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Education for Commerce

In 1854, the Court of Directors of the East India Company in London sent an educational despatch to the Governor-General in India. It was issued by Charles Wood, the President of the Board of Control of the Company. It was known as the Wood’s Despatch.


Charles Wood


As the President of the Board of Control, Charles Wood did a great job in spreading education in India when in 1854 he sent a dispatch to Lord Dalhousie, the then Governor-general of India.

The Wood’s Despatch

The Wood’s Despatch recommended that:-

1.An education department was to be set in every province.

2.Universities on the model of the London University be established in big cities such as Bombay, Calcutta and Madras.

3.At least one government school be opened in every district.

4.Affiliated private schools should be given grant in aid.

5.The Indian natives should be given training in their mother tongue also.


The Advantages of Wood’s Despatch for the British in India
  • The Wood’s Despatch stated that learning English will be an advantage to the Indians for the trade and commerce, and make Indians see the importance of developing the resources of the country.

  • The British also had an ulterior motive to promote English language and English culture. They felt that introducing them to European ways of life, would change their tastes and desires, and create a demand for British goods among the Indians.

  • The British felt that European learning would improve the moral character of Indians. It would make them truthful and honest, and thus supply the Company with civil servants who could be trusted and depended upon.

  • According to the British the literature of the East was full of grave errors and did not instil in people a sense of duty and commitment to work.

In accordance with Wood's Despatch, Education Departments were established in every province and universities were opened at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras in 1857 and in Punjab in 1882 and at Allahabad 1887. Attempts were also made to bring about changes within the system of school education.

Bombay University

Calcutta University

Madras University

Allahabad University


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