Development of Technical Education



  • If one studies the development process in totality and in historical perspective, it may not be difficult to establish beyond doubt that the roots of modern scientific and technical education can be traced to Vedic period (prior to 1000BC) and the Epic period (1000 BC to 800 BC) which comprised ashrams(hermitages) of acharyas and kulagurus (teacher sages)
  • Students came from far off places to study various arts and sciences and medicine, on the Indian Land


Early Developments during British Rule

  • If we examine the historical development of technical education, it will be discovered that the foundation of technical education in India was laid almost at the same time as in Europe but its growth in India was very restrictive and slow till India became Independent
  • After the Battle of Plassey in 1754, the status of presence of Britishers was changed from traders to colonizers. Therefore, to rule the country, it was essential that they should have an intimate knowledge of the country’s topography through physical survey of the land
  • For achieving this object, the English traders established a survey school in Madras (Chennai) in 1794 to train Indian personnel in land survey to assist British Surveyors
  • Also, the importance of civil engineering as a discipline of education for Indians started receiving emphasis in 1804s with road and canal projects as goals
    • The necessity to make the local population more efficient, led to the establishment of industrial schools attached to Indian Ordnance Factories and other engineering establishments
  • As a result, the first engineering college was established in the Uttar Pradesh in 1847 for the training of Civil Engineers at Roorkee, Thomason College (which later become IIT Roorkee)
  • Further, in pursuance of the Government policy, three Engineering Colleges were opened by about 1856 in the three Presidencies:
    • In Bengal Presidency, a College called the Calcutta College of Civil Engineering was opened in 1856
    • In Bombay Presidency, the Overseers’ School at Pune eventually became the College of Engineering, Pune in 1858
  • In the Madras Presidency, the industrial school attached to the Gun Carriage Factory became ultimately the College of Engineering, Guindy in 1858


Year Wise establishment of various Technical Institutions in India

Year Institution
1842 James Thomson proposed the establishment of College of Civil Engineering at Roorkee
1854 A school for the training of overseers was established in Pune. ‘Poona Engineering Class and Mechanical School’ to train subordinate officers for carrying out public works like buildings, dams, canals, railways and bridges.
1856 A college called the Calcutta College of Civil Engineering was opened at the

Writers’ building. The name was changed to Bengal Engineering College in 1857

1887 The Victoria Jubilee Technical institute was established in Bombay to commemorate the diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria Reign.

The main objective of V.J.T.I. was to train licentiates in electrical, mechanical and textile

engineering and technology

1906 The first twentieth century College of Engineering and Technology was

established at Jadavpur in Bengal by the National Council of Education.

1911 Sir Jamshed Tata established the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore
1916 Banaras Hindu University was established.
1921-1937 A number institutions were set up

·         The India School of Mines, Dhanbad;

·         The Harcourt Technological Institute, Kanpur; and

·         The School of Chemical Technology, Bombay

The Post-War Transition

  • As the World War II drew to its end, the British Government realized that the era of colonialism was over.
    • A transfer of power to Indian hands became inevitable
  • The British Government of India, therefore, considered it futile to hold on to its economic and industrial policies to suit the interest of British industry.
    • As a result, during the dusk years of its rule, the British Raj decided to release the brakes it had applied for a century to withhold industrial progress
  • The Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) was asked to prepare a report on the post-war educational development in India
    • In the light of this report, an ad-hoc committee under the chairmanship of N.R. Sarkar was constituted in 1945 to advice on the provision of advanced technical education in India
    • The Government of India, thus, established the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to supervise all technical education above the high school stage, which had its first meeting under Chairmanship of Sarkar in 1946