The country celebrated the National Education Day on 11th November, 2014, which was the birth anniversary of India’s great freedom movement leader Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. On the occasion, President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Minister of Human Resource Development, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, Minister of Minority Affairs, Dr. Najma A. Heptulla, Minister of State, Human Resource Development, Shri Upendra Kushwaha and Minister of State, Human Resource Development, Prof (Dr.) Ram Shankar Katheria paid floral tributes to the great visionary and first Education Minister of Independent India.
To mark the celebration of National Education Day, the following new initiatives were started by the Ministry of HRD -
- “Saksham” which is a college level scholarship for differently abled, needy and meritorious children.
- “Pragati” which is a scholarship for girl students who are pursuing technical education at college level.
- Skill Credit Framework document which provides a Skill Assessment Matrix for Vocational Advancement of Youth (SAMAVAY). SAMAVAY allows multiple pathways between Vocational education - skills, education and job markets. This will facilitate India to harness the potential of young India.
- “Know your College Portal” which is an application developed for helping a prospective student make a valued judgment of the college he / she wishes to join by providing him / her the necessary information about the college.
- “Unnat Bharat Abhiyan” to involve higher educational institutions to work with the people of rural India in identifying development challenges and evolving appropriate solutions for accelerating sustainable growth.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Human Resource Development, Smt Smrirti Zubin Irani, recalled Maulana Abul Kalam Azad’s contribution towards nation building and in the field of education. Emphasizing the importance of teacher in education, Smt. Irani said that they are fulcrum of entire education system. Teacher should not merely be concerned with ‘INCOME’ but also the ‘OUTCOME’ to help improve the quality of education. She said that the Mission of Unnat Bharat Abhiyan is to enable higher educational institutions to work with the people of rural India in identifying development challenges and evolving appropriate solutions for accelerating sustainable growth.
Dr. Najma Heptullah, remembering Maulana Azad, said that there is clearly a need to adopt a pragmatic view that blends modernity into tradition and synthesizes our inherent traditional strengths with modern day needs without losing our values. It is indeed these very views that Maulanaji reflected which were much ahead of the times he lived in. Maulanaji had advised her not only to achieve higher education degree but also be adequately adept in the chosen field so that people recognize you by your competence not by your family, religion or area.
Shri Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India, extolled the exemplary contributions of Maulana Azad in nation-building, institution-building and particularly his indelible imprints in the field of education. He mentioned that Maulana Azad said that Schools are laboratory which produce future citizens of the country. Hence, adequate care should be taken to impart quality education.
Earlier in the beginning of the function, Shri Satya N. Mohanty, Secretary (Higher Education) delivered the welcome address. The vote of thanks was presented by Shri R. Bhattacharya, Secretary (School Education & Literacy).