With the President’s assent, India’s Human Resource Development Ministry once became the Education Ministry. The New education policy (NEP) recommends changing the name from Human Resource Development to Education.
In 1985, during Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure as Prime Minister of India, the ministry of education was renamed as HRD Ministry. PV Narasimha Rao was the first HRD Minister in the Rajiv Gandhi Cabinet.
After Independence, the ministry was known as the Ministry of Education (MoE). Maulana Abul Kalam Azad led the ministry. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was an educationist, freedom fighter, politician, and journalist who donned many hats. India remembers his lasting legacy in the field of India’s education. Despite British censoring, he found ways of revolution against Britishers through the power of his pen. He was followed by Kalulal Shrimali.
KC Pant served as the last Education Minister of India in 1984-85, after which the name of the Ministry was substituted. The many in charge of this portfolio played a key role in the establishment of various educational institutions.
Rajiv Gandhi the then Prime Minister in 1984, Rajiv Gandhi, with advice from his new cabinet accepted a suggestion that all departments associated with education should be centralized. Departments related to Culture and Youth & Sports were brought under the Ministry of HRD. Before 2006 the Department of Women and Child Development was under the Union HRD Ministry. The opposition criticized this move stating that the country no longer had a Department with ‘education’ in its name.
Changes were made from time to time. During Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure as Prime Minister in 1998, the Department of Culture was separated from the Ministry of HRD. The Department of Youth was also separated from the Ministry of HRD.
Currently, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank is heading the ministry. The Ministry has two Departments: School Education & Literacy and Higher Education. Education plays a pivotal role in solving the socio-economic problems of the country; citizens of India are the most valuable resource.