Former president (late) APJ Abdul Kalam’s (Dr Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam) birth anniversary is being marked on 15th October. He was elected as the 11th President of India from 2002-07.
He was the head architect of Pokhran II nuclear tests, the Agni and the Prithvi missiles. Owing to his contribution in the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology, he was widely known as the ‘Missile Man of India’.
Early life and Career :
•Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was born on 15 October 1931 to a Tamil Muslim family in the pilgrimage centre of Rameswaram on Pamban Island.
•His father Jainulabdeen was a boat owner and imam of a local mosque, his mother Ashiamma was a housewife.
•His father owned a ferry that took Hindu pilgrims back and forth between Rameswaram and the now uninhabited Dhanushkodi.
•Kalam graduated in science from St. Joseph’s College, Trichy in 1954 and specialised in Aeronautical Engineering from Madras Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1957.
•In 1960, Kalam joined the Aeronautical Development Establishment of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (by Press Information Bureau, Government of India) as a scientist after becoming a member of the Defence Research & Development Service (DRDS).
•In 1969, Kalam was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
•He presided over the development of India’s first satellite launch vehicle, SLV III.
•In the 1970s, Kalam also directed two projects, Project Devil and Project Valiant, which sought to develop ballistic missiles from the technology of the successful SLV programme.
•Kalam served as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and Secretary of the Defence Research and Development Organisation from July 1992 to December 1999.
•He engineered Pokhran-II nuclear tests which catapulted India into the club of Nuclear Powers.
•He was a prolific writer and wrote 18 books, 22 poems and 4 songs during his lifetime.
•He breathed his last on 27 July 2015.
Awards and honours:
•The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 1981 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1990.
•In 1997, he received India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna.
•He received doctorates from universities all around the world.
•Wheeler Island, a national missile test site in Odisha, was renamed Abdul Kalam Island in September 2015.
•Scientists from the Botanical Survey of India named a newly found plant species as Drypetes kalamii, in his honour.
•The Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam National Memorial was built in memory of Kalam by the DRDO in Pei Karumbu, in the island town of Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu.
•APJ Abdul Kalam continues to be a role model for many youngsters even today, motivating many with his thoughts and words, apart from his significant contributions. He taught the next generation to dream.
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