Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/278

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1892.—The Honorable Mr. Juitice Birdwood.

have caused little distress to the Senate; but it was certainly a disappointment to the Syndicate, for the scheme was the result of the deliberations of a very strong Committee of Educationists whose proposals it was impossible for the Syndicate to disregard. The Committee contained 4 representatives of the Syndicate: —Mr.Justice Telang, the Rev.F.Drecknian, Brigade-Surgeon Wellington Gray, and Mr.Starling. Two of these gentlemen represented also the colleges, which were further represented by the Rev. Dr.Mackichan and Mr.Oxenham. The High Schools were represented by Mr.Modak and Mr.D.N.Wadia. Now I am not going to refer at all to the merits of the scheme proposed by the Committee. This is not the right time for me to do so. The whole question excited unusual interest^ and was very vigorously discussed both in the Senate and in the public journals. The final discussion took place at the meeting of the Senate, held in December last. That meeting was, by a vote of the Senate, dissolved and the subject, therefore, in the language of our Bye-laws, was "dropped"; and we are still watching over its prostrate form, in the full consciousness that the existing scheme of the Matriculation Examination is considered to be defective, not only by the Educationists whom I have just named, but was pronounced by our late Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Wordsworth, to be an examination which "fulfils, by general consent, most imperfectly the one function for which it exists." I can only myself express the fervent hope that the question of remodelling it will again be brought before the University by the heads of colleges, to whom it must be a matter of vital importance that their undergraduates should come to them with such training as fits them to understand and to derive benefit from college lectures. There can be no question that the decision of the Government of India, with reference to the University Bill, has caused very general and profound disappointment to the members of the Senate, A year ago, we were very hopeful as to the effect of a unanimous representation of our views in regard to the Bill; and we have, at all events, been so far fortunate that we have now secured the substantial adherence of the Bombay Government to our views. But the Government of India has unmistakeably told us that it is not yet prepared to legislate in the sense desired by us. It does not appear that any further representation we could make would be of any avail, for all the reasons why we desire the Bill are already before the Government of India. As those reasons are strong and weighty, we must hope that in time they will prevail; perhaps also, after a time, we may ourselves see our way to moving again in this matter. But till then we can at least