What was the Contribution of Lord Macaulay to Indian Education System?

He was a good orator and could influence others very easily. On June 10, 1834 he became a member of the Governor-General’s Council and was appointed the President of the Committee of Public Instruction.

He was a staunch supporter of the Occidentalism and had come to India with new educational ideas. When he reached India, the occidental-oriental controversy was at its peak.


As the President of the Committee of Public Instruction, he placed his proposal for spending the sanctioned one lakhs rupees. In his proposals he vehemently criticised the Indian languages and the literatures of Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian.

He declared them useless before English languages. He showed injustice and partiality in his uncharitable criticisms and remarked that the Indians themselves wanted to learn English. He argued that the Indians were not so keen to receive free education in Indian languages as they are to receive education in English even on payment of fees.

Lord Macaulay Quotes at Quote Collection

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In this context he quoted that letter of Raja Ram Mohan Roy in which he had advised his countrymen to learn English.

In favour of English he observed that ultimately the Company would be a gainer financially. If English was made the commercial language, India would have better foreign relationships with other countries.


Macaulay further argued that Indians should be taught English even if they showed no interest in it, because their regeneration was possible only through English education.

Macaulay considered that person learned who knew English and European culture. He regarded the learned persons of Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian and other Indian languages as ignorant. The existing learned persons in India were great fools in his opinion.

Macaulay did not choose to interfere in the religious affairs of Hindus and Muslims, but he suggested a common law for both. He argued that this law should be based on the religious principle of both Hindus and Muslims.

He advised to close the Calcutta Madarsahs founded by Warred Hastings. He regarded the Benares Sanskrit College as more use than the Calcutta Madarsahs. However, he did not want that India should be given education in Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian. He wanted that Indians should be given education in English and English only

H.T. Princep was requested to give his views on Macaulay’s observations. Princep was an orientalist and he opposed Macaulay’s views. But Lord William Bentinck accepted Macaulay’s recommendations. Thus a new chapter in the history of modern education in India began.

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