Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam a.k.a. The Missile Man of India was the former president of the country. He was also a phenomenal teacher and an aerospace scientist and contributed a lot to the defense and space research development sector of India. Many of his scientific advancements are still acknowledged. He was the 11th President of India serving from 2002 to 2007, making him the first Muslim president to serve an entire term.
The country observes his death anniversary on July 27. He died in 2015 making today his seventh death anniversary. He died from a heart attack while he was presenting his lecture at IIM Shillong.
He had been the greatest inspiration for the Indians.
Facts About APJ Abdul Kalam
1. He was born in 1931, APJ comes from Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu.
2. He had a bachelor’s degree in science from St. Joseph’s College and earned a master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Madras Institute Of Technology in 1957.
3. The title ‘Missile Man of India’ was given to him because of his contributions to the development and operationalization of the Agni and Prithvi Missiles.
4. Some of his other contributions in the space sector include the creation of the domestic guided missiles at the Defense Research Development Organisation. The planning of the Pokhran-II nuclear tests – brought India into the elite club of nuclear power (which consisted of the USA, Russia, France, United Kingdom, and China).
5. He had been awarded honorary doctorates by 48 Indian and International universities and organizations.
6. He received many prestigious titles like Padma Bhushan in 1981, Padma Vibhushan in 1990, and Bharat Ratna in 1997.
7. He was and will always be called the ‘People’s President.
8. He inspired millions with his philosophy of high thinking and simple learning.
9. He is the author of nearly 18 books, 22 poems, and 4 songs.
10. He never got married making him the first unmarried President.
11. His autobiography, Wings of Fire, has been translated into thirteen languages including French and Chinese. The original copy was published in English.
Kalam’s Greatest Contributions
Father of India’s own Satellite Launch Vehicle
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) appointed Dr. Abdul Kalam as the project director for the creation of India’s first indigenous satellite launch vehicle (SLV) in the very first year of its establishment. In 1980, the SLV-III successfully launched the satellite Rohini into orbit.
Many Other Aerospace Projects
Dr. Kalam used the technology of SLV to direct two more projects- Project Devil and Project Valiant. Both of these were for the development of ballistic missiles. According to a website called Vikaspedia, PM Indira Gandhi set some secret funds for these projects.
His collaboration with a cardiologist
His developments were not only confined to the aerospace sector, he broadened his knowledge even in the medical sector. Dr. Kalam collaborated with B.Soma Raju, a cardiologist for the development of indigenous coronary stents.
This development was introduced in the market in the year 1994, which helped patients with coronary heart disease as this stent reduced the price by almost 50%, cutting down the cost of getting these stents imported. Even today, Kalam’s development is used to upgrade many such models.