1.3.1 CHARTER ACT, 1813

Twenty years rolled by The Company’s Charter came up once again for renewal in 1813. The House of Commons resolved itself into a committee for this purpose. A large number of administrative experts like Warren Hastings, Lord Wellesley, Sir Thomas Monroe etc. were allowed to express their views. Opinion was divided. Those who favoured the opinion of Charles Grant and the like minded people did not make much headway. In the meanwhile Lord Minto’s Minute was received. Once again the party for giving state recognition to education was headed by Grant and Wilberforce. They succeeded in the teeth of a bitter opposition. Clause 43 was inserted in the Charter and this clause made it obligatory for the Company that “a sum of not less than one lac of rupee in each year shall be set apart and applied to the revival and improvement of literature and the encouragement of the learned natives of India and for the introduction and promotion of knowledge of the sciences among the inhabitants of the British territories in India.” This clause is rightly regarded as the foundation stone of English educational system in India.

Changes brought about by the Charter

The Charter brought about the following changes:

  • For the first time, the British Parliament admitted that education in India has a claim on public revenue.
  • The commercial monopoly of the company in India was terminated. The shores of India were thrown open to all missionaries of the U.K.
  • Restrictions placed on all missionary members in North India were removed.

Thus, a new era began in the history of Indian education.

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