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APJ Abdul Kalam: Missile Man of India

Published: 25th Oct, 2021

Context

Recently, the Prime Minister paid tribute to the former President APJ Abdul Kalam on his 90th birth anniversary.

About

About Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

  • Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was born on 15 October 1931 in Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu.
    • His birthday is celebrated as National Innovation Day.
  • He graduated with a degree in Science from St Joseph's College, Trichy in 1954 and did a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Madras Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1957.
  • He is one of the most respected scientists in India with the unique honor of receiving accredited doctoral degrees from 48 Universities and institutions from India and abroad.
  • He was sworn in as India's 11th President in 2002 and completed his term in 2007.
  • He planned to produce a number of successful missiles, which helped him earn the nickname "Missile Man".
  • He was a pioneer in fiberglass technology and led a small team to launch this effort in ISRO from construction, in a development that led to the production of computerized rocket motor cases.
  • He was instrumental as Project Director to develop India's first native satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-3) which successfully injected the Rohini satellite into Near-Earth Orbit in July 1980 and made India a special member of the Space Club.
  • He was responsible for the emergence of the ISRO launch vehicle program, particularly the PSLV configuration.
  • After working for 20 years at ISRO and having the expertise to introduce automotive technology, he has taken on the responsibility of developing the Indigenous Guide.
    • He has been the Chief Executive of Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP).
  • It has led to the use of missile strategic weapons and the testing of Pokhran-II in collaboration with the Atomic Energy Department, making India a World Nuclear Weapon.
  • In 1998, he launched a national program called Technology Vision 2020, which he described as a road map to transform India from a less developed society to a more developed society in 20 years.
    • The plan required that, among other things, increase agricultural productivity, emphasize technology as a means to grow the economy, and increase access to health and education.
  • He was interested in bringing prosperity to rural areas through PURA (Providing Urban Amenities to Rural Areas), where science and technology should play a major role.

Prizes Received

He has been awarded the most prestigious awards - 

  • Padma Bhushan (1981) 
  • Padma Vibhushan (1990) 
  • The highest public award Bharat Ratna (1997)
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