Development of education in India (Pre and Post British Era)

Indian education underwent changes on account of diversification and modernization of the contents. Both  Indian and British tried revamping of Indian education on modern lines.

Education machinery during East India Co.

1) Calcutta Madarsah by Warren Hastings,to study Muslims laws and its related subjects.

2) Sanskrit College by Jonathan Duncan, for the study of Hindu law and philosophy.

3) Vernacular training: Fort William college was setup for training of civil servants, in Indian languages.  This would help the Govt. in correspondence with the local administration.

The basic purpose of both Calcutta Madarshah and Sanskrit College was to ensure a regular supply of qualified Indians to help running the administration.

Macaulay minutes

Based on the Lord Bentick’s idea of “Filtration Theory” of education in India,wherein he believed that education should be filtered down from upper class to lower class,wherein the required resources to be spent on the same can be minimized.

The same thought was administered via Macaulay’s Minutes.

Wood’s Despatch

Sir Charles Wood,recommended to combine both the lowest & highest form of education in 1854 which came to be known as ‘Wood’s Despatch’,came to be called ‘Magna Carta’ in the history of English education in India.

  • English as medium of instruction for higher studies and vernaculars at school level.
  • laid stress on female and vocational education
  • secular impart of education

Wood’s simultaneously rejected the filtration policy and three Universities set up accordingly in Calcutta, Bombay and Madras .

Hunter Commission

Focus on primary and secondary level education,which had been ignored in previous schemes.

  • Schools and colleges were to be subsidized by the Govt.
  • The responsibility of primary education was to be entrusted with municipality and the district boards.
  • Special attention was to be given to higher education.

In 1902, Lord Curzon commissioned the Raleigh Commission under Sir Thomas Raleigh. This was also known as ‘Indian University Commission’. Sir Gurudas Banerjee and Sued Hussain Bilgrami, were the two members of the commission.

Saddler commission

Reviewed entire primary and higher education. It was of the view that entire higher education needs to be revamped as a precondition to development of education in India.

Indian Universities Act, 1904

This Act laid the foundation of beginning of University Grants Commission in India.

Hartog commission

Laid emphasis on primary education referring to the ‘stagnation’ of the same in India.

Wardha scheme of basic education

Based on Gandhi’s ideas of basic education wherein education was to be imparted via activity.

Sergeant plan of education

Objective was to create a education system similar to that of England.

Efforts by Indians

Raja Rammohun Roy set up Calcutta College, to impart English and Western education to Indians.

Outcome of education system overhaul in India

  1. Inspired Indians of their culture and past as against the projected British facade of superiority complex.
  2. Enlightened Indians exerted pressure on Govt. for secular,democratic governance on modern lines prevalent in Britain.

Development of education in post-British era

Radhakrishnan Commission 

Significant contributions were made by this commission that shaped the education system of free India. It was set up to make recommendation with regards to university education in India.

  • Our 12 years of schooling is a contribution of this commission!
  • University education placed in concurrent list.

Kothari Commission

The committee was set up to take a new take on the changing outlook of needs.

  • Free,universal education upto age of 14yrs.
  • 6% of national income goes to education.

For more on Modern History click here.

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