Macaulay’s Minute (1835)

1) Lord Macaulay came to India in June 10, 1834, as the law member of the Governor General’s Executive council and was appointed as the President of the committee of Public Instruction.

2)He was entrusted to settle down the dispute between orientalists and Anglicists in 1835.

3)He submitted his famous minutes in 2 February, 1835 to the council which was approved by Lord Bentik and a resolution was passed in 7 March 1835.

4)According to him the meaning of the term ‘Literature’ meant the English literature and

“learned natives of India” meant those Indians who had acquired knowledge of western science and knowledge.(“A single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia.

5) Indian scholar was also defined by Macaulay as the one who learnt Lock’s philosophy and Milton’s poetry.

6)“The Government Funds were not to be spent on the printing of oriental works”.

7)“All the funds at the disposal of the Government would be henceforth be spent in imparting to the Indians a knowledge of English literature and Science”.

8)He laid the foundation stone of the Western System of Education on the Indian Soil.

9)He opened the door of Western Science and Literature for the Indians.

10)He brought an end to the Orientalist and Anglicist controversy in India.

Historical background of Macaulay’s Minutes 

1)As British started ruling in Indian they wanted educated administration and for that purpose they wanted to setup modern education in India.

2)For this purpose they declared Charter act in 1813 (Charter Act of 1813).  Charter Act have Financial grand-in-aid of Rs. 100000 to all the indigenous educational institutions in India.

3)In new charter act in 1817, financial aid was increased to Rs. 200000.

4)During this early British period education was used to provided to some people only and approx. One lakh school were present in Bengal only.

5)In this period a dispute or controversy was arise and known as Anglo-Indian or East-West or Oriental-Occidental controversy.

Some people want education to be provided in languages like Sanskrit, Arabic and Sanskrit and Urdu as medium of instruction.

6)Eastern literature should be taught in educational institutions that written in Persian, Sanskrit, Arabic, etc. Those people or group was known as the Orientals.

7)Another group also having Indians too wanted that English should be the medium of instruction and European literature should be taught in educational institutions. They were known as the occidentals. This clash or controversy was known as Oriental-Occidental Controversy.

8)Thomas Babington Macaulay was brought to India to solve the problem and he submitted a report to the governor general of the British East India Company Lord William Bentinck on 2nd February 1835.

This report is known as “Macaulay Minutes”.

Who was Macaulay?

1)Macaulay was historian, politician and FRS (Fellow of Royal Society) and was a fine Orator. In governor general he came as Law member on 10 June 1834.

2)He was also appointed as Chairman of the General Committee of Public Instruction in Bengal by William Bentinck.

3)He wanted “Indian in blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect”.

4)He was a big supporter of English and western education and wanted Medium of instruction should be English.

what is the main objective of Macaulay’s minute (1835)

1)Stoppage of Funding:

He stopped all the grant given to indigenous or oriental institutions of learning. He also said that it is not a wise decision to continue or allow the indigenous or oriental institutions in India. He advocates grants to be increased to English schools.

2)He also said that” A single self of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia”

3)He introduced Downward filteration Theory which means providing knowledge from higher class people to the lower classes or the general people.

4)He introduced English education in India and establishment of English schools in India.

5) Indian Scholar: He defined Indian scholar as one who learnt Lock’s philosophy and Milton’s poetry.

6)He said that it would be beneficial for Indians to learn English for the administration.

7) He also said learning English will connect Indians or east to west and other countries as they can communicate and increase trade.

8)He also suggested how to spend grant-in-aid stated in Charted Act.

Demerits of Macaulay Minute

1)He neglected Indian Languages.

2)Stoppage of Grants.

3)Neglected giving education to Mass.

4)He advocated closure of Sanskrit Pathsalas and Arabic Madrassahs.

5)Treated Indian scholars downgraded.

Lord Macaulay’s Education Policy, 1835

1) policy was an attempt to create a system of education that educates only the upper strata of society through English.

2)Persian was abolished as the court language and English become the court language.

3)Printings of English books were made free and available at a very low price.

4)English education was allotted more funds as compared to oriental learning.

5)In 1849, JED Bethune founded Bethune School.

6)Agriculture Institute was established at Pusa (Bihar)

7) Institute was established at Roorkee.