A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was among the most popular presidents that India has ever had. He became the 11th Indian President, serving the country from the year 2002 to 2007.
Dr. Kalam was also a scientist who was responsible for India joining the Nuclear club of a few selected countries. India took leaps in space programs under him.
Abdul was born in the town of Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu on 15th October 1931. His contributions to the people of India are massive, and countless people derive inspiration from his works and life. He studied aerospace engineering and physics and his work in this field has been quite notable and popular, not just in India but across the globe.
His family, once wealthy, lost its fortune and so Kalam grew up in straitened circumstances. Kalam went to the Schwartz Higher Secondary school and was known to have a special interest in mathematics.
He later graduated from St. Joseph College in Physics in 1954. In 1955 he moved to Madras Institute of Technology to study Aerospace engineering.
Kalam as a scientist
Kalam started working at the Defence Research and Development Organisation as a scientist in 1960 where he designed a hovercraft. In 1969 he was transferred to Indian Space Research Organisation as a project director for India’s first Satellite Program. He was working with the best scientists in the field. He successfully developed indigenous Polar Satellite Vehicles.
In the 1980s he undertook the advanced missiles program of the government as a director. Over the years the Indigenous missiles like Agni and Prithvi have been developed under his direction.
He served as a Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister from 1992 to 1999 during which period India conducted the nuclear tests which made India the sixth country to do so.
On 25th July 2002, Kalam was sworn in as the 11th President of India. Kalam was a people’s president. He was committed to education for children. A deeply spiritual person, rooted in the Indian culture, he set an ideal for all Indians.
His greatest achievements include:
- Bharat Ratna (1997)
- Padma Bhushan (1981)
- Padma Vibhushan (1990)
- Ramanujan Award (2000)
- Hoover Medal (2009)
- IEEE Honorary Membership (2011)
- Veer Savarkar Award (1998)
He also played an integral role in organization, politics, and technology in the Pokhran-II nuclear tests in India in 1998.
Death of The Iconic Indian President
Sadly, Kalam died at the age of 83 in Shillong, Meghalaya while delivering a lecture in an institute from cardiac arrest.
During his lifetime and even after his death, he was celebrated and honored with countless awards such as the Bharat Ratna, Hoover Medal, and Padma Bhushan. He was not just a renowned aerospace scientist and an influential political personality but also an author and a professor. He also went on to become the 11th Indian President from the year 2002 till 2007. He was also intimately involved in the military missile development and civilian space program of India. This is probably why he also came to be known lovingly as the missile man of India. People also affectionately called him People’s President as he devoted his life to the people of India and returned in many ways including education, public service, and writing.