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Friday, May 14, 2021

Remembering Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, India’s first education minister

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad always emphasised on quality education and considered schools as laboratories which produced future citizens of the country. He strongly believed in free primary education and compulsory education to all children upto the age of 14.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: November 11, 2017 7:11:55 pm
maulana abul azad kalam, Maulana Azad, Maulana Azad birth anniversary, national education day, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, union minister for education in France as a guest of the government he his received by French Minister of Education Jean Berthoin. Express archive photo

November 11 is a special day in Indian history. On this day, the country celebrates National Education Day to commemorate the birth anniversary of freedom fighter and independent India’s first Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. Remembered as Maulana Azad, his contribution to building an education foundation in this country has been remarkable.

Since a very young age, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was an literature enthusiast. He is considered as one of the greatest Urdu writers of the 20th century. His work was recognised through his journalistic practice, publishing works critical of the colonial British Raj and espousing the causes of Indian nationalism. He has also written many books including India Wins Freedom, Ghubar-e-Khatir, Tazkirah and Tarjumanul Quran. In 1920, he was elected as one of the founding members to establish Jamia Millia Islamia at Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh without the help of the British.

Later in 1947, he was elected as the first education minister of the independent India. He served the post as education minister till 1958. Under his tenure, he founded most of the major cultural and literary academies we have today including the first IIT, UGC Sangeet Natak Academy, Lalit Kala Academy, Sahitya Academy as well as the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and School of Planning and Architecture.

Maulana Azad always emphasised on quality education and considered schools as laboratories which produced future citizens of the country. He strongly believed in free primary education and compulsory education to all children up to the age of 14. He was also awarded with the highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna in 1992.

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