of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Born on 15th October 1931 at
Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam,
specialized in Aeronautical Engineering from Madras Institute of Technology.
Dr. Kalam made significant contribution as Project Director to develop
India's first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which
successfully injected the Rohini satellite in the near earth orbit in July
1980 and made India an exclusive member of Space Club. He was responsible
for the evolution of ISRO's launch vehicle programme, particularly the PSLV
configuration. After working for two decades in ISRO and mastering launch
vehicle technologies, Dr. Kalam took up the responsibility of developing
Indigenous Guided Missiles at Defence Research and Development Organisation
as the Chief Executive of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme
(IGMDP). He was responsible for the development and operationalisation of
AGNI and PRITHVI Missiles and for building indigenous capability in critical
technologies through networking of multiple institutions. He was the
Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and Secretary, Department of Defence
Research & Development from July 1992 to December 1999. During this period
he led to the weaponisation of strategic missile systems and the Pokhran-II
nuclear tests in collaboration with Department of Atomic Energy, which made
India a nuclear weapon State. He also gave thrust to self-reliance in
defence systems by progressing multiple development tasks and mission
projects such as Light Combat Aircraft.
As Chairman of Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council
(TIFAC) and as an eminent scientist, he led the country with the help of 500
experts to arrive at Technology Vision 2020 giving a road map for
transforming India from the present developing status to a developed nation.
Dr. Kalam has served as the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government
of India, in the rank of Cabinet Minister, from November 1999 to November
2001 and was responsible for evolving policies, strategies and missions for
many development applications. Dr. Kalam was also the Chairman, Ex-officio,
of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet (SAC-C) and piloted
India Millennium Mission 2020.
Dr. Kalam took up academic pursuit as Professor, Technology & Societal
Transformation at Anna University, Chennai from November 2001 and was
involved in teaching and research tasks. Above all he took up a mission to
ignite the young minds for national development by meeting high school
students across the country.
In his literary pursuit four of Dr. Kalam's books - "Wings of Fire", "India
2020 - A Vision for the New Millennium", "My journey" and "Ignited Minds -
Unleashing the power within India" have become household names in India and
among the Indian nationals abroad. These books have been translated in many
Dr. Kalam is one of the most distinguished scientists of India with the
unique honour of receiving honorary doctorates from 30 universities and
institutions. He has been awarded the coveted civilian awards - Padma
Bhushan (1981) and Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the highest civilian award
Bharat Ratna (1997). He is a recipient of several other awards and Fellow of
many professional institutions.
Dr. Kalam became the 11th President of India on 25th July 2002. His focus is
on transforming India into a developed nation by 2020.