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Indian National Teachers’ Day: Dr. S. Radhakrishnan’s Legacy: Early Life, Awards & Achievements

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Indian National Teachers’ Day: Dr. S. Radhakrishnan’s Legacy: Early Life, Awards & Achievements
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Indian National Teachers’ Day: Dr. S. Radhakrishnan’s Legacy: Early Life, Awards & Achievements


Indian National Teachers’ Day is a cherished occasion that reverberates with the respect, gratitude, and admiration we hold for our educators. This special day celebrates the contributions of teachers in shaping minds, building futures, and enriching society. At the heart of this celebration lies the remarkable history and the legacy of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, whose birthday serves as a tribute to teachers across India. In this article, we explore the history, significance, and achievements of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, the distinguished philosopher, and how his birthday evolved into a national celebration of teachers. (Source)

History of Indian National Teachers’ Day

The roots of Indian National Teachers’ Day can be traced back to the reverence and admiration for Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, an illustrious philosopher, and a visionary leader. Dr. Radhakrishnan’s contributions extended beyond academia; he was a prolific writer, diplomat, and the second President of independent India. Born on September 5, 1888, in a small town in Andhra Pradesh, he went on to make an indelible mark on India’s intellectual and political landscape.

The Significance of the Date 5th September

It is often said that the best way to pay tribute to a great mind is to honor their values and beliefs. Dr. Radhakrishnan, known for his humility and his profound respect for educators, proposed that his birthday be celebrated as Teacher’s Day. His belief was that a teacher’s role in shaping minds was far more valuable than any laurels or accolades he had received. Thus, September 5th was chosen as the day to celebrate teachers, paying homage to a man who embodied wisdom, compassion, and dedication. (Source)

The National Celebration

The celebration of Indian National Teachers’ Day has grown over the years to become a nationwide event. Schools, colleges, and educational institutions across the country take this day as an opportunity to honor and acknowledge the pivotal role that teachers play in students’ lives. Elaborate events, assemblies, and cultural programs are organized, wherein students express their gratitude through speeches, performances, and heartfelt messages. Teachers, the guiding lights, are felicitated and showered with appreciation.

The Life & Achievements of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan

Early Life and Education

Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was born on September 5, 1888, in Tiruttani, a town in the erstwhile Madras Presidency of British India. He hailed from a middle-class Telugu family and demonstrated early academic brilliance. His education began in Tirupati and Vellore, where his intellectual prowess became evident.

He went on to receive a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Madras Christian College, setting the foundation for his illustrious academic journey. His academic pursuits eventually led him to the University of Calcutta, where he earned a master’s degree in Philosophy.

Teaching Journey and Higher Education

Dr. Radhakrishnan’s association with education flourished when he assumed the position of a professor at Madras Presidency College. His erudition and insights earned him a professorship of Philosophy at the University of Mysore, where he continued to influence young minds.

His passion for learning propelled him further, and he embarked on international ventures. He was appointed a Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at the University of Oxford, a testament to his global academic stature. (Source)

Awards and Accolades

Dr. S. Radhakrishnan’s contributions did not go unnoticed. His brilliance and dedication were recognized with the prestigious title of ‘Sir’ by the British Government in 1931. In 1954, he was honored with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in acknowledgment of his significant contributions to education and philosophy.

Top Five Achievements of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan

  1. Philosophical Stature and Writings: Dr. Radhakrishnan’s philosophical insights are his enduring legacy. His works, including “The Philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore” and “Indian Philosophy,” showcased his profound understanding of Indian thought and its relevance on a global scale. He bridged the gap between Eastern and Western philosophies, earning international acclaim.
  2. Advocacy of Indian Philosophy: As a philosophical ambassador, Dr. Radhakrishnan introduced Indian philosophy to the world. He emphasized its depth, sophistication, and relevance in modern times. His efforts promoted cross-cultural dialogue and enriched global philosophical discourse.
  3. Role in Shaping India’s Education System: Dr. Radhakrishnan’s influence extended beyond philosophy. He actively participated in shaping India’s education policy. He chaired the University Education Commission in 1948-1949 and contributed significantly to the development of India’s educational landscape.
  4. Diplomatic Contributions: Dr. Radhakrishnan’s diplomatic acumen complemented his academic pursuits. He served as India’s ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1949 to 1952. His role in fostering international relations during a critical period contributed to India’s global standing.
  5. Presidential Tenure and Legacy: Dr. Radhakrishnan’s tenure as India’s second President from 1962 to 1967 marked an era of distinction. His presidency was characterized by his dedication to promoting education and culture. His decision to observe his birthday as Teachers’ Day rather than a personal celebration reflects his commitment to honoring educators.


Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s legacy is a testament to the power of education, philosophy, and dedication to the betterment of society.

Indian National Teachers’ Day stands as a tribute to his contributions and the countless educators who shape the minds of future generations.

As we celebrate this day, we honor not only Dr. Radhakrishnan’s achievements but also the spirit of education that continues to inspire individuals worldwide.

Also Read: Top Bollywood Movies to Celebrate Teachers’ Day

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