Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam in short A.P.J.
-By Mausam Majhi
A.P.J Abdul Kalam was the 11th president of India from 2002 to 2007.
He was an Indian aerospace scientist who played a leading role in the development of Indian missiles and nuclear weapons. kalam was born on October 12, 1931, in Rameswaram India. He had a lot of contributions to mother India in various fields such as politics, literature, science & technology, and defenses.
Talking about his early life and family, his father was a local boat owner and imam of a mosque.
Though his ancestors were landlords and wealthy traders his childhood was quite miserable. All the valuable property they owned was lost by his ancestor's overtime after failing in business. So, he used to sell newspapers to support for family’s income.
Kalam was a very bright student in his school days who had a tremendous desire to learn. He was fond of mathematics and spent hours solving problems. He completed his school at Schwartz Higher Secondary School and went to Saint Joseph’s college affiliated with the university of madras. He graduated in Physics from Saint Joseph’s college in 1954. In 1955 he moved to Madras for the study of aerospace engineering at Madras Institute of Technology. There he dreamt of being a fighter pilot but narrowly missed it after ranking ninth in qualifiers. Only eight positions were available in the IAF.
Kalam’s career as a scientist is more fascinating. After graduating from Madras Institute of Technology in 1960 he started his career by designing a small hovercraft. He remained unconvinced by his choice of a job at DRDO (Defense Research and Development Organization). Later he was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) where he was the project director of India’s first satellite launch vehicle (SLV-III). The SLV-III successfully deployed the Rohini satellite in near-earth orbit in July 1980. Between the 1970s and 1990s, he gave the effort to develop a Polar Satellite launch vehicle and SLV-III which were proved successful. Kalam was invited to witness the country’s first nuclear weapon “Smiling Buddha” as the representative of TBRL. In the 1970’s he also directed two projects to develop ballistic missiles for India.
He was the chief scientific advisor to the Prime Minister and Secretary of Defense Research and Development Organization from July 1992 to December 1999. During this period, he played a vital role in conducting nuclear tests like “Pokhran-II”. He was the country’s best-known nuclear scientist at that time.
Along with a cardiologist Soma Raju, Kalam designed a rugged tablet computer for rural health care areas named “kalam-Raju Tablet” in 2012. Kalam served as the 11th president of India from 25 July 2002 to 25 July 2007 surpassing Laxmi Shagal in the presidential election. He served as a lecturer in several universities of India after his Presidential tenure.
He wrote numerous books and has a great contribution to literature too. He also wrote an autobiography, Wings of Fire (1999).
In his autobiography kalam mentioned the turning points of his life
- The first turning point of his life was in 1961. He was appointed as a rocket engineer at the newly formed ISRO in 1962. He was asked to lead India's first satellite launch vehicle program as a project director.
- The second turning point was his entry into India's missile program in 1992. Dr. Ramanna offered him a position as the director of the Defence Research and Development Laboratory(DRDL) in Hyderabad. Many months later he was appointed as director of DRDL, in February 1982.
- In July 1992, he took over as the scientific adviser to the defense minister and secretary, Department of Defence Research and development, from dr Arunachalam. He was invited by dr chenna reddy, then the government of Tamil Nadu, to become the vice-chancellor of madras university. he requested the government to approve his appointment at the university, which he intended to pursue after he attained the age of sixty-two.
- The fourth turning point was nuclear tests in 1998.
- The fifth turning point was towards the end of 1999 when he was appointed principal scientific adviser (PSA) to the government of India in the rank of a cabinet minister. The India 2020 vision had been accepted by the government.
He has received numerous national and international awards, among which there were two of the country’s most honorable awards: The Padma Vibhusan (1990) and The Bharat Ratna (1997).
On 27 July 2015, he falls in while lecturing at the Indian Institute of Management Shilong. He was taken to a nearby hospital and he was lacking pulse or any other signs of life. Then, he has confirmed dead on the same date at 7:45 pm IST.