object of its inquiry). The Commission recommended that the newly founded
local bodies (district boards and municipalities) should be entrusted with the
management of primary schools.
    With regard to the private enterprise, the commission recommended that
the government should maintain only a few colleges, secondary schools and
other essential institutions, and the rest of the field should be left to private
enterprise. These recommendations, along with others, of the Commission
were accepted by the government and implemented.
Fourth Phase (1901–20)
Lord Curzon convened the first conference of Directors of Public Instruction
in 1901 and initiated an era of educational reform based on its decisions. He
appointed a Universities Commission under Thomas Raleigh (Law member
of the Viceroy’s Executive Council) in 1902, and based on its
recommendations Indian Universities Act of 1904 was passed.
    The Act enabled the universities to assume teaching functions (hitherto
they were mainly examining bodies), constituted syndicates for the speedier
transaction of business, and provided for strict conditions of affiliation and
periodic inspection of the different institutions.
    All these provisions led to a substantial measure of qualitative
improvement in higher education, though the Act was severely criticised by
the nationalist Indians for recommending tightening of government control
over universities.
    In 1910 a separate Department of Education was established at the centre,
and in 1913 the Government of India Resolution on Education Policy called
for the opening of residential universities, and wanted to improve the training
of teachers for primary and secondary schools.
    The Sadler Commission (1917–19) was appointed by Lord Chelmsford to
review the working of the Calcutta University. The commission
recommended that secondary education should be left to the control of a
board of secondary education and that the duration of the degree course
should be three years.
    By 1921 the number of universities in India increased to 12, the seven
new ones being Benaras, Mysore, Patna, Aligarh, Dacca, Lucknow and