An important species of self-acquired property in Hindu Law is what is known as gains of learning or gains of science, also known as vidhyadhana in the ancient texts. The term learning signifies education, whether elementary, technical, scientific, special or general, and training of every kind which is usually intended to enable a person to pursue any trade, industry, profession or a vocation in life. The term gains of learning means all acquisitions of property made substantially by means of learning.
Prior to 1930, income earned by a member of a joint family by the practice of a profession or occupation requiring a special training imparted at the expenses of the joint family property was considered to be joint family property. If, however, such a person had received only ordinary education suited to his position as a member of the joint family, gains made by him without the aid of joint family funds were regarded as the self-acquired property of such member.
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After 1930, the position is governed by the Hindu Gains of Learning Act, 1930. This Act has removed the anomalies existing under the previous law, and it is now provided that notwithstanding any custom, rule or interpretation of Hindu Law, gains of learning are to be the exclusive and separate property of the member of the joint family who acquires them, even if—
(a) His learning had been (in whole or in part) imparted to him by any member of his family, or with the aid of the joint funds of the family, or with the aid of funds of any member of the family; or
(b) He himself or his family had, while he was acquiring such learning, been maintained or supported (wholly or in part) by the joint funds of the family, or by the funds of any member of the family.
The above Act came into force on 25th July 1930. It is retrospective in operation, and all gains of learning whether made before or after the said date, constitute the self-acquired property of the person acquiring them.
Moreover, under the said Act, the term “learning” is given a wide meaning to mean all types of education, whether elementary, technical, scientific, special or general, and training of every kind for persuing any trade, industry, profession or avocation in life.