Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was the 11th President of India. He was also a famous scientist, also known as “Missile Man”. Let us know some things about Dr. Kalam through this article on his birth anniversary on 15th October.
- Abdul Kalam was born on October 15, 1931.
- He was born in a Muslim family in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu (then: Madras Presidency).
- His father’s name was Jainulabdin Marakayar.
- Jainulabdin Markyar was a boat owner and also the imam of a local mosque.
- His mother’s name was Ashiamma who was a housewife. Kalam was the youngest among four brothers and one sister in his family.
- At the time of Kalam’s birth, his family was poverty stricken. As a young boy he had to sell newspapers to supplement the family income.
After completing his education at Schwartz Higher Secondary School, Abdul Kalam went to St. Joseph’s College and graduated in Physics in 1954.
He then moved to Madras in 1955 to study aerospace engineering at the Madras Institute of Technology. Kalam earned a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Madras Institute of Technology.
Professional life: From scientist to missile man
Kalam joined the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) as a scientist after becoming a member of the Defense Research and Development Service (DRDS). He started his career by designing a small hovercraft. Thereafter, he moved to ISRO.
Although this eminent scientist A. P.J. Abdul Kalam achieved many scientific achievements which significantly contributed to India’s space and defense capabilities but some of his major scientific achievements are:
- Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III): As the Project Director of India’s first indigenously developed Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Kalam Played an important role in its successful launch. SLV-III placed the Rohini satellite into orbit in 1980, marking India’s entry into the world of space exploration.
- Ballistic Missile Development Programme: Kalam was a pioneer in India’s missile development programme. He played a leading role in the development of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP), which resulted in the successful development of ballistic missiles such as Agni, Prithvi, Akash and Trishul. These missiles strengthened India’s strategic defense capabilities.
- Nuclear Program and Pokhran-II: Kalam served as the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government of India during the Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998. These tests demonstrated India’s capability to conduct nuclear explosions and cemented the country’s position as a nuclear power.
- Indigenous Sonar Systems: During his tenure at the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), Kalam contributed to the development of indigenous sonar systems, which are important for underwater defense and surveillance.
- Advanced Materials Research: Kalam’s research and contributions in the field of advanced materials were important for the development of lightweight and high-strength materials used in aerospace and defense applications.
- Innovative Guided Missile Systems: Kalam’s leadership and expertise led to the development of innovative guided missile systems, making India self-reliant in this important technology.
Held these positions
A. P.J. Abdul Kalam held many prominent positions during his illustrious career. Some of the important positions held by him are as follows:
- Project Director of SLV-III: In the 1970s, Kalam served as the Project Director of India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) at ISRO. Under his leadership, SLV-III successfully launched the Rohini satellite into orbit in 1980.
- Chief Executive at Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP): Kalam played a leading role in the IGMDP, which aimed to develop a range of indigenous missiles for India’s defense needs. He served as the Chief Executive of the program and led the successful development of missiles such as Agni, Prithvi, Akash and Trishul.
- Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India: Kalam served as the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India from 1992 to 1999. In this capacity, he provided important scientific advice and expertise to the government on a variety of matters.
- Secretary, Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO): From 1992 to 1999, Kalam served as the Secretary of DRDO, and oversaw the organization’s research and development activities related to defense technologies. Took care of.
- Chief Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister: Kalam held the post of Chief Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister of India from 1999 to 2001. In this role, he provided scientific advice and guidance to the Prime Minister on matters of national importance.
- 11th President of India: In 2002, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was elected as the 11th President of India. He served as President from 25 July 2002 to 25 July 2007. During his presidency, he focused on youth development, education, and promoting India’s scientific and technological progress.
- Chancellor of Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST): After his presidency, Kalam served as Chancellor of IIST from 2007 to 2009. He was actively involved in educational initiatives and encouraged students to pursue careers in science and technology.
- Throughout his career, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam held various prestigious positions and made significant contributions to the scientific, space and defense sectors of India. He was a versatile personality who left an indelible mark on the country and inspired millions with his vision and dedication.
Abdul Kalam: As President
As the President of India from 2002 to 2007, A. P.J. Abdul Kalam’s tenure was marked by his exceptional leadership and inspirational vision. Affectionately known as the “People’s President”, Kalam brought a unique blend of scientific acumen, foresight and humility to the country’s highest office.
Throughout his presidency, Kalam continued to promote his vision for a developed India, which he often referred to as “Vision 2020”. He stressed the role of science, technology, education and innovation in achieving sustainable development and prosperity for the nation.
As a scientist and educationist, Kalam gave priority to promoting education and research during his presidency. He stressed the importance of quality education for the development of the country and advocated increased investment in the education sector. Kalam believed that a strong foundation in science and technology was essential for India to become a global leader.
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s legacy will continue to inspire and motivate people across the country, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of the citizens of India.
End times and legacy
On July 27, 2015, Kalam was delivering a lecture on “Creating a Livable Planet Earth” at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong. At around 6:35 pm, only five minutes into his lecture, he collapsed. He was taken to nearby Bethany Hospital in critical condition. There, he had no pulse or any other signs of life. Despite being kept in the intensive care unit, Kalam was confirmed to have died suddenly at 7:45 pm from a cardiac arrest.
On the morning of 29 July, Kalam’s body, draped in the Indian flag, was taken to Palam Air Base and flown to Madurai in an Air Force C-130J aircraft, which arrived at Madurai Airport that afternoon. On July 30, 2015, the former President was buried with full state honors at the Pei Karumbu grounds in Rameshwaram. More than 350,000 people attended the funeral, including the Prime Minister, the Governor of Tamil Nadu and the Chief Ministers of Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.
|Year of award or honour
|Name of award or honour
|Government of India
|Government of India
|Institute of Directors (India)
|National Academy of Medical Sciences,
|Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration
|Indian National Congress
|President of India
|Veer Savarkar Award
|Government of India
|Alwars Research Centre, Chennai
|Honorary Doctorate of Science and Technology
|Carnegie Mellon University
|King Charles II Medal
|Royal Society, UK
|Honorary Doctorate of Science
|University of Wolverhampton, UK
|Doctor of Science
|Universiti Sains Malaysia
|ASME Foundation, USA
|Doctor of Engineering (Honoris Causa)
|Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
|Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa)
|Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh
|International von Kármán Wings Award
|California Institute of Technology, USA
|Doctor of Engineering
|University of Waterloo
|IEEE Honorary Membership
|Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa)
|Simon Fraser University
|Von Braun Award
|National Space Society
|Beijing University, China
|Doctor of Science
|Edinburgh University, UK
List of Indian President
|May 1962 – 13 May 1967
|May 1967 – 3 May 1969
|VV Giri (Acting President)
|May 1969 – 20 July 1969
|Mohammad Hidayatullah (Acting President)
|July 1969 to 24 August 1969
|August 1969 – 24 August 1974
|Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed
|August 1974 – 11 February 1977
|Basappa Danappa Jatti (Acting President)
|February 1977 – 25 July 1977
|Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
|July 1977 – 25 July 1982
|Giani Zail Singh
|July 1982 – 25 July 1987
|July 1987 – 25 July 1992
|Shankar Dayal Sharma
|July 1992 – 25 July 1997
|K R Narayanan
|July 1997 – 25 July 2002
|APJ Abdul Kalam
|July 2002 – 25 July 2007
|July 2007 – 25 July 2012
|July – 25 July 2017
|Ram Nath Kovind
|July 2017 – 21 July 2022
|21 July 2022-Incumbent
Bharat Ratna Award List
|Bharat Ratna 1954
|Activist, statesman, and lawyer
|India’s first Vice-President and second President
|C. V. Raman
|Physicists, mathematicians, and scientists
|Bharat Ratna 1955
|Activist, philosopher, and educationist
|Civil engineer, statesman, and Diwan of Mysore
|Activist and author served as the Prime Minister of India
|Bharat Ratna 1957
|Govind Ballabh Pant
|Activist and first Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
|Bharat Ratna 1958
|Dhondo Keshav Karve
|Social reformer and educator
|Bharat Ratna 1961
|Bidhan Chandra Roy
|Physician, political leader, philanthropist, educationist, and social worker
|Purushottam Das Tandon
|Activist and speaker of the United Provinces Legislative Assembly
|Bharat Ratna 1962
|Activist, lawyer, statesman, and scholar
|Bharat Ratna 1963
|Activist, economist, and education philosopher served as a Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University and the Governor of Bihar
|Pandurang Vaman Kane
|Indologist and Sanskrit scholar, known for his five-volume literary work
|Bharat Ratna 1966
|Lal Bahadur Shastri
|Activist and served as the second Prime Minister of India
|Bharat Ratna 1971
|First women Prime Minister of India
|Bharat Ratna 1975
|V. V. Giri
|Bharat Ratna 1976
|Independence activist and statesman, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
|Bharat Ratna 1980
|Catholic nun and the founder of the Missionaries of Charity.
|Activist, social reformer, and a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi
|Bharat Ratna 1987
|Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan
|First noncitizen, independence activist
|Bharat Ratna 1988
|M. G. Ramachandran
|Actor turned politician, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
|Bharat Ratna 1990
|Social reformer and leader of the Dalits
|Leader of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa, President of South Africa
|Bharat Ratna 1991
|Gandhi was the ninth Prime Minister of India serving from 1984 to 1989.
|Activist and first Deputy Prime Minister of India
|Activist, and Prime Minister of India
|Bharat Ratna 1992
|Abul Kalam Azad
|Activist and first Minister of education
|J. R. D. Tata
|Industrialist, philanthropist, and aviation pioneer
|Director, filmmaker, writer, novelist
|Bharat Ratna 1997
|Activist, and interim Prime Minister of India.
|Aruna Asaf Ali
|A.P.J Abdul Kalam
|Aerospace and defense scientist
|Bharat Ratna 1998
|M. S. Subbulakshmi
|Carnatic classical vocalist
|Activist and former Minister of Agriculture of India
|Bharat Ratna 1999
|Activist, and social reformer
|Musician, sitar player
|Bharat Ratna 2001
|Hindustani classical shehnai player
|Bharat Ratna 2009
|Hindustani classical vocalist
|Bharat Ratna 2014
|C. N. R. Rao
|Chemist and professor, author
|Bharat Ratna 2015
|Madan Mohan Malaviya
|Scholar and educational reformer.
|Atal Bihari Bajpayee
|Elected nine times to the Lok Sabha, twice to the Rajya Sabha, and served as the Prime Minister of India for three terms.
|Bharat Ratna 2019
|Indian politician, and senior leader in the Indian National Congress.
|A social activist from India, education, health, and rural self-reliance.
|Indian playback singer, lyricist, musician, singer, poet, and filmmaker from Assam.