APJ Abdul Kalam's birth anniversary: Remembering the ‘Missile Man of India’
New Delhi, Oct 15: From being a brilliant scientist to President of India, the life of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam has been an inspiration to many.
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam
Dr Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam served as the 11th President of India between 2002 and 2007. Before becoming the president, he made major contribution to India missile development and space program as a scientist and science administrator.
Contribution to ISRO
Dr Kalam made significant contribution as Project Director to develop India's first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully injected the Rohini satellite in the near earth orbit in July 1980 and made India an exclusive member of Space Club.
He was responsible for the evolution of ISRO's launch vehicle programme, particularly the PSLV configuration.
Contribution to India's missile program
After working for two decades in ISRO and mastering launch vehicle technologies, Dr Kalam took up the responsibility of developing Indigenous Guided Missiles at Defence Research and Development Organisation as the Chief Executive of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). He was responsible for the development and operationalisation of AGNI and PRITHVI Missiles and for building indigenous capability in critical technologies through networking of multiple institutions.
He was the Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and Secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development from July 1992 to December 1999. During this period he led to the weaponisation of strategic missile systems and the Pokhran-II nuclear tests in collaboration with Department of Atomic Energy, which made India a nuclear weapon State. He also gave thrust to self-reliance in defence systems by progressing multiple development tasks and mission projects such as Light Combat Aircraft.
Dr Kalam the author
Dr. Kalam took up academic pursuit as Professor, Technology & Societal Transformation at Anna University, Chennai from November 2001 and was involved in teaching and research tasks. Above all he took up a mission to ignite the young minds for national development by meeting high school students across the country. In his literary pursuit four of Dr. Kalam's books - "Wings of Fire", "India 2020 - A Vision for the New Millennium", "My journey" and "Ignited Minds - Unleashing the power within India" have become household names in India and among the Indian nationals abroad. These books have been translated in many Indian languages.