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Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam

Born on 15th October 1931 at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, popularly known as Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the son of a little educated boat-owner, became the 11th President of the Republic of India.

Dr. Kalam states that despite of not much wealth and not very educative parents he had a secured childhood both materially and emotionally, from his parents he gained innate wisdom, a spirit of generosity and a inspiration to help people around. During his childhood he lived in his ancestral home, built in the 19th century, the family avoided all inessential comforts and luxuries and preferred to lead a humble life.

Dr. Kalam pursued his schooling in Schwartz High School at Ramanathpuram from where he went to Tiruchchirapalli for his higher studies, after which he decided to take up Aeronautical Engineering at MIT(Madras Institute of Technology),and today is rightfully termed as the father of India’s missile.

Dr. Kalam divides his career into four primary phases. In the first phase(1963-82) he worked with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO),where after initiating Fibre Reinforced Plastics (FRP) activities and spending some time with the aerodynamics and design group he joined the satellite launching vehicle team at Thumba. Here he was made the Project Director of the Mission for SLV-3. The SLV-3 project managed to put Rohini, a scientific satellite, into orbit in July 1980. India also acquired the ability to design various kinds of rocket systems. Commenting on the First phase of his life Dr, Kalam said “This was the time of learning and acquisition of knowledge for me.”

The second phase of his career started when he joined the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in 1982. As Director of DRDO, Dr. Kalam was handed over the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).Under his leadership India has been able to develop various strategic missiles and new laboratories/facilities in the area of missile technology. On this phase of his life he says “During this phase I have gone through many successes and failures. I learnt from failures and hardened myself with courage to face them. This was my second stage, which taught me the crucial lesson of managing failures.

In the third phase of his career he worked towards a mission of making India a nuclear weapon state, he worked jointly under DRDO and Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) with the active support of the Armed Forces, after which he was appointed as the Chairman of the Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) and also got involved with the creation of Technology Vision 2020 and the India Millennium Missions (IMM 2020).

In 1997 Dr. Kalam was given the prestigious Bharat Ratna Award. In November 1999, he was appointed as Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India.

His fourth phase after he joined the Anna University of Chennai as Professor of Technology and Societal Transformation. As part of realising his mission he decided to ignite the minds of the young, due to his everlasting love for children. Dr. Kalam’s fourth phase took a sudden turn and made him the President of India.

Despite being the President of the country and his great knowledge in the field of Science, Dr. Kalam is also a expert in Carnatic music and plays the Veena for leisure, he writes poetry in Tamil and many of his poems have been translated into English and published in a book called ‘My Journey’. He is the author of many books like 'India 2020 : A vision for the New Millennium', 'Wings of Fire : an Autobiography' and 'Ignited Minds – unleashing the power within India'. He believes strongly in god and reads the Quran and Bhagvat Geeta with equal devotion.

Totally dedicated to the nation, Dr. Abdul Kalam's vision is to transform India into a developed nation by the year 2020 through hard work and perseverance. He holds a first world dream for the third world nation.

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