An eminent modern historian, the late Sir Jadu Nath Sarkar, had pointed out that “although English education was imparted to the grandsons of the vanquished of Plassey only sixty years after that historic battle, there was no such renaissance or regeneration of the Rajputs for a century and a half after 1757 A.D.”
There appears to be lillte justification for this view as the available records reveal altogether a different story.
The first bold experiment in the introduction of modern education. in Rajasthan was entirely due to the personal interest and initiative of the Marques of Hastings, better knows as Lord Moria (1813-23 A.D.). then Governor General of India. This unique step was taken in 1819 A.D. only a year after the Rajput States had signed the treaties of subordinate co-operation with the Company and within two decades of the establishment of the first modern School at Calcutta. Again within a year of the adoption of the historic Resolution of Lord William Bentinck on 7 March 1835 A.D. for the promotion of English education alone’ the first College in Rajasthan was officially opened at Ajmer by the East India Company. It is equally significant that the first Medical College in Western Indian was also started at Jaipur only twenty six years after the establishment of the first Medical College (In India) at Calcutta.
Factors responsible for the beginning of Modern Education
-Four Factors were responsible for the introduction of modern education in Rajasthan
- The acquistion of Ajmer from the Maratha Chief Daulat Rao Sindhia by the treaty of 25 June, 1818 and the signing of the subsidiary treaties with the Rajput States excepting Bharatpur led to the establishment of Paix Britannica in this part of the country under British paramountcy. Thus the Company became directly responsible for Ajmer and indirectly for the welfare of the people of the rest of the State.
- Education alone could remove the prevailing atmosphere of despair and disillusionment caused by half century of recurring Maratha and Pindari raids which had “almost destroyed the form of civilized life” in Rajasthan. “The want of instruction,” wrote Lord Hastings,” in this vast territory of Rajputana may be judged by the fact that even the first minister of Jaipur (Nazir Mohan Ram ?), otherwise a man of ability, cannot write and can scarcely read.
- The magnanimity of the Governor-General who was generous enough to set apart a fund of Rs, 600/-exclusively for the encouragement of education of the people of this area. It so happened that Lord Hastings, during his recent visit to Lucknow, had narrowly escaped an accident. The Nawab of Oudh. Ghaziuddin Haider, intented to distribute a sum of Rupees Three thousand to the beggars to celebrate the occasion. But Lord Moira successfully persuaded his host to spend this money for imparting education to the ignorant natives, instead of patronizing the professional mendicants. He was good enough to add an equal sum of his own to make the fund sufficent enough for the trial.
- The willing co operation of the local people who had been asociated with the traditional indigenous Schools in the form of Jain upasaras, the Hindu pathsalas and the Muslim maqtabs and madarshas. In fast, a few qualified Indian teachers were available to teach Persian, Arabic, Sanskrit, Urdu and Hindi.