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Monday, March 31, 2014

History of Commerce Education

History of commerce education in India.

Submitted by

Lakshmi J


The growth of industry and science in the recent past has demanded a specialized education in the field of commerce and industry. Education of commerce was started by private commercial institu­tions. To start with only book-keeping was taught. We find Munims used to train junior Munims under their apprenticeship. Later on private commercial institutes started teaching of book-keeping and accountancy. If we see the history commerce in higer education is nearly 102 years old. For such an education, Madras became a pioneer state where it started in 1886. The Government of Madras laid the foundation of commerce education by setting-up commercial institute in Madras. Two other institutions were established during the next ten years (by 1896).  Government of India also started commerce college at Calicut and Presidency college at Calcutta . In India Commerce education at University level made its first beginning in 1913 when Sydenham college of commerce and economics was established by Bombay, since then there has been steady increase in commerce courses and its related branches all over India, there is hardly any university or college which don’t have commerce department.


In the beginning of this century Calcutta Presidency College also introduced the teaching of commerce (1903). By about that time it was also introduced in Delhi. One more commercial institution was started in Bombay in 1912. In 1920's (1921-22) the first Fiscal Commission was set-up and this commission made certain important recommendations In the light of these recommendations some major improvements were vis­ible in various industrial fields especially in the field of iron and steel industry, sugar industry, tea industry, cotton industry and jute indus­try.

A very rapid growth of commercial educational institutions was observed during 1920-40. The Indian Institute of Bankers was estab­lished in 1926, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India was established in 1934. Later on in 1944, Institute of Works and Cost Accountants of India was established. In 1955, the Federation of Insurance Institutes was established.

In the early part of 19th century commerce education and training programs were formally started through as vocational courses intended for meeting the requirements of different local cadres in business and industry as also in government department. Commerce courses were formally elevated to the level of undergraduate graduate and post graduate and by 1930 many universities and colleges in the country introduced B Com and M Com commerce training programs suitable for those seeking commerce course after 12 . After that a number of commercial institutes were established in the country during 1920-40, The Indian Institute of Bankers was established in 1926. The Institute of Chartered Accountants was established in 1934 The federation of insurance institutions was established in 1955, commerce courses proliferated in India at the school college and university level during this period. Commerce education is defined as practical training however unfortunately in India it is more of theoretical education rather than focusing on practical aspect of the education it happened due to lack of infrastructure facilities lack of trained . Main drawback of commerce education at college and university level is lack of dynamism and emphasis of theory than practical aspect lack of co-ordination between universities and professional bodies, lack of uniformity and standardization of course content, absence of clear cut objective before the student community , inadequate method of modern teaching, lack of practical experience to both teacher and student. Commerce teacher is Jack of all trade who is expected to teach all the subjects. In earlier days commerce programs were linked to clerical and accounting personnel only. However due to demand and after economic liberalisation in India things have started changing many institutes offering practical exposure in the field of accounting banking taxation payroll e commerce have emerged successfully one of premier institute in India offering such type of practical training is The Institute of Professional Accountants Delhi – India engaged in enhancing the practical skills of students and making them employable with industry.

To cope with the increasing demand for the trained people to transact commercial and governmental jobs, it became essential to introduce the commerce education at school level.

To start with the teaching of short-hand and typing was intro­duced in Government schools and aided schools and afterwards the teaching of commerce was introduced in such schools. Now the com­merce education has been included in the school curriculum.

Chattapadhya (1987) stated that the objectives of commerce courses remained unclear till independence. After twelve years of independence the Indian National Government appointed the Special Committee for Commerce Education under the chairmanship of Dr. V.K.R.V. Rao, then Director of the Institute of economic Growth, Delhi in 1985. The committee emphasized mainly on three points so far as Commerce education is concerned. Firstly, Commerce courses of different Universities had to provide the infrastructure of professional education in Accountancy and cost accountancy etc. but also to pave the way for specialization in different disciplines included in the courses. Secondly, Commerce education imparted by the universities was not to be regarded as the competitor of professional courses, its role was complementary. Thirdly, commerce education and management education should be considered on discrete plans. From the Rao Committee’s recommendations, it has been revealed that no effort was made to professionalize the commerce education rather it was regarded as the facilitator of different professional courses. Most universities believed at that time that professional education conducted by the Indian Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and the Institutes of Cost and Works Accountants of India were equivalent to B. Com only, not M. Com. The special Committee for Commerce Education stressed that students should study post graduate course of commerce for further academic pursuits as well as for diversion into professional courses. That committee also emphasized that in M.Com course the students should be able to pursue research as well as to fill up the post of commerce teachers in different colleges and universities. Since then the commerce education has been remaining as a traditional education for which a separate branch named as Business education emerged.

Now, there is a great demand for office workers who can type readily and accurately, take and transcribe notes quickly and correctly, keep financial records and operate busi­ness machines effectively. In addition it has been discovered that type writing and other commercial subjects can make valuable contribu­tions to the general education of the students".In the new scheme of education (I.C. 10+2+3 pattern of educa­tion) sufficient attention has been paid to commerce education in Indian schools. In addition to shorthand and typing some more sub­jects that have been included for teaching in commerce are as follows:

(I) Book-keeping and Accountancy,

(II) Commercial mathematics,

(III) Sectarian practice,

(IV) Commercial English / Hindi,

(V) Commercial Law,

(VI) Industrial law,

(VII) Taxation,

(VIII) Income Tax,

(IX) Salesmanship,

(X) Applied economics,

(XI) Public relations, and

(XII) Advertising.

The teaching of Commerce subjects starts from XI class and in class XII the syllabus is quite advanced. Many a commercial subjects are also taught in vocational institutes.

At present commerce education is considered as good education because of the distinct advantages that a commerce student has over his counter-part in the arts faculty. It is believed that a commerce student not only achieves just training and perfection, but also a general professional intelligence.

·         1819 – The world's first business school, ESCP Europe was founded in ParisFrance. It is the oldest business school in the world and now has campuses in ParisLondonBerlinMadrid, and Torino.

·         1855 - The Institut Supérieur de Commerce d'Anvers (State funded) and the Institut Saint-Ignace - École Spéciale de Commerce et d'Industrie (Jesuits education) were founded in the same year in the city of AntwerpBelgium. After almost 150 years of business education and rivalry between catholic and state education, the successors of both institutions have merged in 2003 to the University of Antwerp.

·         1857 – The Budapest Business School was founded in the Austrian Empire as the first business school in Central Europe. It is the oldest public business school in the world

·         1871 – The Rouen Business School recently merged with Reims Management School under the name of NEOMA Business School. Rouen Business School is one of the oldest French business school.

·         1881 – The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is the United States' first business school.

·         1898 – The University of St. Gallen established the first university in Switzerland teaching business and economics.

·         1900 - The first graduate school of business in the United States, the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, was founded. The school conferred the first advanced degree in business, specifically, a Master of Science in Commercial Sciences, the predecessor to the MBA.

·         1902 - The Birmingham Business School is the United Kingdom's first business school. Originally established as the School of Commerce was established in BirminghamUnited Kingdom.

·         1906 – The Warsaw School of Economics (SGH) was established as the first university in Poland dedicated to teaching commerce and economics.

·         1908 - Harvard Business School was founded at Harvard University. It was the first program in the world to offer the Master of Business Administration degree.

·         1946 – The Thunderbird School of Global Management, then called the American Institute for Foreign Trade, was the first graduate management school focused exclusively on global business.

·         1949 – The University of Pretoria in South Africa founded the oldest business school in Africa. In January 2008 the Graduate School of Management was formally replaced by the Gordon Institute of Business Science.

·         1949 - XLRI - India's oldest business management school is founded.

·       1954 - The Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), University of Delhi is among one of the oldest business schools in India.

·         1955 - The Institute of Business Administration, Karachi was the first business school to be established outside North America to offer an MBA degree.

·         1991 – The IEDC-Bled School of Management was the first business school to offer an MBA program in Eastern Europe.

·         1994 – CEIBS (China Europe International Business School) was the first business school in China to have received funding from a foreign government, namely the European Commission.

Growth of Psychology as a field in India Sai Kirthi Kamath PhD student in Psychology

From alchemy to modern chemistry

Chemistry as a modern science began in the 17th Century, where the scientific method and empiricism were applied, but this modern science still had roots in the past. Modern chemistry was built upon a long history of alchemy. Alchemy was associated with the philosophy and science of trying to turn base metals into gold and creating an elixir of life. Alchemy started somewhere in the Persian Empire, but has been practiced widely across the globe. Alchemists have made notable contributions to the field of Chemistry. In fact alchemy lead to the development of many of the apparatus that is used in laboratories today.
The distinction between alchemy and chemistry began to emerge when a clear differentiation was made by Robert Boyle in his work "The Sceptical Chymist" (1661). Chemistry is considered to have become a full-fledged science with the work of Antoine Lavoisier, who developed a law of conservation of mass. Boyle (1627–91) is often called the founder of modern chemistry (an honor sometimes also given Antoine Lavoisier, 1743–94).

Indian Chemistry Through The Ages

The story of early chemistry in India begins from Indus valley civilization (2600-1900 BC). Production of pottery and bricks could be regarded as the earliest chemical process in which materials were mixed, moulded and fired to achieve desirable qualities. Rasāyana (the way of the rasas) is the Sanskrit term employed in South Asian texts for "alchemy." In about the 8th century BC, the term rasa-rasāyana first appeared in Buddhist and Hindu tantric texts in reference to the supernatural power (siddhi) of obtaining a magical elixir. In India the history of education and training in chemistry dating back to over 2,600 years. Taxila (6th century BC) one of the earliest universities had medicine, surgery and metallurgy as the major fields of study.
Alchemy in India flourished in the medieval period (AD 800-1300). Numerous alchemical texts were written between the ninth and the fourteenth centuries AD. Nagarjuna was the most prominent scholar in the field of Indian alchemy. But from the early seventeenth century onward a marked decline in the alchemical writings was observed. After the decline of alchemy, iatrochemistry probably reached a steady state over the next 150-200 years, but then it too, declined due to the introduction and practice of western medicine in the 20th century. There was a large time gap between the giving up of old methods of production of certain chemicals and the adoption of newer methods based on modern chemical ideas.
India's chemical traditions were rich and varied, fused with a spiritual component. Although they may not have directly contributed to the birth of modern chemistry, they did considerably contributed in fields like metallurgy, gemmology and medicine.


Mathematics education in India

The development in Nations and backbone of modernity is reflected through the Children’s education. To meet the challenges of the new economy it is very much required for the youth to have science and mathematics education. Many modern nations are looking forward in building a mathematical literate society and have got strong hopes in shaping up the current knowledge economy of the 21st Century. The proficiency in mathematics is usually considered to be hard to achieve. The country India with its old Mathematical history, it is believed that it would produce some kind of proficiency in mathematics field.  In spite of so many society factors like problems of poverty, lack of interest towards the higher education, we are able to contribute knowledge to the body of existing knowledge. To meet the these kind of achievements it is very much required for every citizen to have knowledge in mathematics and the law called Right to Children to free and compulsory Education Act cam e into force in India as recently as April1, 2010 where it says it is must for every child to undergo elementary education for about eight years between the age group of 6-14. This Act ensures that the right to quality in Mathematics to the Children/youth of the Nation. This has to be put forth in the society strongly but unfortunately we see again Children working at the small ages because of so many other factors and one among being poverty.
For many Mathematics has become tool for the other subjects and many say that Mathematics is tool to solve the social problems, technological, industrial problems etc.  But I say it is not a tool for solving the problems, it is philosophy and it has its own philosophy in every aspect and it is a language for all the sciences.  Mathematics is like a diamond and diamond shines in all the angles. Mathematics is a Language where everyone should look around the diamond and make use of it from all the angles. So Mathematics is mother of all the languages in Science. Let us quickly have a look on History of Mathematics in India.
Most of the mathematics India from 5th Century CE was in form of highly compressed and confusing verses. All these verses were transmitted orally from one generation to another generation. These verses were memorised and as a transmission of knowledge it was done orally from one generation to another generation. The Indians were so good in metrical composition that even infinite series expansion of trigonometric functions have been presented in the form of verses, with sometimes have an expression with two meanings. The power series of many functions arrived in India and the route taken by the math experts around 14th Century to arrive at the solution were differed to a large extend by the route that the Europeans arrived at the same solution. Expansion Sine, Cosine functions were found earlier to English Mathematicians. More appropriate solutions were found by English Mathematical to work which were developed by many of the Indian Mathematicians. We the citizens of India Should be grateful for the most important subjects like Calculus, Arithmetic, Astronomy were developed by our Maths experts .To list few of them Madhava hailed from Sangamagrama, near Cochin lived during 1340-1425 A.D. Madhava gave a power series expansion of Sine function and few inverse trigonometric functions nearly 300 years earlier to the rediscovery of them in the west during the 17th century. Paramesvara gave changes to Aryabhata system that most Keral Mathematicians were followed. He gave contribution towards the Astronomy during 1360-1455.One should not forget the contribution of Zero to the body of knowledge without which the mathematics would not have survived at present. Mathematics in India has a very long history.  Sulbasutras, the oldest extant texts (prior to 800 BCE) explicitly state and make use of the so-called Pythagorean theorem apart from giving various interesting approximations to surds, in connection with the construction of altars and fire-places of different sizes and shapes. By the time of
Aryabhata (c. 499 CE), the Indian mathematicians were fully conversant with most of the mathematics that we currently teach at the elementary level in our schools, which includes the methods for extracting square root, cube root, and so on. Among other things, Aryabhata also presented the differential equation of sine function in its finite-difference form and a method for solving linear indeterminate equation. The bavana law of Brahmagupta (c.628) and the cakravala algorithm described by Jayadeva and Bhaskaracarya (12th cent.) for solving quadratic indeterminate equation are some of the important landmarks in the evolution of algebra in India. We can see many Contributions from Indian Mathematicians much earlier to the Western Mathematicians.  

Let’s move to the diversity of India and let’s see how Mathematics was taught before and after the encounter of colonial. India being rich in culture and its diversity had a very rich and widespread culture of institutional education during precolonial era. The elementary institutions of learning were known as pathshalas, the higher institutions were known as tols, akin to colleges. The pathshalas were mainly for the village people where the children were divided into classes not with respect to the age but with the capability of learning Language and Arithmetic.  Mathematics at tols brings us to another set of institutions in the indigenous tradition, which was regarded as the centres for higher learning reserved exclusively for the upper caste Brahmins.  These institutions taught mainly theology, metaphysics, astronomy, logic and medicine.  These institutions were widely spread in different parts of the country like Bengal, Deccan and Southern regions.  The entire tradition was changed after the colonial encounter in India where Christian missionary societies like Schwartz schools in Tanjore in 1770’s to engage with the pathshalas and tols through the process of making education as a means of missionary work in the colony.               Mathematics was taught at the higher level for their benefits during colonial period. The notion of numeracy as defining the modern condition almost synonymous with the idea of literacy also tended to project one particular idea of what it means for a people to learn world of numbers.
 Let’s move to the Indian Education system at present in general about its structure and other related aspects. India’s education system is structured by developmental stages from pre-primary to
Post-graduate level. Elementary education (primary and upper primary) is managed separately from secondary (including higher secondary) education. Undergraduate education is typically for three years, and 4-5 years for professional degrees. Universities are regulated centrally but managed within the state, with a system of affiliated colleges providing undergraduate education.

While mathematics was seen to be an essential part of any curriculum from early on, perspectives differed. The Zakir Husain committee in 1937 saw it in relation to work. The National Policy on Education in 1986 saw it as a “vehicle to train a child to think, reason, analyse and to articulate logically.” However, the shape of mathematics education has remained largely the same over the last 50 years. In response to global curricular processes in India too there has been considerable curricular acceleration in school Mathematics. An important agenda for mathematics education in India is research in mathematics education. University departments, while undertaking research in education, by their typical structure, tend to attract largely people who are neither mathematically trained nor thus inclined. Mathematics education research in India, has tried to study a variety of issues. These have included understanding construction of mathematical knowledge among students, teachers, various groups and communities and understanding how they acquire this mathematical knowledge and use it to think and organize their experiences or organize their teaching and understanding ways in which social, political, economic and how these influence the curriculum, content, teaching and learning of mathematics and thus access to mathematics for all children/ students. Many studies have also been conducted to understand the relation between mathematics (as a discipline, its epistemology, history) and mathematics education. In this context, we see specific studies having been conducted with regard to issues related to the content of mathematics at different levels of education, processes involved in learning mathematics, and how different aspects of the classroom culture/process contribute to the acquisition of mathematical knowledge. Mathematics education research has evolved over decades of research, starting from Thorndike and the many critiques of his theory which focused on meaningful and purposeful mathematics to complex research designs and multiple disciplinary frameworks in order to explore the issues impinging on teaching and learning of mathematics. Many theories have been adapted and modified from other disciplines and theories of teaching and learning have been formulated in mathematics education. However, this development has not reached or is not shared uniformly across the globe.

India at present is looking for many research areas and mainly whatever the field it is, one should not forget that basic for all the languages in sciences is Mathematics without which technology would not have taken the place across the globe.



Mathematics in Higher Education in India: A Historical Perspective

I begin this journey of thought through the annals of Mathematical Education in India, with a quote by Swami Vivekananda, “... how many sciences had their origin in India? Mathematics began there. You are even today counting 1, 2, 3, etc. to zero, after Sanskrit figures, and you all know that algebra also originated in India.”

Mathematics is rooted deeply in the life and culture of people in the Indian subcontinent, attested by a long history of engagement with mathematics in art, craft, work and abstract disciplines of thought. This has also meant a tradition of socially embedded modes of education and learning in aspects of mathematics as well. The fact that India has the third largest higher education system in the world (after China and the USA) suggests that there is a great deal of mathematics around as well. This study provides a viewpoint on the vast and varied landscape of the subject, and offers an insight into not only the problems and potential of mathematics education in India but also how they are approached by scholars in the past years.

India is characterized by diversity and cultural riches, as well as prevalent poverty and social division, and this is reflected in mathematics education as well. Despite the tremendous challenges, also visible are a number of innovative initiatives, some small and some on a large scale. This study cannot hope to evaluate the effectiveness of such initiatives, rather it does point to them with a sense of hope towards the future.

According to India 2009 Reference Annual (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, 2009), India has 20 universities run by the Central Government and 215 run by States. In addition there are 100 autonomous institutions deemed-to-be universities that do not get their funding directly from Governments. Nearly 16000 colleges are affiliated to these universities, among them 1800 exclusively for women.

India is also home to some institutions where world class research in mathematics is carried out. A strong group of Indian mathematicians have been contributing to the development of many areas of mathematics. The legendary genius Srinivasa Ramanujan has inspired generations of young Indians towards taking up mathematics as a calling. India boasts of institutions of technology and medicine that have been globally acclaimed for their standard of undergraduate education. These, and the boom in Information Technology industry (and its generation of jobs) in the last two decades, have led to a greater emphasis on mathematical training, and the nation seeks to expand a pool of scientifically equipped manpower. This creates a situation in India where higher education in mathematics forms a very sharp pyramid. A few elite institutions offer excellent opportunities for mathematics research and a small number for mathematics education as a part of technology or some instances, management studies. However, among the large number of universities and a vast number of affiliated colleges, which provide the bulk of higher level  mathematics education, there is an overall rigidity in curriculum, pedagogy and modes of assessment that make mathematics education often ineffective. This affects the prospects of building a strong pool of mathematics teachers for the future.

Small innovative initiatives towards constructing a meaningful interactive pedagogy at the under graduate level give hope for solving this problem on a larger scale in the future. An important agenda for mathematics education in India is research in mathematics education. University departments, while undertaking research in education, by their typical structure, tend to attract largely people who are neither mathematically trained nor thus inclined. Further, the idea of research providing solutions to curricular conundrums or pedagogic trauma remains outside the framework of decision making in education. The system needs to build a way of actively pursuing research on several fronts towards well formulated questions and use the answers to influence policy. It should be noted here that India provides a large enough arena, with tremendous diversity, to even allow a self-contained universe for analysis and research, and international influences can only add to this richness.

The past four decades (beginning 1970s) have seen enormous changes in the field of education in India.  Numerous organizations (governmental and non-governmental) have taken steps in response to or in reaction against the policies adopted by the government.  Universalization of education and education for democracy have become the new agendas for the country which gives much  importance for the growth of biological and physical sciences and technology.

As far as mathematics education concerned higher education has largely been a neglected area in India.  Indira Gandhi National Open University made some efforts to collect data on a bridge programme (the Bachelors Preparatory Programme, BPP) that they had launched to allow access to the undergraduate degree programme for people who had no formal high school leaving certificate. Feedback collected over a 3-year period suggested the need for curricular revision so as to meet the needs of the students. When India manages to provide quality mathematics education for all, mathematics education as a discipline would have new insights and new formulations to work with has happened by way of improving teaching and learning of mathematics. But a lot more needs to be done. Impressions of researchers or teachers involved in developing alternative curriculum and carrying out the classroom interventions indicated significant improvements in children’s attitudes towards mathematics. They also indicated better understanding of the content but systematic studies are required to assess their actual impact on students’ learning. In the absence of strong empirical evidence and sound theoretical background, policy formulation becomes a difficult task.  Teacher preparation continues to be the weakest link in our education system. The departments and colleges have not been able to come up with a good model of training teachers at both the pre-service and in-service levels. Simultaneously, efforts have to be made to develop capacities among teacher educators and administrators in the system. There are relatively few individuals who are contributing to innovation in mathematics education in this vast country. There is no systemic structure to support and strengthen such work. Although the list of contributors is not an exhaustive list and there are many others, including private support in the form of corporate social responsibility today, one needs to worry about quality of the various efforts made and critically look at the underlying philosophy. There is also no forum where different groups and individuals showcase their work and discuss issues relevant to mathematics education in the country. Similarly, assessment is another area which has not radically changed.  This is also one area which needs serious rethinking and research. At present, the goal of mathematics education is to tell the story of  mathematics in such a way so as to open up new  vistas of thought and knowledge through a dynamic confluence of history, philosophy, and science, to get her with the mathematics that merges them together  into a coherent living whole - a personalized story of human endeavor.


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Antony Puthussery

Computer Science Education - a Historical Perspective

Balaji V, Reg. No.1345001.


The electronic computer was developed in 1940s, and has changed in many ways the functioning of the world. It is undoubtedly one of the top ten greatest inventions of mankind without which today, we cannot even think to live.

The history of computers in education has been characterized as an “accidental revolution” or “unthinking man and his thinking machines”. The computer has changed the saying that “necessity is the mother of invention” to “in a computer world, invention is the mother of necessity”. Some of the most provocative and inspiring ideas in the history of education have been created by the creators of the computer science field.

Prof. V Rajaraman, the renowned Indian author of many programming languages text books, in his article on “Computer Science Education in India” [1], highlights the goals of an education program in Computer Science, with the following statements:

  • To fulfil the manpower needs in the field of Computer Science to ensure the Country’s economic advancement.
  • To popularize the use of Computers in engineering design for applications like, design of Civil Structures, Electrical Machines and Chemical Plants. This will accelerate the development of the design process and end up in improved productivity.
  • To become self-reliant in Software Development, which demands intellectual labour and India is abundant in this factor.
  • To create the manpower for Designing, Manufacturing and Maintaining Computer Systems.
  • To facilitate the use of Computers in Research & Development in India.
  • To develop special continuing Education Programs for Managers, Engineers, Scientists, Administrators and General Public to learn the potentials of Computers and facilitate them to use the same as they had had their formal education in the pre-computer era.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing
  • Computer Networks – Performance modelling
  • Computer Graphics, Computer Vision and Image Understanding
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Systems
  • Intelligent Systems
  • Medical Imaging, Digital image processing, Medical Informatics and Multimedia Databases
  • Assistive learning for the physically challenged
  • Cryptography and information security
  • Technology for VLSI CAD
  • Software Engineering
  • M.Sc. Computer Science
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  • B.Tech. Computer Science and B.Sc. (H) Computer Science through its constituent colleges.

He has provided indicative syllabi for many of these courses and concludes this article mentioning the potential of the Computer Science field be utilized in the rapid industrial development of the country and for achieving our social goals.

This article discusses the applications of Computers, the impact of Computers in the field of Education and how the penetration of computers into institutions happened in the chronological order.

Computer’s entry into India

India bought its first computer in 1956 for a high sum of Rs. 10 lakh. Named HEC-2M, it was installed at Calcutta’s Indian Statistical Institute, where India’s weather forecasting model, based on statistical analysis of meteorological data, was developed. The same machine was used to design the next generation of computers, including India's first indigenous computer, the ‘TIFRAC’ (or Tata Institute of Fundamental Research Automatic Computer), in 1962.

By world standards, India is behind many countries in the field of Education. Central and state governments make consistent efforts to raise the literacy rate. The main obstacles are the huge population and lack of good teachers to reach out to this population. Computing technology comes handy to solve these kinds of problems.

Need: The Scientific Information Explosion

We are experiencing a scientific information explosion, which has not been sensed in the other disciplines. Today, scientists and engineers use computers to access the rapidly growing data bases that store numbers, words, maps, chemical and physical structures and they search them millions of times a year. The base of scientific knowledge today is huge. It is estimated that it would take 22 centuries to read the annual biomedical research literature or seven centuries to read a year’s chemical literature [2].

An unmanned Soviet satellite, Sputnik was launched on October 4th 1957 in the orbit around the Earth, which provided scientists with valuable information. The propagation of its radio signals gave information about the ionosphere and the density of the upper atmosphere. More such information stirred national interest in educational reform and thus began the “golden age” of education. Major national efforts were made to reform education.

Fresh modes of communications such as radio, film, television and computers created an information-rich society. Schools were no longer the only center of information, but had to compete for student attention. Additionally, the new emerging educational technologies were to become an important catalyst for rethinking education. The rethinking started some time in 1960s though the inventions in Computers and Computing had started in 1940s.

Computers in Education

At Dartmouth, USA, in 1963, John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz transformed the role of computers in education from primarily a research activity to an academic one. In the same year, at Stanford, Patrick Suppes and Richard Atkinson established a program of research and development on computer–assisted instruction in mathematics and reading. They sought to create a new system to free the students from group–paced instruction and use individualized, instructional strategies with feedback. These programs facilitate students to take an active role in the learning process and Mastery was obtained through drill–and–practice.

Computer–aided Education this way proceeded to the MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Michigan, Carnegie Mellon University and other well-known institutions. The penetration of computers into Education as an aid has been facilitated by many reputed Indian institutions which are discussed below.

Role of the IITs:

The Indian Institutes of Technology at various locations in the country have been the pioneer to bring in Computer Science in to the formal education stream in India. They offer both graduate and post graduate courses in Computer Science & Engineering, and facilitate active research through MS, PhD and Post-Doctoral programs. Following are the specifics of each of the institutes.
1.   Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
This was the first Institute in the country to start Computer Science education in August 1963 on an IBM 1620 system. The department continues to lead the nation in terms of excellence in research and teaching in Computer Science and Engineering.
2.   IIT Bombay
The first computing activity in IIT Bombay started with the arrival of the Minsk II computer in 1967, which had 2nd generation discrete transistor based circuitry, paper tape input-output, and off-line printers. Prof. J.R. Isaac spearheaded the initial efforts in setting up the Computer Center. The Department of Computer Science and Engineering was officially formed in 1982. Active research areas of the department are:
3.   IISC Bangalore
The Department of Computer Science and Automation (CSA) is a pioneering academic centre for higher education, research, and innovation in computer science, which was created in 1969 and was initially called the School of Automation. The department states its vision as “To enable India’s excellence in the world of computer science and automation”. The “Supercomputer Education and Research Centre (SERC)” functioning at IISc conducts research in the following domains:
4.   Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Madras

The Department was started in 1973 with the acquisition of an IBM 370 Mainframe Computer, the then most powerful computer in India. It offered M.Tech, M.S and PhD degree programmes and started the B.Tech degree programme in the year 1983. The student strength of the department has now grown to about 400, with 50 full-time engineers working on R&D projects. Vision of the department is stated as “Global Excellence and Local Relevance in research, teaching, and technology development”.
5.   IIT Delhi
The department of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi started Computer Technology as a course in 1976, which was even before the establishment of Computer Science & Engineering department. Courses offered were PhD, M.S. (Research) and M.Tech. The later established department of Computer Science and Engineering is now renowned for cutting edge research and for imparting state of the art education to the students of B.Tech, M.Tech, M.S.(Research) and PhD.
6.   IIT Kharagpur
The Department of Computer Science & Engineering was initiated in the year 1980 and it has played a pivotal role in developing and deploying the technology for one of the largest telemedicine networks in India. Apart from the graduate and post graduate programs, the Department has been engaged with considerable research work in
Pune University

The Department of Computer Science of Pune University is one of the earliest CS Departments started in Indian Universities. When computer science was little known and the word IT did not exist, the department started a one–year programme [B.Sc. (Applied) degree in Computer Science] in 1980. Other programs include, M.C.A. in 1983, the M.Tech. in 1985 and M.Sc. Computer Science in 1986.

University of Delhi

In the year 1981, University of Delhi with an objective of imparting quality education in the field of Computer Science, established its department of Computer Science. The Department started the three year MCA program in 1982, which was one of the first in India. Following are the other courses offered by the department:
University of Mysore

In the year 1986, the University of Mysore with the support of DRDO, Ministry of Defence, Government of India, started the department with a Post Graduate programme in Computer Science (M.Sc.) mainly to cater to the demands of good software engineering in DRDO labs all over the country. The Department of Studies in Computer Science was formed in the year 1991 and subsequently, MCA was started in 1992.

Bangalore University

The Department of Computer Science & Applications was established in the year 1986. It started with a P.G Diploma in Computer Science followed by MCA program in 1989 and M.Sc Course in 2006.

Computer Science in School Education

CBSE, the Central Board of Secondary Education, India, has included Computer Science in its Curriculum 2005, for students of XI and XII standards. Earlier in March 2004, the board’s proposal for “Work Education in Schools” included “Computer Applications” as an elective for class VI–XII[3]. Many state governments[5] have also incorporated similar changes in their secondary and higher secondary curriculum for the inclusion of many flavours of this subject like, Computer Science, Informatics Practices and Multimedia and Web Technology.

The Department of School Education & Literacy under the ministry of HRD, Government of India has framed “The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Schools” Scheme in December, 2004 to provide opportunities to secondary school students. This is to mainly build the necessary ICT skills in students and make them learn through computer aided learning process.  The Scheme provides support to States/Union Territories to establish computer labs on sustainable basis.  It also aims to set up smart schools in KendriyaVidyalayas and NavodayaVidyalayas.


Computer Society of India is the first and largest body of computer professionals in India. A group of computer professionals started it on 6th March 1965 and has now grown to be the national body representing computer professionals. Across India, it has 71 chapters, 418 student branches, and more than 90,000 members.

Summary & Conclusion

The information and data provided in this write–up though not exhaustive, is expected to serve the reader as a ready reckoner into the topic of “permeation of Computers in to Education in the Indian Scenario”. It starts with the very basic history of invention of computers, describes their importance to and applications in human life, and discusses how various educational institutions explored the opportunities to include into their curriculum and operations. It has also examines in short the impact of Computers in school education and described one popular professional organization, CSI and its activities.

1.      The Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers, “Computer Education in India, Past, Present and Future”, Edited by Dr. Utpal K. Banerjee, Concept Publishing Company, 1996.
2.      Bernier, C. L., “Reading Overload and Cogency”, Information Processing and Management, 14, (1978), pp. 445-452.
3.      Work Education in Schools, published by CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education), March 2004.
4.      Websites of CBSE, IIT Delhi, IIT Madras, IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Bombay and IISC, Bangalore.
5.      Official Website of School Education, Govt. Of Uttarakhand.
6.      “Computers in Education: A Brief History”, THE Journal, Date: 06/01/1997.
7.      Makarand Bhonsle, “Computer Technology in India”, web resource accessed on 30th March 2014: Technology in India.pdf.