National Education Day: Remembering Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, India’s first Education Minister
Ministry of Human Resource Development on September 11, 2008, decided to celebrate November 11 as the National Education Day.Updated: Nov 11, 2019 12:42 IST
National Education Day is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of India’s first education minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. Maulana Azad, a key educationist, played an important role in developing education in independent India.
Ministry of Human Resource Development on September 11, 2008, decided to celebrate November 11 as National Education Day. “The Ministry has decided to commemorate the birthday of this great son of India by recalling his contribution to the cause of education in India,” reads the HRD Ministry announcement.
In January 1947, when Dr. Rajendera Prasad quitted the cabinet on being elected as the first President of India, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru collectively persuaded Maulana to take over the Education ministry’s portfolio from C Rajagopalachari. Since then, until his death, he retained the ministry of education.
Azad during his time in the Education Ministry promoted research in eastern learning and literature and set up the three Akademies to develop the fine arts. He also started the work on the compilation of technical terms in Hindi on a large scale.
Some of the important boards/commission set up by the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad during his tenure are:
1.University Grants commission
2.All India council for Technical education
3.Kharagpur Institute of higher education
4.The University education commission
5.The Secondary education commission
The first education minister of Independent India, Maulana Abul Kalam strongly advocated education for women and free and compulsory primary education for children up to the age of 14. He also contributed to the establishment of educational institutes like Jamia Millia Islamia and IIT Kharagpur.
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad passed away on February 22, 1958.