Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/239

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.
224                 University of Bombay. 

insuperable because the favourite of one Professor is generally not the favourite of his colleagues, and the result is that on application to the joint body of Professors you get a very fair supply. I am compelled to admit that the result of the competitive system as tested by my experience of the distinguished body of gentlemen who form the administration of this Presidency is far from unsatisfactory, but the admission does not invalidate the distinction which I have drawn. The time spent in outside examinations by men whose duty it is to teach as well as to advance knowledge, is time wasted. The profession of a Civil Service examiner and the profession of a University teacher must remain distinct professions. University examinations have a direct relation to the subject-matter which is taught, and University teaching has a higher aim than mere acquisition of useful knowledge, such as is required for practical purposes.

    I have drawn a high ideal of a University. I am aware that it has not been reached. This University has only to  limited extent its own destinies in its hands. It practically settles the programmes in the various faculties. But when that function has been performed there remains another more responsible, more diflScult : 

to select the men, who are to be the teachers, on whose ability, on whose character must depend how those programmes are to be carried out. That function is now performed by Government and by private bodies. There is no function which I consider of greater importance. No appointment has been to me a cause of deeper anxiety than the appointment to fill the vacant place of Dr. Vandyke Carter. The appointment has been made on purely academic lines, and I shall watch with the greatest solicitude Dr. Meyer's scientific career. The Law Faculty may be congratulated on having received a great accession of strength in the person of Mr.Telang, a born professor himself, a constant student, and therefore — what every professor should be — the guide and the friend of his students. This University should impress on those who in Europe select the men to be sent out, the enormous responsibility which rests on them. Unless the men who undertake a mission which I do not hesitate to call sacred are imbued with the magnitude of the work they are undertaking, higher education, instead of being the greatest blessing England has conferred on India, will be its greatest curse. Higher education is not a manufacture in which mechanical skill is sufficient, it is architecture, and as it given only to very few men to be good architects, so it requires