In honour of Teachers' Day, today's Google Doodle shows an animated, smiling red octopus performing multiple tasks using its tentacles, including conducting experiments, solving complex equations, taking notes as well as reading. India celebrates Teachers' Day every year to pay tribute to former president Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan on his birth anniversary. Dr Radhakrishnan was a philoshopher, scholar, politician and an exemplary teacher. He was the country's first Vice President and its second president.
Dr Radhakrishnan was born on September 5, 1888 in Tamil Nadu. Dr Radhakrishnan taught at Chennai's Presidency College and Calcutta University. He was the Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University from 1931 to 1936. In 1962, he became the president of the country.
Known for his down-to-earth demeanour Dr Radhakrishnan, when he became president, apparently told his well-wishers that instead of celebrating his birthday, they observe September 5 as Teachers' Day.
"Instead of celebrating my birthday, it would be my privilege if 5 September is observed as Teachers' Day," he had said.
Since then, his birthday has been commemorated as Teachers' Day in India. The tradition of celebrating Teachers' Day began when Dr Radhakrishnan became president.
Dr Radhakrishnan was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, in 1954. He was nominated 27 times for the Nobel Prize; 16 times for the Nobel Prize in literature, and 11 times for the Nobel Peace prize.
President Ram Nath Kovind will confer the National Teachers' Awards today. 46 teachers from across the country will be felicitated at an event which will be held in Delhi.