The Madrasas continued to be concerned principally with Muslim theology and its vast literature.
In great learning centers like Varanasi, astrology was taught and there was no institution in India, as noted by the French traveler Bernier, to the standards of colleges and universities in Europe.
This made the imparting of scientific subjects almost impossible.
Attention was, however, given to mathematics and astronomy.
Akbar’s court poet Faizi translated Bhaskaracharya’s famous work on mathematics, Lilavati.
Despite the presence of Europeans, there was no influence on Indian society during the Mughal period.
The method of water-lift based on pin-drum gearing known as the Persian wheel had been introduced during Babur’s time.
A complicated system of water lift by a series of gear wheels had been installed in Fatehpur Sikri.
Akbar was also credited with popularizing the device of cooling water using saltpetre.
He is also the first known person in the world to have devised the ‘ship’s camel’, a barge on which the ship is built to make it easier for the ship to be carried to the sea.
Some mechanical devices like the screw for tightening, manually driven belt drill for cutting diamonds were in use.
Agricultural tools continued to be the same, made entirely of wood.
In metallurgy, the inability to produce cast iron remained an obvious drawback.
As Irfan Habib observed, India’s backwardness in technology was obvious when the matchlock remained the most common weapon in Indian armies.
In Europe, the flintlock had long come into use. Indians continued to use the expensive bronze cannon, long after these had become obsolete in Europe.
This was because of India’s inability to make cast iron even in the seventeenth century.’