Born on 15 October 1931 at
Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul
Kalam specialized in Aeronautical Engineering at the Madras
Institute of Technology. Dr. Kalam was the Project Director
of India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle
(SLV-III), which successfully injected the Rohini satellite
in the near-earth orbit in July 1980.
After working for two decades in the Indian Space Research
Organization, (ISRO) and mastering launch vehicle technologies,
Dr. Kalam took up the responsibility of developing indigenous
guided missiles at the Defence Research and Development Organisation
as the Chief Executive of the Integrated Guided Missile Development
Programme (IGMDP). He was responsible for the development and
operations of AGNI and PRITHVI missiles and for building indigenous
capability in critical technologies through networking of multiple
institutions. He was the Scientific Adviser to the Defence
Minister and Secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development
from July 1992 to December 1999. During this period he led
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
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. He has written
four books, Wings of Fire, India 2020 - A Vision
for the New Millennium, My Journey, and Ignited
Minds - Unleashing the Power within India, which have
been translated into many Indian languages.
Dr. Kalam has received honorary doctorates from 30 universities
and institutions. He has been awarded prestigious 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 25 July 2002.
After five eventful years he demitted office on 25 July 2007.
His focus is on transforming India into a developed nation