Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, considered a People's President, recipient of the Bharat Ratna and one of the best scientists India has ever produced. We all feel the loss of one of the most loved and respected personalities of the country.
Dr Kalam was India's 11th president passed away on July 27, 2015, aged 83, he collapsed while doing what he loved the most - addressing students at IIM Shillong. As we remember our beloved President on his 84th Birth Anniversary, take a look at the extraordinary life of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.
1. Born on October 15, 1931, he was born into a humble family in Rameswaram. He used to distribute newspapers as a kid to support his family financially.
2. He graduated from St Joseph's College in Tiruchirapilly in Tamil Nadu in 1954, in Physics. As a student he was known to spend a lot of his time on studies with keen interest in physics and mathematics.
3. Kalam graduated as an aerospace engineer from the renowned Madras Institute of Technology.
4. Kalam then joined the DRDO as a scientist where he first started working under Dr Vikram Sarabhai, considered the father of India's space programme.
5. He later, in 1969 moved to the Indian Space Research Organisation to become the project director of a Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV). During the 70s and 80s, he worked extensively within the ISRO to develop many missiles including the Agni and Prithvi.
6. Between 1992 and 1999, Kalam worked as a chief scientific adviser to the Prime Minister's Office. He was also the secretary of the DRDO.
7. In 1997, Dr Kalam was bestowed with the country's highest civilian honour - the Bharat Ratna for his contributions to science.
8. In May 1998, a series of five nuclear explosions were conducted by India at the Pokhran test range. Kalam was the chief project coordinator.
9. Dr. Kalam is known as the father of Indian Missile Technology and has played a prominent role in India's 1998 nuclear weapons tests.
10. In July 2002, Kalam succeeded KR Narayanan to become the 11th President of India.
11. After his presidency ended in 2007, Kalam became a visiting professor at several Indian Institute of Management including IIM Shillong and IIM Ahmedabad.
12. APJ Abdul Kalam, considered the People's President and the ‘Missile Man' passed away on July 27, 2015 in Shillong. He had collapsed in the middle of a lecture at IIM Shillong.
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