Indian Education Commission or Hunter Commission

Hunter Education Commission:

Viceroy Lord Ripon appointed the Hunter Education Commission with the mandate to look into complaints regarding the non-implementation of the Wood's Despatch of 1854, assess the state of elementary education in the British overseas territories, and make recommendations for its expansion and improvement. In 1882, the commission's final report—headed by Sir William Wilson Hunter—was delivered.


  • To evaluate the condition of education in India, with a focus on primary education, and to propose changes.
  • To assess religious missionaries' educational efforts.
  • Inquire about the implementation of Wood's Despatch of 1854, as well as the use of its grants-in-aid, and offer reform suggestions.
  • To determine whether the government should be permitted to continue providing education to its citizens.
  • The primary goal of the Hunter commission is to look into the state of primary education in India, but the commission also decided to look into secondary and higher education in India.
  • It was tasked with researching the status of state institutions as well as the status of missionary institutions in general.


  • In 1882, the government established a commission, chaired by W.W. Hunter, to examine the country's educational progress since the 1854 Despatch. The Hunter Commission's recommendations primarily addressed primary and secondary education.
  • The importance of the state's special care in the extension and improvement of primary education, as well as the importance of primary education being taught in vernacular.
  • It was proposed that primary education be delegated to newly formed district and municipal boards.
  • Drawn attention to insufficient female education facilities, particularly outside presidency towns, and made recommendations to expand them.
  • Educated candidates were prioritized for lower-level government positions, and primary schools in underserved areas were expanded.
  • Primary education was entrusted to district and municipal boards under the Local Self Government Act. To prevent funds designated for rural schools from being misappropriated by urban schools, funds were divided into rural and urban areas.
  • Private parties were to establish secondary schools with government funds. In each district, model schools fully run by the government were to be established to guide such private schools.
  • Secondary school curricula were also revised, with academic and vocational courses split into different branches.
  • The raj discouraged missionary schools and encouraged Indian participation in the private school system.
  • Girls' and women's education were supposed to receive special attention.

Regarding William Wilson Hunter:

  • William Wilson Hunter was a statistician, compiler, and member of the Indian Civil Service.
  • He was appointed as a Magistrate in the Bengal Presidency in 1862, and it was only then that he began compiling local traditions and records.
  • He wrote "The Annals of Rural Bengal" and "A Comparative Dictionary of the Non-Aryan Languages of India," but his most famous work is "The Imperial Gazetteer of India," which he began in 1869.
  • Lord Mayo assigned him this work, which was published in 9 volumes in 1881.
  • He eventually became Vice President of the Royal Asiatic Society.
  • In 1882, as a member of the Governor General's Council, he was appointed chairman of the Commission on Education. In 1886, he was also elected Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University.


  • India's educational history is said to have been changed forever by the Hunter Commission report.
  • The devolution of primary education occurred as a result of the British government embracing the bulk of its proposals.
  • As a result, elementary school students spent a lot less time studying British subjects.
  • When Punjab University was established in 1882, Calcutta University's workload was lessened.
  • The number of students enrolling in primary and secondary schools increased significantly between 1882 and 1901.


  • Under British rule, it was the first India Education Commission (after 1857).
  • The commission correctly stated that primary education has slowed and that it must be prioritized.
  • The commission's recommendations were accepted, and various changes to the education system were implemented.


  • The Wood's Despatch of 1854 was not implemented, the current state of basic education in the British colonies, and possible extensions and improvements were the focus of the historic Hunter Education Committee, which Viceroy Lord Ripon formed.

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