College (I) (ETW building)
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A secular college offers a good education to the sons of the ruling classes, taking in both Classics and new-fangled ideas.
The education offered is, however, completely non-sectarian. It focuses on Indian classics – and this includes some religious works – literature, philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, natural philosophy, and the other accomplishments of gentlemen, such as hunting and swordplay (for self-defence). The aim is to produce administrators, warriors and intellectuals who can run the vast holdings of the native princes, and have a grasp of the finer things in life. Education is valuable and even an end in itself, but a certain practicality must be considered.
In the previous century, the Kerala school of mathematicians and astronomers in southern India had made great strides in both fields, easily rivalling the work of European mathematicians of the age. Neither the Indians nor the Europeans had any idea that others were at work on the same problems. In this, the Indians were following a long and proud tradition of intellectual achievement, invention and learning on the sub-continent. Many ideas that diffused to Europe through Islamic scholars owe their origins to Indian thought. The fusion of Indian and Islamic knowledge under the Mughals continued this tradition, and was to survive – for a while at least – the coming of European traders and invaders.