Published on: October 15, 2021
APJ ABDUL KALAM
In news : Birth Anniversary of APJ Abdul Kalam celebrated
- Born in Rameswaram of Madras Presidency, on 15 October 1931.
- Studied at a school in Ramanathapuram and acquired a degree in Physics from Saint Joseph’s College, Tiruchirappalli.
- In 1955, went to the Madras Institute of Technology to pursue aerospace engineering. Got a job as a scientist at the Aeronautical Development Establishment of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
- Worked under eminent scientist Vikram Sarabhai.
- Was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 1969. At ISRO, he was the Project Director of the satellite launch vehicle (SLV) that successfully deployed the satellite Rohini into orbit in 1980. It was India’s first SLV.
- Worked to develop the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
- Was also the director of two projects, Project Valiant and Project Devil for developing ballistic missiles from the SLV technology. His research and leadership led him to the directorship of an advanced missile development programme.
- When R Venkataraman was the Defence Minister, Kalam was appointed the chief executive of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme that was a project aimed at developing a fleet of missiles.
- Was known as the ‘Missile Man of India’ for his work in the development of ballistic missile technology.
- From 1992 to 1999, Kalam was the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of the DRDO. Kalam was the Chief Project Coordinator during the Pokhran II tests. During this time, Kalam became India’s best-known scientist.
- In 2002, Abdul Kalam was elected the 11th President of India. He had won by a huge margin. He was the first scientist to become India’s President and incidentally the first bachelor too.
- After the presidency, became a visiting professor at the IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Shillong, IIM Indore, the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Anna University, etc.
- Was a man of integrity who was known for his honesty. He left no personal wealth after his death barring a few personal possessions which included his books, laptop, etc.
- Was knowledgeable in the teachings of various religions and had become a symbol of inter-faith dialogue.