APJ Abdul Kalam, full name is Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam. He is The Missile Man of India. He was a great scientist and former President of India. He also played a pivotal organisational, technical, and political role in India’s Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998. He was awarded some prestigious awards, including the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour. Read APJ Abdul Kalam Biography here.
Personal Life of APJ Abdul Kalam
APJ Abdul Kalam was born on 15 October 1931, Rameswaram on Pamban Island, in the State of Tamil Nadu. His father name was Jainulabdeen and he was a boat owner. His mother name was Ashiamma. Abdul Kalam was the youngest of five siblings, the eldest was a sister.
Education of APJ Abdul Kalam
Kalam was hardworking student in school days and he had a strong desire to learn. Kalam attended Saint Joseph’s College, after his education at the Schwartz Higher Secondary School, Ramanathapuram.
In 1954, Kalam graduated in physics from the University of Madras.
In 1955, Kalam attended in Madras Institute of Technology to study aerospace engineering.
Kalam’s dream was becoming a fighter pilot. But he was missed achieving his dream due to he placed ninth position in qualifiers, and only eight positions were available in the IAF.
Carrier of APJ Abdul Kalam
In 1960, Kalam joined the Aeronautical Development Establishment of the Defence Research and Development Organisation as a scientist after becoming a member of the Defence Research & Development Service (DRDS).
He started his career by designing a small hovercraft. He was unsatisfied for hisjob at DRDO. Kalam was worked as the renowned space scientist in the INCOSPAR committee, under Vikram Sarabhai.
In 1963 to 1964, he visited NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia; Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland; and Wallops Flight Facility.
Between the 1970s and 1990s, Kalam made an effort to develop the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and SLV-III projects.
In 1969, Kalam was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). In July 1980, he was the project director in India’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully deployed the Rohini satellite in near-earth orbit.
In the 1970, Kalam also directed two projects, Project Devil and Project Valiant, which sought to develop ballistic missiles from the technology of the successful SLV programme. The Union Cabinet disapproved this projects. But Prime Minister Indira Gandhi allotted secret funds for these aerospace projects through her discretionary powers under Kalam’s directorship. After Kalam convinced the Union Cabinet to conceal the true nature of the aerospace projects.
In 1980s, His research and educational leadership brought him great laurels and prestige. And it was prompted the government to initiate an advanced missile programme under Kalam’s directorship.
Kalam played a major role in developing many missiles like Agni, Prithvi, the tactical surface-to-surface missile and many.
From July 1992 to December 1999, Kalam served as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and Secretary of the Defence Research and Development Organisation.
During The Pokhran-II nuclear tests, Kalam served as the Chief Project Coordinator, along with Rajagopala Chidambaram. That time made him the best nuclear scientist of the country.
In 1998, along with cardiologist Soma Raju, Kalam developed a low cost coronary stent, named the “Kalam-Raju Stent”.
In 2012, cardiologist Soma Raju and Kalam designed a rugged tablet computer for health care in rural areas, which was named the “Kalam-Raju Tablet”.
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Presidency of APJ Abdul Kalam
On 25th July 2002 Kalam served as the 11th President of India till 25th July 2007. He was however criticised for his inaction to decide the fate of 20 mercy petitions out of 21, including that of the Kashmiri Terrorist Afzal Guru, who was convicted for the parliament attacks in December 2001.
He decided not to contest the Presidential election again in 2007 and stepped down as the president on 25 July 2007.
In May 2012, Kalam launched a programme for the youth of India called the What Can I Give Movement, with a central theme of defeating corruption.
Awards and honours of APJ Abdul Kalam
Kalam received 7 honorary doctorates from 40 universities.
In 1981, The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Bhushan.
In 1990, He was awarded as Padma Vibhushan for his work with ISRO and DRDO and his role as a scientific advisor to the Government.
In 1997, Kalam received India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, for his contribution to the scientific research and modernisation of defence technology in India.
In 2013, he was the recipient of the Von Braun Award from the National Space Society “to recognize excellence in the management and leadership of a space-related project”.
In 2012, Kalam was ranked number 2 in Outlook India’s poll of the Greatest Indian.
The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, ceremonially released postage stamps commemorating Kalam at DRDO Bhawan in New Delhi on 15 October 2015, the 84th anniversary of Kalam’s birth.
Death of APJ Abdul Kalam
On 27 July 2015, Kalam travelled to Shillong to deliver a lecture on “Creating a Livable Planet Earth” at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong.
While climbing a flight of stairs, he experienced some discomfort, but was able to enter the auditorium after a brief rest. At around 6:35 p.m., he collapsed.
APJ Abdul Kalam Books
- Developments in Fluid Mechanics and Space Technology by A P J Abdul Kalam
- India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium in 1998.
- Wings of Fire: An Autobiography in 1999.
- Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power Within India in2002.
- The Luminous Sparks in 2004.
- Mission India in 2005.
- Inspiring Thoughts in 2007.
- Indomitable Spirit.
- Envisioning an Empowered Nation.
- You Are Born To Blossom: Take My Journey Beyond in 2011.
- Turning Points: A journey through challenges in 2012.
- Target 3 Billion in December 2011.
- My Journey: Transforming Dreams into Actions in August 2013.
- A Manifesto for Change: A Sequel to India 2020.
- Forge your Future: Candid, Forthright, Inspiring in 29 October 2014.
- Reignited: Scientific Pathways to a Brighter Future in 14 May 2015.
- Transcendence: My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamiji in June 2015.
- Advantage India: From Challenge to Opportunity by A P J Abdul Kalam and Srijan Pal Singh; HarperCollins Publishers,15 Oct 2015.
Biography Books on APJ Abdul Kalam
- Eternal Quest: Life and Times of Dr. Kalam by S Chandra, 2002
- President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam by R K Pruthi, 2002
- A.P.J.Abdul Kalam: The Visionary of India by K Bhushan and G Katyal, 2002
- The Kalam Effect: My Years with the President by P M Nair, 2008
- A Little Dream (Documentary film) by P. Dhanapal, (2008)
- My Days With Mahatma Abdul Kalam by Fr A K George, 2009
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