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Indian Education Commission 1882 OR Hunter Commission 1882

Indian Education Commission 1882


Hunter Commission 1882

  • In 1857, the Indians revolted against the East India Company which shook the very foundation of the British rule in India.

  • Historians have variously termed it as mutiny, revolt, uprising and even the first war of independence.

  • East India Company with the help of British army suppressed this revolt.

  • After suppressing the revolt the British Government took the governance of British territory in India in her own hands.

  • Lord Canning was appointed the first Governor General and Viceroy of British India.

  • The Brtish parliament passed the Indian Legislation Act in 1861, according to which 126
  • legislative councils were formed in all provinces and the Indians were given representations in them.

  • The British rule thus gradually got firmly established in India. 

  • After strenthening the British rule in India the government's attention was drawn towards the Indian education.

  • In the meantime the Indians in India and the Christian missionaries in England were demanding change in Indian education.

  • For this purpose the Christian missionaries had even formed an organisation called the 'General Council of Education in India' in England and through this council they were continuously pressurizing the British Government to change the education policy in India.
  • However. the real reason behind this demand was that the missionaries influence in Indian education had virtually came to an end after the Wood Despatch, 1854.

  • In 1880, Lord Rippon was appointed the new Governor General and Viceroy of India.

  • Finding it a propitious time, a representative committee of the General Council of Education in India met Lord Rippon.

  • It placed its problems before the Viceroy and requested him to bring about change in the Indian education policy.

  • Lord Rippon assured them to think over their proposal.

  • Moreover, more than 25 years had lapsed since the implementation of Wood Despatch, 1854 and it was considered necessary to assess the development of education in the country and to remove the anomalies which had crept into it.

  • Therefore, on January 3, 1888 Lord Rippon appointed the Indian Education Commission.

  • This Commission had 20 members of which 7 were Indians, namely - Syed Mahmud, K.T. Tailang, Anand Mohan Bose, P. Ranganand Mudaliar, Hazi Ghulam, Maharaja Jitendra Mohun Tagore and Bhudeo Mukherji.

  • Dr. Miller was the representative of the Christian Missionaries in this Commission.

  • B.L. Rice, the Directorate of Public Instruction, Mysore was the Secretary of this commission.

  • William Hunter, a member of the then Viceroy's Executive Council was its chairman.

  • Therefore, this Commission is also known as the Hunter Commission.

Report of the Commission

The Commission first minutely went through the previous documents of the Government concerning education specially Wood Despatch.

Thereafter the members of the Commission toured the various parts of the country for seven months and made a comprehensive study of the contemporary education system.

After a detailed discussion on the various aspects of education the Commission prepared its report and submitted it to the Government in 1883.

This report is an extensive document of about 770 pages in which detailed suggestions are rendered on every aspect of the contemporary Indian education.




Though this commission was mainly appointed to study the implementation and the results of the education policy declared in Wood Despatch, 1854 and to study the prevailing condition of education in India and to find out the ways and means for its reform and progress. But this commission studied the contemporary Indian education system in its entirely and gave suggestions on every aspect of education. 

The Commission more or less supported the education policy declared in Wood Despatch, 1854.

It however remarked that this policy was not implemented honestly.

At the same time it also gave some suggestions for the change in this policy. Two of its suggestions were most important:

(1) The Government should leave the responsibility of primary education on local bodies (Municipal Boards and District Boards) and that of the secondary and higher education on private institutions and organisations.

(2) The Government should adopt a liberal policy in grant-in-aid system.

In this context the commission gave the following suggestions :

(i) Besides teachers salaries and scholarships to students, grants should also be given for the construction of school building, laboratory and liberary, etc.

(ii) The rules for the grant-in-aid should be simplified and liberalized.

(iii) The rules for the grant-in-aid should be made in conformity with the provincial needs.

(iv) The rules for the grant-in-aid should be made separately for different aspects.

(v) The revised rules for the grant-in-aid and any subsequent alterations made therein should be published in the official gazettes and communicated to all those involved in the field of education, specially to the principals.

(vi) The schools should be inspected before taking decision on the application for grant-in-aid received from any school and for any aspect.

(vii) No discrimination should be made while approving the grants to schools.

(viii) Grants should be made available to schools without any delay.

(ix) There should be no interference in ther internal matters of those schools which receive grants. 

(x) Grants-in-aid to any schools should not be withheld without any reason. receive grants.

Recommendations of Indian Education commission on Primary Education

The commission thoroughly studied the various aspects of primary education, the education policy, the financing system, the training of the teachers and the curriculum, etc. and gave its suggestions.

The main recommendations of the commission on different aspects of the primary education are as follows:

1. Administration and Finance of Primary Education :

The commission suggested to entrust the responsibility of administration and finance of primary education to the local bodies.

It clearly Stated that these local bodies will establish primary schools in their regions, appoint teachers in them, pay their salaries and schoulder all other expenses.

In the context of the finance of primary education, the Commission suggested that the local bodies will create a separate fund for primary education.

Provincial Governments will provide 50% or 30% of the total expenditure in the form of grants to them.

2. Aims of Primary Education :

The Commission formulated two main aims of primary education:

(1) Expansion of mass education.
(2) Education of practical life.

3. Curriculum of Primary Education :

In the opinion of the Commission primary education should be related to the practical aspects of life. In this context it gave the following suggestions:

(1) The curriculum of primary education should be in accordance with the condition of the provinces.

The education of provincial languages and standard etiquettes and manners of the provinces should be included in it.

(2) The curriculum primary education in every province should compulsorily include general mathematics, book keeping, general science and general knowledge of health and hygiene.

(3) Keeping in view the local needs, a general education of one of the following skills, namely, agriculture, animal husbandry, spinning, weaving, etc. should be provided.

4. Medium of Primary Education :

The commission suggested that the medium of primary education should be the provincial languages. It also suggested that thei Government should make effort for the development of these languages.

5. Training of Primary School Teachers :

For the reform in primary education, the Commission emphasized on the appointment of trained teachers in primary schools.

For the training of primary teachers it suggested to increase the number of teacher training schools (normal schools).

In the opinion of the Commission there must be atleast one teacher training school within the jurisdiction of each school inspector.

6. Encouragement to the Indigenous Primary Schools :

For the expansion of primary education, the Commission emphasized on the encouragement of Indigenous schools.

The Commission observed that the Indigenous schools were being run by the Indians with great courage and enthusiasm.

These schools were very popular at that time even though their standard was somewhat low.

The raise the status of Indigenous schools and to encourage them, the Commission gave four suggestions :

(1) Grants should be given to all the Indigenous schools for the construction of building and payment of salaries to the teachers.

(2) Scholarship should be given to the poor students in these Indigenous schools.

(3) No interference should be made in their curriculum but suggestions should definitely be given to include utilitarian subjects.

(4) Training of the teachers of these schools should be organised.

Recommendations of Indian Education commission on Secondary Education

Though Hunter Commission was appointed to examine the condition of primary education but it examined the condition of the secondary and higher education as well.

The Commission gave the following suggestions in the context of secondary education :

1. Administration and Finance of Secondary Education :

The Commission suggested that the responsibility of secondary education should be entrusted to the rich and efficient Indians.

However, in those places where secondary schools are not established by individual efforts, Government itself should establish them, but not more than one such school should be established in any district.

At the same time, it suggested to give grant-in-aid liberally to secondary schools run by individual efforts and to make no discrimination in giving any type of grant to these schools.

2. Aims of Secondary Education :

One can clearly delineate only two aims, from the report of the Commission, of secondary education :

(1) Preparation for general life.

(2) Preparation for the admission in higher education.

3. Curriculum of Secondary Education :

The Hunter Commission suggested to divide the curriculum of secondary education into two categories- Course-A and Course- B

(a) Course-A : This curriculum will be literary and scientific.

It will be for those students who intend to go for higher education.

Literary subjects will be included in it and the study of English will be compulsory.

(b) Course-B : This curriculum will be utilitarian or vocational curriculum.

It will be for those children who intend to enter the real life after secondary education and want to earn their livelihood or intend to achieve higher vocational education.

Vocational subjects will be included in this curriculum and the study of English will be compulsory.

4. Medium of Secondary Education :

The Commission gave no suggestion regarding the medium of secondary education.

It meant the Commission supported English to be the medium of secondary education as declared in Wood Despatch.

5. Training of Secondary School Teachers :

To raise the standard of secondary education the Commission placed emphasis on the appointment of trained Teachers in secondary schools.

To fulfil the demand of trained teachers it recommended to establish teacher training colleges.


Recommendations of Hunter commission on Higher Education

The Commission gave the following suggestions in the context of higher education :

1. Administration and Finance of Higher Education :

The Commission suggested that the Government should leave the responsibility of higher education on the Indians and the government colleges should be established only at those places where a demand exists but people are unable to establish them on their own.

With respect to the Organisation of finance of the non-government colleges the commission suggested that the Government should provide grants liberally to these colleges.

At the same time, it suggested that these grants should be given on the basis of the need and strength of thei teachers and students in the colleges.

2. Aims of Higher Education :

The Commission observed the following aims for higher education:

(i) Attainment of higher knowledge.

(ii) Moral upliftment and the knowledge of nature and religion.

(iii) Knowledge of the duties of citizenship.

3. Curriculum of Higher Education :

The Commission suggested to broader the curriculum of higher education so that the students may opt subjects according to their interests.

Its second suggestion was to make moral education compulsory.

For this purpose it advised to prepare special books on moral education infused with the principles of humanity and nature.

4. Medium of Higher Education :

The Commission gave no suggestion regarding the medium of higher education, which meant that it thought it better to maintain English as the medium of higher education.

5. Appointment of Lecturers :

The Commission suggested that in the appointment of lecturers, Indians educated in European Universities should be given preference.

Recommendations of Hunter commission  Women Education

The Commission observed that the condition of women education in India during that period was lamentable.

It therefore gave the following suggestions for the development of women education:

(1) Local bodies should fix a definite percentage of educational expenditure for the organisation of primary education for girls and should form separate schools for girls wherever necessary.

(2) The Government should simplify the rules of grants for girls school and should give them grants liberally.

(3) The education for girls should be free.

(4) Scholarships should be arranged for the girl students.

(5) Hostels should be made for the girl students.

(6) As far as possible, female teachers should be selected in girls schools. For this purpose separate women teacher training schools should be established.

(7) In the annual report of education, the progress of girls/women education should be indicated separately so that immediate steps may be taken accordingly.

(8) As far as possible, women inspectors should be provided for the inspection of girls' schools.

Recommendations of Indian Education Commission of Muslim Children

The Commission observed that the condition of Muslim education during that period was very pathetic.

For the expansion of education among the Muslims it gave the following suggestions :

(1) Separate schools should be setup for the Muslim children.

(2) The individual effort to open schools for the Muslim children should be motivated. 

(3) The medium of education should be made Persian along with Hindustani in the schools located in the Muslim dominated areas.

(4) Special scholarships should be provided to the Muslim children.

(5) In the annual education report, the progress of the Muslim education should be specified separately so that immediate steps may be taken suitably. 

Recommendations of Hunter commission of Backward and Low Caste Children

For the expansion of the education of backward and low caste children the Commission gave the following suggestions :

(1) Children should be admitted, without doing any discrimination, in the schools rule by the local bodies or management. 

(2) The Government should setup separate schools for the backward and low caste children.

(3) As far as possible, teachers in the schools meant for the backward and low castel children should be arranged from their communities.

(4) The education for backward and low caste children should be made free.

(5) Special scholarships should be provided to the backward and low caste children.

Recommendations of Hunter commission of the Children of Backward Region

During that period many regions in India were very backward.

In fact, people in some regions were still living a primitive life.

Education was yet to reach these regions.

For the education of the children of these regions, the Commission gave the following suggestions :

(1) The Government should set up schools in these regions.

(2) Individual efforts to establish schools in these regions should be motivated. 

(3) Education in these regions should be arranged keeping in view the geographical and social conditions and traditions of these regions.

(4) The medium of education should be the regional languages in backwards schools.

(5) Education should be free at every level in backwards regions.

(6) Special scholarships should be provided to the students in these regions.

Recommendations of Indian Education commission on Religious Education

The Commission was also entrusted with the task to give its suggestions about religious education.

The Commission, however, adopted a double standard in this context. In its opinion:

(1) Government schools should be forbidden from imparting any type of religious education.

(2) In the non-government schools any type of religious education may be imparted with the approval of the management.

(3) Academic achievement of the schools imparting religious education should be taken into consideration while giving grants to them.

Merits of Hunter Commissions Recommendation:


1. The Commission created recommendations on most aspects of Indian education.

2. It specially analysed the aspects of primary education and tries to create it a responsibility of the State.

3. It made primary education sensible and helpful by together with in its info subjects like agriculture, medicine, trig, arithmetic and accounts.

4. The commission showed liberal perspective towards Indians by not giving place of prominence to Christian Missionaries in Indian education. so the information of Christianity through education was checked to some extent.

5. It rendered service to Indian society by creating primary education asi the instruction of lots through the medium of Indian languages.

6. It did a decent job in recommending primary education in such subjects as can work Indians for his or her position as life, and first education be noti essentially thought to be a little of instruction leading up to instruction.

7. The recommendations created by the commission within the field of feminine education, education of Muslims, class, and therefore the education of Harijians, backward categories, aboriginals and Hill tribes well-tried of nice i price and significance.

8. The recommendations of the commission with respect to grant-in-aid system went an excellent means in up and regularizing the system.

Demerits of Hunter Commissions Recommendation:


1. The commission created the advice that so as to expand instruction, the govt. through the system of grant-in-aid ought to offer the administration and organization of instruction into the hands of economical and ready Indians, and obtain itself mitigated of the responsibility of running secondary educations. This recommendation was to prove a good hurdle within the development of Indian education.

2. The advice that personal establishments ought to charge less fees than the govt. establishments wasn't solely unfair however it conjointly created unhealthy competition in education.

3. The commission shifted the responsibility of primary education from the Stage to the native Bodies improperly. the dearth of resources and the lack of potency in these Bodies tried terribly harmful to the development of education.

4. By recommending examination results to be the most basis giving grant-in-aid to primary faculties, the commission greatly injured primary education as a result of then it became solely examination directed.

5. The advice of building separate Muslim faculties for primary education inspired communalism.

6. The commission continuing English because the medium of instruction ati the secondary level however did bit specify the medium at middle level. This policy augmented the indifference to Indian languages.

7. Its recommendations relating to vocational training were terribly superficial and didn't have any impact.

8. Not abundant and worthy attention was given to coaching establishments by the commission.

9. The commission didn't offer any serious thought to the programme of upper education.

10. Per A. N. Basu, —Secondary education succeeded in manufacturing literary minded persons and didn't end up the much minded employees best suited to the battle of life.