INTRODUCTION TO THE UNIVERSITY EDUCATION COMMISSION OF 1948

 

UNIT STRUCTURE

1. Learning Objectives
2. Introduction
3. Background and appointment of the university education commission of 1948
4. Its Recommendations on Aims and Objectives of Higher Education
5. Details of the Main Recommendation of the University Education
6. Let Us Sum Up
7. Further Readings
8. Answers to Check Your Progress
9. Possible Question
10. References

LEARNING OBJECTIVES



After going trough this unit you will be able to
Explain the background of the University Education Commission of 1948.
Know about its Terms of Reference.
Know its Recommendations on the Aims And Objectives of Higher Education
Explain the Specific Recommendations regarding the University System of Education.

INTRODUCTION


Universities are the seats of higher learning from where the society gets its leaders in Science, Arts and various other fields of national life. University education in India aims at providing knowledge and wisdom which are necessary attributes of a well developed personality. University education is a centre for higher branches of learning. The functions of the university are varied. It provides instruction, conduct research and post-graduate studies, and gives affiliation and extension to the colleges under it. In case of a non-affiliating unitary university, there is no college under it and its function is limited to offering masters programme and conducting research. A university’s scope is national in character. The main purpose of establishing a university in a particular region is to make higher education accessible to all sections of the population within its territorial jurisdiction. The first Education Commission of 1948, known as Radhakrishnan Commission forms the main thrust of this unit.


BACKGROUND AND APPOINTMENT OF THE UNIVERSITY EDUCATION COMMISSION


After independence, the first significant step taken by the Government of India in the field of education was the appointment of the University Education Commission in 1948 under the Chairmanship of Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, a distinguished scholar and former vice-chancellor of Banaras Hindu University and who became the second President of India. The Commission was appointed by the Government of India to go into the problems and prospects of Indian University Education and to suggest improvements and extensions that might be considered desirable to suit the present and future requirements of the country. The Commission was appointed in November, 1948 and it submitted its report in August, 1949.

The Report of the Commission is a document of great importance as it has guided the development of university education in India since independence. The Inter-University Board of Education and Central Advisory Board of Education recommended to the Government of India that an All India Commission on Education should be appointed to inquire into the requirements of the higher education in India and to put forward the recommendations for the re-organization of the University Education system in the light of the requirements of the country and its traditions. Because of the fact that Dr. Radhakrishnan was the Chairman of the Commission it is known as ‘Radhakrishnan Commission’. There were 10 members in the commission.


LET US KNOW

Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, was -

A distinguished scholar.
Former Vice - Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University.
Second President of India.
Spalding Professor of Eastern Religious and Ethics at the University of Oxford.
Chairman, University Education Commission (1948-49).

The Appointment of the Commission- its aim and objective:

The Radhakrishnan Commission was appointed with the specific aim ‘to report on Indian University Education and suggest improvements and extensions that may be desirable to suit present and future requirements of the country’. The decision was due to the realization that a reconstruction of university education was essential for a national - cultural resurgence as well as for meeting the requirements of scientific, technical and other man – power which India needed for its socio-economic development in the wake of the independence in 1947.

1.Terms of Reference:
The terms of reference of the Commission were to consider and make recommendations in regard to:

  • The aims and objectives of university education and research in India.
  • The changes considered necessary and desirable in the constitution, control, functions and jurisdiction of the universities in India.
  • The finances of the universities.
  • The maintenance of the highest standards of teaching and examinations in the universities and colleges under their control.
  • The courses of study in the universities.
  • The standards of admission to the university courses of study.
  • The medium of instruction in the universities.
  • The provision for advanced study in Indian culture, history, literatures, languages, philosophy and fine arts.
  • The need for more universities on a regional or other basis.
  • The organisations of advanced research in all branches of knowledge in the universities and institutes of higher research.
  • Religious instruction in the universities.
  • The special problems of all the universities in India.
  • The qualification, conditions of service, salaries, privileges and functions of teachers and the encouragement for original research by teachers.
  • The discipline of students, hostels and the organisation of tutorial work and any other student related matters.

Method of study:
The commission made a thorough study of the problems of Higher Education in India. It toured the country extensively in order to acquaint itself with the problems.

It prepared a questionnaire which was sent over to about 600 persons who mattered in the field of education. It interviewed administrators, organisations of the students and educationists. Thus, it tried to gather information in regard to almost all the aspects of university education. Its report runs into two volumes. The first part of the report contains 18 chapters and about 747 pages. The second volume contains the statistics in regard to institutions and other educational problems and the evidence tendered by the witnesses examined by the commission.

LET US KNOW

  • University Education Commission of 1948

  • Appointment of the University Education Commission:
    In November, 1948 the Govt. of India appointed a University Education Commission under the Chairmanship of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan.

  • Aim of Appointment:
    The Commission was appointed to report on Indian University Education and suggest improvements.

  • Terms of Reference:
    The terms of reference of the Commission were ways and means for the improvement and re-organization of the University Education.

  • Method of Study:
    The commission made a thorough study of the problems of Higher Education in India.



CHECK YOUR PROGRESS


1. In which year was the University Education Commission appointed?
2. Who was the Chairman of the Commission?
3. How many members were there in the Commission?
4. Why was the Commission appointed?
5. Mention any four major terms of Reference of the Commission in the given space.


ITS RECOMMENDATIONS ON AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF HIGHER EDUCATION


The Commission has laid down certain aims of university education in the country keeping in view the past tradition, the present conditions and future prospects of the country. In this context the Commission took into consideration the personal interests of the students and also of the nation. While defining the aims the Commission had been also conscious of the international obligations. We are giving below the aims of university education as laid down by the Commission:

The aim of university education should be to produce able citizens who can take up national responsibilities successfully in various fields. The university has to produce able administrators and suitable workers in various occupations and industries. The university has to provide leadership in the various walks of life in the best interest of the nation.
The aim of a university should be to maintain a high standard in general, professional and vocational education by inspiring the students to search for a new knowledge and good effort that must be authentic in nature.
It is a duty of a university to preserve and develop the culture and civilization of the land. It is on the basis of one’s culture that one may acquire self-confidence, self-respect and self-dependence. These virtues on the part of citizens will make the nation really very strong.
The university should generate new ideas and discard those which are likely to prevent the growth of the nation. For progress, it is necessary to rise above superstitions. The university has to help the students to imbibe the good aspects of their culture and to accept new values for an all - round development.
The university should provide opportunities to acquire all kinds of knowledge.
The university has to educate the mind and soul of the student in order that he may grow in wisdom.
It is the responsibility of the university to create a consciousness in students for protecting the Directive Principles as to be laid down in the Constitution. The university has to make the foundation of democracy strong and it has to develop the spirit in students for ensuring equality, fraternity and social justice to all while maintaining the integrity of the nation.
The University has to make new discoveries and inventions and it has to develop new original ideas in order to make the society strong.
The university has to instil moral values in the students while making them well disciplined.
The university has to develop the spirit of universal brotherhood and internationalism in the students.
The universities have to provide leadership in politics, administration, education, industry and commerce.
The universities should be organized as centres of civilization to train intellectual pioneers of civilization. The aim of university education should be to produce intellectual adventures.
Universities should produce such wise persons who may disseminate learning to make democracy successful and who may make an incessant search for new knowledge and unceasing effort to fulfil the mission of life.
One of the main functions of universities is to bring about the spiritual development of students.
We are engaged in a quest for democracy through the realization of justice, freedom, equality and fraternity. Hence, it is necessary that our universities should be the emblems and protectors of these ideals.
Contents of education must accept the best of what the modern advancement has to offer without neglecting our cultural heritage from the past.
Education should discover the innate qualities of a person and develop them through training.
Universities should preserve the culture and civilization of the country. To be civilized, we should sympathies with the poor, respect women, love peace and independence, and hate tyranny and injustice. The university education should infuse these ideals into the youths.

LET US KNOW

Major recommendations of the University Education Commission on aims and objectives of higher education

  • To teach that life has a meaning.
  • To awaken the innate ability to live a meaningful life in all aspects by developing wisdom.
  • To acquaint with the social philosophy this should govern all our institutions - educational as well as economic and political.
  • To provide training for democracy.
  • To train for self - development.
  • To develop certain values like fearlessness of mind, strength of conscience and integrity of purpose.
  • To acquaint with cultural heritage for its registration.
  • To enable to know that education is a life - long process.
  • To develop proper understanding of the present as well as of the past.
  • To impart vocational and professional training.

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS


6. Mention any four recommendations on Aims and Objectives of Higher Education.



DETAILS OF THE MAIN RECOMMENDATION OF THE UNIVERSITY EDUCATION COMMISSION


After having a discussion on the background and appointment of the commission as well as its basic recommendations on the aims and objectives of higher education, now we are going to discuss in detail the specific recommendations on the various aspects of the university education system in India.

Faculty in Universities: The University Education Commission has emphasized that the teacher plays a vital role in the education system; therefore, an adequate faculty with required qualifications are necessary to discharge many types of duties in a university or in a college. The university Education Commission recommended that proper care should be taken in the selection procedure of a teacher for the appointment as a professor, reader, lecturer and an instructor as well as for his or her salaries. Each university should have some research fellows. Besides theses, definite rules regarding the Provident Fund, leave and hours of work should be followed by a university.
Teaching Standards: The most important duty of a university is to maintain the highest standard of its teaching and examinations. In order to improve the teaching standard, the following are some of the recommendations that were made by the University Education Commission in 1948-1949:

  • “The standard of admission to the university courses should correspond to that of the present intermediate examination, i.e. after the completion of 12 years of study at a school and an intermediate college;

  • That in each province a large number of well-equipped and well staffed intermediate colleges (with classes IX to XII or XI to XII) be established;

  • That in order to divert students to different vocations after 10 to 12 years of schooling, a large number of occupational institutes be opened;

  • That refresher courses be organized by the universities for high school and intermediate college teachers;

  • That to avoid overcrowding at universities and colleges the maximum number in the Arts and Science faculties of a teaching university be fixed at 3,000 and in an affiliated college at 1500;

  • That the number of working days be substantially increased to ensure a minimum of 180 days in the year, exclusive of examination days, with three terms, each of about 11 weeks’ duration;

  • That lectures be carefully planned and supplemented by tutorials, library works and written exercises;

  • That there be no prescribed text-books for any courses of study;

  • That attendance at lectures be compulsory for under graduate students as at present, and that private candidates of only certain categories be allowed to appear for public examination. An experiment should, however, be made with the evening college for the working people;

  • That tutorial instruction be developed in all institutions imparting university education in the following manner:
    (a) students should report to tutors in groups not exceeding 6 in numbers;
    (b) tutorials should be made available to all undergraduates both pass and honours;
    (c) tutorials should stimulate the mental development of the students and they should not become mere coaching for examination;
    (d) if tutorials are to succeed, the teaching staff should be improved in quality and quantity.

  • That university libraries should be greatly improved by;
    (a) large annual grants;
    (b) the introduction of open access system;
    (c) longer hours of work;
    (d) better organization; and
    (e) well-trained staff which include reference assistants.

  • That the laboratories be improved in building, fittings, equipment, workshops and technicians.” (Report of Radha-Krishnan Commission of 1948-49)
Course of study: According to the recommendations of Radhakrishnan Commission, the general as well as specific interest of the students should be taken care of when the courses will be designed for the courses of the university level. Master Degree should be given to honours students after one year’s study beyond the bachelor’s degree. Literature for general education courses should be developed which will give the students an acquaintance with and mastery of the contents and methods of thinking and working in each field.
Research and Training: The regulations for Master of Arts and Master of Science should be uniform in all universities of India. The admission procedure as well as the process for enrolling in Ph.D. degree should be arranged on an all India basis. D.Litt. and D.Sc. Degrees should be awarded on published work of outstanding quality. A large number of Scholarship should be provided for the research work to the university by the Ministry of Education. Fundamental research should be the primary step for a u university.
Professional Education: The University Education Commission has made some recommendations regarding professional education and has divided it into the five aspects of education as Agriculture education, Commercial Education, Engineering and Technology, Legal Education and Medical Education.


Regarding Agriculture education, the Commission emphasized that agriculture education should be recognized as an important national issue and the study of the subject of agriculture should be introduced in all stages of education i.e. primary, secondary and higher level. The existing agriculture colleges and institutions should be improved and research centres should be established.

On the aspect of the Commercial Education, the Commission recommended that commercial education should be made more practical and the graduates should be encouraged to specialize in a particular branch. On the subject of Education, the faculty of training colleges should be recruited for giving training to the people who have first-hand experiences of school teaching. In assessing students’ performance, more stress should be given to practice only.

Regarding Engineering and Technology, the Radhakrishan Commission recommended the inclusion of the general education and basic physical engineering science in the engineering courses. Besides these, the Commission also suggested that the number of engineering schools and colleges should be increased, the existing engineering colleges’ should be upgraded for post graduate training and research in selected subjects and they should be closely associated with the universities.

In the context of Legal Education, the commission suggested that the law colleges should be thoroughly re-organized. Students pursuing degree courses in law should not be permitted to carry on other degree courses simultaneously.

Regarding Medical Education, the commission recommended that the maximum number of admission should be 100 and that all the departments of the study which require hospital facilities should be located in a single campus. There should be 10 beds for each student. Post-graduate training should be offered in certain well staffed colleges.

Religious Education: The University Education Commission 1948 who recommended religious education in the colleges that-

  • “all educational institution start work with a few minutes for silent meditation.
  • That in the first year of the degree course the lives of great religious leaders like Gautama the Buddha, Confucius Zaroaster, Socrates, Jesus, Sankara, Ramanuja, Madhava, Mohammad, Kabir, Naik, Gandhi be taught.
  • That in the second year some selections of a universalistic character from the scriptures of the world be studied.
  • That in the third year, the central problems of the philosophy of religion be considered.”
Medium of Instruction: According to the recommendation of the University Education Commission, higher education should be imparted through the regional lanquage with the option to use the federal lanquage as the medium of instruction either for some subjects or for all subjects. All provincial governments should take step to introduce the teaching of the federal lanquage in all classes of Higher Secondary Schools, in Degree Colleges and in the Universities. English Should be studied in the Higher Schools and in the Universities for keeping the students in touch with the living stream of ever-growing knowledge.
Examination or Evaluation System: The University Education Commission criticized the present system of examination and stress was given to introducing the objective type questions in the examination. Following are the basic ideas and suggestions of the University Education Commission in 1948-49 in this regard.

  • The commission suggested the techniques in devising and constructing objective test for the class examination in colleges and universities.

  • The Government should not insist on university degrees for the administrative services.

  • According to the University Education Commission, Credit should be given for the class work and one third of the mark allotted to each subject should be reserved for work done during the course of instruction.

  • The standard of success at the various examinations should be uniform in all universities.

  • The Commission divided the rank after passing the examination as getting 70% or more marks should be given the rank of first class, 55% to 69% for the rank of second class and at least 40% for a the rank of third class.

  • The system of grace marks should be abolished.

  • Viva-voce examination should be employed only for professional and post graduate degrees.

  • The essay type of questions should continue with the objective type questions but the type of question, method of examination should be thoroughly changed with a view to making it more valid and reliable.
Students’ Activities and Welfare: Regarding the students’ activities and their part in the wellbeing of the nation, the Commission suggested the following recommendations:

  • The students should undergo thorough physical examination at the time of admission and at least once a year thereafter.

  • All universities must have hospital and health service.

  • Sanitary inspection of the campus buildings, hostels, dining rooms, kitchens and off-campus residences must be undertaken in a university.

  • Competent staff should be provided for compulsory physical training and a regular time should be assigned for the purpose.

  • Social service should be encouraged and it should remain on a completely voluntary basis.

  • All students should receive N.C.C. training.

  • Students union should be free-form he political motives and activities.

  • An office of the Dean of Students should be set up in colleges and universities.
Women Education: Regarding the women education, the Commission suggested for providing the same facilities to the women colleges and universities as provided to men’s colleges and universities. The curriculum should also be prepared for them, considering them as both women and citizens.
Administration and Finance of a University: The university Education Commission considered the regulations and control capacity of a university in the followings ways:

  • The university education should be placed on the concurrent list.

  • Regarding the finance, co-ordination of facilities in special subjects, adoption of national policies, ensuring minimum standards of efficient administration and providing liaison between universities and national research laboratories and scientific surveys etc., the Central Government must have the responsibility towards the universities.

  • For the allocation of grants to the universities a central Grants Commission should be established.

  • There should be no university of the purely affiliating type.

  • The governing bodies of the colleges should be properly constituted.

  • The aim of an affiliated college should be to develop into a unitary university and later into a federative one.

  • The organizational set-up of a university should be as follows:



  • Regarding finance, a University Grant Commission should be set up fpr allocating grants to the universities. The State should also take the responsibility for the financing of higher education.

LET US KNOW
  • In India, the University Grant Commission was set up in 1956.

     

Rural Universities and Colleges: Regarding Rural Universities and Colleges, the Commission said: “the general advancement of rural India will call for an ever increasing range and quality of skill and training. To supply these and to meet the requirement of an educated citizenship, a system of rural colleges and universities necessary”. (Report of Radha Krishnan Commission)

  • A rural university should include a ring of small, resident under graduate colleges with specialized and university facilities in the centre.

  • The number of students for the undergraduate resident colleges should be not more than three hundred, and the overall maximum enrolment for colleges and university combined should be about twenty-five hundred.

  • Each college of about three hundred students should have separate teaching staff and facilities.

  • In the rural colleges, the general studies should be combined with the practical course, so that the students become cultured and educated men and women equipped with skill-oriented.

  • Regarding the curriculum of the rural university, the Commission said: “a common core of liberal education may be assumed for the rural university as for any other, though the methods used in teaching and learning may be different. The Common core would include substantial introduction to the fields of mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, geology, Astronomy, Biology, Physical Education, Psychology, the Social Sciences, Philosophy and Languages and Literature.” So the Commission recommended the Common Core consisting of Mathematics, basic sciences, social sciences and language and literature.

EXERCISE
1. Explain some of the specific recommendations regarding the University System of Education.

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS


7. In which Year the University Grant Commission was formed?
8. What should be the organizational set-up of a University?


LET US SUM UP



After having a discussion on the system and background of the university Education Commission, the followings are the basic ideas that we have learnt from this unit.

The University Education Commission was appointed on November, 1948 under the chairmanship of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan. The Commission studied the problems of the University education in India and submitted its report in August, 1949.
The Commission gave important recommendations with regard to the aims and objectives of higher education. The main aim was to discover new knowledge for the welfare of the countrymen and to utilise that knowledge for vocational, scientific and industrial development. The major recommendations, regarding Aims and Objectives of higher education were -

  • To teach that life has a meaning.
  • To awaken the innate ability to live a meaningful life by developing wisdom.
  • To acquaint with the social philosophy thatshould govern all our institutions - educational as well as economic and political.
  • To train for democracy.
  • To train for self - development.
  • To develop certain values like fearlessness of mind, strength of conscience and integrity of purpose.
  • To acquaint with cultural heritage for its registration.
  • To enable to know that education is a life - long process.
  • To develop understanding of the present as well as of the past.
  • To impart vocational and professional training.
Faculty in universities, Teaching Standards, Course of studies, Research and Training, Medium of Instruction, Examination, Student’s Duties and Activities, Women Education, Administration and Finance, Rural Universities are some of the components of a university system, where the University Education Commission had made some specific recommendations.

FURTHER READINGS


  • Chaube. S.: History and Problems of Indian education, Vinod Pustak Mandir, Agra.
  • Saikia, Dr. Siddheswar(1998): History of Education in India, Mani Manik Prakash
  • Sharma, R.N.: History and Problems of Education in India, Surjeet Publications, Delhi.

ANSWERS TO CHECK YOUR PROGRESS



1. November, 1948.
2. Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan.
3. 10 members.
4. The Commission was appointed to suggest measures to improve and recognize the University Education system in India.
5. The four major terms of Reference of the University Commission were:

  • The aims and objectives of University education and research in India.
  • The finance of Universities.
  • The maintenance of the highest standards of teaching and examination in the universities and colleges under their control.
  • The medium of instruction in the universities.
6. The four recommendations of the University Education Commission of 1948 on the Aims and Objectives of Higher Education were:

  • The universities have to provide leadership in politics, administration, education, industry and commerce.
  • The aim of university education should be to produce intellectual adventures.
  • One of the main functions of the universities is to bring about the spiritual development of the students.
  • Education should discover the innate qualities of a person and develop them through training.
7. 1956.
8. The organizational set-up of a university should be as follows:



POSSIBLE QUESTIONS



  • Discuss briefly the Terms of Reference of the University Education Commission.
  • Discuss briefly the recommendations of the University Education Commission in regard to the aims and objectives of Higher Education.
  • Discuss some of the Specific recommendations of the University Education Commission regarding the University System of Education.


REFERENCES


  • Aggarwal, J.C.: Landmarks in the History of Modern Indian Education. Vikas Publishing House Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi. Revised Edition, 1993.
  • Aggarwal, J.C.: Development and Planning of Modern Education. Vani Educational Books, New Delhi. Edition 1985.
  • Chaube, S.P.: History and Problems of Indian Education, Vinod Pustak Mandir, Agra 2. Second Edition, 1988.
  • Rawat, P.L.: History of Indian Education, Ram Prasad and Sons, Agra-3.
  • Safaya, R.N.: Current Problems in Indian Education. Dhanpat Rai & Sons. Delhi, 9th Edition, 1983.
  • Saikia, Dr. Siddheswar(1998): History of Education in India, Mani Manik Prakash