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Convocation addresses of the universities of Bombay and Madras online

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adoption of stricter methods for the exclusion of the unfit ? Cer-
tainly no public object is gained by increasing the number of our
graduates in Arts at the expense of their quality. In regard to
the best way of using a higher teaching power which cannot be
much augmented, the military principle commends itself, that,
when a force is small in proportion to its field of occupation, it is
more effective when collected at a. centre than when its strength
is dissipated by sub-division. Lower down in the educational
system, there are financial reasons, but others also, why the Gov-
ernment should cease, at a certain point, to multiply Grammar
Schools and elementary Arts Colleges. I do not mean that general
education should be starved. Every boy should have within his
reach the means of education appropriate to his position. But it
would seem that the appetite for secondary education may
soon be trusted to supply for itself what more is needed of these
institutions, whether designed to supply the particular wants of a
locality, or leading up to the University course in languages, his-
tory, literature, political economy, or moral philosophy. It may
be observed that the course in Arts or letters is much more
commonly selected by students than the courses in natural philo-
sophy. That which is most popular is also most capable of self-
support. The upholding hand of the State may properly transfer
itself from that side of national education where it has planted
both a demand for teaching and the knowledge how to supply
it, to help in its turn another side where at present there is little
either of knowledge or demand. That side is technical educa-
tion, which is a good deal discussed in these days. The founda-

1886. The Honorable J. B. Peile. ITS

tion of a Technical Institute, in memory of the Viceroyalty of
Lord Kipon, has brought the subject forward in the past year.
Madras has anticipated us by the publication under authority
of a comprehensive scheme of examinations in Science, Arts,
and Industries, supplemented by grants-in-aid and scholarships,
the Government at the same time preparing to enlarge its own
institutions for scientific and technical instruction. Now what is
it that is wanting ? If we look to the University, we find, besides
the science course which comprehends most of the branches of
natural science, the more special programme of studies and
degree in Civil Engineering, and the affiliated College of Science
where technical education is given of the kind suited to the higher
and middle class of professional men. I do not say that either
the College of Science or the allied institution for teaching deco-
rative art and design is as complete or potent as it should be,
and we are preparing to strengthen both of them. But where
is the sub-structure of which a Polytechnic College is the upper
story ? The answer is that it does not exist. Our elementary and
middle school course has no regard to technical instruction, nor
is it linked with a system of special technical and art schools for
handicraftsmen or for foremen and manager of works. Drawing
is restricted to our high schools.

Nothing that is not quite fragmentary is being done to
develop the intelligence of our industrial population
Technical and as such. There is a dearth of skilled workmen,
cation ^ scientifically educated supervisors of workmen

and employers of labour. There is no connect-
ing bond of trained intelligence among the classes interested
in skilled industry, no elementary training of workmen in
sympathetic alliance with the superior technical knowledge of
the directors of work, such as had long existed in many small
Continental States. Our science is not wedded to manipu-
lative skill. Now, as experience has shown that the nation
which most vigorously promotes the intellectual development of
its industrial population takes the lead of nations which dis-
regard it, this is a matter which will not bear neglect. Palaeo-
graphy, epigraphy and the like are luxuries, but the enlightened
employment of the forces and products of nature is a vital need.
India has entered into competition with other nations in the
market of the world, and competition in the world's market is
very keen. The hold of Indian produce on foreign markets is
somewhat critical and precarious. India cannot afford to despise
any reduction of cost price or improvement in quality which
can be made by the substitution of scientific for rough processes

174 University of Bombay.

and manipulation. Nor should India continue to buy at a great
price in silver any commodity which an increase of industrial
capacity may enable her people to produce well and cheaply for
themselves. Again, there is the growth of population liberated
in a great measure from the checks of war and famine. We
have districts in which a margin of only 5 or 6 per cent, of land
is left available for the extension of tillage. Either the land
must soon produce more under higher cultivation, or other
means of industrial livelihood must be opened out. Undoubt-
edly there are great difficulties. Industries have to be created,
others rehabilitated rather than merely improved by science.
An indebted peasant proprietary is not the most capable of
utilizing the steam plough or the chemical factory. Yet we see
around us signs of a renascence of manufactures. Our mill
industry, though now struggling with difficulties, has promise
of a great history. Indian silks, muslins, gold and silver
brocade, carved work, dyes all old Indian products are in
evidence in the international exhibitions, and where manu-
factures touch the province of the Fine Arts, we have the old
forms and traditions, which, if now productive in a somewhat
mechanical way, are still among us as suggestive guides to
excellence. It may be said that to organize technical education
is the duty of the Government which provides such educational
means and appliances as seem suited to the needs of those whom
it rules rather than of the University which confers degrees
for proficiency in the use of those means* This must be
frankly admitted. The Government must lead the way, and
I had it in view when indicating technical education as in
my opinion that object to which public expenditure in this
department may now be directed with the greatest benefit
to the Indian people. Examples in this matter may best be
sought on the Continent of Europe. Twice in the last twenty
years the English Government has turned for instruction to
those examples. In 1867 there was reason to fear that England,
though possessed of great advantages in raw material, was
being rivalled and surpassed in its own specialities by nations
which had developed their manufacturing skill by well-organized
technical education. Exhibitions and Royal Commissions re-
vealed the fact that France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, and
Switzerland were counterbalancing the initial advantages of
England by the scientific education of masters and foremen, and
the industrial training of workmen. The report of the Commis-
sion of 1884, full of most interesting information as to the
comparative progress of industrial teaching on the Continent and
in England, shows how much has been done in both under

1886. The Honorable J. B. Peile. 175

stress of keenest competition and what remains to be done in
England. Even now it is confessed that the advocacy of techni-
cal teaching as an extended and systematic education up to and
including the methods of original research has not entirely
prevailed. But it must be remembered that, even with defects
of organization, England is rich in the great names of scientific
discovery and invention, that national poverty is not the difficulty
in England, and that the English workman is second to none
in natural energy, intelligence, and inventiveness. In our
Indian Empire I need not say that the difficulties are incom-
parably greater, and their very outworks have still to be attacked.
Where taxation is not cheerfully borne, where the workman is
apathetic under the superstition of custom, and content with a
bare subsistence, where the reach of elementary education is
small, where the upper classes are indifferent or inadequately
appreciate the needs of their country, a too ambitious scheme
put forward by the Government on a European model would
certainly be doomed to failure. But it is profitable to observe
by what efforts and sacrifices the successes of European nations
in industrial progress have been purchased. Both Governments
and peoples are animated by the conviction that the prosperity
of their industries depends on the cheapness and attractiveness
of their products, and these on the high perfection of manual
skill combined with artistic culture. Thus, while the State
undertakes the cost of the highest general and technical instruc-
tion, most of the cost of the secondary and elementary
instruction, both in science and in art applied to industrial and
decorative purposes, is cheerfully borne by the localities.
Moreover, elementary education, which everywhere includes
instruction in drawing, is in the most European nations com-
pulsory. Both republics and monarchies have accepted the
principle that there is a discipline and restraint which a free
people may impose on individual freedom for the attainment
of a great public object. If an Indian Presidency need not
despair of doing, in a measure, what a Swiss Canton or a small
German State succeeds in doing completely and excellently, it
is time to lay down the lines of action. The admirable system
of technical education in the countries of the Continent had its
origin only half a century since with the creation of railways
and factories. A similar educational development should follow
in India on the extension of railways, the expansion of commerce,
and the freer interchange of thought. Municipal law,, has also
been advanced so far as this, that the new Local Government
Acts impose on local boards and municipalities the obligation
to maintain an adequate system of elementary schools which is

176 University of Bombay.

indispensable basis of technical education. Most remarkable in
the history of technical education on the Continent is the great
part taken in its support by communes and municipalities.
We also must use these agencies. I venture to think that an
institution in memory of the man who stirred in so many
million hearts the ambition to share in the duties and responsi-
bilities of Local Government should be content with nothing
less than a wide-reaching endeavour to guide those impulses
to this practical end, stimulating into action the authorities
who now control commercial and municipal expenditure,
and imparting knowledge and assistance to all centres of
population in Western India, by subsidies, by opening artisans'
evening classes and model technical schools, by distributing
mechanical appliances and objects of art, by promoting museums
and art collections. In 1869 when I was Director of Public
Instruction, when the law left it quite optional with municipal
bodies to support schools or not, and in fact 1| millions of towns-
people was contributing less than Us. 14,000 yearly for school
purposes from municipal funds, I made a proposal to Govern-
ment for imposing by law a school-rate on municipal towns, and
one of my suggestions was that by aid of this rate each town of
higher class should support an industrial college or school of
instruction in science and art. I said : " The object would be
twofold : first, to teach practically the common trades and turn
out skilled masons, carpenters, and smiths ; and, secondly, to
teach theoretically and practically, the application of science to
the work of the builder and mechanician, and to the higher
industries with a view to the production of articles of luxury
and export; skill being here expended on products special to
the country, or for manufacturing which there are special local
facilities." \I proposed that there should be workshops and
schools of science and art teaching, and continued : " For
teachers in these schools, I look to the Poona College for gradu-
ates in Civil Engineering and to the Central School of Art in
Bombay for certificated teachers of art. I am afraid some of
this may appear Utopian. But a beginning must be made in
the restoration of Indian industries. In 1862 Mr. Laing said :
With cheap raw material, cheap labour and many classes of the
native population, patient, ingenious, and endowed with a fine touch
and delicate organization, I see no reason why the interchange
between India and Europe should be confined to agricultural pro-
duce against manufactures, and why in course of time manufactures
of certain descriptions where India has a natural advantage,
should not enter largely into her staple exports/' ^ I am afraid
my scheme did appear Utopian, for nothing was done at that

1886. The Honorable J. B. Peik. 177

time. But as we have now advanced a little further in the
science of municipal government, I hope the project may at last

be carried out. Last year I somewhat briefly and
search 6 ^ ' i m P ei> f ect ly directed the attention of the students

before me to the opportunities open to them of
developing the resources of their country by scientific research
and the application of science to industries. I say further to-
day that this appears to me to be the appropriate direction
of the widest current of our public education, because by
far the greatest part of Indian students are, like the Eng-
lishmen in India, of the class of working men. As the great
majority of them have to contribute their labour in some special
calling to the public stock, the best they can do is to promote
their country's prosperity by directing a skilled intelligence to
extract from nature, through science, the services of her means
and agents of material progress. It is quite true that the Uni-
versity may direct the use of scientific method to the study of
languages and philosophy as well as to the study of the natural
sciences. There is room for science of both kinds ; but I think
that there is more need for the latter, and that specialism in the
study of the natural sciences is more useful for the young men of
this day than general culture, and wholesome as well as useful.
Science and art applied to invention and production pay no
regard to distinctions of nationality or clime. They choose as
their most honoured agents those who are best educated,
whose natural taste and aptitude have been best cultivated for
the work to be done. The competition in the world's indus-
trial school gives the prize to those results of labour which
derive the highest excellence from enlightened skill and the
fine artistic sense, and to the peoples who most assiduously
cultivate those faculties. There is no room there for the asser-
tion of an equality which cannot prove itself by facts and
achievements. That arena is quite apart from baseless jealousies
of class and race, their passions and profitless strife. The com-
petition is waged under conditions likely to promote the modesty
which is an element of wisdom and the reverence which Goethe
calls the soul of all religion. With these elementary remarks I
leave a great subject, of which I am glad to call myself a student,
hoping that at next Convocation there may be a record of some-
thing done in this matter.

178 University of Bombay.



Gentlemen of the Senate, On the occasion of your last
assembling here in Convocation,! find,bya reference to his address,
that my predecessor in office almost promised you that on this
occasion you should be adressed by His Excellency the Gover-
nor of Bombay. It must be a subject of deep regret to you as
it certainly is to me, that His Excellency has been unable to
fulfil on this occasion that engagement, if engagement it can be
called, but that wish and desire certainly. He was unable to
realize it, owing to his other public duties, which have called him
to another part of the Presidency over which he rules. And
with him unfortunately for us has also departed from Bombay
for a time that lady, who fulfils so graciously and so gracefully
her part in the not unimportant domestic duties which devolve
on the Governor of Bombay. "We regret the absence of both
of them very much, and it only remains for me to discharge as
well as I can, however imperfectly, the duty which His Excel-
lency and the exigencies of the situation have cast upon me. I
will begin by what claims a word of tribute from a Yice-Chan-
cellor of this University from any one who standing here feels
the interest which I do, and which you do in the welfare of the
institution, a tribute of kindly memory and regard to one who
stood here on many occasions and addressed many who are
sitting here now, always to your gratification and always with a
deep interest in the welfare of this University, I mean the late
Honorable Mr. Gibbs. He, although not a profound scholar
himself, always manifested a deep interest in the advancement
of learning and scholarship in this Presidency, and, as Vice-
Chancellor for many years of this University, he devoted him-
self to the institution with steady, regular, and unfailing inter-
est and industry. He will never perish from the memory of
those and they are many who have experienced his personal
kindness, and I trust these few words of tribute will long remain
recorded in the archives of this institution. Since
portance ng and I had the happiness of addressing the members of
influence of the the Senate about four years ago, this institution
University. ^ag been daily, almost hourly, extending in its
importance and its influence. If we compare the numbers
of those who aspire to its degrees and who come up to the
earlier examinations, which lead to those degrees now, with
what they were four years ago, we observe a very vast increase.
But more than that, the studies have been extending, and as we
hope improved, new institutions have been affiliated to the

1887. The, Jlonorable Mr. Justice West. 179

University, and those that were affiliated before have been
extending and enlarging and elevating their course of instruc-
tion. Even within the last year, the course of study for
the Science degree has been revised and extended, and, I trust,
very greatly improved by a committee, whose assiduity and
devotion to duty in the performance of that arduous task claims
the recognition of the members of the Senate especially, and
of the members of the University at large. The study of
French has been introduced into the University, and a prize
has been instituted for ancient Palaeography as an optional
subject in the higher degrees, which, I trust, may lead many
gentlemen, who have laid the foundation of sound and good
scholarship, to devote themselves and the ability they have
thus acquired and cultivated to the acquisition and spread of
a knowledge of that most useful and interesting subject a
subject which has a peculiar claim on the devotion and labours
of Indian students, anxious for the renown and the welfare
of their country, seeing that the present and the future
are linked inevitably to the past, that everyone who throws
additional light on the past furnishes a fresh interest and incentive
to those who are intent on the progress of the present and the
future. As for the French language and literature, I trust that
those who are studying that language will come up in increased
forces in future examinations. It is a study which is at present
in its infancy, but I trust that it will make considerable progress,
and that by-and-bye we shall have efficient teachers not only
outside the colleges and the . University, but within them,
Professors properly provided for by endowments in those col-
leges. If anything were T anting to indicate the advanced posi-
tion which the University 1 is gained during the four years that
elapsed since I addresed thV Senate last, I think that this very
meeting in which we are standing would afford a happy and a
conclusive indication of the extension of the interest felt in it and
of the importance of the institution. We see here assembled re-
presentatives of the chief classes of Bombay, and the interest
which they manifest in this University is an ever-growing
interest and one which extends to every section of the com-

But let me indicate by another sign the importance of the
University. Its growing importance could in no way be more
clearly manifested than by the list of gentlemen whom we have
been very happy to receive for the first time on this occasion as
new Fellows of the University. Amongst those gentlemen are
to be found representatives of all the principal {subjects of

180 University of Bombay*

human learning and study, of law and medicine and engineer-
ing, and, above all, of general literature and science. All these
subjects have here their representatives, and these representa-
tives have been chosen from every class and creed. Our Uni-
versity spreads its roots thus amongst Hindus and Mussalmans,
Parsis and Christians. Every class unites with the others in the
noble effort to promote the welfare of this country and the ad-
vance of its people along the great lines of civilization and learn-
ing. I will not attempt an enumeration of all the names which
this day for the first time grace the list of our Fellows. But
there is one gentleman whose name is added to our list to-day,
who does claim a special recognition, both on personal grounds
and also on account of the special honour to us of his annexation,
Jam D * USG su k a pk rase ' fc Olir University. I speak of
mesteter and Professor James Darmesteter. To say a word of
other French the eminence of that gentleman in literature and
oriental learning would be quite superfluous in an
assembly which itself comprises many distinguished oriental
scholars ; and I know that the modesty which is one of the
most marked characteristics which accompany the genius of
that gentleman would shrink from enumeration of his claims
to our regard and respect. I will content myself with saying
that no one has ever quitted the shores of India, which he
is about to leave very shortly, with more personal respect and
with greater regard on the part of all those who have come into
personal contact with him. But let me add a word as to the
institution to which he belongs, and of the claims which his
country has to our regard on account of the progress which it has
made, the services which it has rendered to our oriental scholar-
ship in that College de France, of which he is so distinguished
an ornament, and in the Societe Asiatique of France. There has
never been wanting there a number of men of the highest ability
and of the most distinguished scholarship who side by side with
the savants of other parts of Europe have been pushing forward
those researches by which you, gentlemen, especially as natives
of the country, must be gainers, and which call from you for
high appreciation. Let it be remembered that it was Anquetil
du Perron who first rescued the Avesta from the slumber of ages
and brought it to the notice of the learned of the world. Let us
remember that it was another French scholar, Eugene Bournouff,
who first deciphered the Avesta for European scholars, brought
it into the full light of day, and made it the subject of critical
examination to a line of scholars like Darmesteter, who will, no
doubt, illuminate many of the still obscure passages of that
interesting compilation. It must surely be a moment of pride

1887. The Honorable Mr. Justice West. 181

and happiness to all the gentlemen who have taken prizes here
to-day to be admitted on an occasion like this to such a dis-
tinguished company as that of which I have spoken. I trust
that those who have received prizes and those also who have
been admitted to degrees to-day will bear in mind that this
distinction does impose upon them a certain duty to this insti-
tution, and a certain duty to their country and their countrymen.
They are bound to live up to the honour they have gained to-day,
to prove themselves worthy associates of those amongst whom
they have been admitted, and they are bound, in so far as their
abilities will enable them, to push forward the cause of civilization,
enlightenment, and learning in all the remoter corners of this
country in which there is so much still to be done. The gentle-
men who have passed on this occasion for the lower stages
leading towards the degrees, are very numerous more numerous,

Online LibraryK Subba RauConvocation addresses of the universities of Bombay and Madras → online text (page 20 of 66)