National Education Day: 10 things to know about Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

National Education Day is observed on November 11 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the first Education Minister of India.

His exemplary contributions to the field of education and institution-building paved the way for the country’s modern system. He served as India’s first Vice President and also as the first education Minister from 1947 to 1958. He played an important role in the country’s freedom struggle.

In September 2008, India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development declared the birthday of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad to be recognized nationally as Education Day. The day is also seen as an occasion to remember Azad’s contribution in laying the foundations of the education system in an independent India.

Here are some facts to know on his birth anniversary:

  • Maulana Abul Kalam Azad’s full name was Abul Kalam Ghulam Muhiyuddin Ahmed Azad.
  • Abul Kalam Azad’s birth anniversary is celebrated as National Education Day in India.
  • He was an Urdu poet. At a very young age, Maulana Azad started composing poetry in Urdu language.
  • Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was fluent in Urdu, Persian, Hindi, English, Bengali and Arabic. 
  • He was the leader of the Khilafat movement from 1919–1924, during which he met Mahatma Gandhi.
  • He served as the first education minister of independent India from 1947 to 1958.
  • At the age of 35, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad became the youngest person to serve as the President of the Indian National Congress in 1923.
  • In 1992, Maulana Azad was posthumously awarded India’s highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna.
  • He gained prominence through his work as a journalist, publishing works critical of the British Raj.
  • He has contributed to the establishment of educational institutes like Jamia Millia Islamia and IIT Kharagpur.

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