Hyderabad: Dr Subhas Sarkar, Union Minister of State for Education, while celebrating the National Education Day, praised the contributions of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and said he was one of the most illustrious figures in India’s history.
The National Education Day is celebrated every year on November 11 in the memory of Maulana Azad who born on the day in 1818, played leading role in India’s Freedom Movement and served as Independent India’s first Education Minister.
Listing Maulana Azad’s contributions in shaping India’s education system, the Union Minister said Azad was instrumental in establishing the IITs, AICTE, UGC, CSIR, ICCR, and a number of other apex bodies.
“Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, who served as the first Education Minister of India, was one of the most illustrious figures in India’s history”, Dr Subhas Sarkar said while addressing the Azad Memorial Lecture at Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) in Hyderabad.
Dr Sarkar said Maulana Azad’s life is a testament to the power of education to transform individual and also the societies.
“He was really versatile on different subjects. Maulana Abul Kamal Azad believed in the power of education as a catalyst for change”, the Minister said.
“Maulana Azad was one of the key founding members of the Jamia Millia Islamia. The establishment of the first Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kharagpur is also credited to Maulana Abul Kalam Azad”, he said.
“Maulana Azad also set up apex educational bodies such as the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and University Grants Commission (UGC)”, the Minister said.
The Minister also said Maulana Azad is also well known for his major contributions towards the establishment of Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Sahitya Akademi, Lalit Kala Akademi (National Academy of Art) and Sangeet Natak Akademi.
“His presence is everywhere”, he said.
Addressing the Azad Memorial Lecture at MANUU, the Minister further said that Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was a path-breaking thinker and intellectual. He was passionate about the education sector and worked to farther brotherhood in the society, the Union Minister said.
Stating that MANUU which bears his name is a testament to the enduring relevance of his ideals, the minister said, “MANUU has become a torch bearer of Maulana Azad’s vision promoting inclusive education and advancing the cause of cultural diversity.”
“The ideals of Maulana Azad resonate not only within MANUU but all across the diverse landscape of our nation and the country”, he said.
“His call for inclusive education finds resonance in the various initiatives of MANUU which are ultimately paid back for the betterment of the society”, the Minister said.
Prof. Salil Misra, former Vice-Chancellor, BR Ambedkar University, New Delhi spoke on the topic “Maulana Azad and Making of Modern India.”
Prof Salil Misra described Maulana Azad as the “Architect of Modern India in various contexts”.
Prof Mishra said the focus of the Maulana was on National Unity and Culture.
Besides Azad Memorial Lecture, Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) also organised various other events such as Azad Tek Fest, Panel Discussion and Azad Walk as part of the National Education Day, also known as Azad Day, celebrations.
The Azad Literary Festival was held with a captivating film screening that provided a poignant tribute to Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. The film showcased Azad's contributions as a scholar, freedom fighter, and visionary leader.
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