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National Education Day: Remembering Free India's First HRD Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

Mahatma Gandhi and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. (Image: Getty Images)

Mahatma Gandhi and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. (Image: Getty Images)

Post-Indian independence, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad is also credited with the establishment of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) as well as the foundation of the University Grants Commission.

National Education Day is observed in India to commemorate the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. Azad was the first education minister of independent India and served from August 15, 1947 to February 2, 1958. National Education Day is observed on November 11 every year.

On September 11, 2008, the Ministry of Human Resource Development announced that the day would "commemorate the birthday" of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad by recalling his contribution to the cause of education in India. Subsequently, November 11, from 2008 onwards is annually celebrated as National Education Day.

Education institutions across the country mark the day with seminars, symposia, competitions etc, related to varied aspects of education.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development took to their official Twitter handle to write about the day, posting, "Celebrating National Education Day today! Remembering India's 1st Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Ji, Freedom Fighter, Indian scholar & the biggest advocate of #education for women on his birth anniversary. #EducationEnlightens."

They further announced that to take the cause of education further, the Union Minister of HRD, Ramesh Pokhriyal will be launching SWAYAM 2.0, "a programme initiated by the govt. to provide the best teaching-learning resources to all!"

Maulana Sayyid Abul Kalam Ghulam Muhiyuddin Ahmed bin Khairuddin Al-Hussaini Azad was one of the most important national leaders promoting the causes of Hindu-Muslim unity as well as secularism and socialism. Post-Indian independence, he is also credited with the establishment of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) as well as the foundation of the University Grants Commission.