Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/82

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
1873.—Sir P. E. Wodehouse.

independence of the native princes. I think there may with equal truth be enunciated a similar desire on our part to see the wealthy and influential members of native society preserving their ascendancy and independence. But it mast be done by themselves, the Government cannot do it for them. If they persist in permitting their inferiors to pass them on the career of learning, they will have but themselves to blame, and when too late they will have cause to regret their apathy and indifference. With the advantages with which their historical position and social connexions surround them, it becomes them to take the lead in self-advancement and education and fit themselves for dealing with difficulties which the advance of education amongst the masses will bring with it. There is one feature in the report which strikes me as being very singular, and that is the apparent unpopularity of the study of law. I had always thought that in this country a recourse to law was the most popular of remedies, but certainly the study of it seems to occupy the attention of very few students, for only one Degree has been conferred in that Faculty. It is to be regretted very much that such should be the case. I have heard it stated that a year or two ago the examination for law was made somewhat hard, but even if it should be the case, I cannot accept it as a reason for the abandonment of the study. The case of the medical profession is very different; the students are much more numerous and they have obtained a singular degree of success. Out of the comparatively limited number of those who came up for examination, a very large proportion have obtained their degrees. With regard to Civil Engineering I think the Government is at present placed in a somewhat singular position. It seems to be thought the business of Government to provide employment for those who acquire the theory in our schools. There are certain circumstances connected with the Civil Engineering College at Poona which, without any disrespect to such institutions, give it something of the nature of a school of industry; and the industry there inculcated is one which in the present state of demand can only find an outlet for its application in the Government Department of Public Works—works carried on more or less under the control of Government. I believe there is a feeling among the heads of the College and those interested in it, that there is not sufficient encouragement given by those who represent the Government in the Department of Public Works to those who distinguish themselves at the Civil Engineering College. But, on the other hand, I for one, cannot wonder that there should be some objections on the part of our Public Works officers to entrust to theoretic students who have no practical experience important works throughout