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Additional info for Indian Science and Technology in the Eighteenth Century (The Collected Writings of Dharampal Vol. I)
1743). ’ The subject of the Benares observatory was again taken up in 1798 by William Hunter, an assistant to the British Resident at the Marhatta capital at Poona, in an article, ‘Some account of the astronomical labours of Jayasinha, Raja of Ambhere, or Jayanagar’. The interest in Raja Jayasinha is explained: ‘Arising superior to the prejudices of education, of national pride and religion’, Jayasinha strove to enrich his country ‘with scientific truth derived from a foreign source’, in this particular instance, Europe.
The possession of such knowledge and its development and refinement is, at all times, the function of a separate, though interlinked, group. Such division between the practitioners and the theoreticians is currently more evident than ever before. It is possible that the link between the practitioners of the various techniques or professions and the professors of the theoretical knowledge relating to them had largely snapped in India by the end of the eighteenth century. It is even probable that though not altogether snapped, such a break had begun to take place centuries earlier.
This situation seems to alter. 26 Those who did not receive it ‘from principle’ seem to have been the Europeans in Calcutta, etc. e. one in sixty or seventy, as indicated above) amongst them. 27 Not receiving it ‘from indigence’, on the other hand, pertained to sections of the Indian population. ), it is probable that the inoculators in India had also been maintained on subventions from public revenues. With the imposition of British rule, the Indian fiscal system began to collapse and various categories of specialists and functionaries were thrown out on the streets and left to wholly fend for themselves.