Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/134

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119
1880.—Sir Richard Temple.


The second topic relates to instruction in natural and physical science. Natural and Physical Science. Our object is to obtain for this a larger place than heretofore in our educational system. The study of the physical sciences is now recognised in all countries as an integral part of the national education, and the recognition is everywhere assuming forms more and more tangible and definite. Besides its general value which is felt in all countries, this study has in India a special value. It qualifies our Native youth for professions in which they have hitherto had little or no place. It diverts from the older professions, namely the law and the public service, some of those surplus students who would otherwise overcrowd those professions. It displays before the Natives not only new ranges of thought, but also fresh methods of thinking. It initiates the Natives from their early youth in those sciences, the successful pursuit of which distinguishes the Western civilization of modern times. It applies the whole force of education to the promotion of that material progress, in which India has so much way to make up, before she can come abreast of the more advanced nations. It tends to correct some of the mental faults which are admitted to exist in the Native mind, while educing and developing many of its best qualities and faculties. It affords a far better gymnasium for the general training of the mind than has been heretofore supposed by many. We observe with thankfulness that the Natives are awaking to a consciousness of the importance of this study. As this University is the lawfully constituted controller of the higher education, is the acknowledged leader of independent opinion regarding intellectual progress, and is the embodiment of enlightened ideas, we felt that the recognition of the study must spring from the University and must culminate in the granting of Degrees in Science. We remember that education is generally sought for by the student as a means of rising in a profession, and that if his profession is to be science, he must make use of the five years of his collegiate course for this purpose, — that spring season of his mind when the faculties are most elastic and the memory most receptive—a season to be enjoyed while it lasts, for to him it will never return! The influence even of the University would not, indeed, cause such degrees to be largely sought, unless the graduates of science found scope in after-life for the due employment of their scientific knowledge. But such scope is widening, constantly: scientific pursuits are expanding together with the material progress of the country. That progress will itself be sustained and invigorated by the existence of a growing class of Natives educated in science. Such Natives, too, are wanted to supply