Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/453

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University of Madras.

upon which so mucli stress is laid, in recommending the with- drawal of State support to higher education ? However this may be, it would certainly seem anomalous that, in a country com- posed of many nationalities, Hindus, Mahomedans, Budhists, we should trust for the provision for higher education wliicli lias sucli an important influence on national progress, not to indigenous agencies wliicli there is reason to fear will take time to come into existence, not to the private wealth of the country, a considerable proportion of which still remains to be brought under the influence of culture, but to the benefactions of charitable men in England and foreign countries contri- buted for a special purpose, and to their willingness to permit such benefactions to be applied for the purpose of secular education. Apart from other objections, such a system will be without the guarantee of permanence and stability which is essen- tial to a scheme of national education. After all, I find that the State expenditure on Government Colleges or on higher education in this Presidency after deducting the portion of it which will have to be incurred under any circumstances, and the portion which is recouped by fees, donations, &c., amounts to a lakh and a quarter, or at most a lakh and a half, certainly not an extra- vagant figure, considering the importance of the object. It is earnestly hoped that the decision of the Education Commission with regard to this important question, which is looked forward to with anxious interest by the entire native community, and in regard to which I have only endeavoured to set forth their views, will be in accordance with their sentiments. But whatever may be the decision, gentlemen, your duty is plain. That the State should help those who cannot help themselves, and that those who help themselves should do so, are propositions, the truth of which cannot be denied ; and you will fail in your duty to your- selves and your countrymen if you do not steadily keep them in view and do not prepare gradually to find ways and means for giving a permanency to the system of higher education in this country, and to rest it eventually on the basis of national endowments. The Trustees of Patcheappah^s charities have set a laudable example in this direction, and it is my earnest hope that as education continues to spread, and as the aristocracy and wealth of the country begin to be sufliciently influenced by the light of culture, the day will arrive when national colleges will take the place of Government colleges. In this connection it is peculiarly gratifying to me to note that since the Local Fund and Municipal Boards were organized in this Presidency, those bodies have done much for aiding primary education. 1 also find that higher education is