THE WADDINGTON YEARS (1900-1917)
|Mr. C.W Waddington
1903 - 1917
Faced with the withdrawal of students due to limited educational exposure in the Chief's Colleges at one hand and the rising tide of nationalism after the formation of the Indian National Congress, on the other, the British decided to take urgent measures to win the confidence of the rulers and states to make allies of the States who ruled over two – thirds of India and were basically allergic to mass or people's movements like Congress. Amongst other actions, the British decided to revamp the organisation – systems of the Chief's Colleges. Consequently buildings were added and the roll at Mayo went up as a result of improved quality of education.
Amongst other new facets was the Bikaner Pavilion at the picturesque central Cricket ground that lent an aura all its own. No school has a cricket ground like the one at Mayo anywhere in the world. It is interesting to know that Mayo scored 415 for one wicket in the inaugural cricket match for the Patiala Trophy in 1906!
The curriculum was revised and a special Chief's College diploma exam was introduced. This exam was recognised as equivalent to matriculation by all universities in India as a basic qualification for entry to colleges or universities.
The Rajput Rulers stressed the importance of religious instruction at school so that boys grew up within their religious traditions. A Shastri was appointed to supervise religious training of Hindu boys and a Hafiz of Tonk House gave instructions to Mohammedan boys.
Daily routine was more strictly enforced and private expenses of boys were screened and reduced. Students now began to come from outside Rajasthan since rail–road communications were now available. Boys from royal families and nobles of tripura, Cooch Behar, Manipur, Hyderabad, Nepal, Vizianagaram, Mysore, etc. also joined Mayo which enjoyed the reputation of the “most Royal amongst Royal” Chief's Colleges. Mayo also introduced a lenient qualification covering status or property for admission and this led to more influx of lesser nobles and scions into Mayo. These measures soon led to advance booking for admissions.
Amongst the highlights in this period were the visit of His Imperial Majesty King Emperor George V and Queen Mary To India in 1911, which made British India all agog with excitement.