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National Education Day which is celebrated on 11 November every year, is the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, India's first Education Minister. Born on 11 November 1888, Maulana served as Education Minister from 15 August 1947 to 2 February 1958. It was under his tenure that various colleges and universities were established across India including the famous Jamia Milia Islamia University, Delhi.
It was decided on 11 September 2008, by the Ministry Human Resource Development to observe the birthday of Maulana Azad by celebrating it as National Education Day.
Some of the lesser-known facts about Maulana Abul Kalam Azad will help you to understand him better.
Contributions Of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
1. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was one of the freedom fighters that fought against the Britishers. During 1920, he became a part of the Khilafat Movement. It was then when he got the chance to connect with Mahatama Gandhi and so he got involved in the Non-cooperation movement which was led by Gandhi. Later, the Khilafat movement also became a major part of the Non-cooperation movement.
2. Post-independence of India, he worked dedicatedly towards improving the education system in India. In order to promote primary education among young children, he encouraged the enrolment of children in schools. It was his plan to formulate the National Programme for the construction of schools and colleges.
3. He pushed the idea of providing free and compulsory education to children up to the age of 14 years.
"We must not for a moment forget, it is a birthright of every individual to receive at least the basic education without which he cannot fully discharge his duties as a citizen," said Maulana Azad about the primary education.
4. Not only this, but he also worked on the schemes to provide quality education to the girl children.
5. Under his guidance and leadership, the University Grant Commission (UGC) was established by the Ministry Of Education in the year 1953.
6. Also, the first Indian Institute Of Technology was established under his leadership in the year 1951. He was a visionary man and believed in the capability of IITs in shaping future technocrats.
"I have no doubt that the establishment of this Institute will form a landmark in the progress of higher technological education and research in the country," in Maulana Azad's words.
7. The Faculty Of Technology which comes under the Delhi University was given importance by none other than the Maulana Azad himself.
8. In addition to this, his effort in bringing harmony and unity among the Hindu and Muslim communities is still praised. He was among those who dreamt of India as a country where people from different religions can live together with love and harmony.
Legacy Of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
1. Today there are various institutes named in his honour such as Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Maulana Azad Medical College, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies and the list goes on.
2. The Education Ministry also provides a five-year fellowship, which is a kind of financial help for students who come from minority communities to pursue higher studies.
3. At last, his birth anniversary is celebrated as the 'National Education Day'.
We express our gratitude towards this great freedom fighter and the man who worked for promoting education in India.