Association for the Advancement of Scientific and Industrial Education of India was set up during the swadeshi movement for the dissemination of scientific and industrial education. Although the goal with which it was formed was the same as that of the Indian Industrial Association, the AASIEI was broader in its outlook and scope and hence more successful.
Jogendrachandra Ghosh, the lawyer-son of Justice Chandramadhab Ghosh and others set it up in March 1904. It was felt that training in industrial technology should be got from countries that have already achieved higher technological level. So funds were raised through donations and mass collections to provide scholarships for Indian students bound for Europe, America and Japan for technical training.
Narendranath Sen, President of the Association, in his report to the Central Council of the Association, stated that the original target was to raise Rs 1 lakh every year, of which Rs 35,000 would be spent on foreign scholarships, Rs 40,000 given as loans to the Indian experts returning home after the completion of their training abroad and Rs 25,000 on a central laboratory for private college students in Calcutta. The laboratory scheme, however, probably never materialised. Europeans like Sir Daniel Hamilton extended patronage to the Association by providing free passages to students.
Although the office-bearers of the Association were mostly moderates, they depended on the enthusiasm of a number of workers who later became prominent in the extremist movement, such as AC Banerjee, AK Ghosh, BM Chatterjee, CR Das and SK Mullick. AC Banerjee, the assistant secretary of the Association, toured several districts for organisational work and addressed meetings in Dhaka, Narayanganj, Midnapur, Ranaghat, Krishnanagar, Comilla and Nabadwip in 1904. Bipin Chandra Pal and Bhubanmohan Gupta also toured the districts on behalf of the Association.
The Association introduced a four-anna mass membership fee, which gave it financial stability and attracted the attention of the Bengal intelligentsia. Within one year, forty-eight committees were set up in several districts of Bengal. It is interesting to note that the school committee of a Vikrampur village raised the school fee of each student by a farthing per month to assist the Association. More than a thousand members and numerous village branches were reported from Barisal.
The extent of success attained by the Association is evident from the fact that many of the students who had been trained abroad under Association scholarships set up industries in Bengal after the completion of their training. Satyasundar Dev, who got training in Higher Polytechnic at Tokyo, as also in Dr Hermann Segar's laboratory in Germany, was the main architect of the Calcutta Pottery Works; AP Ghosh and PC Ray helped to start the Bande Mataram Match Factory in Calcutta; KC Das and RN Sen established the Calcutta Chemicals; Surendramohan Bose built up the Bengal Waterproof Works of 'Duckback' fame.
The receipts of the Association showed signs of decline
from 1907-08. The cause of technical education had, by then, been taken
up by the Bengal National College and the Bengal Technical Institute.