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Remembering Maulana Azad on National Education Day
India is observing the National Education Day (November 11) to remember Maulana Azad on his birth anniversary who made the most notable contribution in establishing the modern higher education system in the country. To commemorate his 125th birth anniversary a national portal is being launched today by the Government of India. The portal is meant to digitize the heritage of Maulana Azad and make his life and various other things related to him, available online.

Abul Kalam Muhiyuddin Ahmed Azad, popularly known as Maulana Azad (11 November 1888 ? 22 February 1958), was nation?s prominent scholar, poet, philosopher and senior political leader of the independence movement. He became the first Minister of Education of Independent India. In 1992, he was posthumously awarded India's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna.

Azad had been one of the most prominent Muslim opponent of the demand for a separate Muslim state of Pakistan. As a secularist, even amidst communal turmoil following the partition of India, he worked actively for religious harmony.

As India's Education Minister, he tried to establish a national education system with free primary education. But more successfully, he was instrumental in establishing the modern institutions of higher education like the Indian Institutes of Technology, Central Institute of Education and the the University Grants Commission.

He had often said, ?We must not for a moment forget, it is a birth right of every individual to receive at least the basic education without, which he cannot fully discharge his duties as a citizen.? According to Maulana Azad, the wealth of country was not in the number of banks in a country but in the number of its quality primary schools.

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