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A major part of the documents reproduced in this book pertain to the Madras Presidency Indigenous Education Survey. As mentioned above, an abstract of this survey was included in the House of Commons Papers as early as 1831-32.

Yet, while many scholars must have come across the detailed material in the Madras Presidency District Records, as well as the Presidency Revenue Records (the latter incidentally exist in Madras as well as in London), for some unexplained reasons this material seems to have escaped academic attention.

In fact, writings on the subject, initially by British officials-cum-scholars, started to appear as early as the mid-nineteenth century.

Most of these histories, however, relate to the ancient period, sometimes going as far back as the tenth or twelfth century A. Others deal with the history of education during British rule and thereafter. For the later period, there have been several publications: besides the two volumes of Selections from Educational Records, published and recently reprinted by the Government of India itself, The latter work is interestingly described by the two authors (thus indicating its time and mood) as an attempt at a well-documented and comprehensive account of Indian educational history during the last one hundred and sixty years and to interpret it from the Indian point of view. The 36th chapter of this celebrated work entitled, The Destruction of Indian Indigenous Education, runs into 40 pages, and quotes extensively from various British authorities.

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Nevertheless, as an introduction, this chapter of Bharat men Angreji Raj is a landmark on the subject of indigenous Indian education in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Nurullah and Naiks book devotes the first 43 pages (out of 643 pages) to discussing the state of indigenous education in the early nineteenth century, and in challenging certain later British views about the nature and extent of it. Leitners work, based on earlier governmental documents and on his own survey, is the most explicitly critical of British policies.

Very little, however, has been written on the history, or state of education during this period, starting with the thirteenth century and up until the early nineteenth century. Most of the discussion on the state of indigenous Indian education in the early nineteenth century, and the differing viewpoints which give rise to it, use as their source material (a) the much talked about reports by William Adam, a former Christian missionary, on indigenous education in some of the districts of Bengal and Bihar 1835-8, and (c) published extracts from another wider survey of indigenous education made in the Madras Presidency (from Ganjam in the north to Tinnevelly in the south, and Malabar in the west) during 1822-25. It holds the British authorities responsible for the decay, and even the destruction of indigenous education in the in the past 50-100 years and held the British responsible for it.