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Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Jayanti

Focus: GS I- Personalities in News

Why in News?

PM paid tribute to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam on his Jayanti

About Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

  • Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was born to Jainulabdeen, a boat owner and Imam, and Ashiamma, a housewife.
  • Kalam had four brothers and a sister, all elder to him.
  • Kalam 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.
  • After that, he got a job as a scientist at the Aeronautical Development Establishment of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). He also worked under eminent scientist Vikram Sarabhai.
Missile Man of India
  • Kalam was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 1969. At ISRO, he was the Project Director of the satellite launch vehicle (SLV) that successfully deployed the satellite Rohini into orbit in 1980. It was India’s first SLV.
  • Kalam also worked to develop the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
  • 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. Kalam was the Chief Project Coordinator during the Pokhran II tests. During this time, Kalam became India’s best-known scientist.
President of India
  • In 2002, Abdul Kalam was elected the 11th President of India. He had won by a huge margin. He was the first scientist to become India’s President and incidentally the first bachelor too.
  • Kalam’s term as the president which lasted the full term till 2007 was beneficial for the office of the president itself. He came to be called the People’s President.
  • Despite pressure from the people to have him stand for a second term, he decided not to contest.
  • After the presidency, Kalam became a visiting professor at the IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Shillong, IIM Indore, the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Anna University, etc.
  • Abdul Kalam died of a 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.

Books Written by APJ Abdul Kalam

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

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