The full name of Abdul Kalam is Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam . He was born in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. His father’s name was Jainulabdin and mother’s name was Aashiyamma. Abdul Kalam is the 11th elected President of the Indian Republic. Kalam is noted as a former President, eminent scientist and engineer. Born in a poor Muslim family, how Kalam reached the highest position is amazing.
He used to distribute newspapers even in the days of elementary education. After schooling, he joined St. Joseph’s College, Tiruchirapalli. In 1955, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in astronomy from the Madras Institute of Technology. Entered Indian Defense Research and Development Institute (DRDO) as Chief Scientist to work on Haver Craft Project. In 1962, he came to the Indian Space Research Organization and was credited with making India’s first indigenous satellite (SLV III) missile as project director.
In July 1980, the Rohini satellite was placed in Earth’s orbit. Also, missiles like Agni and Prithvi were built with indigenous technology. From 1992-99, he was Advisor to the Defense Minister and Secretary of the Department of Security, Research and Development. In 1998, under his supervision, India conducted its second nuclear test in Pokhran in 1998 and included India in the list of nuclear-rich nations.
Dr. Abdul Kalam became the 11th elected President of India. He was nominated as a candidate by the Bharatiya Janata Party-backed NDA constituents. Apart from the Left parties, all parties supported him. He took the oath of office on 25 July 2002. His tenure was popular. He was called the President of the people. Many conservative and disciplined Kalam made the President proud. Vegetarian, alcohol-related Kalam should be the inspiration of youth, children and elders.
He has been a sensitive writer with Scientist being President. When the children were burnt by fire in Kumbakonam, they expressed their eagerness with poetry. His autobiography Wings of Fire inspires youth. On one side is the book Guiding Souls – Dialogues of the purpose of Life revealing their spiritual thoughts. In India 2020, he has given his perspective about India becoming the head of space science in its future. His books have been translated into many languages.
Achievements of Abdul Kalam
- Padma Bhushan in 1981
- Padmavibhushan in 1990
- Bharat Ratna in 1997
- More than forty universities and institutes awarded him doctoral degrees.
- He was the first scientist and first virgin President of India.
- Known as Missile Men
- Kalam is recognized as Youth Icon