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Important events in the life of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

  • Popularly called the ‘Missile Man’ of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam born on October 15, 1931, Rameswaram.
  • Completed his education at the Schwartz Higher Secondary School, Ramanathapuram.
  • Graduated in Physics in 1954 from Saint Joseph’s College, Tiruchirappalli.
  • Aerospace Engineering in 1955 from Madras Institute of Technology.
  • In 1960, Kalam joined the Aeronautical Development Establishment of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as a scientist.
  • In 1969, Kalam was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) where he was the project director of India’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully deployed the Rohini satellite in near-earth orbit in July 1980.
  • Kalam served as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of the Defence Research and Development Organisation from July 1992 to December 1999.
  • His contribution to the ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology earned him the household name of the “Missile Man of India“.
  • India owes its development as a nuclear nation to Kalam’s organizational and technical support for Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998, the first such tests after a gap of 24 years.
  • Dr Kalam was awarded India’s highest civil honors and many other awards:
  • Padma Bhushan in 1981
  • Padma Vibhushan in 1990
  • Bharat Ratna in 1997
  • Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration in 1997
  • Veer Savarkar Award in 1998
  • Ramanujan Award in 2000
  • Honorary Doctorate of Science by University of Wolverhampton, UK in 2007
  • Kalam served as the 11th President of India. His term lasted from 25 July 2002 to 25 July 2007.
  • Known as the people’s President, he was the first occupant of the Rashtrapati Bhawan who connected to masses, particularly the youth, who accessed him via the internet.
  • Kalam was the third President of India to have been honored with a Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor, before becoming the President.
  • He was also the first scientist and the first bachelor to occupy Rashtrapati Bhawan.
  • In 2005, Switzerland also declared May 26 as ‘Science Day’ to commemorate Dr Kalam’s visit to the European country.
  • A bachelor, the former president was a ‘Veena’ player and was deeply interested in Carnatic music. He remained a vegetarian all his life.
  • After leaving office, Kalam became a visiting professor at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong, the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, and the Indian Institute of Management Indore; an honorary fellow of Bangalore; chancellor of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology Thiruvananthapuram; professor of Aerospace Engineering at Anna University; He taught information technology at the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad, and technology at Banaras Hindu University and Anna University.
  • It was in the year 2010, when the United Nations decided to honor this ‘great scientist’ on his 79th birth anniversary and declared his birthday on October 15 as the ‘World Students’ Day’.
  • A prolific writer, Kalam has authored around 15 books on various subjects ranging from nuclear physics to spiritual experiences.
  • His autobiography Wings of Fire: An Autobiography, first published in English, has been translated into 13 languages including French and Chinese.
  • Kalam died on 27 July 2015 while delivering a lecture on “Creating a Livable Planet Earth” at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong.



  1. Wikipedia
  2. Times of India
  3. The Hindu
  4. Indian Express.
  5. IBN Live


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