1. Wood’s Despatch 1854
Laid foundation for Indian
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Dept. of Education,
a long document of 100 paragraphs
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It holds unique place in the history of Indian education.
Charter act of the British Parliament has to renew every twenty
Suffered from numerous problems
The company lay down a definite policy for education in India.
Sir Charles Wood was the president of the Board of control.
• The committee studied the issues thoroughly and reported that
the development of Indian education cannot be ignored.
• The Board of directors favourably considered the suggestions
of the committee.
• Therefore the declaration issued on July 19, 1854 was known
as Wood’s Despatch.
• The famous thinker John Stuart Mill, a clerk of the company
at that time, wrote the Despatch.
• Based on the recommendations given by the Despatch, new
educational policies were formed.
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4. Aims and objectives
• It gave highest priority to the responsibility of Indian Education and other
responsibilities of the company.
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5. Salient features
• The constitution of separate department for the Administration of
• Establishment of Universities
• Medium of Instruction- English and Vernacular
• Expansion of mass education
• Emphasize on Teachers’Training
• Female Education
• Grant in aid system
• Established new middle schools
• Students Scholarship, Stipend and reward of merit
• Demanded periodical report of Government Inspectors
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Department of Education:
o The establishment of Department of Public Instruction in five major
provinces: Bengal, Bombay, Madras, Punjab and North western provinces.
o The head would be called as Director.
o He was to be assisted by number of inspectors.
o The DPI had to submit the annual report to the government about the
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Expansion of Mass Education:
• The common people were deprived of educational opportunities .
• Therefore, much emphasis is given on the increase of setting up of primary,
middle and high schools.
• The Downward filtration Theory was discarded.
• Primary education was considered as the basic foundation of the education
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Establishment of Universities:
o In 3 presidency towns
o The Universities were to be modelled London University
o The University should have Chancellor and a Vice Chancellor
o It would confer degrees to the successful candidates after passing the
o Organize departments not only of English but also of Arabic, Sanskrit and
Persian as well as law and Civil Engineering.
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Grant in aid system:
o there was a difficult task to educate the large number of Indians that’s
why grant-in-aid system was adopted by the government.
o Grants were given for the following conditions:
i. The schools must provide secular education.
ii. The school management should run the school well.
iii. The schools should follow any rules prescribed by the govt. for the
regulation of the grant.
iv. The school must charge fees from the students.
v. The school should agree to state inspection from time to time.
Grants were given to the schools for increasing the salaries teachers,
construction of school buildings, granting scholarships to students,
improving conditions of literaries, opening of science department etc.
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Teaching of Language:
o gave importance to teaching of English also stressed on vernacular
o Therefore the despatch clearly stated that Indian languages as well as
English should be used as a medium of instruction.
Education of Women:
o Government should support education for women.
o Encouraged for private enterprises to promote women education.
o the school for girls were to be included among those to which grant in aid
would be given.
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Training of teachers:
• It recommended the establishment of teacher training centres
in all the provinces.
• training schools for engineer, medical and law
• Increase in pay scales for highly qualified teachers.
• Institutes for medical, engineering law and other professions.
• Encouragement for vocational education was to control the
problem of unemployment.
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Introduction of network of graded schools:
• recommended for graded schools all over the country.
• to enable individuals to receive higher education after completing the
different levels of school education.
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13. Merits Demerits
1. started a new era by stating
objectives of education clearly.
2. Recommended the creation of a
separate Department of Public
3. Many schools were benefited by
grant in aid system.
4. Encouraged higher education
with the establishment of
5. Scholarship for poor and
6. focused on teacher’s training to
improve the quality.
7. Also encouraged language
1. promoted western literature and
2. neglected general education.
3. system of grant in aid did not
operate in proper sense.
4. partial attitude towards the
5. succeeded in only producing a
class of clerks and accountants.
6. Only three Universities were
modelled on the London
7. Thus, higher education was not
related to Indian conditions.
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