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How to tackle Educational Development in Indian History

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    17th Apr, 2021

History remains an important section of the UPSC CSE Prelims syllabus. The recent trend shows that at least 15-20% weight age is given to History in the UPSC Prelims Exam. An analysis of Previous Year Papers shows that out of total questions asked from History, a total of 45-50% are asked from the Modern History syllabus. Various developments took place in the field of education after revolution of 1857. The intention behind these changes was to prepare Indian Masses for the administrational setup and to uproot the social evils like sati, child marriage etc by spreading education. The British rulers were having the views that the education of India was dominated by age old traditions and social taboos. There was clear imprint of Brahaminical influence on education. The mode of imparting education was Sanskrit, hindi and vernacular languages. There was complete absence of western thoughts and scientific approach on Indian education.


The motive behind asking such questions in UPSC Prelims exam is to make an assessment about the previous education policies and act that rectified the rudimentary education based on scriptures and religious texts. These changes often resonate in new policies and acts pertaining to education system that are being introduced now. Modern education began in India under British rule. Before the British, India had its own educational systems like the Gurukulas and the Madrassas. The East India Company, during their first 60 years of rule didn’t care much for the education of those they ruled in India. (Even in England, universal education came about at a much later stage.)


For the sake of convenience aspirants  can devide the Educational Development in three phases

  1. The British Government (East India Company)
  2. Christian missionaries
  3. Indian intellectuals and reformers

Although there were a few Englishmen who wanted to spread education for its own sake, the government was chiefly concerned only with its own concerns. There was a huge demand for clerks and other administrative roles in the company’s functioning. It was cheaper to get Indians rather than Englishmen from England for these jobs. This was the prime motive. No doubt it spread western education among Indians, but the rate of literacy was abysmally low during British rule. The state of women education was pathetic. This was because the government did not want to displease the orthodox nature of Indians and also because women could not generally be employed as clerks. In 1911, the illiteracy rate in British India was 94%. In 1921, it was 92%. Scientific and technical education was ignored by the British government.

The chrisitian missionaries had their own agenda in educational development. They wanted to spread Christian religion among the Indian masses. Various new convent schools were started during this period however these schools remained popular among those who were deprived and vulnerable and they embraced Christianity to sustain their livelihood.

Indian intellectuals and reformers were true architect of modern education in India. They supported the western education based on scientific and technical aspects. The motive behind this move was to make Indians rational and more scientific in approach so that they could differentiate between right and wrong. The reformers wanted to uproot social evils and taboos by making Indians educated on the western lines. The condition of women was also pathetic because of low status of education among women. Women were devoid of education because they were considered to remain confined within the four walls of the house. There were many atrocities being committed on women such as sati, child marriage etc. The new education system was intended to remove such malpractices by making women literate and empowered.

To cover all such developments of Indian Education Prelims Sampoorna Fact file on Educational development can be a bliss for UPSC aspirants. The detailed and crisp pointwise content written in lucid way could give you entire information within fraction of time. This fact file will remain helpful during revision also. GS SCORE Prelims Sampoorna fact file on Development of Education is a compilation of major Acts and committees which were made and formed for the development of education in Indian history.


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