Biography of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam :
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was a well known and distinguished Scientist of India who performed and served as 11th President of India during 2002 to 2007. He is prominently known as “Missile Man of India” for his enormous role in Civilian Space Program of the Nation and military missile development. In 1998, he was established as National Hero for his significant contributions to India’s Pokhran-II nuclear tests.
Kalam was the alumnus of the reputable Madras Institute of Technology. He started his career at Aeronautical Development Establishment of DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) as a scientist. He was later transferred to ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation). There he worked as a project director of SLV-III which is the India’s First Satellite Launch Vehicle.
In 1990’s, before becoming India’s President in 2002, he served as Prime Minister’s Chief Scientific Advisor. For his contribution of Knowledge to the space and nuclear programme of the nation, he was honoured with several prestigious awards including Bharat Ratna, India’s highest Civilian honour.
Abdul Kalam’s Profile:
|Full Name||Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam|
|Nick Name||A. P. J. Abdul Kalam|
|Date of Birth||15th October 1931|
|Death Date||27th July 2015|
|Death Place||Shillong, Meghalaya, India|
|Birth Place||Rameswaram, TamilNadu|
Abdul Kalam’s Childhood:
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- He was born in a Islamic Family in Rameswaram, in the state of TamilNadu on October 15th His mother Ashiamma was a home maker and his father Jainulabudeen was a owner of a boat. He had four elder siblings.
- Though his ancestors were wealthy traders, by 1920’s, by the time he was born, they had lost their fortunes and was stricken by the poverty. He became a seller of newspapers for maintaining his family.
- He was always a good student and curious to learn more about how things happened. At the age of his 10, he realised to do something with flight, when his teacher asked to observe the flights in flying of the birds.
- After the completion of his schooling at Schwartz Higher Secondary School, he joined Saint Joseph’s College in 1954 in Tiruchirappalli and graduated in science.
- In his third year, he was given a project along with other students to design a low-level attack aircraft. The project was a bit difficult and their guide gave them a tight deadline to finish the project. The guide of the project was impressed for his dedication of work in immense pressure.
Kalam’s Career as Scientist:
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- In 1957, Abdul Kalam achieved his degree from Madras Institute of Technology and in 1958, he joined as a scientist in Aeronautical Development Establishment of DRDO.
- In the beginning of 1960’s he worked with the INCOSPAR (Indian National Committee for Space Research) under Vikram Sarabhai, the renowned space scientist. At DRDO, he also designed and equipped a small hovercraft.
- In 1963-64, he visited Goddard Space Flight Centre located in Greenbelt, NASA’s Langley Research Centre located in Hampton, Virginia and Wallops Flight Facility. With the inspiration got by the visit, he started working at DRDO on expandable rocket project independently in 1965.
- At DRDO, he was not satisfied with his work and transferred to ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) in 1969. There he served as SLV-III project director where it is India’s first designed and produced satellite launch vehicle.
- He started making efforts to develop PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) in 1970’s. It was first launched on September 20 1993 into Sun-synchronous orbits and it was a great success.
- In 1970’s, he also directed Project Devil. It was not a big success but later led to the design and development of Prithvi missile in 1980’s. He was also involved in Project Valiant.
- In the beginning of 1980’s, IGMDP (Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme) was launched which was an Indian Ministry of Defence Programme in partnership with other government organisations under the management of DRDO. He was asked to control and lead the project and thus came back to DRDO in 1983 as IGMDP chief executive.
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- With the tremendous political support on the program, aimed the development of four projects Short range low-level surface-to-air missile (code-named Trishul), Short range surface-to-surface missile (code-named Prithvi), Third-generation anti-tank missile (code-named Nag) and Medium range surface-to-air missile (code-named Akash).
- IGDMP produced a number of missiles under the leadership of Kalam including first Prithvi Missile in 1988 and Agni Missile in 1989. For his achievements as IGMDP director, he earned the name “Missile Man”.
- His involvement with government agencies increased and led to the appointment of Defence Minister Scientific Advisor in 1992. With the rank of Cabinet Minister, he was elected and appointed as Principal Scientific Advisor to Indian Governement.
- At the end of 1990’s, he played a lead role in Pokhran-II conduction. It is a series of test explosions of five nuclear bombs in May 1998 at Indian Army’s Pokhran Test Range. With the success of those tests, he was elevated to National Hero Status. Then Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister declared India as a nuclear state full-fledgedly.
- He was also a Visionary, in addition to being a brilliant scientist. He proposed a plan countrywide called Technology Vision 2020, to make India a developed nation by 2020 year. He suggested nuclear empowerment, improved agricultural productivity and technological innovations.
- In 2002, NDA (Nationalist Democratic Alliance) expressed to nominate A.P.J for Indian President. Both Samajwadi Party and Nationalist Congress Party supported him. He won as a president in the elections, being a famous figure of the nation.
His Term as Indian President:
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A.P.J. Abdul Kalam became the 11th Indian President on July 25, 2002. He was the first bachelor and first scientist to become the president and occupy and engage Rashtrapati Bhawan. Over his term of five years, he always remained dedicated to his vision and innovation of transforming the nation into a developed India. He spent more time on this and conducted many meetings one on one with young people to inspire them.
As he is very popular with the people and citizens of the nation, he is well-known as “People’s President”. He was criticized and discouraged for not taking and preceding any actions on the mercy petitions of convicts during his President term. He decided not to contest as president in 2007, in the elections again and on July 25 2007, he stepped down as President.
Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Post Presidency:
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- After leaving the office, he ventured into the field of academics. He enhanced as a visiting professor at several nation’s reputed institutions including the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, the Indian Institute of Management Shillong and the Indian Institute of Management Indore. He loved interacting with young and youth minds and dedicated his last days to his dream and passion.
- He also started teaching IT (Information Technology) at IIIT (International Institute of Information Technology), Hyderabad and technology at Anna University and Banaras Hindu University. He also worked as Chancellor of IISST (Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology), a deemed university in Thiruvananthapuram.
- To develop and encourage “giving” attitude and contribute positive steps towards the nation in young and youth, he started and launched “What Can I Give Movement” programme in 2012.