Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/188

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173
1886.—The Honorable J. B. Peile.

tion of a Technical Institute, in memory of the Viceroyalty of Lord Ripon, has brought the subject forward in the past year. Madras has anticipated us by the publication under authority of a comprehensive scheme of examinations in Science, Arts, and Industries, supplemented by grants-in-aid and scholarships, the Government at the same time preparing to enlarge its own institutions for scientific and technical instruction. Now what is it that is wanting? If we look to the University, we find, besides the science course which comprehends most of the branches of natural science, the more special programme of studies and degree in Civil Engineering, and the affiliated College of Science where technical education is given of the kind suited to the higher and middle class of professional men. I do not say that either the College of Science or the allied institution for teaching decorative art and design is as complete or potent as it should be, and we are preparing to strengthen both of them. But where is the sub-structure of which a Polytechnic College is the upper story? The answer is that it does not exist. Our elementary and middle school course has no regard to technical instruction, nor is it linked with a system of special technical and art schools for handicraftsmen or for foremen and manager of works. Drawing is restricted to our high schools.

Nothing that is not quite fragmentary is being done to develop the intelligence Technical and industrial education. of our industrial population as such. There is a dearth of skilled workmen, scientifically educated supervisors of workmen and employers of labour. There is no connecting bond of trained intelligence among the classes interested in skilled industry, no elementary training of workmen in sympathetic alliance with the superior technical knowledge of the directors of work, such as had long existed in many small Continental States. Our science is not wedded to manipulative skill. Now, as experience has shown that the nation which most vigorously promotes the intellectual development of its industrial population takes the lead of nations which disregard it, this is a matter which will not bear neglect. Palaeography, epigraphy and the like are luxuries, but the enlightened employment of the forces and products of nature is a vital need. India has entered into competition with other nations in the market of the world, and competition in the world's market is very keen. The hold of Indian produce on foreign markets is somewhat critical and precarious. India cannot afford to despise any reduction of cost price or improvement in quality which can be made by the substitution of scientific for rough processes