APJ Abdul Kalam
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam (born 15 October 1931) usually referred to asDr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, is an Indian scientist and administrator who served as the 11thPresident of India from 2002 to 2007. Kalam was born and raised in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, studied physics at the St. Joseph's College, Tiruchirappalli, and aerospace engineering at the Madras Institute of Technology (MIT), Chennai.
Before his term as President, he worked as an aerospace engineer with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO).Kalam is popularly known as the Missile Man of India for his work on the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology. He played a pivotal organizational, technical and political role in India's Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998, the first since the original nuclear test by India in 1974. Some scientific experts have however called Kalam a man with no authority over nuclear physics but who just carried on the works of Homi J. Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai.
Some scientific experts have however called Kalam a man with no authority over nuclear physics but who just carried on the works of Homi J. Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai.
Kalam was elected the President of India in 2002, defeating Lakshmi Sahgal and was supported by both the Indian National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party, the major political parties of India. He is currently a visiting professor at Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad and Indian Institute of Management Indore, Chancellor of theIndian Institute of Space Science and Technology Thiruvananthapuram, a professor of Aerospace Engineering at Anna University (Chennai), JSS University (Mysore) and an adjunct/visiting faculty at many other academic and research institutions across India.
Kalam advocated plans to develop India into a developed nation by 2020 in his book India 2020. Books authored by him have received considerable demands in South Korea for the translated versions. He has received several prestigious awards, including the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour. Kalam is known for his motivational speeches and interaction with the student community in India. He launched his mission for the youth of the nation in 2011 called the What Can I Give Movement with a central theme to defeatcorruption in India.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam was born on 15 October 1931 in a Tamil Muslim family to Jainulabdeen, a boat owner and Ashiamma, a housewife, at Rameswaram, located in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu.He came from a poor background and started working at an early age to supplement his family's income. After completing school, Kalam distributed newspapers in order to financially contribute to his father's income. In his school years, he had average grades, but was described as a bright and hardworking student who had a strong desire to learn and spend hours on his studies, especially mathematics.
"I inherited honesty and self-discipline from my father; from my mother, I inherited faith in goodness and deep kindness as did my three brothers and sisters."—A quote from Kalam's autobiography
.Towards the end of the course, he was not enthusiastic about the subject and would later regret the four years he studied it. He then moved to Madras in 1955 to study aerospace engineering. While Kalam was working on a senior class project, the Dean was dissatisfied with the lack of progress and threatened revoking his scholarship unless the project was finished within the next two days. He worked tirelessly on his project and met the deadline, impressing the Dean who later said, "I [Dean] was putting you [Kalam] under stress and asking you to meet a difficult deadline".
After graduating from Madras Institute of Technology (MIT – Chennai) in 1960, Kalam joined Aeronautical Development Establishment of Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) as a scientist. Kalam started his career by designing a small helicopter for the Indian Army, but remained unconvinced with the choice of his job at DRDO. Kalam was also part of the INCOSPAR committee working under Vikram Sarabhai, the renowned space scientist. In 1969, Kalam was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)where he was the project director of India's first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully deployed the Rohini satellite in near earth orbit in July 1980. Joining ISRO was one of Kalam's biggest achievements in life and he is said to have found himself when he started to work on the SLV project. Kalam first started work on an expandable rocket project independently at DRDO in 1965.In 1969, Kalam received the government's approval and expanded the program to include more engineers.
Kalam served as the 11th President of India, succeeding K. R. Narayanan. He won the 2002 presidential election with an electoral vote of 922,884, surpassing 107,366 votes won by Lakshmi Sahgal. He served from 25 July 2002 to 25 July 2007.
The controversy that surrounds Kalam's role as a nuclear scientist, is the lack of reliable and factual reporting of the yield of Pokhran-IItests.] The director of the site test, K. Santhanam, publicly admitted that the thermonuclear bomb was a "fizzle" test, criticising Kalam for issuing the wrong report. However, Kalam dismissed the claims and R. Chidambaram, a key associate of Pokhran-II, also described these claims as incorrect.
In spite of his leading role in the development of Indian nuclear programme, Kalam has received criticism from many of his peers who claimed that he had "no authority" over nuclear science.Homi Sethna, a chemical engineer criticised Kalam claiming that Kalam had no background in publishing articles in nuclear science, even in nuclear physics. Sethna maintained that Kalam received his masters degree in aerospace engineering, which is a completely different discipline from nuclear engineering, and what various universities awarded him for his achievements had nothing to do with nuclear physics. Sethna, in his last interview, maintained that in the 1950s, Kalam had failed advanced physics courses during his college life and quoted "What does he know (about [nuclear] physics)....?", on the national television. Homi Sethna also accused Kalam of using his presidency to gain a national stature of a nuclear scientist.
Kalam was frisked at the JFK Airport in New York, while boarding a plane on 29 September 2011. He was subjected to "private screening" as he does not come under the category of dignitaries exempt from security screening procedures under American guidelines. He was frisked again after boarding the Air India aircraft with the US security officials asking for his jacket and shoes, claiming that these items were not checked according to the prescribed procedures during the "private screening", despite protests from the airline crew confirming him as India's president.
In his book India 2020, Kalam strongly advocates an action plan to develop India into a knowledge superpower and a developed nation by the year 2020. He regards his work on India's nuclear weapons program as a way to assert India's place as a future superpower.
It was reported that, there was a considerable demand in South Korea for translated versions of books authored by him.
In May 2011, Kalam launched his mission for the youth of the nation called the What Can I Give Movement with a central theme to defeat corruption. He also has interests in writing Tamil poetry and in playing veenai, a South Indian string instrument.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam's 79th birthday was recognised as World Students' Day by United Nations. He has also received honorary doctorates from 40 universities. The Government of India has honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 1981 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1990 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 immense and valuable contribution to the scientific research and modernisation of defence technology in India.
|Year of award or honour||Name of award or honour||Awarding organisation|
|2012||Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa)||Simon Fraser University|
|2011||IEEE Honorary Membership||IEEE|
- Eternal Quest: Life and Times of Dr. Kalam by S. Chandra; Pentagon Publishers, 2002.
- President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam by R. K. Pruthi; Anmol Publications, 2002.etc
Books and documentaries
- Developments in Fluid Mechanics and Space Technology by A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and Roddam Narasimha; Indian Academy of Sciences, 1988
- India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium by A. P. J Abdul Kalam, Y. S. Rajan; New York, 1998.etc
|Abdul Kalam at the 12th Wharton India Economic Forum, 2008|
|11th President of India|
25 July 2002 – 25 July 2007
|Prime Minister||Atal Bihari Vajpayee|
|Vice President||Bhairon Singh Shekhawat|
|Preceded by||K. R. Narayanan|
|Succeeded by||Pratibha Devisingh Patil|
|Born||15 October 1931 |
Rameswaram, India (present day Tamil Nadu, India)
|Alma mater||St. Joseph's College, Tiruchirappalli|
Madras Institute of Technology
|Profession||Professor, Author, scientist|