Dr APJ Abdul Kalam
BORN on October 15,1931 at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, Dr Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam is a man of great distinction. Known as the Missile Man of India worldwide, he also became very popular as India’s 11th President.
Kalam has inherited his parent’s honesty and discipline which helped him in life. He specialised in Aeronautical Engineering from Madras Institute of Technology. Before becoming the President of India, he worked as an aerospace engineer with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Kalam’s contribution in the development of ballistic missile and space rocket technology in noteworthy. He also played a pivotal organisational, technical and political role in India’s Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998.
He is currently a visiting Professor at IIM, Ahmedabad, IIM, Indore, Chancellor of Indian Institute of Space Science, Thiruvananthapuram among many others.
Dr Kalam played a vital role as a Project Director to develop India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully injected the Rohini satellite in the near earth orbit in July 1980 and made India an exclusive member of Space Club. He was responsible for the evolution of ISRO’s launch vehicle programme, particularly the PSLV configuration. Dr. Kalam was responsible for the development and operation of AGNI and PRITHVI Missiles. Dr. Kalam’s books – Wings of Fire, India 2020 – A Vision for the New Millennium, My Journey, and Ignited Mind: Unleashing the power within India – have become household names in India and among the Indian nationals abroad. These books have been translated in many Indian languages.
Dr Kalam is one of the most distinguished scientists of India with the unique honour of receiving honorary doctorates from 30 universities and institutions. He has been awarded the coveted civilian awards – Padma Bhushan (1981) and Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna (1997).