A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, in full Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, (born October 15, 1931, Rameswaram , India—died July 27, 2015, Shillong), Indian scientist and politician who played a leading role in the development of India missile and nuclear weapons programs.
He was present of India from 2002 to 2007.
- Kalam earned a degree from the Madras Institute of Technology and in 1958 joined the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
- In 1969 he moved to the Indian Space Research Organization, where he was project director of the SLV-III, the first satellite launch vehicle that was both designed and produced in India.
- Rejoining DRDO in 1982, Kalam planned the program that produced a number of successful missiles, which helped earn him the nickname “Missile Man.”
Among those successes was Agni, India’s first intermediate-range ballistic missile, which incorporated aspects of the SLV-III and was launched in 1989.
In 2002 India’s ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) put forward Kalam to succeed outgoing President Kocheril Raman Narayanan. Kalam was nominated by the Hindu nationalist (Hindutva) NDA even though he was Muslim, and his stature and popular appeal were such that even the main opposition party, the Indian National Congress, also proposed his candidacy. Kalam easily won the election and was sworn in as India’s 11th president, a largely ceremonial post, in July 2002.
He left office at the end of his term in 2007 and was succeeded by Pratibha Patil, the country’s first woman president.
“dream is not that which you see while sleeping, it is something that does not let you sleep.”
Hundreds of students and employees of the IIM participated in a candlelight march and paid floral homage to the ‘Missile Man of India’ who had suffered a cardiac arrest on this day four years ago while delivering a lecture to the students of the institute. “The entire Shillong wept on that day when the news of Kalam spread.
This occasion is very special for the people here and IIM-Shillong has been hosting this candlelight tribute to mark the day,” IIM-Shilliong’s Associate Professor Basav Roychoudhury told PTI.
He said young and old people paid tribute to the former President. The country’s 11th President, who served from 2002 to 2007, was widely referred to as the people’s President besides being credited for India’s civilian space program and military missile systems.