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people of England, from the days of Clive and Warren Hastings

to this hour, there has ever been a continual protest on the part of

those who mould the thought and direct the action of the British

nation, against the doctrine that India is to be

India to be administered in any other spirit than as a trust

fmuS 61 ^! from God for tho g od g vernm ent of many mil-

GOD. lions of his creatures; and, however fitfully and

imperfectly this purpose may have been carried

out, it has in every generation grown in strength, and was

36 University of Bombay.

never more powerful than at tlie present moment. However
firmly England may resolve that no force shall wrest from her
the Empire of India, the root of that resolve has always been
a deep conviction that to surrender that Empire would be to
betray a high trust. England desires to administer India as
she would administer her own colonies with a single eye to the
benefit of the dependency and with a strong assurance that
whatever is truly good for the dependency must benefit the

Empire at large. To a rule of this kind such a

University "a University as you would form can be nothing

auxniary a " Ua to ^ ut a most valuable auxiliary, training minds to

Government. understand and appreciate as well as to promote

the great purpose of the ruling power. And even
in the short life of this University and the schools which furnish
its Graduates, I think we find practical proof that this view is
the sound one. As I once before remarked from this chair, I
remember the opening of the first English High School in this
Presidency, and now, wherever I go I find the best exponents
of the policy of the English Government, and the most able

coadjutors in adjusting that policy to the peculi-

The useful- arities of the nations of India, among the ranks of

cated Indians!*" those educated natives, for increasing whose num-

bers and for raising whose standard of attainments
this University is designed. It is not only here in Bombay but
from every part of the Presidency I receive testimony to this
fact. From Sind and from Canara, from Kattyawar and Guzerat,
and from the furthest parts of the Decean, I have the concur-
rent evidence that, wherever progress, whether intellectual or
material, is observable, there the natives who have received a
good English education are among the most active in the
good cause. And it is to be remarked that this is not observable
of Government servants only. It is a healthy result of extended
education that it has contributed to cause a diminution of that
craving for Government employ which in former days was
almost universal. No close observer can fail to have been struck
by the increasing popularity of independent employment of
every kind. But I do not find that this has been accompanied
by any increase of what we in England would call Radicalism.
On the contrary, I find among the educated natives, who are
independent of Government service, the strongest appreciation

of the benefits of British rule. It is not among
The loyalty the best educated natives that we generally find

the warm admirers of native misrule or those who

sigh for the restoration of effete dynasties. This
is remarkably evident in the native press, which from being

1867. Sir H. B. E. Frere. 37

generally in the hands of educated natives, writing anonymously,
would naturally betray, if it existed, any prevalent spirit of dis-
loyalty to the British Government. But I bear willing testimony
to the fact that, whatever may be its defects in other respects,
the usual spirit of the native press in this Presidency is one of
spontaneous respect for and sympathy with the British Govern-
ment. Individual rulers may be criticized severely, perhaps
unjustly, but as regards the Government at large the prevail-
ing tone of the native press is at least as respectful as in
England, and its criticism is often expressed with remarkable
ability. I would, before concluding, once more state very
emphatically my convictions of the soundness of that policy which
has led the University to insist on strict and severe examina-
tions, which by limiting the number of admissions to the Univer-
sity, and by raising the tests required for its honours, has
made its growth appear less rapid than it otherwise might have
been. I am convinced that what has thus been lost in rapidity
of growth has been gained in soundness and permanence of
result, and it is this rigour of selection which has justified the
Government in recognizing the University Degrees as a mark
of social rank and official qualification. It has every year
been a pleasing duty of the University to ac-
knowledge the munificence of its benefactors. The
benefactors have been hitherto almost exclusively citizens of
Bombay ; but I am glad to observe in your report the record
of a scholarship founded by the Jam of Nowanuggur, a Kat-
tywar Chief. This is, I trust, the precursor of other foundations
of local scholarships which will perform for this University the
same service as has been rendered in earlier days to our English
Universities by their local foundations. In now
taking leave of the University of Bombay, it is a
satisfaction to me to know that I leave behind me
colleagues who I believe concur with me in the views I have
endeavoured very inadequately to express regarding the work of
this University, and the soundness of the foundation which has
been laid by yourself and by your accomplished predecessors
in your great office as Director General of Public Instruction
in this Presidency. I feel assured that you will have every sup-
port in your good work from my successor, who will come among
you with a name not undistinguished in one of our great store-
houses of active thought and learning to which the freedom
and the power of England owe so much. It is a great gratifica-
tion to me to know that you propose to perpetuate the memory
of my tenure of office as your Chancellor. Few things will give
me greater pleasure in other lands than to know that I have

38 University of Bombay.

contributed to carry out any great work begun by one who was
loved and lamented like Lord Elphinstone, a work which was
foreseen and hoped for by his great namesake and predecessor,
and for your purpose in connecting my name with theirs I
heartily thank you. But whatever we may attribute to indi-
vidual agency or may hope for from individual exertion, there
is ever present to our minds in this and in every other great
work in this country a prevailing sense of an over-ruling power
in comparison with whose agency the mightiest works of man
are dwarfed to insignificance. Philosophers tell us of the
evidence which is afforded by the shores of. some of the fairest
regions of the earth that some great subterranean force is
already at work gradually upheaving or submerging the whole
continent. It has always seemed to me that this afforded no
unfitting image of our work in this country. We may terrace
and adorn the hill sides, we may trim the vine slopes and plant
the olive and orange ; but there is a power which, though unseen
and often unobserved by us, is ever working with a silent energy
of which we can have no conception to raise or depress whole
nations. That that great power may bless and prosper the great
work that you have in hand and make it fruitful in good results,
of which we can have now no clear conception, is my fervent
hope, and in that hope I now bid you, Sir, and this Con-
vocation, farewell.



Mr. Vice-Chancellor, and Gentlemen of the Senate, To all
of us, I think, who have listened to the very corn-
Progress of -plete and clear report -just read by the Registrar,

Bombay Um- *V ,-, , -f i J J f ,-,

verstty. the account that he has given us of the progress

and of the prospect of this University must be
highly satisfactory ; and to most of you, gentlemen, who have
attended previous Convocations, it must be a source of gratifi-
cation to find that the progress established in former years has not
only not been lost, but that^he University continues in the same
onward and steady march of success that has called for congra-
tulation hitherto.

For myself, gentlemen, a devoted son of one of our ancient

Universities who look back to her still at a great

Value of Uni- distance of time, and in this distant country, with

Son! 7 an affection and attachment that as many of you as

are University men can well understand, and to

1868. Sir W. R. Fitzgerald. 39

whom the recollections of her are forcibly and yet pleasurably
recalled by the proceedings of this day it is a source of great
gratification to find myself privileged to be present amongst you
on this occasion. From the first moment of my entering into the
exciting contests of public and parliamentary life in the per-
formance of public functions, in the hours of business, and in the
moments of relaxation, I have never ceased to feel the value of a
University education. And that not because it is merely the
completion and the complement of that course in which a man
obtains the knowledge which is power, but because that know-
ledge is obtained accompanied by all the refining influences which
an academic life is so calculated to exert. And I rejoice to be-
lieve that here in this distant land this young University is ful-
filling all those noble functions which for centuries past the sister
ancient Universities of our own land have so efficiently dis-

There are some points in the report which has been read to
us upon which I wish, with your permission, to
High stand- m ake a few passing observations. And, first, it
tricuiation. ma y ^ e a remark that has been made by my prede-

cessor and by many of you before, but it is that
which has very forcibly^ struck my own mind, and therefore I
desire to draw attention to it I rejoice to find that the Univer-
sity is firm in maintaining the high standard it established for the
matriculation examination. It may be a matter of regret that
more candidates did not succeed in obtaining admission within
our walls ; I think only one-third or less of those who present-
ed themselves have succeeded, according to the report, in the
matriculation examination ; but still I am glad the severity of
the matriculation test is so strictly preserved. The importance
of it is obvious. If the matriculation test is lowered, and the
standard of the after examinations is maintained, it is obvious
that ifc will only lead to the failure of a greater number in the
more important examinations, lead to the disappointment of
the students, and the discredit of the University. But if after
such an experience it were to result that the standard of the
after examinations was lowered, then the value of the University
distinction would be lost, and the influence of the University
would be impaired. And not only this, but it must be recollected
that the maintenance of a high standard in the matriculation
examinations 1ms an important effect upon general education
throughout the country. The schools from which the students
nro drawn are compelled by this circumstance to maintain a high
standard ; and thus it is that indirectly, by maintaining the

40 University of Bombay.

severity of the matriculation test, the University establishes a
higher standard of education for those whose means and pros-
pects do not lead them to aspire to a University training. I
hope,, therefore, that in future, as hitherto, the University will
be firm in maintaining ' the strictness and severity of the matri-
culation test.

There has lately been somewhat of a controversy between

my honourable and valued friend the Vice-Chan-

The superior- ce n or and an official on the other side of India

ity or the >om- .., /, , ,1 / , i

bay University, with reference to the merits or the systems pursued
in the three Universities of India. I am not going
to enter at all into a comparison of those systems, or of the merits
or distinctions of the three Universities. I will only say that I
am amply and fully satisfied with the statement which the Vice-
Chancellor has made as to the position and the merits of the
University of Bombay. But there is one thing that he brings to
notice which is peculiar to this University, and which I hope
this University will be firm in maintaining; and that is, that
whereas in the other Universities the examinations are not con-
ducted solely at the head-quarters of the University, but at
various towns and other places throughout the country, and are
conducted by means only of written papers without any oral
examination, that in the case of the Bombay University, over and
above an examination upon paper upon fixed subjects, there is
also a probing and searching oral examination which must test
the merits of the candidates, all of whom have to appear for their
examination in Bombay. This, too, I hope will be maintained.
It gives to you, gentlemen (turning to the new graduates), to
whom I have had the pleasure to-day of presenting the certi-
ficates of the degrees you have obtained, it gives you the power
of saying to all who ses that certificate in your possession, " I
not only have obtained a degree which shows that I have ac-
quired a certain amount of knowledge, but that certificate has
been given to me after a more searching and a more difficult
test than that which is applied by any other University in India." j
Well, Sir, there was another point which struck me in the
report which the Registrar has just read, and I
Candidates for think it is one which ought to give us all unmixed
tion. satisfaction; and that is, that in the list of those

whom he has read out to us as having successfully
passed the matriculation examination, we find that there is not a
part of this Presidency that there is scarcely a district which
has not sent up its successful candidates to represent it within
the walls of the University. It might well be expected that in a

1868. tr If. IF. R. Fi(: : ,ml<L 41

young University like this the candidates won Id be almost
exclusively drawn cither from this city or from the centres of edu-
cation throughout the country ; but instead of that we find by
that list which the Registrar road, as I have said, that there is
not a district of this Presidency from north to south, from east
to west, which is not represented in it. And it shows to us this,
that a sense of the value of a University education is not confined
only to those who are brought into communion with the professors
and teachers connected with the University, but that it has
taken wide root throughout the Presidency, and is felt by every
class of the people.

It is a matter of congratulation, I think, that what may be
pointed out particularly in the report which lias been read to
us is the number who have succeeded in obtaining degrees in the
Faculty of Arts. Now, that implies a more general and a more
liberal, a more enlightened course of studies, than that which
probably has been followed by those who have obtained degrees
in special faculties. There is a wider extent of learning, a wider
field of study required for a degree in Arts than that which
necessarily would be required for the degree of L.M., and I think
it is a matter of congratulation that the great success which has
been manifested in the examinations, has attended those who
have sought to graduate in Arts.

It is a matter of congratulation, too, that large success has
attended the examination in Law, because the
University examination in Law is not an examina-
tion in the knowledge which qualifies a man to be
a successful practitioner, it is not a knowledge of cases and
decisions and practice it is a knowledge of the principles of law
and jurisprudence ; it is a knowledge of the history of law ; and
so, is of infinite value in this country in particular. And I'll tell
you why. The British Government has been engaged in intro-
ducing into this country a fixed code of law which applies to
many of the relations of life. It requires here for the due admin-
istration of law for an enlightened view of law as it ought to
be administered in this country a knowledge of the ancient
laws as applying to inheritance, to property, to succession, to
marriage, to religion, and to many other subjects of that kind ;
and it is a great satisfaction to find that there are young men
who seek to distinguish themselves not only with a view to
success in their professions, but also to obtain that wider and
more enlightened view of law which will make a successful
prosecution of their profession hereafter moat valuable.


42 University of Bombay.

It is to be regretted, as regards the degree in Medicine
and the degree in Civil Engineering, that equal
succe ss has not attended the students who have
desired to graduate. But still it is a satisfaction
to find that there are young men now seeking degrees in these
faculties, and I will tell you why. I believe there is nothing
more important than the influence which the University is day
by day exercising amongst us in teaching the rising generation
here not to look to Government employ only, not to look to the
interests of patrons or to the favour of the " Sircar," but to
know that they have always before them an independent career
in honourable professions, that they have equal honours, if not
greater, to attain by means of their own exertions, feeling sure
as I do that such a result, a desire amongst the enlightened
native youth of this country to pursue liberal professions here
would tend as much to secure good and enlightened Government,
thafc would render the people happy and contented, as any
exertions on the part of those who are concerned in the

There are several other points, Mr. Vice- Chancellor, which
I should desire to draw attention to, but 1 feel I
am trespassing too long upon your time. I cannot,
however, refrain before I sit down from alluding
to that letter which you read just before I commenced my ad-
dress to this Senate, and from which we learn that Mr. Cowasjee
Jehangier, one of the most enlightened citizens in this city,
who has been always amongst the first to promote the highest
interests of his people, the highest interests of society here,
and to promote the best interests of this University in parti-
cular, as he was amongst the first, is now the very latest
benefactor of the University of Bombay. And I do not think
that there is anything which is more pleasing, in looking back
to the past history of this University, than to find that alike in
times of prosperity as in times when prosperity is past, thero
are enlightened men amongst the native community of this
country who, feeling and knowing the duty they owe to society,
are desiring to discharge that duty by nobly supporting this
most valuable institution. I see near me a friend and colleague
of my own, who himself must feel the greatest pleasure in a
portion of that report which refers to a Travelling Fellowship
established hy him I mean Mr. Munguldass Nathoobhoy. It
must be a satisfaction to him to find that the first person who
has obtained the Travelling Fellowship which his munificence
has established, has distinguished himself by attaining the

1869. Sir W. R. S. V. Fitzgerald. 43

honour of the membership of the College of Physicians and the
membership of the College of Surgeons of London, has in open
competition obtained admission to the Medical Service of this
Government, ;md is now pursuing those studies which will lead
him hereafter to a distinguished career. I do not think that
there is any other point which I desire particularly now to press
upon your attention, but I cannot refrain from expressing the
pleasure I fe*4 at the interest which is tak'>n in the success of
the University, as manifested by the crowd that surrounds me
in this room, of all classes of the community.

There has been, as we have seen in the journals, a consider-
able discussion going on for some time as to the
respective merits of Native and European rule in
this country. I do not desire to enter into that
point. I believe we have given to this country a certainty of
administration of justice, a certainty of the tenure of property,
and the knowledge that all are equal in the eyes of the law.
And by the institution of a University such as this, we are
conferring benefits, not perhaps so direct and tangible, but I
think not the less valuable and important. We are teaching the
youth of this country not to value knowledge only for the power
and the success it brings, but for the self-improvement it gives
the student, teaching him to value knowledge for itself. We
teach him, further, tljat it is his duty, by cultivating the highest
qualities which God has given him, to fit himself to fulfil his
highest duties, and in doing this I am sure we confer upon this
country benefits even more extensive or more important, or at
least equally important, with those institutions which secure to
all the benefits of a settled and enlightened Government.



Mr. Vice-Chancellor, and Gentlemen of the Senate, You
referred, Mr. Registrar, in the report you have
n *** i usfc read > to the occasion on which I lately met the
members of the University; and a deeply interesting
and important occasion that was. To-day I meet you again at
an assembly of a more ordinary character, of which each year
will bring us the anniversary ; but I congratulate yon, Mr. Vice-
Chancellor, and you, Gentlemen of the Senate, that to-day I see
around me, eren on this more ordinary occasion, an assemblage

44 University of Bombay.

as numerous and as important as that which graced the ceremony
the other day, in which, from its novelty, so many were likely to
take part, and in which, from the presence of the nobleman who
is about to undertake the government of this great country, there
was no doubt considerable interest and curiosity. But the pre-
sence. Sir, of so many upon this, as I have said, more ordinary
occasion, shows that not only those who are connected with
Government and with the administration of affairs in this country
not only those who retain a cherished recollection of academic
life, here, far away from the seats where they passed that life
not only those who take an interest in University affairs, because
friends of their own, near relatives perhaps, have been connected
with the University, and have won in youth the prizes which,
after long years of active life and toil, believe me, are most
highly cherished to-day that not only all those take an interest
in the proceedings of this University ; but I also see around me
many of our native fellow-countrymen who themselves probably,
nay, certainly had not the advantages of an University edu-
cation, and their presence shows that the interest in the proceed-
ings and prosperity of this University has taken deep root.
And I trust that that interest will day by day increase. There
are several points, Mr. Vice- Chancellor, in the report that has
just been read, which, I think, are highly gratifying and deserv-
ing of notice. In the first place I must congratulate the Univer-
sity upon that which is a proof of its steady growth and pros-
perity. This year we have upwards of 600 caudi-

Matriculation. -IIP -r . ' ' : i j_; TJ_ IT i

dates for Matriculation ; last year we had only a
few above 400 that is to say, that there is this great increase in
the desire of the Native youth of all castes and creeds to attain
University distinction, that in twelve short months the number
of candidates for her honours has increased by 50 per cent.
There is another point, Sir, which I think is also of interest.
When I addressed this Senate last year f congratulated them that
there were candidates for Matriculation appearing before them
for examination, coming from every part of the presidency
that from north and south, from east and west, the youth knocked
for admission at the doors of the University. But this year we
have seen a still greater proof of the growing influence of the
University, because I observe amongst those who have applied
for Matriculation in this University two from Indore, from the
territory of His Highness the Holkar, and also that there are
two who became members of this University from Central India.
This shows that the influence of this University will not be con-
fined to this presidency, but will spread far and wide, and shed
its light over the provinces that are contiguous to our own*

Online LibraryK Subba RauConvocation addresses of the universities of Bombay and Madras → online text (page 5 of 66)