India is celebrating Teachers’ Day today to honour former President Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan on his birth anniversary. Dr. Radhakrishnan had immensely dedicated his life towards the field of education. He was a great scholar, philosopher, and an evocative teacher. Here are some amazing facts about Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. He was the second President of India, a position he held from 1962 to 1967. Dr. Radhakrishnan is remembered as one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century as well as for introducing western philosophies into the Indian society.
- Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was born in a Telugu speaking family. He spent his early years in Thiruttani and Tirupati. In 1906, Radhakrishnan graduated with a master’s degree in Philosophy. And that happened by chance. Even though he was a financially constrained student and had no money to buy books, his cousin who graduated from the same college passed Philosophy textbooks to Radhakrishnan.
- It was in 1909 when Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was appointed as faculty of the Department of Philosophy at the Madras Presidency College. After this, he taught in various universities including University of Mysore, Maharaja’s College, Mysore, University of Calcutta.
- Radhakrishnan was appointed as professor of Philosophy to the King George V Chair of Mental and Moral Science at the University of Calcutta (CU). His association with the university went on for around 12 years from 1921 to 1932.
- Dr. Radhakrishnan was appointed as a Spalding professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at the University of Oxford. This position was specifically made by HN Spalding in 1936 as he was impressed after Dr. Radhakrishnan’s lectures in London. He was also fascinated by his personality.
- Radhakrishnan was nominated 16 times for the Nobel Prize in Literature, and 11 times for the Nobel Peace Prize.
He married his distant cousin Sivakamu at the age of 16. The couple had six children – five daughters and one son.
In 1929, Dr. Radhakrishnan delivered the Hibbert Lecture on the ideals of life at Manchester College, Oxford. He was the first Indian to hold a professorial chair at the University of Oxford.
In 1931, Radhakrishnan was knighted by King Georga V for his services to education.
In 1954, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in India.