Every year the country celebrates the National Education Day on November 11 in remembrance of country’s first Vice-President and education minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. The day is also the birth anniversary of Azad .

The Ministry of Human Resource Development in 2008 declared November 11 (Azad’s birthday) as the National Education Day or Shiksha Diwas.

Azad served as independent India’s first education minister from 1947 to 1958 and is known for some major contributions in the field of education.

Here is why we must not forget the leader:

  • Azad was a staunch proponent of women education and proposed universal primary education .
  • He also proposed compulsory education for children upto 14 years alongside vocational training and technical education.
  • Azad advocated for primary education saying that it should be disseminated in the mother-tongue.
  • Speaking at the Central Assembly in 1949, Azad laid emphasis on the significance of education in modern sciences and knowledge.
  • He always said that no society or education programme would be adequate if it did not give importance to women education.
  • An Urdu journal called Al-Hilal was also published under his supervision. The weekly journal focused on slamming British Raj.
  • Azad was conferred the Bharat Ratna in 1992 for his contribution not just as an educationist but also as a freedom fighter.
  • Prominent academic institutions like Sangeet Natak Academy, Lalit Kala Academy, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, country’s first IIT, IISc, School of Planning and Architecture, the University Grants Commission, all of it was established under his supervision.

Paying tribute to Azad, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar recalled his contribution and efforts to preserve communal harmony during partition.

Kumar said Azad played a crucial role in easing tensions during the partition era adding that he successfully reposed faith and trust among minorities by assuring them that the country was equally theirs.

The Bihar CM said Azad’s contributions were unforgettable adding that the former vice-president emphasized on natural learning and information comprehension.

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