What is Downward Filtration Theory?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The Downward Filtration Theory refers to the theory that education would be provided to a small number of people and through them, it will be conveyed to the masses. In 1835 Lord Macaulay introduced the Downward Filtration Theory in his famous ‘Macaulay’s Minutes’, which was submitted to British India’s Governor-General as a solution to some problems of the educational system during those days in India.

Downward Filtration Theory

Downward Filtration Theory was introduced to spread English knowledge in India so that the Britishers can easily rule over the country. Lord Macaulay gave the Downward Filtration Theory. In 1813 Britishers started imparting education to Indians. In 1817 the amount of the scheme was revised to two hundred thousand rupees through the charter. The main point of contradiction was the medium of knowledge transfer and the medium in which the syllabus would be written.

  • Resolving the Oriental Occidental Controversy was very important to implementing modern education in the country.
  • Macaulay was trusted with the responsibility to resolve the controversy.
  • He introduced this theory in Macaulay’s Minutes of 1835.
  • This was later on submitted to the then Governor General of British India.
  • The main purpose of this was to solve the educational problems faced in the educational system in India at that time.


What is Downward Filtration Theory?

The main purpose behind introducing the Downward Filtration Theory was to impart education to a hand full of people who will spread the knowledge to the masses through. In this way, the knowledge would be transferred to the favorable person who likes further distributing it to the masses. This theory was suggested by Macaulay in his Minutes of 1835.

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