Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/226

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                   1889. --Lord Eeay.                          211 

evidence of industry, quickness and clearness of head, is not very materially smaller than the proof of similar qualities furnished by a set of English Examination papers. Superficiality will to some extent form a part of the results of every examination, but I cannot conscientiously say that I have seen mach more of it here than in the papers of older Universities". Want of energy,want of sustained effort, the desire to avoid the strain of hard labour, these are our foes. In Mr. Bright we have brilliant illustration how the quivalent of academic distinction can be achieved without a previous niversity career, by the adoption of academic discipline in after-life. His forcible style derives its vigorous simplicity from his command of pure Anglo- Saxon words.

     We are at the parting of the roads. Indian Universities 

must choose. They may consider it sufficient to examine in ever-increasing numbers young men who will delude themselves with the notion that a University degree is equivalent to academic birthright, or they may confer the latter not in name but in reality. Constant improvement of the method of teaching, even where Universities are not teaching bodies, belongs to their domain. I am very far from advocating a system of centralisation such as is represented by the French University. I am quite willing to admit that higher education can be imparted in a variety of ways, and that infinite harm would be done by stereotyping the method. What I con-, tend is, that a University cannot fulfil its obligations towards higher education by mere examinations, least of all in India, where the Western University system is an absolutely new creation, an exotic which requires very careful nursing. I am afraid that to our present system the criticism of Mgr. Dupanloup is applicable : "Le programme, qui a engendre le manuel, qui a engendre le preparateur, et qui, tous les trois, ont engendre la ruine de la haute education intellectuelle." And the opinion of Mgr.Dupanloup is also that of M. Bersot, who attributed the decay of higher education to the fact that examinations had been made the foundation of University teaching. Unless our Universities take a wider conception of their responsibility, higher education must decay. Let me once more quote Sir H. Maine : " It is quite true that conceit and scepticism are the products of an arrested development of knowledge." Therefore he says : Intellectual cultivation should be constantly progressive."

    In three faculties at least the Government is alone directly 
responsible for progress. As long as it alone appoints Professors of Medicine and of Law and of Engineering, it exercises a more immediate influ-