11 November observed as a National Education Day every year. The day is also known as Rashtriya Shiksha Diwas. National Education Day is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. Maulana Azad was the first Education Minister of the Republic of India.

First National Education Day was celebrated in 2008, formally Ministry of HRD announced the day on 11 Nov. Recently HRD ministry was renamed as Ministry of Education. In 2020, Education Ministry has organised National Education Day programmes at IIT Bombay. The programme mainly discussed about the National Education Policy, 2020.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

Abul Kalam Ghulam Muhiyuddin Ahmed bin Khairuddin Al-Hussaini Azad was born at Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Maulana Azad’s family relocated to Calcutta to provide him better education.
Maulana Azad served as the Education Minister of Republic of India from 1947 to 1958. During his service period, Maulana Azad was one of the Congress leaders who established the National Education System after independence. His primary aim to focus on providing free education to the country. In 1992, Maulana Azad was awarded with Bharat Ratna for his contribution in the field of education and for his service to the country as a freedom fighter.

Maulana’s role in Indian Education System

The contribution of the great leader, Maulana Azad, in building IIT was remarkable. Maulana Azad was the one who laid the foundation of UGC. Azad also believed that primary education should be conveyed only in mother-tongue. The most important literary academies of India were also established during his tenure. The Sahitya Academy, Sangeet Natak Academy and the Lalit Kala Academy were all established under his tenure. He also established Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR.


After 1947, Maulana Azad focused on imparting information in modern sciences. Azad started a weekly magazine in Urudu is known as Al-Hilal that criticised the British Indian Government and its policies. After it was banned, he started another magazine is known as “Al-Bagah”. Following this, the British Indian Government banned him under Defence of India Regulations 1916. 11 November National Education Day