National Education Day: Why is it celebrated on November 11?

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, union minister for education in France as a guest of the government was received by French Minister of Education Jean Berthoin. Express archive photo
As a mark of respect and to commemorate the birth anniversary of freedom fighter and independent India’s first Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the nation will be celebrating the National Education Day on November 11.

From 1947 to 1958, he served as the first education minister of the independent India.
Maulana Azad considered schools as laboratories which produce future citizens of the country and, therefore, emphasised on quality education. He strongly advocated universal primary education, girls’ education, free and compulsory education for all children upto the age of 14, vocational training and technical education.
Some facts about Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
— His real name was Abul Kalam Ghulam Muhiyuddin
— In 1912, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad started a weekly journal in Urdu called Al-Hilal to increase the revolutionary recruits
— For his invaluable contribution to the nation as a freedom fighter and as an educationist, he was awarded India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna in 1992.
— He established most of the major cultural and literary academies we have today, including the Sangeet Natak Academy, Lalit Kala Academy, Sahitya Academy as well as the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
— The first IIT, IISc, School of Planning and Architecture and the University Grants Commission were established under his tenure.
UGC has asked universities across India to celebrate November 11 as National Education Day by organising seminars, symposia, essay writing, elocution competitions, workshops and rallies with banners, cards and slogans on the importance of education and the nation’s commitment to all aspects of education.

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