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  • 18 Jan 2023 GS Paper 1 History

    Day 61

    Question 1: Britishers’ colonial education system in India is credited to bring western education by replacing ancient Indian education. In the light of above statement analyze Britishers’ education policy in India. (250 Words)

    Question 2: Discuss the British Foreign Policy in India and how it was executed? (150 Words)

    Answer 1


    • Introduce the educational system in India before 19th century.
    • Discuss Britishers’ education policy in India during 19th century and after that.
    • Conclude suitably.


    • The education imparted in 18th-century India was still traditional which could not match with the rapid developments in the West. The knowledge was confined to literature, law, religion, philosophy, and logic and to a limited extent the study of physical and natural sciences, technology, and geography.
    • In fact, due to over-reliance placed on ancient learning, any original thought got discouraged. Elementary education among the Hindus and the Muslims was quite widespread. The Hindu and Muslim elementary schools were called pathshalas and maktabs respectively. Chatuspathis or Tols, as they were called in Bihar and Bengal, were the centres of higher education.


    Amid dominant of the oriental and religious education of the Indian sub-continent, Britishers brought the schemes to implement the western English oriented education by several policies.

    The western education policies in India during 19th century were very different from the earlier one and benefited Indians in various ways. Like:

    • Introduction of the scientific and rational education system: The Charter Act of 1813 incorporated the principle of encouraging learned Indians and promoting knowledge of modern sciences in the country. Set up Calcutta College 1817 to impart English education in Western humanities and sciences. The government also set up three Sanskrit colleges at Calcutta, Delhi, and Agra.
    • Uniform medium of education: They devoted to teaching of Western sciences and literature through the medium of English language alone, instead of several vernacular languages.
    • Brought skill-based education policy: Efforts of James Thomson, lieutenant-governor of NW Provinces (1843-53), developed a comprehensive scheme of village education through the medium of vernacular languages. The purpose was to train personnel for the newly set up Revenue and Public Works Department.

    These were the some of the things brought by the English education. These methods of education brought by several provisions. Like:

    • Fort William College was set up by Wellesley in 1800 for training of civil servants of the Company in languages and customs of Indians (closed in 1802).
    • The Charter Act of 1813 incorporated the principle of encouraging learned Indians and promoting knowledge of modern sciences in the country.
      • A grant was sanctioned for Calcutta College set up in 1817 by to impart English education in Western humanities and sciences.
    • Lord Macaulay’s Minute (1835): The limited government resources were to be devoted to teaching of Western sciences and literature through the medium of English language alone.
      • It had proposed the ‘downward filtration theory’.
    • Wood’s Despatch (1854) on educational system for India. Considered the “Magna Carta of English Education in India”, this document was the first comprehensive plan for the spread of education in India.
      • It recommended English as the medium of instruction for higher studies and vernaculars at school level.
      • It laid stress on female and vocational education, and on teachers’ training.


    Britisher’s education policy in India was not exclusively in favour of Indians. These policies were promoted as promoted of the need of Britishers and compulsion by the protest of the Indians for better education. As mentioned, that these policies also downgraded several better values and skills of Indian education system, but the gain and knowledge built due to this education system less to Indians to preserve their own education system.

    Answer 2


    • Introduce in brief British Foreign Policy in India.
    • Discuss how British Foreign Policy was executed in India and with its neighboring nation.
    • Conclude suitably.


    The pursuance of a foreign policy, guided by interest of British imperialism, often led to India’s conflicts with neighbouring countries. These conflicts arose due to several reasons, like political and administrative consolidation of the country and its major aims in Asia and Africa.


    Development of British Foreign Policy in India:

    Some reasons for the British’s foreign policy in India-

    • Consolidation of colonial India, which was under threatened with the introduction of modern means of communication impelled the Government of India to reach out for natural, geographical frontiers for internal cohesion and defence, which sometimes resulted in border clashes.
    • Protection of the invaluable Indian empire
    • Expansion of British commercial and economic interests
    • Keeping other European imperialist powers, whose colonial interests came in conflict with those of the British, at an arm’s length in Asia and Africa.

    These aims led to British expansion and territorial conquests outside India’s natural frontiers, and to conflicts with other imperialist European powers such as Russia and France and several neighbouring nations like:

    Strategy at Northern Frontier:

    • Anglo-Bhutanese Relations: In 1865, the Bhutanese were forced to surrender the passes to Assam, in return for an annual subsidy.
    • Anglo-Nepalese Relations: The conflict started in the period of Lord Hastings (1813–23) and ended with the Treaty of Sagauli (1816).
    • Anglo-Tibetan Relations: The British efforts to establish friendly and commercial relations with Tibet.
      • Curzon sent a special mission to Tibet.

    Strategy at Eastern Frontier:

    • Anglo-Burmese Relations: The expansionist urges of the British, fueled by the lure of the forest resources of Burma, market for British manufactures in Burma and the need to check French ambitions in Burma and the rest of South-East Asia, resulted in three Anglo-Burmese Wars, and in the end, the annexation of Burma into British India in 1885.

    Strategy at Western Frontier:

    • Anglo-Afghan Relations: Increased Russian influence in Persia, English got alarmed about possible Russian plans regarding India. A need of scientific frontier and friendly regime in Afghan led to two Anglo-Afghan Wars.


    Britisher’s policy in India included several methods like war, aggressive campaigns and treaty. By these policies the interests served were British, the money spent, and the blood shed was Indian. Due to the effect of these policies, national sentiments arose among Indians and similar feelings were also conveyed to the neighboring territory which had led to anti-British sentiments and eventually Independence.

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