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Background: Science And Empire

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Chapter Summary

The history of the British policy towards science and technology in India before the Second World War is a story of ad hocism and lack of a uniform, planned policy. The main factors influencing the official attitude during this period were the economic interests of the British Raj and the Empire and their political and military requirements. Local needs and indigenous demands counted only occasionally and that, too, only in a peripheral manner. Thus, there was little prospect of science being harnessed in the long-term interests of the local population and its promotion as a pursuit of knowledge. A proper appraisal of the government policy, therefore, makes it necessary to look at it in a broader perspective, especially in the context of imperialism and nationalism.

Keywords: Empire; George Nathaniel Curzon; imperialism; nationalism; science; Second World War; Swadeshi



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