There was no proper education policy of British in India up to 1813. Between 1757 and 1813, only two colleges were established in British India namely, Calcutta Madrasa (in 1781 under Warren Hastings) and Varanasi Sanskrit college (in 1791 under the officer Jonathan Duncan). These colleges were established to help the British in Indian Judiciary.

Indian Education under British Rule

  • In 1813, pressure from the Christian missionaries and the elite Indians (Western educated Indians) made 1813 Charter Act to allocate Rs. 1 Lakh for education.

  • Allocations were made but were never spent from 1813 to 1835 because of controversy over type of education. Two schools of thought were got emerged.

    • Orientalist school of Thought (money to be spent on Eastern system of education through vernacular languages)

    • Anglicist school of Thought (money to be spent on Western system of education through English medium).

  • In 1823, "General Committee of Public Instruction" was instituted consisting of 10 members to settle the matter over type of education. 10 members were divided equally and could not conclude anything properly.

  • In 1835, William Bentinck appointed Macaulay Committee. Macaulay Report (also called Macaulay Minute) recommended English education. English was declared as official language replacing Persian.

  • First woman to graduate in India was Kadambini Ganguly from Calcutta University.

Education Committees in British India

Name of the Commission Year Governor General Recommendations
Woods Dispatch (Magna Carta) of Indian Education 1854 Lord Dalhousie (i) Recommended Primary Education, Female education, Vocational education and Secular and scientific education
(ii) Recommended Grants-in-Aid for Private participation
(iii) There shall be English in higher education and vernacular language at primary level
(iv) Universities shall be set up. Accordingly in 1857, 3 universities were set up, Calcutta University in January, Bombay University in July and Madras University in September
W.W. Hunter 1882 Lord Ripon Primary education must be handed over to local bodies
Thomas Raleigh 1902 Lord Curzon Universities must be made as residential teaching centres (previously Universities were conducting exams only)
Sadler Commission 1917 (submitted report in 1919) Lord Chemlsford (i) It recommended for the autonomy of Universities
(ii) 3 year degree course was to be introduced
(iii) Board of Intermediate Education and the Board of Secondary Education shall be created
Hartog 1929 Lord Irwin Recommended for improvement of education standards
Sargent 1944 Wavell Recommended for comprehensive plan from pre-primary to the university education
Dr. Zakir Hussain Committee 1937 Congress Party Through its Wardha Scheme of Basic Education recommended for the children, free and compulsory education in their own mother tongue