Educational institutions at all levels across the country will celebrate November 11 as the 'National Education Day', commemorating the birthday of Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, an eminent educationist and the first Union Minister of Education of independent India. As India's Education Minister, Azad oversaw the establishment of a national education system with free primary education and modern institutions of higher education. He is also credited with the foundation of the University Grants Commission (UGC), an important institution to supervise and advance higher education in the nation.
Seminars, symposia, essay-writing, elocution competitions, workshops and rallies with banner cards and slogans on the importance of literacy and nation's commitment to all aspects of education will be organized in educational institutions across the country on the National Education Day. The Ministry of Human Resource Development, had on September 11, 2008 announced, 'The Ministry has decided to commemorate the birthday of this great son of India by recalling his contribution to the cause of education in India. November 11 every year, from 2008 onwards, will be celebrated as the National Education Day, without declaring it a holiday.'