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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today paid rich tributes to Maulana Abul Kalam Azad on his birth anniversary and recalled the late leader's efforts towards maintaining communal harmony during the partition era. Kumar also recalled the contributions made by Azad in the education sector as the country's first Education minister. "With Independence came partition which had led to an atmosphere of communal tension across the country. Not only did Azad play a role in reducing the tension, but he also succeeded in instilling the faith among the minorities that the country belonged to them as well and they must stay here", Kumar said while addressing a function organized on the occasion of "Shiksha Diwas" (education day). "We have been observing Maulana Azad's birth anniversary as Shiksha Diwas since the year 2007. As the first Education minister of the country, his contributions can never be forgotten.
It was during his tenure that institutions like UGC and IIT came into being. Our objective behind observing the day as "Shiksha Diwas" is to make the younger generation aware of these things". The Chief Minister underscored the importance of "natural learning...which does not stop at providing students with information but helps them develop their innate talents". Kumar expressed happiness over the progress made by the state in the field of education, especially that of girls. He said "today, in middle schools girls outnumber boys. Before the launch of our schemes like cycle yojana and balika poshak yojana, the number of girls who reached Class 9 used to be under two lakhs but it has now crossed nine lakhs. Also, 49 per cent of candidates who appear in matriculation examinations today are girls". On the occasion, the Chief Minister also presented renowned physicist H C Verma with the "Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Shiksha Puraskar" and urged the academician, who has settled down in Kanpur but has roots in Bihar, to contribute towards uplifting the standard of education in his home state.
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