Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/436

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events of the present, and the prospects of the future. In such men are found strong and decided convictions, but it is among such that we must look for those whose counsels should guide Governments and direct and influence the people. Does then the present education of this Presidency tend to produce such men ? I have no doubt in answering this question in the afiirma- tive and to say that although there is no doubt much of the mere showy and superficial sort of learning easily recognizable, pretentious in style, unsound in argument, ever displaying carefully-culled phrases, gathered from the pages of a glossary, not by study of the author ; frequently misused from utter ignorance of the context, although there are many such yet there are also a large proportion of sound and well-taught men doing honor to the Presidency from which they have sprung and to its University. The most powerful influence of an University on learning and knowledge must ever be an indirect rather than a direct influence : depending on the value attached by the country and the people to the stamp of its degrees, by a careful maintenance of its standards of test of admission, at a point obtainable with certainty by reasonable ability combined with fair diligence in study. It doubtless exercises a direct influence, sifting out the idler and the dunce and fixing a standard below which at least the affiliated and other schools must not fall if they would maintain their usefulness and character and retain their pupils. But in the maintenance of the standards of admission and of degrees, it is upon the atten- tion and ability of the Examiners in their different duties no less than upon the ability of its professorial teaching that the University depends, and thus the care displayed in their selec- tion will ever be a mainspring of the direct influence which the University exercises on the education of the Presidency, If the standards are allowed to fluctuate uncertainly a depreciated value will attach to the examinations, and the influence for good will be more or less lessened.

What are the prospects for its graduates? Many an able man, trained to weigh facts dispassionately and able to maintain his opinion in argument, will be needed to aid Government with advice and counsel. For essential as it may be for the good, for the safety of the people that executive power be wielded with promptness and decision at times even perhaps with dictatorial power, restrained only by the restraints of the law and the powerful influence of the country's voice, so will it be yearly more and more essential