The Character of Indian Education? It is Colonial-Brahminical!

Economics in action

Somebody wants me to write a chapter on the overall profile of Indian education in a forthcoming book. That has made me to think about its main character and I am tempted call it `Colonial-Brahminical’. Let me elaborate.

The colonial origins of formal education in India are well known. Its purpose was to create middle and lower-level functionaries in colonial administration who understood English. They were expected to be the `interpreters’ between the colonial rulers and the millions of Indians. Facilitating social change or industrial and economic development was not the objective of this education. That was also a time when Britain was moving away from apprenticeships as part of schooling for the potential industrial workers, and accepting a `liberal’ education which intended to provide the same kind of schooling for a specific number of years to all students. The ideas of such a `liberal’ education had also influenced the…

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