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Convocation addresses of the universities of Bombay and Madras online

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be desirable. That this University has never been indisposed to
concede to science, in the restricted sense of that term, a place
among the other instruments of education, is proved from the
position the physicial and experimental sciences have all along
held in its Matriculation Examination and its scheme for the
M.A. Degree. But the increasing perception of the vast
benefits which science can, if we give her room, offer to India,
and the desirability of giving full and unfettered scope to those
among our students who are attracted towards her by the bent
of their own mind or the hope of doiog service to their country,
combine to form a loud call to the University to institute new
and exclusive courses of study in science and to grant new
scientific degrees. The matter is still sub judice, but I have no
doubt that the Senate will join the Syndicate in the hearty
response they are prepared to make to the call of the Chancellor.
Passing to the other Faculties, the schemes for degrees in them
have received from time to time consideration and some
modifications, but not to such an extent as to call for further
allusion on the present occasion.

Greater changes have been made in the Matriculation Exami-
nation. For many years we stood alone in requiring the attend-
ance of all candidates for that examination in Bombay. The
year before last the experiment of conducting a portion of the
examination at certain centres was tried, followed in the year
just concluded by the entire examination being conducted in the
above manner. It is too early to form an opinion as to whether
the alteration has been successful. But on this point I may
venture to throw out a suggestion as to whether an entire modi-
fication of our entrance examination should not be made. My
own opinion inclines to making the English portion of the exami-
nation more searching and more practical and reducing the
number and the importance of the other subjects. There is no
doubt that one of the greatest difficulties the student finds on
joining the Colleges is to understand the lectures and the text-
books. Whether the University should confine itself to the
English test, leaving the other subjects to be dealt with by the
Colleges, is a matter for consideration. But at all events I think
that proficiency in. a great portion of the other subjects in the
present Matriculation Examination might be postponed to the


University of Bombay.

I will now turn to the Endowments, and present a compa-
rative statement of them of the three Indian


Universities :











Calcutta ...






Two lacs of this

Madrai ...



Lands and


were given by
the same mu-


nificent citi-

(value not

zen of Bom-


bay to whom

we are indebt-

ed for our

Bomlmy ...






Library and


The University now possesses and administers no less than
32 separate endowments, which is more than double the
number that existed in 1870. Their aggregate value has risen
from Rs. 1,15,000 to Rs. 2,47,000, and the annual income stands
at Rs. 11,049 as against Rs. 5,110. It is at once highly-
creditable to the public spirit of Bombay, and a good omen for
the future, that the decade less prosperous, in a mercantile
point of view, which began with 1870 has been as fruitful in
these gifts of an enlightened zeal as the decade on which that
year closed. Much, however, remains to be done, and I trust
that this flow of liberality may go on steadily for years to
come. The Wilson Philological Lectureship, on the lamented
death of Dr. Wilson, assumed its final form, and became the
first of what we hope may prove a goodly series of endowments,
which are calculated, by the encouragement they give the
scholars and the advantages they secure to the public, to be of
the greatest service to the development of original literary
research in this Presidency. Is it too much to expect that the
friendly rivalry between the Arts and Sciences which is making
itself heard within our walls may soon take the form of one or
more scientific lectureships. The list of benefactions shows no
increase. And we may perhaps admit that in the Bombay of our
day the University can hardly look for such benefactions from
private individuals as the four lacs to which we owe the adjoining
magnificent building.

Though I trust that in better days to corne we may se,
through private beneficence, other academical buildings clustering
round these graceful piles, and forming the large open space to

1879. The Honorable J. GMs. Ill

the East into a quadrangle which shall be sacred to learning and
research. But while no increase has been made during the
period wo are reviewing to a list of benefactions, which at its
commencement already presented an aggregate of more than five
lacs of rupees, we must not omit to notice that the University
has entered on the full enjoyment of the munificence of its
benefactors. The first Convocation was held in this Hall in
1874 and the Library was handed over to us last month.

I cannot, however, conclude this allusion to our being now
in possession of our own buildings without one word of personal
regret that I shall not be here to see the first movement of the
hands on the dial marking the march of time towards eternity,
or to hear the first peal from the melodious " joy bells " which
are to cheer and enliven this city with their voices. May both
be emblematic the one of the march of this University towards
that perfection which should be the end of all our aspirations,
the other of the harmony which will attend on its deliberations
and the joy with which the people of the Presidency will hail the

I may now allude to the Constitution of the University.

Although, no change has hitherto been made in
Improvement ,1 . ' , r T T.-I-I

in tbe constitu- tnis important point, 1 may, I think, express an

tion of the Uni- opinion that the time is not far off when some
change will be called for in this direction. An
infant Institution of this nature had, at its commencement of
course, to look to the general public whence to choose its direc-
tors, and it was not until comparatively a late period that it had
men who had grown up within its own borders that could claim
to take a part in its management. But that time has now come,
and the claimants are increasing in numbers yearly; and I ven-
ture to think that the views which the Syndicate are now about
to lay before Government, recommending that steps should be
taken to secure in future the presence in the Senate of a greater
proportion of graduates of this University, and further to limit
the selection of others to those who have distinguished themselves
in their literary or professional careers, are most wise. I also
venture to think that the Senate may, especially when so strength-
ened, admit Reporters to its meetings, and so court the voice
of public opinion on its proceedings. I do not think an enlarge-
ment of the Syndicate, save perhaps to admit the representative
of a new Faculty, is advisable; but I hope as time progresses the
Senate may make its power more and more felt, not only in its
selections for the Syndicate, but in spporting and it may be
occasionally in modifying the measures of that body.

112 University of Bombay.

Amongst the miscellaneous matters which, have occurred
during the past eight years, I may mention that the University
has had the honour to present addresses to Their Royal High-
nesses the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Prince of Wales, and to
receive their gracious replies, the latter ceremony having taken
place in this Hall.

Having thus brought to a conclusion this review, I will take
this the last opportunity I may have of presiding
over a Convocation to address a few parting words
to the Graduates and Students. In so doing, I
shall doubtless repeat what I have said on previous occasions,
but I feel that for this the importance of the subject will be
sufficient excuse. Let me then impress on you, Gentlemen Gradu-
ates, not only the necessity of bearing in mind the charge given
you on receiving your degrees, namely, that you ever in your
lives and conversation show yourselves worthy of the same but
that you bear in mind that when you can place after your names
the letters of your degree your education is not finished in
truth, it has but just begun. It is now your duty to pursue
with steadfastness of purpose the line you have chosen to follow
and, be it what it may, go on in that line towards perfection
therein. Look at some of the bright examples which we have had
in our educational institutions. Witness particularly the two
brothers, Bahu and Narayan Daji. See how they never tired of
acquiring knowledge how they sought to make the knowledge
they were daily gaining a means for benefiting their fellow-men.
I pray you each to remember such examples, and whatever pro-
fession you may choose, be it Law, Medicine, Engineering,
Science or Art, let it be taken up firmly, pursued thoroughly,
and with a fixed purpose to excel therein and so benefit others.
Let this University have a list of graduates of whom it may be
proud, as showing that one result of its exertions is the preparation
of a fitting class of men to render services not only in the ad-
ministration of the Empire in every department of the State, but
the more important work of spreading civilisation amongst their
fellow countrymen.

To you, students, let me offer a few words of advice. Avoid,

above all things, being satisfied wirh a smattering

Advice to o man y subjects make up your mind to take up

students. tie r

one profession or one branch or a pretension and
stick to it, and become thorough scholars in the subjects of your
choice ; and while striving for the mastery over a foreign lan-
guage, without which success in your profession is impossible, do
not forget that you have a vernacular of your own, through which

1879. TJt<> nntornljh J. GMs. 113

you must mainly look at to spread abroad to others the benefits
you have gained in your own course of education. Remember
also the responsibilities which a good education places upon yon,
namely, that you should be examples of loyalty, truthfulness,
industry and sobriety, that when you are known as graduates of the
University, men may find in you as in the majority of the
present graduates I trust they can now find that the old Latin
lines in praise of learning are still true :

" - iugenuas didicisse fideliter artes
Emollit mores, nee sinit esse feros."

Finally, I would, ere I close, say to those who are still in the
schools of whom some may be here present seek
cation and Gov- no ^ High Education simply for the sake of Govern-
ernment ser- ment service. I see the Native Press still harping
on this point and blaming Government for not
providing for all graduates. In the first place, such a view of
the value of High Education is insulting to it it would lower,
nay, prostitute the highest instrument of civilisation. Learning,
Science, Art, all or any, must be courted for their own sakes.
But I may also add that if Government were willing to take a
view which is too common, they could not possibly find employ-
ment for a tithe of the Graduates this University has passed.
Speaking as a Member of Government, I may say we have, fol-
lowing indeed in the steps of our predecessors, opened more
widely the gates of our service to Graduates, and we are willing
to do even more ; but this is not so much to encourage our youth
to seek High Education, as to enable Government to benefit by it
in obtaining as public servants the men best fitted to fill these
posts with loyalty, honesty, and ability.

And now, Gentlemen of the Senate, brother-Fellows of this
University,, the time has come for me to say farewell. We have
worked together for many years; we have seen, in some respects,
our labours bearing the fruit we hoped for ; but the great success
of this Institution is, I feel, yet in the future. May many of you
remain here to see it approach more and more to what we would
have it become, and witness the beneficent result of its civilising
effects spread more and more generally over this portion of the
Empire. May your efforts be blessed by Providence to this good
end,and while saying again the words ' farewell/ "floreatAcademia,"
let me assure you that my thoughts and the affections of my heart
will ever recur to the happy time we have worked together, and that
no one will hail with greater satisfaction each prosperous step
this University may take in the spread of learning and science
than he who will hereafter be your ex-Vice-Chancellor.

114 University of Bombay.



Mr. Vice-chancellor and Gentlemen,, Members of the Senate,
Graduates and Under-Graduates of the University, Since I last
addressed you from the Chancellor's Chair on the 2nd February
1878, some changes have occurred in the Vice-Chancellorship.
You have had to regret the departure of Mr. James Gibbs, and
the consequent loss of that assistance, which comprehensive intel-
ligence, judicious considerateness, and lengthened experience,
were so well able to afford. But in his successor, Mr. Raymond
West, we have secured for you an executive chief, eminent by
reason of. his varied culture and liberal sympathies. During his
absence, again, I have, with the concurrence of my colleagues,
and, as we hope, with the approbation of the University, nomi-
nated Dr. Hunter to be Vice- Chancel! or, the head of our medical
profession which is so distinguished for the attainments of its
members in many studies cognate to their own department,
whereby we pay some tribute of acknowledgment to that culti-
vation of physical science and to that technical education which
are fast gaining ground amongst us.

The object of my last address, delivered in February 1878,
Principles de- was * bespeak the continued, even the augmented,
serving atten- attention of the University to certain principles
which, as we believe, command the general assent
of its members; namely, the maintenance and development of our
higher education in arts, including philosophy, logic, history, law,
political economy, literature ; the better regulating and systema-
tizing of education in natural and physical science, with a further
view to the promotion of that technical instruction which forms,
year by year, a larger and larger part of the public education
amongst the most advanced nations ; and lastly, the reverent study
of that moral philosophy which, as being the science of human
duty, must be common to the pursuits of all students in all depart-
ments of knowledge. Experience has recently shown, and doubt-
less in future will continue to show, that these principles need to
be constantly inculcated, because, notwithstanding their manifest
importance, and despite all our care, it is but too often seen that
they are imperfectly observed. Without repeating on this occa-
sion anything which I said on these three main principles in my
last address, I will now offer some additional remarks on each of

1880. Sir Richard Temple. 115

In the first place, then, our higher instruction in arts includ-
Docreaso in 8 ^ e var i us subjects mentioned above has of
iii, number of late suffered some discouragement. The late Vice-
Chancellor (Mr. Gibbs), in his farewell address to
Convocation last year, presented a statistical summary of the
results of examinations for entrance to the University and for
degrees, during the last decade of years ; for all which results
we may be truly thankful, and the contemplation of which may
encourage us to persevere in our academical efforts. Still, a con-
sideration of the educational statistics in detail show us that
although the number of those who annually present themselves
for matriculation is maintained though without any tendency
towards material increase the number of matriculated under-
graduates studying for future degrees in the Arts Colleges affi-
liated to the University, has, during the last two or three years,
shown fluctuations and in the main a tendency to decrease. Such
a circumstance cannot fail to cause regret and anxiety, not only
to us who are connected with the University, but also to all who
desire the moral and mental advancement of the Natives of this
country. As the teaching establishment is maintained in full
strength and undiminished efficiency ; as the professorial chairs
continue to be filled by gentlemen whose talents and zeal are
undisputed : the decrease of the students must be due to extrane-
ous causes which are not fully discernible. But some of the causes
can be partly discerned-

In Western India the agricultural distress which has lasted
for three years and the commercial depression which
dencies? 86 ***" ^ as existed for two years, the consequent diminu-
tion of income, and augmentation of the cost of
necessaries pf life, have rendered parents and guardians unwill-
ing to incur the cost of collegiate education for the students. The
same circumstances shut the avenues to some employments,
darken the prospects of some walks of life, and thus damp the
aspirations of those who hope to carve out a career for themselves
by the force of intellectual training. These adverse tendencies
have proved so unyielding that we dare not predict their im-
mediate cessation. Still, we cherish the hope that ere long they
must, under Providence, yield to the benign influences of return-
ing plenty and reviving commerce. Again, notwithstanding
the considerate intentions of the Government that those who
acquire the higher education should have due advantages re-
specting admission to the upper grades of the public service, it
has been found that University graduates in arts frequently fail,
through no fault of their own, to obtain the situations or

116 University of Bombay.

positions to which their attainments might be expected to entitle
them, and which they see filled by those who had not been
reared in the colleges, but who had won their way by actual
work. This non-fulfilment in some degree of the intentions of
Government has somewhat lowered the value of high education
in the estimation of those who are to incur the cost, and undergo
the toil, of the instruction. The defect has existed not in the
judicial but in the executive departments. We have, therefore,
after revision of previous orders, framed such rules as shall
secure to graduates the recognition of their preferential claims to
employment in the upper grades of the executive service. Doubt-
less, young Natives of promise and ambition seek University
degrees for many other objects besides admission to, or promotion
in, the service of Government indeed, this University has never
ceased to impress on its alumni that its degrees should be sought
for their own sake. Still, in such a country as India, the public
service offers a large field for the educated youth, the largest,
probably, of all the fields as yet open to them. It is due to the
cause of education that its followers should have a surer access
to that field, in proportion to the superiority of their attain-
ments. And it is incumbent on the Government, in the selection
of men for its service, to set the most influential example of
reliance placed on the examinations and tests of the University.

In my last address (1878), I acknowledged the many merits
Merits and ^ ^he yo u ^ n educated under the direction of the
faults of gradu- University such as their retentiveness of memory,
their power of mental application, their ambition
to excel, and above all their improved standard of rectitude
and integrity. But I also reminded you of their faults, as
perceived by their critics or acknowledged by their friends,
such as immaturity of thought, rhetorical exaggeration, substi-
tution of borrowed ideas for original reflection, subjection of
the reasoning power to the imagination, inaptitude for testing
theory by practice, and the like. These faults, which are
common more or less to the youth of all nations in the world, have
in India arisen and grown from many and various causes operat-
ing for a very long time. Therefore, they will not be speedily
cured, though the cure is beginning, and, if gradual, must
in the end be sure. Meanwhile these faults become more saliently
presented and more prominently noticed, according as criticism
becomes more and more pointedly directed to our educational
system, and as observers have a larger mass of educational results
on which to make their observations. Consequently, we see
that many persons, whose practical knowledge gives authority to

1880. Sir Richard Temple. 117

their opinion, affirm that much of our higher education is super-
ficial where it ought to be fundamental, and airy when it ought
to be substantial. I am, as you will be, far from a full admis-
sion of such criticism. Still, the prevalence of such a notion
does render the employers of intellectual labour less anxious than
might have been expected to have recourse to those who belong
to this University. It had something to do with the hesitation
displayed by civil authorities in respect to obtaining the services
of our graduates. Though such an education as that which we
secure for our alumni ought to be a passport to high employment
in any profession, yet if an idea gains ground that they become
what is termed unpractical, and are prone to imagine that after
having learnt so much at college they have little or nothing more
to learn in life, then they will fail to reap the fruit of their
labours at college.

The moral to be pointed is this, that a really good general
education should enable a man to apply himself to the acquisi-
tion of any sort of knowledge, however novel or alien it may be ;
to perceive the points and bearings of every case or class of
cases which may be presented to him ; to assimilate into the
mental system the ideas peculiar to any profession he may enter.
In a word, general knowledge should be so ordered as to be a
key wherewith to unlock the door of any special subject which
its possessor may need to approach. If your graduates will act
up to these maxims, they will find themselves more competent
than heretofore to turn their abilities to profitable account.

It is sometimes remarked that educated young Natives
become too apt to discuss fluently all sorts of
and e frank P topics with which they have no mature acquaint-
ance. Consequently, an opinion arises that they
are restless and discontented, expecting too much of immediate
result from the fact of having passed the University examina-
tions, and inclined to condemn thoughtlessly the Government
and the administration under which they live. Doubtless, the
Government and the University never take these manifesta-
tions of discontent to mean more than is really meant. We all
appreciate the freedom of thought, the latitude of expression,
that will ever characterize the youth of a nation which is being
exercised in new ways of thinking. We know that the existing
state of things in this country often invites legitimate criticism,
and we desire that the sentiments of educated Natives should be
unreservedly made known to us. Such outspoken frankness
will never be mistaken by us for disaffection.

University of Bombay.

But discussions of this nature, if conducted to an extreme

point and in an unreasonable spirit, may convey

tremes d eX ~ an impression, which was not intended, but which

is detrimental to the cause of education as well as

to other national interests, namely this, that some of our educated

youths are not properly grateful for the privileges to which their

education has admitted them, are not duly loyal to the ideas,

nor just to the motives, of the administration that has made them

what they are.

Now, it is not for us to read the hearts of men ; and if any
of our alumni be really disloyal or ungrateful, let
andljoyalty. ^is own ^ iear ^ condemn him. But it is our firm
hope and trust that the vast majority of our
educated youth are true and loyal to us in mind, in spirit,
in sentiment, in disposition. We feel assured that those
Natives who have learnt to think through the medium of
our language, have been imbued with our literature and

Online LibraryK Subba RauConvocation addresses of the universities of Bombay and Madras → online text (page 13 of 66)