Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, popularly known as A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, was an eminent Indian scientist and the 11th President of India. He was born on October 15, 1931, in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, and passed away on July 27, 2015, in Shillong, Meghalaya.
Abdul Kalam’s journey from a humble background to becoming one of India’s most beloved figures is truly inspirational. He hailed from a modest family and faced numerous challenges during his early years. However, his dedication, intelligence, and perseverance helped him overcome these obstacles and achieve great success.
Kalam specialized in the field of aerospace engineering and played a pivotal role in the development of India’s missile and nuclear programs. He was closely associated with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). Kalam played a crucial role in the successful testing of India’s first indigenous satellite launch vehicle, SLV-III, and the Agni and Prithvi missiles.
Childhood And Education
Abdul Kalam’s childhood was spent in Rameswaram, where he received his early education. He had a keen interest in science and was fascinated by flight and airplanes from a young age. He was a bright student and had a deep curiosity about how things worked.
After completing his primary education at the Schwartz Higher Secondary School in Ramanathapuram, he moved to Rameswaram’s Pachaiyappa’s College. However, financial constraints forced him to support his family by distributing newspapers after school hours. Despite the challenges, Abdul Kalam remained dedicated to his studies.
In 1954, Abdul Kalam graduated with a degree in Physics from St. Joseph’s College, Tiruchirappalli (now Trichy). He aspired to become a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force (IAF), but he narrowly missed the opportunity due to his rank in the qualifying exam. This setback did not deter him from pursuing his dreams and furthering his education.
Abdul Kalam then moved to Madras (now Chennai) and joined the Madras Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1955 to study aerospace engineering. During his time at MIT, he excelled academically and developed a strong foundation in science and technology. He was deeply inspired by his professors, who instilled in him a sense of curiosity and the desire to make meaningful contributions to society.
After completing his degree in 1960, Abdul Kalam joined the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) as a scientist. His work primarily focused on developing indigenous guided missiles for the Indian military. He played a pivotal role in the successful development of India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) and the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP).
Abdul Kalam’s contributions to the field of aerospace engineering earned him several prestigious awards and accolades, including the Padma Bhushan (1981), Padma Vibhushan (1990), and the Bharat Ratna (1997), which is India’s highest civilian honor.
Throughout his life, Abdul Kalam emphasized the importance of education and worked tirelessly to inspire and motivate young minds. He served as the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007 and became widely known as the “People’s President” due to his approachable nature and passion for youth development.
Career in Science And Technology
Abdul Kalam, was an eminent Indian scientist and the 11th President of India. He made significant contributions to the fields of science and technology, particularly in aerospace engineering and missile development. If you’re interested in pursuing a career inspired by Dr. Abdul Kalam, there are several paths you can consider:
Aerospace Engineering: Dr. Kalam’s notable work was in the field of aerospace engineering, specifically in the development of India’s ballistic missile and space programs. If you have a passion for aircraft and spacecraft design, propulsion systems, or satellite technology, pursuing a career in aerospace engineering could be a suitable choice.
Missile Technology: Dr. Kalam played a key role in the development of India’s missile technology, including the successful development of the Agni and Prithvi missile systems. If you’re interested in defense-related technologies, you can explore opportunities in the field of missile technology and defense research.
Space Science: Dr. Kalam was instrumental in the development of India’s space program, particularly the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). If you are fascinated by space exploration, satellite communication, or planetary science, a career in space science and technology could be a rewarding choice.
Research and Development: Dr. Kalam had a strong emphasis on research and development throughout his career. If you have a passion for scientific discovery and innovation, you can pursue a career as a researcher in various scientific disciplines such as physics, chemistry, biology, or engineering. This can involve working in laboratories, universities, or research institutions.
Science Communication and Education: In addition to his scientific contributions, Dr. Kalam was known for his efforts to inspire and educate the youth about science and technology. If you have a knack for communicating complex ideas to a wider audience and want to make a difference by inspiring the next generation, you can consider a career in science communication, teaching, or science outreach programs.
Leadership And Public Service
Abdul Kalam, was an Indian scientist and politician who served as the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007. He was widely known as the “People’s President” due to his down-to-earth nature, humility, and his commitment to public service. Kalam’s leadership and public service had a significant impact on India and he remains an inspirational figure to many.
Scientific Achievements: Before entering politics, Kalam had a distinguished career as a scientist. He played a pivotal role in India’s nuclear weapons program and was known as the “Missile Man of India” for his contributions to the development of ballistic missile and space rocket technology. Kalam was instrumental in the successful Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998.
Vision for India: Kalam had a vision for India to become a developed nation by 2020, which he outlined in his book “India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium.” He believed in harnessing the power of science and technology to address the country’s challenges and make it self-reliant in critical areas like agriculture, education, and healthcare.
People-Oriented Leadership: Kalam was known for his strong connect with the people of India, especially the youth. He regularly interacted with students and inspired them to dream big and pursue careers in science and technology. He advocated for the importance of education and skills development as crucial drivers of national development.
Role as President: During his tenure as President, Kalam focused on bridging the gap between science and society. He aimed to inspire innovation and entrepreneurship among the youth, and he initiated several projects and programs to promote scientific research, rural development, and sustainable energy. Kalam also emphasized the importance of moral and ethical leadership.
Philanthropic Activities: Even after his presidency, Kalam continued to be actively involved in public service. He dedicated his time to visiting educational institutions and interacting with students. He established the Kalam Foundation and the “What Can I Give?” movement, both aimed at promoting values-based education, youth empowerment, and social development.
Inspiration and Legacy: Abdul Kalam’s leadership and public service left an indelible mark on India. His humble background and relentless pursuit of knowledge made him an inspiration for millions of Indians, particularly the youth. His speeches and writings continue to motivate people to dream, work hard, and contribute to the progress of the nation.
Abdul Kalam passed away on July 27, 2015, but his legacy as a visionary leader, scientist, and advocate for public service lives on. He remains an icon of integrity, dedication, and positive change in India and beyond.
Post-Presidency And Later Years
Dr. Abdul Kalam, the 11th President of India, served from 2002 to 2007. After completing his presidency, Kalam continued to be actively involved in various initiatives and projects. Here’s an overview of his post-presidency and later years:
Writing: Dr. Kalam was an avid writer and continued to write extensively on topics related to science, technology, and society. He authored several books, including “Ignited Minds,” “Wings of Fire,” “India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium,” and “Turning Points: A Journey Through Challenges.”
Education and Research: Kalam remained committed to promoting education and research throughout his life. He held various academic positions and served as a visiting professor at several institutes and universities. He interacted with students and inspired young minds to pursue scientific research and innovation.
Vision 2020: One of Kalam’s notable initiatives during his post-presidency was the Vision 2020 campaign. Through this campaign, he aimed to transform India into a developed nation by the year 2020. He traveled extensively across the country, engaging with people from different backgrounds and encouraging them to contribute to the vision.
Youth Empowerment: Dr. Kalam was a staunch advocate for youth empowerment and believed that the younger generation held immense potential to drive societal change. He actively engaged with students, delivering lectures and speeches to inspire them to dream big and work towards their goals.
International Engagements: Kalam remained a respected figure globally and represented India on various international platforms. He addressed the United Nations and delivered lectures at renowned institutions worldwide. He continued to promote India’s achievements in science and technology and advocated for peaceful applications of nuclear energy.
Awards and Recognition: Dr. Kalam received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to science, technology, and society. Some of the notable awards include the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor, and the Hoover Medal, which is awarded for outstanding extra-career services to humanity.
Philanthropy: Kalam was involved in several philanthropic activities and supported initiatives aimed at improving the lives of underprivileged individuals. He actively worked towards providing educational opportunities to economically disadvantaged students, particularly in rural areas.
Dr. Abdul Kalam’s post-presidency years were marked by his tireless efforts to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, especially the youth. He remained a respected and beloved figure, continuing to leave a lasting impact on the lives of people in India and beyond.
Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam passed away on July 27, 2015. He was delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Shillong when he suffered a cardiac arrest. He was immediately rushed to the Bethany Hospital, but unfortunately, efforts to revive him were unsuccessful, and he was pronounced dead.
The news of Abdul Kalam’s sudden demise shocked the nation and triggered an outpouring of grief and condolences from people across India and around the world. His death was widely mourned, and he was honored with state funeral ceremonies, befitting his stature as a highly respected figure in India.
While Abdul Kalam is no longer with us, his contributions, ideals, and legacy continue to inspire and guide people in various fields. He remains an icon of scientific excellence, education, and visionary leadership, and his memory lives on through his remarkable achievements and the positive impact he had on countless lives.
Abdul Kalam continues to be remembered and revered as one of India’s most influential and beloved figures. His remembrance is marked by various initiatives, events, and institutions dedicated to honoring his life, ideals, and contributions. Here are some notable ways in which Abdul Kalam is remembered:
Kalam’s Birth Anniversary: October 15th, Abdul Kalam’s birthday, is celebrated as “World Students’ Day” in India. On this day, educational institutions across the country organize special events, lectures, and programs to commemorate his legacy and inspire students to pursue excellence.
National Memorial: In 2017, a memorial for Abdul Kalam was inaugurated in his hometown of Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. The memorial, known as the “Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam National Memorial,” is dedicated to preserving and showcasing his life, achievements, and contributions. It includes a museum, a library, and exhibits related to his scientific work and presidency.
Abdul Kalam Vision India Movement (AKVIM): The AKVIM is an organization established to promote Kalam’s vision of a developed India. It aims to inspire youth, encourage innovation, and foster socio-economic progress in alignment with Kalam’s ideals.
Abdul Kalam Centre: The Abdul Kalam Centre, headquartered in New Delhi, works towards promoting his values, ideas, and teachings. The center organizes various programs, including leadership development initiatives, educational activities, and research projects, to carry forward Kalam’s vision of a knowledge-driven and inclusive society.
Educational Institutions and Scholarships: Several educational institutions and scholarships have been established in Abdul Kalam’s name to support deserving students and encourage their pursuit of education and research. These institutions aim to create opportunities and foster excellence, aligning with Kalam’s belief in the transformative power of education.
Publications and Literary Works: Kalam’s books, including “Wings of Fire,” “Ignited Minds,” and “India 2020,” continue to be widely read and appreciated. His writings serve as a source of inspiration and guidance for individuals from all walks of life, and they play a significant role in keeping his memory alive.
Public Commemorations and Tributes: On anniversaries of Kalam’s passing and other significant occasions, individuals, organizations, and institutions pay tribute to him through memorial lectures, seminars, and events. These gatherings serve as platforms to reflect on Kalam’s teachings and share his vision for a better future.
Abdul Kalam’s remembrance extends beyond official commemorations, as his legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of people who continue to draw inspiration from his life, humility, and unwavering commitment to the progress of India and humanity as a whole.