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