Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/255

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University of Bombay.

But our subsequent progress in the new direction has not been commensurate with our plans and expectations. Whether it be due to a want of the means of instruction or to the national preference for a literary curriculum, the degree in science still fails to attract a large proportion of our students. It is a matter for regret that this department of our University studies is not more enthusiastically cultivated. I am one of those who thought, and still think, that scientific culture is destined to exert a healthful influence upon the mind of India. It was a favourite idea of Lord Bacon and of his time, that particular studies were fitted to strengthen and correct different minds, according to their special habits and peculiarities. I believe that there is an important truth in this old conception, and that the inherited tendencies of the Indian mind will find their complement and corrective in the sciences of observation and experiment. In the analysis of thought, in the contemplation of ideas in themselves, and in relation to other ideas, the Indian mind has attained a high development; but this idealizing tendency has led it farther and farther away from the sphere of the actual and the real. Its grasp of objective truth has been weakened, and those elements of intellectual character which are conditioned by it are less prominent. Experiment and observation, contact with facts and laws independent of our subjectivity, and marked by all the features of a commanding reality, are calculated to correct this one-sidedness, to awaken deeper convictions with regard to the absoluteness of truth and with this strengthened love of truth and reverence for truth to help forward the development of the moral and higher side of man's intellectual life. The manifold activities of the past year have led me to speak in detail, and, I fear, at too great length, upon the various departments of our academic life.

And now, looking upon them as a whole, I would ask your further indulgence A Want. while I allude briefly to one aspect of our University life in which I think we are all deeply conscious of our failure. I have already emphasised what I consider to be the specific character of University education, namely, the comprehensive view of knowledge which it places before its true followers, its antipathy to all one-sidedness and incompleteness, its constant effort to gather the vast variety of human knowledge into a unity born of that higher spirit which it is its great mission to inspire. But the conditions under which University education is pursued among us are most unfavourable to the realization of this idea. The student in Arts moves on his separate way, having little communion with his brother-