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Dr A P J Abdul Kalam: A Short Biography

Updated on May 24, 2017

Who Was Abdul Kalam?

Dr A P J Abdul Kalam (Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam) was a true patriot, disciplinarian and a visionary. He believed in the potential of his nation, India. He worked for the development of his country, India, throughout his career in various capacities.

Dr A P J Abdul Kalam

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Birth and Education

Dr A P J Abdul Kalam was born on October 15th, 1931 in Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu, a state in south India. He graduated in aeronautical engineering from the Madras University of Technology in the year 1958.

Dr A P J Abdul Kalam was born in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu.

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Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu 623526, India
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Achievements

Missile Man of India

Dr A P J Abdul Kalam was the man behind India's missile program and was popularly known as the "Missile Man of India". He joined DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization) in 1958. He served as the chief executive of IGMDP (Integrated Guided Missile Development Program). He was very much behind development and operationalization of "Agni" and "Prithvi" missiles.

Agni Missile

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During his tenure at ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization), he was behind the development of India's first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV - 3). He also served as Scientific Adviser to the Defense Minister, Secretary of Department of Defense Research and Development and Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India.

It was during his period that Pokhran - 2 tests were conducted successfully by India. India conducted five tests on May 11th and May 13th in the year 1998 at the Pokhran range.

These tests included a 45 KT thermonuclear device, which is commonly known as hydrogen bomb. They included a 15 KT fission device and a 0.2 KT sub-kiloton device. The two simultaneous tests on May 13 were in the sub-KT range - 0.5 KT and 0.3 KT. India celebrates May 11 as National Technology Day.

Dr A P J Abdul Kalam was 11th president of India. He assumed the office on July 25th, 2002 and served the country with dedication from 2002 to 2007. During his tenure as president he was fondly addressed as the "People's president" due to his involvement with the citizens and their issues. He also took active interest in development of science and technology.

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Dr A P J Abdul Kalam was awarded 30 doctorates from reputed universities all over the world. The government of India honored him with the title of "Padma Bhushan" in the year 1981, "Padma Vibhushan" in 1990 and "Bharatha Rathna" in 1997. He was honored with "Hoover Medal", America's top engineering prize, in the year 2009.

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Dr A P J Abdul Kalam published many books. "India 2020 - A Vision For The New Millennium" is one of his best sellers. In this book he envisions India to be among the top four nations of the world. He also offers action plan in this book. "My Journey", "Wings of Fire" and "Ignited Minds - Unleashing the Power Within India" are his other popular books. Abdul Kalam books are popular for their inspirational value. He has also written poetry and songs. He served as professor, Technology and Societal Transformation, at Anna University, Chennai.

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Dr A P J Abdul Kalam was a vegetarian by choice. He preferred to abstain from alcohol.

On July 27 2015, while delivering a lecture at IIM Shillong, this great personality collapsed and breathed his last. He was buried with full state honors in his hometown Rameshwaram.

Dr A P J Abdul Kalam’s life is an inspiration to humanity.

Abdul Kalam Speech

Abdul Kalam Quotes

Here are some of his many inspirational quotes:

"When you speak, speak the truth. Perform when you promise. Discharge your trust. Withhold your hands from striking and from taking that which is unlawful and bad"

"Thinking is progress. Non thinking is stagnation of the individual, organization and the country. Thinking leads to action. Knowledge without action is useless and irrelevant. Knowledge with action, converts adversity into prosperity".

"Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough."

“All Birds find shelter during a rain. But Eagle avoids rain by flying above the Clouds.”

“Don’t take rest after your first victory because if you fail in second, more lips are waiting to say that your first victory was just luck.”

Great men do not die. They live on in the hearts, minds and work of the many that they have inspired.

— Danny Faure

Abdul Kalam Island

This island is off the coast of Odisha in India; approximately 150 km from the state capital Bhubaneshwar. It was originally named after English commandant Lieutenant Wheeler. On 4 September 2015, it was renamed to honour the late Indian president, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. The Integrated Test Range missile testing facility is located on the island.

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Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Centre for Livable Planet Earth and Sustainable Development

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Centre for Livable Planet Earth and Sustainable Development was established as a tribute to the great personality after his sudden demise in 2015.

The Centre was formed to continue on the vision and works of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. It is working in collaboration with many universities and organizations in campaigning research and innovation led projects to propel growth and development, especially for those who are identified as being the base of the pyramid.

With a holistic approach towards development, people at the Centre work towards including all stakeholders of the society that contribute towards creating a sustainable and livable planet earth – the children, the parents, the farmers, the teachers, the neighbors, the local leaders and the national governments, as well as various international partners.

The Center tergets youth as agents of change. Dedicated people working here design projects to create a culture of good citizenship by inculcating the spirit of performing kind acts.

Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam believed that the ignited mind of the youth is the most powerful resource above, on and below the earth. People, at Kalam Centre, create a platform for channelizing the energy of the youth towards imbibing solution oriented thought processes for solving community related issues at the local and the national level.

People at the Center sensitize the community towards nurturing the environment and spreading the messages of conserving it through activities and awareness drives.

Integrating technology, they also enhance the digital literacy skills through their interventions. Taking the dreams of Dr. Kalam forward, they aim to empower by building curiosity, to unite the young minds of the nation and to reignite the passion to do good for the nation and for the world.

Kalam Library

On May 1 2017, the Governor of Maharashtra inaugurated "Kalam Library" at two locations, where reading materials are available mainly for the underprivileged children and youths living in slums.

Kalam Library was inaugurated at Chembur in the suburbs and Colaba in South Mumbai on the occasion of Maharashtra Day, according to a senior associate of the Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Centre, which is managing these facilities.

"These two libraries have been set up with the association of Wockhardt Foundation and I Love Mumbai (both NGOs) in Colaba and Chembur for the underprivileged children and youth living in slums," said a senior program manager of the Kalam Centre.

Dreamathon Campaign

The governor also launched the Dreamathon Campaign in the city by welcoming the 'Missile of Dreams' van to Maharashtra. Highlighting the objective of the campaign, the senior programmer said that the 'Missile of Dreams' will travel all over India, taking entries from one million youth on what is their dream for a better India is and how do they see themselves fulfilling it.

Srijan Pal Singh, CEO of the Abdul Kalam Centre said, "I am very happy to see our Dreamathon Campaign touching so many lives across the country. Through both these initiatives (the library and the campaign), we wish to provide opportunities to young Mumbaikars to make global connections, build bridges between communities through the world of books along with value-based recreational and educational activities."

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Technical University

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Technical University is a public collegiate university in Lucknow. Around 800 colleges are affiliated to this university. The motto of the university is "Excellence in action is yoga".

The university is one of the largest technical universities in Asia. Due its size and the number of colleges affiliated to it and geographic dispersion, it is sub-divided into five zones with 45–50 colleges in each zone for ease of management and facilitating inter-zonal comparison and possible internal competition to enhance quality of teaching-learning processes.

A dipstick study conducted by MeritTrac and UPTU Watch magazine, the engineering talent pool of the university was found to be significantly better than the national average.

A Space Organism Named After Dr A P J Abdul Kalam

Timeline

Event
Year
Birth
October 15 1931
Graduation (University of Madras)
1954
Graduation (Aerospace Engineering from Madras Institute of Technology)
1960
Joined DRDO
1960
Transferred to ISRO
1969
Project Director (Rohini satellite launch)
1980
Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister
1992-1999
President of India
2002-2007
Death
July 27 2015
Bharat Ratna
1997

Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work.

— Dr A P J Abdul Kalam

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