Radhakrishnan Commission 1948: Recommendations

The Radhakrishnan Commission, formally known as the University Education Commission, stands as a pivotal chapter in the annals of Indian education. In this article, you will get to know about the Radhakrishnan Commission, a pivotal chapter in the evolution of Indian education.

Further, We will also discuss the commission’s objectives, its distinguished members, and the comprehensive recommendations it offers. From curriculum reforms to the emphasis on research and innovation, we will explore the multifaceted impact of the Radhakrishnan Commission on India’s educational landscape.

What is the Radhakrishnan Commission?

The Radhakrishnan Commission, officially known as the University Education Commission, was constituted in 1948 with the express purpose of evaluating and reforming the higher education system in India. Named after its distinguished chairman, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, a towering figure in the realms of philosophy and education, the commission comprised a panel of accomplished scholars, educationists, and administrators.

Their mandate was to conduct a comprehensive review of the existing university structure, curriculum, teaching methodologies, and research practices, and to provide recommendations for a more robust and responsive education system.

Reasons for Establishing the Radhakrishnan Commission

The Radhakrishnan Commission was established for several critical reasons:

  • Post-independence need for educational reform.
  • Address colonial legacies in the education system.
  • Adaptation to a democratic nation’s educational requirements.
  • Promotion of research and innovation for national progress.
  • Ensuring curriculum relevance to real-world applications.
  • Granting academic autonomy to universities for innovation.
  • Securing adequate financial support for sustained growth.
  • Prioritizing representation and inclusivity in higher education.
  • Aligning higher education with broader national goals.


The Radhakrishnan Commission was comprised of eminent scholars, educationists, and administrators from diverse fields.

  • Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (Chairman)
  • Dr. Zakir Hussain
  • Dr. A.L. Mudaliar
  • Dr. D.S. Kothari
  • Eminent Scholars and Academicians
  • Educationists
  • Administrators
  • Experts in Research and Innovation
  • Representatives from Diverse Disciplines

Functions of the Radhakrishnan Commission

  • Examine the Structure: The commission was to scrutinize the existing university system, including the organization, structure, and functioning of universities, and assess their adequacy in meeting the educational needs of the nation.
  • Evaluate Curriculum and Pedagogy: It was mandated to assess the curriculum, teaching methods, and evaluation systems in place, with a view to align them with contemporary requirements.
  • Research and Innovation: The commission was to propose measures to encourage research and innovation in universities, which were viewed as essential for national progress.
  • Financial Support and Autonomy: Recommendations were sought to ensure that universities received adequate financial support and enjoyed a degree of autonomy in their functioning.
  • Inclusivity and Access: The commission was also tasked with examining ways to broaden access to higher education, making it more inclusive and accessible to various sections of society.


The Radhakrishnan Commission submitted its report in 1949, offering a comprehensive blueprint for the development of higher education in India. Some of its significant recommendations included:

  • 12 Years of Pre-University Studies:
    • The commission proposed extending pre-university education to 12 years, providing a more comprehensive foundation for students before entering higher education institutions.
  • Diverse Higher Educational Set-Up:
    • The commission advocated for a diverse higher education system, offering general, liberal, and occupational education. It emphasized the need to bolster subjects such as agriculture, law, and medicine, and improve engineering and technical institutes.
  • Non-compulsory University Education for Administrative Services:
    • The commission suggested that university education should not be a mandatory prerequisite for administrative services, allowing individuals with diverse educational backgrounds to contribute to public administration.
  • Subject-wise Exams for First Degree:
    • The recommendation for subject-wise exams at different stages of education aimed at providing a more specialized and focused approach to acquiring a degree.
  • Uniform Examination Standards:
    • The commission emphasized the need for standardized examination procedures across all universities to maintain consistent academic standards and ensure that degrees held the same value across institutions.
  • Increased Pay Scale for Teachers:
    • Recognizing the pivotal role of educators, the commission recommended higher pay scales to attract and retain qualified and motivated teaching staff.
  • Establishment of a University Grants Commission (UGC):
    • The creation of the UGC was suggested to oversee the allocation of grants to universities and uphold educational standards, thereby ensuring financial stability and quality assurance in higher education institutions.


The Radhakrishnan Commission stands as a testament to the vision and foresight of its members, who understood the critical role that education plays in nation-building. Its recommendations have had a profound and lasting impact on India’s higher education system, shaping the minds of countless individuals and contributing significantly to the nation’s progress.

The legacy of the Radhakrishnan Commission continues to be felt in the halls of academia and in the achievements of students and scholars across the country.

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