Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam
Born - 15 October 1931 in Rameshwaram, Madras Presidency, British India (now Tamil Nadu, India)
Profession – Aerospace Engineering
Religion – Islam
Achievements – This eminent scientist and engineer has also served as the 11th President of India from the period 2002 to 2007. APJ Abdul Kalam is a man of vision, who is always full of ideas aimed at the development of the country. He firmly believes that India needs to play a more assertive role in international relations. Apart from being a notable scientist and engineer, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam served as the 11th President of India from the period 2002 to 2007. He is a man of vision, who is always full of ideas aimed at the development of the country and is also often also referred to as the Missile Man of India. People loved and respected Dr APJ Abdul Kalam so much during his tenure as President that was popularly called the People’s President. Read more about the biography of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam here. APJ Abdul Kalam was born on 15 October 1931 at the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu and received honorary doctorates from about 30 universities globally. In the year 1981, the Government of India presented him the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Padma Bhushan and then again, the Padma Vibhushan in 1990 and the Bharat Ratna in 1997. Before Kalam, there have been only two presidents – Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Zakir Hussain – to have received the Bharat Ratna before bring appointed to the highest office in India. Read on about the life history of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, who’s also the first scientist and bachelor to occupy the seat of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. His perspectives on important topics have been enunciated by him in the book ‘India 2020′. It highlights the action plans that will help develop the country into a knowledge superpower by the time 2020. One thing for which he received ample kudos is his unambiguous statement that India needs to play a more assertive role in international relations. And Dr APJ Abdul Kalam regards his work on India’s nuclear weapons program as a way to assert India’s place as a future superpower. Even during his tenure as President, APJ Kalam took avid interest in the spheres of India’s science and technology. He has even put forward a project plan for establishing bio-implants. He is also an ardent advocate of open source software over proprietary solutions to churn out more profits in the field of information technology in India.
In his book India 2020 APJ Abdul Kalam strongly advocates an action plan to develop India into a knowledge superpower and into 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 has been reported that there is considerable demand in South Korea for translated versions of books authored by him . Kalam continues to take an active interest in other developments in the field of science and technology. He has proposed a research programme for developing bio-implants. He is a supporter of Open source software over proprietary solutions and believes that the use of open source software on a large scale will bring the benefits of information technology to more people.
As an aerospace engineer
After graduating in Physics from St. Joseph’s College in Tiruchirapalli, Abdul Kalam graduated with a diploma in the mid-1950s from Madras Institute of Technology specializing in Aeronautical Engineering . As the Project Director, he was heavily involved in the development of India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III). As Chief Executive of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), he also played a major part in developing many missiles of India including Agni and Prithvi. Although the entire project has been criticised for being overrun and mismanaged. He was the Chief Scientific Adviser to Prime Minister and Secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development from July 1992 to December 1999. Pokhran-II nuclear tests were conducted during this period, and have been associated with Kalam although he was not directly involved with the nuclear programme at the time.
On April 29, 2009, he became the first Asian to be bestowed the Hoover Medal, America’s top engineering prize, for his outstanding contribution to public service. The citation said that he is being recognised for making state-of-the-art healthcare available to the common man at affordable prices, bringing quality medical care to rural areas by establishing a link between doctors and technocrats, using spin-offs of defence technology to create state-of-the-art medical equipment and launching tele-medicine projects connecting remote rural-based hospitals to the super-specialty hospital. A pre-eminent scientist, a gifted engineer, and a true visionary, he is also a humble humanitarian in every sense of the word, it added. On 13 September 2009, he was a recipient of the International von Kármán Wings Award. The Government of India has honoured him with the nation’s highest civilian honours: the Padma Bhushan in 1981; Padma Vibhushan in 1990; and the Bharat Ratna in 1997 for his work with ISRO and DRDO and his role as a scientific advisor to the Indian government.. Kalam is the third President of India to have been honoured with a Bharat Ratna before being elected to the highest office, the other two beingSarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Zakir Hussain. He is also the first scientist and first bachelor to occupy Rashtrapati Bhavan After his tenure as the president he is now a visiting guest professor at JSS university, Mysore. He has agreed to deliver a minimum of four lectures every year.
Books and documentaries
- Kalam’s writings
- Wings of Fire: An Autobiography of APJ Abdul Kalam by A.P.J Abdul Kalam, Arun Tiwari; by K. Bhushan, G. Katyal; A.P.j. Pub. Corp, 2002.
- Scientist to President by Abdul A.P.J. Kalam; Gyan Publishing House, 2003.
- Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power Within India by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam; Penguin Books, 2003.
- India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Y.S. Rajan; Penguin Books India, 2003.
- India-my-dream by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam; Excel Books, 2004.
- Envisioning an Empowered Nation: Technology for Societal Transformation by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam; TATA McGraw-Hill Publishing Company Ltd, 2004.
- Guiding Souls: Dialogues on the Purpose of Life by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Arun K Tiwari; Ocean Books, 2005.
- Children Ask Kalam by A.P.J Abdul Kalam; Pearson Education, ISBN 81-7758-245-3
- Indomitable Spirit by A.P.J Abdul Kalam, 2006
- The Scientific Indian: A Twenty-first Century Guide to the World around Us by APJ Abdul Kalam and YS Rajan
- Eternal Quest: Life and Times of Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam by S. Chandra; Pentagon Publishers, 2002.
- President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam by R. K. Pruthi; Anmol Publications, 2002.
- A. P. J. Abdul Kalam: The Visionary of India’ by K. Bhushan, G. Katyal; A.P.H. Pub. Corp, 2002.
- A little Dream (documentary film) by P. Dhanapal; Minveli Media Works Private Limited, 2008.
- The Kalam Effect: My Years with the President by P.M. Nair; Harper Collins, 2008.
- ‘My Days With Mahatma Abdul Kalam’ by Fr.A.K. George; ISBN No:978-8190452953; Publisher: Novel Corporation, 2009.