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Sunday, April 13, 2014

History of commerce education

History of Commerce Education

Lakshmi J


Field of commerce and industry as a specialisation has become necessary due to the rapid growth of business. The discipline of commerce was first started by private institutions. When we check the history of commerce as a higher education is nearly 102 years old. In the beginning only book keeping was taught. And later on many private institutions started teaching book keeping and accountancy. 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.

Commerce as a Discipline- Global perspective.

·         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.



Commerce education has gained a lot of importance currently due to the rapid growth in business and industry. Starting from just book keeping in early 1800’s currently the study focuses more on specialised areas.




 Lecturer notes shared by Professor Neetu Patyal through Skype on 29/03/2014


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