Education History in India

Takshasila (in modern-day Pakistan) was the earliest recorded centre of higher learning in India from possibly 8th Century BCE, and it is debatable whether it could be regarded a university or not in modern sense, since teachers living there may not have had official membership of particular colleges, and there did not seem to have existed purpose-built lecture halls and residential quarters in Taxila, in contrast to the later Nalanda university in eastern India. Nalanda was the oldest university-system of education in the world in the modern sense of university. There all subjects were taught in Ariano -páli Language.

Secular institutions cropped up along Buddhist monasteries. These institutions imparted practical education, e.g. medicine. A number of urban learning centres became increasingly visible from the period between 500 BCE to 400 CE. The important urban centres of learning were Nalanda (in modern-day Bihar) and Manassa in Nagapur, among others. These institutions systematically imparted knowledge and attracted a number of foreign students to study topics such as Buddhist Páli literature, logic, páli grammar, etc. Chanakya, a Brahmin teacher, was among the most famous teachers, associated with founding of Mauryan Empire.

Sammanas and Brahmin gurus historically offered education by means of donations, rather than charging fees or the procurement of funds from students or their guardians. Later, stupas,temples also became centres of education; religious education was compulsory, but secular subjects were also taught. Students were required to be brahmacaris or celibates. The knowledge in these orders was often related to the tasks a section of the society had to perform. The priest class, the Sammanas, were imparted knowledge of religion, philosophy, and other ancillary branches while the warrior class, the Kshatriya, were trained in the various aspects of warfare. The business class, the Vaishya, were taught their trade and the working class of the Shudras was generally deprived of educational advantages. The book of laws, the Manu smrti, and the treatise on statecraft the Arthashastra were among the influential works of this era which reflect the outlook and understanding of the world at the time.