Page images
PDF
EPUB

CATTLE IN INDIA,

India has the largest number of cattle in any country, although that is not so when it is taken per capita into consideration. According to the census report of 1919-20, the total livestock enumeration of India is 196,000,000, of which 146,000,000 are bovine (bulls and bullocks, cows, buffalos, calves, etc.), 46,000,000 ovine (sheep and goats), 4,000,000 others (includes horses, ponies, mules, donkeys, and camels).

According to the 1919–20 cattle census, the number of cattle per 100 acres (sworn acreage) ranges from 101 in Bengal to 30 in Bombay; while the number per 100 of population varies from 86 in the Manpur Pargana to 33 in Delhi. The average for British India as a whole, is 66 cattle per 100 acres of sworn area and 61 cattle for 100 of the population. Very considerable numbers of these cattle are maintained at a loss, owing to their unfitness either for labor or for supplying milk. But the problem can not be tackled upon the same lines as would be possible in western countries, for the reason that reneration for the cow is universal throughout the large portion of the population of India. It is thus impossible to treat the question as one of pure economics; if only because the popular sentiment will not agree to the elimination of the unfit and wasteful members of the cattle population. The amelioration of the position depends first upon improving the breed of cattle, and secondly, upon its preservation both from disease and from famine.

There can be little doubt that a considerable portion of India's cattle population is underfed, and that one way of increasing the percentage of useful individuals is to popularize those forms of fodder which at the present moment are negLected because unknoon. The preservation of Indian cattle from contagious diseases presents certain difficulties peculiar to the country. It is not necessary merely to fight against the natural sources of infection, which are numerous, but also against ignorance, old established customs, and prejudices on the part of the people themselves. Cattle owners, when disease is prevalent in a village, often remove their cattle to another locality; and it will be a long time before they can be made to realize that such movements of cattle are the means of spreading disease. Until the cattle owners themselves understand the importance of early information and segregation in the suppression of these periodical outbreaks, disease must remain a source of loss to them and danger to the agricultural interests in general. (Pp. 163-165, Statement exhibiting the moral and material progress and condition of India during the year 1921.")

*

DETERIORATION OF CATTLE.

Underfeeding, famine, and disease are destroying Indian cattle. There is marked deterioration of Indian cattle from other causes.

Owing to the encroachment of cultivation in the grazing areas, well-bred cattle are becoming scarce, and some of the breeds are threatened with extinction. Efforts to improve the quality of cattle in nonbreeding districts by selected bulls have hitherto been frustrated by the promiscuous breeding which goes on in the villages. (India Yearbook, (1922), p. 313.)

BACKWARD STATE OF CATTLE BREEDING.

Cattle-breeding, which is in a very backward state in India, has received great attention in all Provinces of India, both to improve breeds and to induce the people to devote more care to the problem so closely wrapped up with their welfare. In the latter direction success has been limited, but in the former most valuable results have been obtained. A typical example is the case of the special breeding of milk cattle at the Government of India farm at Pusa and at other farms associated with it in this work. In one herd of country cattle strict selection for milk yield has rendered possible the elimination from the herd of all cows giving less than 3,500 pounds of milk in the lactation period of 10 months from calving. In another herd, records concerning hundreds of animals during 10 years have shown that a cross of

77612-24-24

well-bred Ayrshire bull with an Indian cow will double the milk yield of the Indian breed. One cow of this kind at Pusa gave 10,000 pounds of milk in one year. (India Yearbook (1922), p. 319.)

These are mere experiments not yet popularized.

In the State of Mysore a great deal of experimental work in cattle breeding is being carried on, and the result is satisfactory But the work is still limited in the field of mere experiments and research.

AMERICAN GENEROSITY IN AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH IN INDIA.

India is indebted to America for the interest of American citizens, some American agricultural missionaries like Mr. Higginbottam, for taking practical steps for spreading agricultural education. As Mr. Lubin, an American citizen, was the originator of the International Institute of Agriculture at Rome, so Mr. Phipps, an American citizen, had a great deal to do with inducing the British Government in India to undertake agricultural research work in India.

A great impetus was given to the development of the agricultural department by the decision of the Government of India in 1905 to set apart 20 lakhs (a little over $600,000) a year for the development of agricultural experiment, research demonstration, and instruction. The ultimate aim, as then expressed, was the establishment of an experimental farm in each large tract of country in which the agricultural conditions are approximately homogeneous, to be supplemented by numerous small demonstration farms; the creation of an agricultural college teaching up to a three-year course in each of the larger Provinces; and the provision of an expert staff in connection with these colleges for the purpose of research as well as education-the eventual cost, it was recognized, would largely exceed 20 lakhs a year. The Pusa Research Institute and College alone has cost £150,000, including the equipment. A part of the cost was met from the sum of £30,000 placed at Lord Curzon's disposal by Mr. Phipps, an American visitor to India. This example of munificence has recently been followed by Sir Sasson J. David, who placed the sum of £53,300 at the disposal of the Government of Bombay for the establishment of vernacular agricultural schools and the improvement of agricultural methods in commemoration of the visit of their Imperial Majesties to India. (Pp. 313-315, India Yearbook, 1922.)

INADEQUACY OF AGRICULTURAL EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES IN INDIA.

The facilities for agricultural education for over 315,000,000 of people in India, 90 per cent of whom live in villages and 85 per cent depend upon agriculture, have been summarized in the following statement:

Higher branches of agricultural research are carried on in the Agricultural Research Institute at Pusa. There are in addition agricultural colleges at Poona, Llyalpur, Cawnpore, Coimbatore, Nagpur, and Sabour, and it is proposed shortly to open similar institutions at Dacca and Mandalay. The agricultural college at Poona, which is affiliated with the Bombay University, continues to maintain its popularity, the number of students on the roll being now more than 200. One much appreciated feature of the activities of the college is a short course in agriculture which is given to farmers' sons who are not qualified to take the university course. A somewhat similar plan is employed in the agricultural college at Llyalpur, which provides a degree course, subject to university rules and regulations, and a shorter certificate

But in addition to these there is also a vernacular course dealing with practical agriculture. In secondary education in agriculture almost every Province continues to show progress. In Bengal, experiments in connection with agricultural instruction are being made in two schools. In the United Provinces the agricultural school established at Bundelshahr will be

course.

organized on lines similar to those of the short two-year course of Cawnpore Agricultural College. In the Central Provinces the syllabus for the two agricultural middle schools was revised during the year, but in this locality there does not seem to be any applicable demand for the instruction of the type of training which they provide.

Boinbay continues to maintain its lead over the other Provinces of India in the field of secondary as well as higher agricultural education. During the year there were six agricultural schools at work, which seem to be very successful. But this type of training has yet to commend itself to the people for whom it is primarily planned. In the Punjab the less costly plan of providing practical training in agriculture for boys in certain vernacular middle schools alongside their general training is being tried. Generally speaking, throughout India, the demand for school and college instruction in agriculture is surprisingly small, when the prominence which this pursuit plays in the life of the country is considered. (Progress and Prosperity of India, 1921, pp. 249 250.)

It is needless to add that in order to raise India to an agricultural efficiency of the type of the United States, it would be necessary to have at least 100 times more efforts than what the Government and private citizens of India are exerting to-day.

DAIRYING INDUSTRY IN INDIA.

Though little noticed, dairying forms a very large indigenous industry throughout India. The best-known products are native butter (ghee) and cheese (dadhi). During recent years a considerable trade in tinned butter has sprung up in Gujarat (Bombay Presidency). While pure ghee and milk can be procured in the villages, in towns dairy products can scarcely be bought unadulterated. (P. 313, India Yearbook, 1922.)

In this connection it is safe to assert that modern dairying is practically unknown to the Indian masses, and this ignorance of the people is costing the nation very considerably, not only in the form of material wealth, but in the form of human lives. Health of children is very much dependent upon the use of pure milk. Thus problems of pure milk, dairy industry, and infant mortality are all closely connected.

INFANT MORTALITY IN INDIA.

Among the most pressing problems of India's health is that presented by the appalling infant mortality. It has been calculated that every year no fewer than 2,000,000 babies die, while many others survive, only to grow weak and feeble from unhygienic surroundings during infancy. (Progress and Prosperity of India, 1921, p. 217.)

This infant mortality and the general deterioration of the national health and increase of death rate, which is about 40 per thousand, and the shortening of the span of life in India, which is about 25 years, is not only a problem of national sanitation, but a problem in dietetics and at the same time the question of the poverty of the nation as a whole. The remedy lies, among other things, in proper kind of education of the people---masses.

POVERTY OF THE INDIAN MASSES.

Regarding the poverty of the masses of India, it has been remarked in the following way:

But the symptoms of increasing prosperity such as has been described can not blind the observer to the poverty which besets masses of Indian population--poverty of a kind which finds no parallel in the more exigent because less tropical climate of Europe.

As time goes on, it may be hopeil

*

that the increased development of India's resources will gradually create a per capita figure of wealth which will suffice for her needs as a nation. The industrial regeneration of 240,000,000 of people (really 315,000,000), the majority of whom are poor and helpless beyond western conception, is not a matter which can be accomplished in a few years. (Progress and Prosperity of India, 1920, pp. 135, 136.)

RISE OF PRICE AND INCREASING POVERTY OF THE MASSES OF INDIA.

*

*

The precise effect of such a rise in prices as that which has been a universal consequence of the World War upon the condition of the rural population of India, that is to say, upon the 90 per cent of the Indians, is a matter upon which differences of opinion have been manifest.

But the general effect on the village population of a rise in prices without a corresponding rise in wages is apparently disastrous; and the annual deficit of expenses over earnings in the families belonging to a given village increases enormously. On the whole it may be said that a rise in prices tends to emphasize economic differences throughout the rural population of India, those who are well-to-do becoming more well-to-do and those who are poor becoming poorer. Since the average margin of subsistence is very small, the tendency of wages to lag behind prices has been responsible for a good deal of distress. (Progress and Prosperity of India, 1920, pp. 133-134.)

Because of this awful, abject poverty of the Indian masses, it can not be expected that they would take the initative to improve the agricultural condition of the nation through improved methods. In fact, the educational con. dition of the masses of India is such that it stands in the way of making great progress in scientific agriculture. The Government and the well-to-do of India are fully dependent upon the labor of the peasants, yet it is manifest that they do not pay any special and necessary attention to the well-being of the masses.

THE EDUCATIONAL POSITION OF INDIA.

In British India there are only 8.2 millions in all educational institutions put together. That is to say, only 3.36 per cent of the population is under instruction, this figure being made up of 5.5 per cent of the males and 1.2 per cent of the females.

About 2.5 per cent of the population is enrolled in primary schools, and less than 3 per cent is undergoing elementary education of any kind. In the secondary schools, on the other hand, 0.5 per cent of the population is under instruction, an abnormal figure, comparing very remarkably with the 0.6 per cent which has been estimated as the figure in Great Britain. Considering the female population of the secondary schools is very small, it would seem that if the male population alone be reckoned, no less than 0.9 per cent is found in the secondary schools—a proportion far greater than the corresponding figure for England and Wales, and approximately equal to that of Germany before the war. In university education the percentage of Indian population undergoing instruction is no less than 0.27 per cent, which, considering that here again the female population of India may be almost eliminated, compares remarkably well with 0.554 of England and Wales.

An examination of the proportion of the college going population to the total population of a single tract like Bengal indicates that with a population approximately that of the United Kingdom the proportion of the educated classes who are taking full-time university courses is in such tracts almost 10 times as great as in England. (Statement Exhibit, Moral and Material Progress and Condition of India during the year 1920 (printed by order of the House of Commons), p. 163.)

ILLITERACY IN INDIA.

The population in British India is, according to the census report of 1920, 244,020,100, of which 124,747,905 are males and 119.272.293 are females. (The Native States of India have over 70,000,000.)

In the year 1919–20 the total expenditure on education amounted to Rs. 148.896,960, of which Rs. 84,463,472 came from public funds. In spite of this marked advance, there is much leeway to make up, as in the last census report the literate population of India was only 59 per 1,000 (186 males and females, 10 per 1,000). (India Yearbook (1922), p. 449.)

DEFECTS OF INDIAN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM.

There are thus good grounds for the criticism so frequently directed against Indian education in the press that its structure is top heavy. The lower classes are largely illiterate, while the middle classes, who constitute the bulk . of the intelligentsia, are, in point of numbers at least, educated to a pitch equal to that of countries whose social and economic conditions are far more highly developed. The reasons for this peculiar situation must be sought in history; but in the main they resolve themselves into the statement that the total educational funds being small, have come to be concentrated upon meeting the demand of those who perceive the benefits of education rather than upon cultivating a desire for education where it does not at present exist. As might be expected from the abnormal distribution of education among the population of India, the form which it has actually assumed reveals corresponding defects. Since it has been framed primarily with a view to meeting the demands of the intelligentsia, it is of a predominantly literary type. Only 0.05 per cent of the population is undergoing instruction in professional colleges and other institutions which provide technical training, as against 3 per cent which is found in nontechnical institutions. Up to the present time the courses which have been most popular among middle-class intelligentsia have been literary, because they lead to Government employment, and are preliminary to the pursuit of legal profession. Fortunately, there are indications that public opinion is becoming alive to the necessity of encouraging technical education, and it is hoped that in the future there will be much needed expansion in this direction. From the point of view of the educational expert there are three p:incipal defects which determine the peculiar limitations of the Indian system.

In the first place, properly trained teachers are hard to find. Out of the total of 204,000 teachers of vernacular in India, only 70,000 are trained at the end of the year 1919–20. In the Anglo vernacular schools, out of a total of 100,000 Anglo vernacular teachers only 35,000 were trained, and only 11,000 possessed a degree. It is this condition of affairs which has produced a second defect in Indian education, namely, that there is little incentive for men of the right sort to enter the teaching profession. Teachers are seriously handicapped by small salaries and less estimation, with the result that with honorable exceptions the profession is not popular among men of high capacity, and there are often obstacles preventing that enthusiasm which more favorable circumstances might evoke. In the third place, Indian education has hitherto been dominated by an examination system. Fortunately there is reason to hope that this particular difficulty, which has exercised a paralyzing blight upon true educational progress for many years, may before long be remedied as a result of the salutary recommendations of the Calcutta University Commission. (Statement Exhibit, Moral and Material Progress and Condition of India During the Year 1920 (printed by order of the House of Commons), pp. 164-166.)

DIFFERENTIATION IN EXPENDITURE ON THE BASIS OF SPECIAL PREFERENCE

TO THE EUROPEANS.

At the meeting of the Bengal Legislative Council, Dr. Pramathanath Banerjee said that Rs. 1,066,000, the cost of educating the Europeans and Anglo-Indians, worked out at slightly less than 10 per cent of the total cost of educating the rest of the people of Bengal. What was the proportion which these communities bore to the non-European and non-Anglo-Indian population of the Province? Roughly speaking, the number of Anglo-Indians and Europeans in Bengal was 45,000. The ratio was thus 1 to 1,000. If they took the expenditure for education per head of the population, they would find that a European or Anglo-Indian cost the State roughly one hundred times as much as a native of the Province. The plain fact is “European ” education is supported in this lavish manner because Europeans are the ruling race and the Anglo-Indians

*

*

« PreviousContinue »