7th death anniversary of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam | From being people’s President to driving force behind the development of India’s crucial missiles

File Photo
File Photo

Srinagar, July 27: Today marks the seventh death anniversary of the "Missile Man of India" Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam or Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. Dr Kalam was born to a self-effacing family in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. Dr Kalam joined the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in 1958. He was then appointed into the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 1969 where he worked as the Project Director for the SLV-III, India's first satellite launch vehicle that put the Rohini satellite into orbit around the Earth. He was also the key person behind the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program, after which he came to be known as the missile man of India. Dr APJ Abdul Kalam made noteworthy contributions to the nuclear arsenal of India, most importantly contributing in the historic Pokhran- 2 nuclear tests, which were conducted in 1988. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam also served as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of the DRDO from July 1992 to December 1999.

When Dr Kalam was the Director of Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) in Hyderabad, he introduced light-weight callipers for the polio affected. The callipers were made of glass-filled polypropylene, used in missiles — reducing their weight from four kilograms to 400 grams, providing relief to users. Dr Kalam succeeded KR Narayanan and served a full five-year term from 2002 until 2007 after he won the presidential elections. He secured the backing of all political parties.

Dr Kalam was felicitated with the Padma Bhushan in 1990 while he received Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, in 1997. He authored several books including his famous autobiography Wings of Fire and Ignited Minds. APJ Abdul Kalam’s birthday is marked as the World Students’ Day

Dr Kalam died in 2015 when he was delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Shillong. The former president collapsed and died after suffering a cardiac arrest at the event.

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