Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the "Misile Man" passes away

Highlights:

  • Nation's 11th President, Mr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam passed away after collapsing during a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management in Shillong at the age of 83.
  • He was one of India's most eminent scientists and had the unique honour of receiving honorary doctorates from 30 universities and institutions.
  • Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, widely acclaimed as the "people's President".
  • He took the lead in the conduct of India's nuclear tests in May 1998 and was later fielded as the National Democratic Alliance candidate by then Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee.
  • He has been awarded the coveted civilian awards - Padma Bhushan (1981) and Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna (1997).
  • Apart from leading the Indian Space Research Organisation's satellite launch programme, Mr. Kalam headed the country's guided missile programme for many years.
  • As scientific advisor to the Defence Minister from July 1992 to December 1999, the former President led the weaponisation of strategic missile systems and the Pokhran-II nuclear tests in collaboration with Department of Atomic Energy.
  • One of his pet themes was PURA - or the Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas - a theme he referred to often in his travels abroad.
  • Mr. Kalam also regaled visitors from abroad with his stories and often took them into his study in Rashtrapati Bhavan for detailed, informal chats.

Life is in a Brief:

  • He was the 11th President of India (2002-2007).
  • He was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1997, the Padma Vibhushan in 1990 and the Padma Bhushan in 1981.
  • He Joined the ISRO in 1969 and was the project director for India's first indigenous satellite launch vehicle programme.
  • He was a pioneer of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, India's space workhorse.
  • He was brain behind India's missile programme, including Agni and Prithvi.
  • He was the chief project coordinator of the Pokhran II nuclear tests.
  • He was Chief Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister and Secretary of the DRDO between 1992 and 1999.
  • Mr.Kalam born Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam on October 15, 1931 in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu.
  • He graduates in Physics from Saint Joseph's College, Tiruchirappalli, in 1954.
  • In 1999-2001,he was Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India.
  • Mr. Kalam was President between 2002 and 2007.