Former Indian President Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen (APJ) Abdul Kalam passed away on 27 July 2015 following his collapse during a lecture in the Indian Institute of Management, Shillong. He was 83. He was also known as the Missile Man of India.
Considered as the People's President, Dr Kalam became the 11th President of the country and occupied the post between 2002 and 2007 during the NDA government headed Atal Bihari Vajpayee. After relinquishing the charge of President of India, he relentlessly taught science to the youth of India.
Kalam was one of India’s most eminent scientists and had the unique honour of receiving honorary doctorates from 30 universities and institutions.
About Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam
- Born on 15 October 1931 at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, APJ Abdul Kalam went on to become Aeronautical Engineer from Madras Institute of Technology, Chennai.
- After graduating in 1960, he joined DRDO as a scientist. He started his career by designing a small helicopter for the Indian Army.
- In 1969, Kalam was transferred to ISRO, where he was project director of India's first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III).
- He also served as the Chief Scientific Adviser to then Prime Minister and as the secretary of the DRDO from July 1992 to December 1999.
- He has been awarded with the coveted civilian awards including Padma Bhushan (1981) and Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna (1997).
- Kalam authored numerous inspirational books including India 2020, Wings Of Fire and Ignited Minds.
Kalam's Contributions towards scientific developments in India
- During his tenure as Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister from July 1992 to December 1999, he led the weaponisation of strategic missile systems and the Pokhran-II nuclear tests, which made India a nuclear weapon state.
- In 1980, India entered the space club by putting the Rohini satellite in the near earth orbit with the first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III), developed under the stewardship of Kalam.
- In the 1960s, Kalam was at the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station near Thiruvananthapuram, where he built ISRO's sounding rocket programme to probe the upper atmosphere.
- His taking over of Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-3) programme as its Project Director led to its spectacular success in 1980.
- As director of DRDL, he envisioned India's Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) and led teams that built India's Agni, Akash, Prithvi and Nag missile programmes.
- He was instrumental in forging India's collaboration with Russia to build the world's first supersonic cruise missile called BrahMos.
Now get latest Current Affairs on mobile, Download # 1 Current Affairs App