Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/480

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187
1885.—The Honorable P. O'Sullivan.

University of Madras, since its foundation in 1857, not including the accessions of to-day, is about 1,355, which gives an annual average of not more than 50. Only twenty-seven persons took degrees in medicine during that period. It may be true that many persons are not yet prepared to employ a high class of medical advisers, and that the great bulk of the people cannot afford to do so. It is also found that practitioners in the Subordinate Medical Department under Government are resorted to for advice in the various localities where they perform their duties. Making all reasonable allowance for these impediments, it is evident that, under more favourable conditions, a greatly increased number of persons of high attainments ought to be in practice in various parts of the country to minister to the ailments of a population numbering upwards of thirty millions. It may, I think, be expected that the extension of the area of education, the increase in material prosperity which has begun, and is likely to continue, the development of agricultural, manufacturing and commercial industries and the increasing wants of the people, who are entering upon a higher phase of civilisation, will open careers for an increasing number of the educational classes. There is also a growing tendency to restrict the conditions upon which the right of access to some of the professions is founded, and the Government of Madras is disposed to reserve some at least of the more important public offices for graduates. After May of this year no persons will be permitted to appear for the Tests in the Revenue Higher Grade who have not passed the First in Arts Examination, or who are not graduates of an Indian University, except persons now in the service of Government who will be allowed to appear for examination in the Revenue Test Higher grade up to and including the year 1889. And it is the declared policy of the British Government, of whatever party, Tory or Liberal, Whig or Radical, to avail itself of the services of natives of this country to a greater extent in future than it has or perhaps could have done in the past. If you take these circumstances into consideration—and many others might be mentioned leading to the same conclusion—I think yon will have no reason to regret that upon merely practical grounds you have elected to pass into the world of work and action through the portals of the University.

You will each of you adopt some profession or calling.Attend to details Whatever that calling may be, you should devote to it your highest powers and best energies. Do not consider mere details unworthy of your attention. There are few occupations which do not require a close