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National Education Day: PM Modi pays tribute to Maulana Abul Kalam Azad on his birth anniversary

National Education Day or Rashtriya Shiksha Diwas is observed to commemorate the birth anniversary of independent India’s first education minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.

National Education Day: PM Modi pays tribute to Maulana Abul Kalam Azad on his birth anniversary-dnm
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New Delhi, First Published Nov 11, 2021, 10:47 AM IST
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to freedom fighter and India’s first education minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad on his birth anniversary on Thursday, hailing his role in the freedom struggle as an inspiring one. PM Modi took to Twitter and wrote, “Tributes to Maulana Abul Kalam Azad on his Jayanti. A pathbreaking thinker and intellectual, his role in the freedom struggle is inspiring. He was passionate about the education sector and worked to further brotherhood in society.”

Known as the key architect of education in independent India, Maulana Azad was born on November 11, 1888. The National Education Day or Rashtriya Shiksha Diwas is observed to remember the exemplary contributions of Maulana Azad in nation-building, institution-building and in the field of education. He used to say that schools are laboratories that produce future citizens of the country.

He played a significant role in shaping the education system of the country and during his tenure, he was instrumental in laying the foundations of some of the best educational institutes in India -- the UGC, AICTE, Kharagpur Institute of higher education, the University education commission, and the Secondary education commission. Not only these, Azad is also responsible for building the first Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).

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A revered scholar, poet, journalist, and above all, a freedom fighter, he was also instrumental in advocating education for women and free and compulsory primary education for children up to the age of 14. According to historians, he laid the base for higher education and technological and scientific research and education as well as the recent emergence of knowledge-based industries.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari also paid tributes to Azad on his birth anniversary. “Tributes to the first education minister of independent India and Bharat Ratna awardee Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Ji on his birth anniversary. Happy National Education Day,” Gadkari tweeted, hashtagging ‘NationalEducationDay’.

The then President of India, Pratibha Patil at Vigyan Bhawan had inaugurated the first National Education Day on November 11, 2008. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) had proclaimed the day as a national observance on September 11, 2008.

Azad breathed his last at the age of 69 on February 22, 1958. 

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