Saddler University Commission (1917-19) – The Calcutta University Commission

Saddler University Commission: In a bid to study and report the problem of Calcutta University, Saddler Commission 1917-19 was launched by the Government of India. Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, Dr. M.E. Sadler was appointed as the chairman of the commission. To accompany him, two members from India were also selected, Dr. Zia-ud-din Ahmad and Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee.

Hunter Commission was appointed to report problems in secondary education and to look after different aspects of the university education University Commission 1902 was appointed. But, saddler commission 1917-19 was appointed to review the entire field of education right from school education to the university level education. According to the report of saddler commission 1917-19, there was a need for improvement in secondary education which would pave the successful path for students for their university education.

The commission also reported that effective synthesis between colleges and universities was undiscovered. It also reported that issues in high school training and organization were still unsolved. The report has also affirmed that conditions of Calcutta University and confirmed that its remarks and recommendations were more or less applicable for all other universities in India.

Saddler University Commission:

Saddler University Commission

What are the Recommendations of the Saddler Commission 1917-19?

Saddler Commission 1917-19 was appointed with the objective to inquire about the conditions and prospects of Calcutta University and also to focus on the question of constructive policy in regards to the question is presented. The prime weakness of Higher Education in Bengal was discussed and the following recommendations were provided by the commission.

  • All teaching staff in Calcutta must be organized so that Calcutta University can become a teaching university completely.
  • The separate residential and teaching university must be started at Dacca
  • More universities must open and the older universities must be considered as residential and teaching universities. Colleges must develop new centers to slowly grow into a university
  • All universities must be freed from all excessive official controls and government interference in academic matters must be stopped
  • Academic councils must be established in every university to deal with all academic issues and questions.
  • Syndicate and senate must be replaced by the court and executive council to improvise the administration of the university
  • Full-time salaried vice-chancellor must be appointed to become the administrative head of the university
  • Teaching and teaching work must be linked with researches must be organized under varied departments
  • Boards of studies, facilities and statutory bodies must be formed
  • Honors courses must be commenced which must be different from past courses
  • Tutorial research work must be organized
  • Provision must be made for rendering instruction in engineering education, agriculture, law, medicine, and technology
  • There was a huge need for coordinating agency and hence inter-university must be started

After visiting all the university centers across India, the commission submitted the report in 1919 after 17 long months of research. The final report was quite long and it was significant for the education system of Calcutta. The final report comprises 13 volumes, offering a comprehensive and critical survey of educational issues in collegiate, secondary and university education of India.

The report is mainly for Calcutta University, but the problem reported by the commission was more or less common in other universities of India as well. So, the suggestions and recommendations were also applicable to other universities across India. Considering this fact, the reports of the saddler commission 1917-19 has very long consequences on the development of university education across the country. The report stated that there is a need for improvement in the standard of university education not only in Calcutta but also across the nation.