Page 48 - Science India August 2022
P. 48

Swatantrata ka Amrut Mahotsava
    Early photographs of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, (left) and the Calcutta University
 Indian Struggle for a Progressive Science Education
This is as much a story of colonial suppression, discrimination and exploitation as it is about the inspiring grit and determination of Indians who laid the corner stone of modern science education
  ‘The study of science should have a place in every system of liberal culture. It gives a man the knowledge of his place in nature and his mastery over it’
— Nikhil Ranjan Sen (1894-1963), Faculty, University College of Science, Calcutta
n Dr Jayanti Dutta
ndia’s long and ancient knowledge in matters of Science is well known. I
Knowledge of subjects like Astron- omy, Ayurveda, Chemistry, Metallurgy and Mathematics was carried across
generations in unbroken traditions through indigenous education system. However, ‘Science education’ in the con- text of training in Western empirical methods of scientific knowledge, was
introduced in India by the British. An ac- quaintance with and comprehension of Science, more than anything else, brings with it intellectual liberation, material benefits and social development in a so- ciety. Though, for the colonial masters the introduction of Science education in India was not for philanthropic motives. It was for the myopic goal of creating minions trained to use scientific tools for furtherance of the empire’s interests.
Initially, Science education was not a priority for British education. The Char- ter Act of 1813 enacted by the Parliament of the United Kingdom called for, ‘the introduction and promotion of knowl- edge of Science among the inhabitants of British India’ but the call remained only on papers. It was Raja Ram Mohan Roy
Courtesy for both the photos: Public Domain

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