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Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

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Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was born on 15 October 1931 to a Tamil Muslim family in the pilgrimage centre of Rameswaram on Pamban Island, then in the Madras Presidency and now in the State of Tamil Nadu. His father Jainulabdeen was a boat owner and imam of a local mosque; his mother Ashiamma was a housewife. He came from a humble background where his father, a boat owner and mother, a housewife brought him up. He used to distribute newspaper after the completion of his school so that he could support his father. He was in Ramanathapuram Schwartz Matriculation School and later he went to Saint Joseph’s College from where he became a physics graduate. In 1955 he went to Madras to pursue his studies further in Madras.



As a scientist

After graduating from the Madras Institute of Technology in 1960, Kalam joined the Aeronautical Development Establishment of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as a scientist after becoming a member of the Defence Research & Development Service (DRDS). For the Indian army, A.P.J Abdul Kalam designed a mini helicopter. Major breakthrough came when he was transferred to ISRO catering to the project of SLV-III. Being the representative of TBRL, he acted as the representative of Smiling Buddha which was the first nuclear test to be conducted. In 1980s, his extensive research work and development brought many accolades and laurel to his name. From July 1992 onwards he served as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the then Prime Minister. His role in the field of technological and political field is remarkable during the nuclear tests of Pokhran-II.


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As the President of India

A.P.J Abdul Kalam won the election of President in 2002 by surpassing mammoth votes. His term as President was from 25 July 2002 to 25 July 2007. He was backed by the parties of National Congress and Samajwadi Party. It was an easy victory for him and he became the 11th President of India. He received the highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna and the third person to do so. Occupying the seat of Rashtrapati Bhavan he was indeed the first bachelor and the first scientist as well. However, in 2012 he declined for the role of President for the second term.



He was delivering a lecture on 27th July 2015 at IIM Shillong where at 6:30 pm he suffered a heart attack massively and critical his condition was, he was shifted to Bethany Hospital where thereafter, he died of cardiac arrest.


Awards and honors

2014:- Doctor of Science Edinburgh University

2013:- Von Braun from the National Space Society

2012:- Doctor of Laws Simon Fraser University

2011:- IEEE Honorary Membership IEEE

2009:- Hoover Medal ASME Foundation, USA

2008:- Doctor of Engineering Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

2007:- Doctorate of Science from University of Wolverhampton, UK

2007:- King Charles II Medal from Royal Society, UK

2000:- Ramanujan Award from Alwars Research Centre, Chennai

1998:- Veer Savarkar Award from Government of India

1997:- Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration from Indian National Congress

1997:- Bharat Ratna from Government of India

1990:- Padma Vibhushan from Government of India

1981:- Padma Bhushan from Government of India


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