APJ Abdul Kalam
From Indian Science Information
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Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam usually referred as Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, was the eleventh President of India, serving from 2002 to 2007.. He is also popularly known as the People's President. For his distinguished contribution in launching the missiles project in India, he is popularly known as the Missile Man of India and is considered a progressive mentor, innovator and visionary in India.
A.P.J. ABDUL KALAM, was born on October 15, 1931 in the temple town of Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu. His schooling was from Schwartz High School, Ramanathapuram. After graduating in science from St. Joseph's College, Tiruchi, he took a diploma in aeronautical engineering from the Madras Institute of Technology in the mid-1950s.
Kalam joined the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) in 1958 and served as a senior scientific assistant, heading a small team that developed a prototype hovercraft. Defence Minister V.K. Krishna Menon rode in India's first indigenous hovercraft with Kalam at the controls. Then he moved out of DRDO in 1962 and joined the Indian space programme.
At the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Kalam initiated Fibre Reinforced Plastics (FRP) activities; after a stint with the aerodynamics and design group, he joined the satellite launch vehicle team at Thumba, near Thiruvananthapuram, and soon became Project Director for SLV-3. The SLV-3 project culminated in putting the scientific satellite Rohini into orbit in July 1980.
Kalam then moved back into the Defence Research Complex at Kanchanbagh, on the periphery of Hyderabad's Old City, as Director of DRDL. Here he led a missile program. Kalam's codenames for the programme's five components were: Prithvi, a surface-to-surface battlefield missile; Nag, an anti-tank missile (ATM); Akash, a swift, medium-range surface-to-air missile (SAM); Trishul, a quick-reaction SAM with a shorter range; and Agni, an intermediate range ballistic missile, the mightiest of them all. Trishul has the unique distinction of being capable of serving all three services.
After 10 years in DRDL, he went to Delhi to take over from Arunachalam as Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister.
He was honoured with a Padma Bhushan in 1981. (require references). He was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour. Kalam was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1990.
He has enjoyed a bachelor life. He is the happiest at the drawing board, in discussion with his scientists on how their dreams for the next millennium can be fulfilled.
- ↑ [http://www.presidentofindia.nic.in/formerpresidents.html President of India : Rashtrapati Bhavan : Former Presidents
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