We shall consider the development of science in India prior to the arrival of the British, and the state of science in Europe during the nineteenth century when the encounter between Western thought and Indian society was most thoroughgoing – largely, though not exclusively, on account of the introduction of higher education in English. The purpose of the first part of what follows will be to demonstrate that, although Indian science lacked an organizational base and an experimental methodology (the ‘Baconian philosophy’), it was selectively very advanced compared with what was going on elsewhere. Lord Macaulay could not have been more wrong in his contemptuous estimate of the state of science in India.