APJ Abdul Kalam

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, in full Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam. Kalam was born on 15 October 1931, at Rameswaram, India. He is an Indian scientist and politician who played a leading role in the development of India’s missile and nuclear weapons programs. He was president of India from 2002 to 2007. APJ Abdul Kalam earned a degree in aeronautical engineering from the Madras Institute of Technology and in 1958 joined the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

He 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.

A.P.J.Abdul Kalam

He studied at a school in Ramanathapuram and acquired a degree in Physics from Saint Joseph’s College, Tiruchirappalli. In 1955, he went to the Madras Institute of Technology to pursue aerospace engineering. His dream of becoming a fighter pilot was thwarted when he missed the qualifier by a narrow margin. He was ranked ninth but only 8 positions were available with the IAF.

Abdul Kalam died of cardiac arrest while giving a lecture at the IIM Shillong on 27 July 2015. There was widespread grief expressed at his passing away with the government of India declaring a 7-day state mourning. The governments of various other countries as well as the United Nations expressed their grief.

Books Written by APJ Abdul Kalam

  • India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium
  • Wings of Fire
  • Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power within India
  • Transcendence: My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamiji
  • A Manifesto for Change: A Sequel to India 2020

Awards and Honours won by APJ Abdul Kalam

Award/Honours Year of Award
1981 Padma Bhushan
1990 Padma Vibhushan
1997 Bharat Ratna
1997 Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration
1998 Veer Savarkar Award
2007 King Charles II Medal (Royal Society, UK)
2014 Doctor of Science (Edinburgh University, UK)

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