Development of education in India (During British Era)

Indian education underwent few changes on account of diversification and modernization of the contents. Given below are the efforts undertaken to see the Development of education in India (During British Era).

Education machinery during East India Co.

Among the educational institutions those set up by the British included:

1) Calcutta Madrasah 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) Fort William college for the training of civil servants, in Indian languages.

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 “Downward 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.

Idea was to educate upper class Indians,who would go on to stand out as flag bearers of improved culture and thus,instigate larger masses towards education.

This idea went onto see partial success,since it reawakened the sense self-respect among the educated Indians.

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.

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

Read here: Revolt of 1857 : India’s First War of Independence

Hunter Commission

Schools and colleges were to be subsidized by the Govt.

The responsibility of primary education was to be entrusted with the 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.


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.

Read here: Timeline of Indian National Movement


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


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


The objective was to create an 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.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *