New Delhi: Former President (late) APJ Abdul Kalam’s Birth Anniversary is being marked on Monday 15 October 2018.
New Delhi: Former president (late) APJ Abdul Kalam's birth anniversary is being marked on Monday 15 October 2018. APJ Abdul Kalam, who was also known as the Missile Man of India, had served as the 11th President of India.
Dr Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam known as the ‘missile man’ was the head architect of Pokhran II nuclear tests, the Agni and the Prithvi missiles. He was elected as the 11th President of India from 2002-07. He was India’s first President who was a bachelor and a vegetarian. He was born on 15 October 1931 in Rameswaram and breathed his last on 27 July 2015. While being a world-renowned scientist, Kalam had also interests in literature, writing poems, playing musical instruments and even spirituality.
APJ Abdul Kalam had written some very well-known books like ‘India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium’,
‘Wings of Fire: An Autobiography’, and
‘Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power within India.’
APJ Abdul Kalam’s birth anniversary:
Here are top 10 things to know about Missile Man of India, APJ Abdul Kalam
* Born on 15th October 1931 in Rameswaram,Tamil Nadu, Kalam graduated in science from St. Joseph’s College, Trichy in 1954 and specialised in Aeronautical Engineering from Madras Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1957.
* Kalam presided over the development of India’s first satellite launch vehicle, SLV III, which was used for launching the Rohini satellite into the Earth’s orbit. This feat marked India’s entry into the Space club.
* After working for two decades in ISRO, Kalam took up the responsibility of developing indigenous guided missiles at Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
* He was responsible for the development and operationalisation of Agni and Prithvi missiles, which made him popular as the ‘Missile Man of India’.
* Kalam engineered the Pokhran-II nuclear tests which catapulted India into the club of Nuclear Powers, which were till then only exclusive to five countries—USA, China, UK, France and Russia. The 2018 movie “Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran” featuring John Abraham was inspired by Kalam.
* He received honorary doctorates from 48 universities and institutions from India and abroad.
* Kalam was awarded the coveted civilian awards – Padma Bhushan (1981), Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the highest civilian award of India- Bharat Ratna (1997).
* Apart from physics and defence, Kalam also left his fingerprints on efforts to improve healthcare in rural India. Together with cardiologist Soma Raju, he developed a low-cost stent which was thereafter christened the Kalam-Raju stent.
* For seven years (1992-1999) Kalam remained the Chief Scientific Adviser to the PM and Secretary of the DRDO.
* In 2002, he defeated Lakshmi Sahgal to become the 11th President of India. He has been immortalized in the country’s history as the ‘People’s President’.
Here are some lesser-known facts about the people’s president to whose heart children were very dear:
- Kalam was not born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth. Coming from a family of average resources, he grew up watching father renting his boat to fishermen to run his house. In fact, Kalam used to deliver newspapers every morning to earn money.
- Kalam was a very simple man. When he died, he left behind nothing but 2,500 books, one watch, six shirts, four pants, three suits and one pair of shoes.
- After retiring, Kalam lived on his pension money and royalty from the sales of his books.
- When his term ended as president, Kalam did not take any gifts home and deposited them into the government treasury.
- According to one his former media advisors, there was a time when Kalam used to live in a government quarter where he did not have television and used to access news on radio / newspaper.
- Kalam had once visited IIT-Mumbai. The students were so much interested in meeting the scientist that a huge queue formed outside the auditorium. In fact, some of the students had queued up at night itself to see the Missile Man. After the event, Kalam did not disappoint any student and met them all.
- Kalam had once revealed that he wanted to become a fighter pilot but could not clear the exam. Later in 2006, as president, Kalam had flown in a Sukhoi jet.