APJ Abdul Kalam
APJ Abdul Kalam is popularly known as Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. He lives in Indian people’s heart as the Missile Man of India
and People’s President. Actually he was a great scientist who invented many new inventions. He was the former President
of India who born on 15th of October in 1931 (in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu) however died on 27th of July in 2015 (in
Shillong, Meghalaya, India). His father name was Jainulabudeen and mother name was Ashiamma. His full name was Avul Pakir
Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam. He never got married to anyone. He was a great man who has been awareded with the awards like
Bharat Ratna (in 1997), Padma Vibhushan (in 1990), Padma Bhushan (in 1981), Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration
(in 1997), Ramanujan Award (in 2000), King Charles II Medal (in 2007), International von Karman Wings Award (in 2009),
Hoover Medal (in 2009), etc.
Early life and education
Early life and education
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was born on 15 October 1931 to a Tamil Muslim family in the pilgrimage centre of
Rameswaram on Pamban Island, then in the Madras Presidency and now in the State of Tamil Nadu. His father Jainulabdeen
was a boat owner and imam of a local mosque;his mother Ashiamma was a housewife.His father owned a ferry that took Hindu
pilgrims back and forth between Rameswaram and the now uninhabited Dhanushkodi. Kalam was the youngest of four brothers
and one sister in his family.His ancestors had been wealthy traders and landowners, with numerous properties and large
tracts of land. Their business had involved trading groceries between the mainland and the island and to and from Sri
Lanka, as well as ferrying pilgrims between the mainland and Pamban. As a result, the family acquired the title of “Mara
Kalam Iyakkivar” (wooden boat steerers), which over the years became shortened to “Marakier.” With the opening of the
Pamban Bridge to the mainland in 1914, however, the businesses failed and the family fortune and properties were lost
over time, apart from the ancestral home.By his early childhood, Kalam’s family had become poor; at an early age, he sold
newspapers to supplement his family’s income.
Career as a scientist
Career as a scientist
After graduating from the Madras Institute of Technology in 1960, Kalam joined the Aeronautical Development Establishment
of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (by Press Information Bureau, Government of India) as a scientist
after becoming a member of the Defence Research & Development Service (DRDS). He started his career by designing a small
hovercraft, but remained unconvinced by his choice of a job at DRDO.Kalam was also part of the INCOSPAR committee working
under Vikram Sarabhai, the renowned space 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 had first started work on an
expandable rocket project independently at DRDO in 1965.In 1969, Kalam received the government’s approval and expanded
the programme to include more engineers.
In 1963 to 1964, he visited NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia; Goddard Space Flight Center in
Greenbelt, Maryland; and Wallops Flight Facility. Between the 1970s and 1990s, Kalam made an effort to develop the Polar
Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and SLV-III projects, both of which proved to be successful.
Kalam served as the 11th President of India, succeeding K. R. Narayanan. He won the 2002 presidential election with an
electoral vote of 922,884, surpassing the 107,366 votes won by Lakshmi Sahgal. His term lasted from 25 July 2002 to 25
On 10 June 2002, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) which was in power at the time, expressed that they would
nominate Kalam for the post of President,and both the Samajwadi Party and the Nationalist Congress Party backed his
candidacy.After the Samajwadi Party announced its support for Kalam, Narayanan chose not to seek a second term in office,
leaving the field clear.Kalam said of the announcement of his candidature:
I am really overwhelmed. Everywhere both in Internet and in other media, I have been asked for a message. I was thinking
what message I can give to the people of the country at this juncture.
On 27 July 2015, Kalam travelled to Shillong to deliver a lecture on “Creating a Livable Planet Earth” at the Indian
Institute of Management Shillong. While climbing a flight of stairs, he experienced some discomfort, but was able to
enter the auditorium after a brief rest.At around 6:35 p.m. IST, only five minutes into his lecture, he collapsed.He was
rushed to the nearby Bethany Hospital in a critical condition; upon arrival, he lacked a pulse or any other signs of
life. Despite being placed in the intensive care unit, Kalam was confirmed dead of a sudden cardiac arrest at 7:45 p.m
IST.His last words, to his aide Srijan Pal Singh, were reportedly: “Funny guy! Are you doing well?”
Kalam was the youngest of five siblings, the eldest of whom was a sister, Asim Zohra (d. 1997), followed by three elder
brothers: Mohammed Muthu Meera Lebbai Maraikayar (born 4 November 1916), Mustafa Kalam (d. 1999) and Kasim Mohammed (d.
1995). He was extremely close to his elder siblings and their extended families throughout his life, and would regularly
send small sums of money to his older relations, himself remaining a lifelong bachelor.
Kalam was noted for his integrity and his simple lifestyle.He never owned a television, and was in the habit of rising at
6:30 or 7 a.m and sleeping by 2 a.m. His few personal possessions included his books, his veena, some articles of
clothing, a CD player and a laptop; at his death, he left no will, and his possessions went to his eldest brother, who
In the 2011 Hindi film I Am Kalam, Kalam is portrayed as a positive influence on a poor but bright Rajasthani boy named
Chhotu, who renames himself Kalam in honour of his idol.
Awards and honours
Awards and honours
Kalam received 7 honorary doctorates from 40 universities.The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in
1981 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1990 for his work with ISRO and DRDO and his role as a scientific advisor to the
Government.In 1997, Kalam received India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, for his contribution to the
scientific research and modernisation of defence technology in India. In 2013, he was the recipient of the Von Braun
Award from the National Space Society “to recognize excellence in the management and leadership of a space-related
Following his death, Kalam received numerous tributes. The Tamil Nadu state government announced that his birthday, 15
October, would be observed across the state as “Youth Renaissance Day;” the state government further instituted the “Dr.
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Award,” constituting an 8-gram gold medal, a certificate and ₹500,000 (US$7,000). The award will be
awarded annually on Independence Day, beginning in 2015, to residents of the state with achievements in promoting
scientific growth, the humanities or the welfare of students.
On the anniversary of Kalam’s birth in 2015 the CBSE set topics on his name in the CBSE expression series.
The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, ceremonially released postage stamps commemorating Kalam at DRDO Bhawan in New Delhi
on 15 October 2015, the 84th anniversary of Kalam’s birth.
Researchers at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), had discovered a new bacterium on the filters of the
International Space Station (ISS) and named it Solibacillus kalamii to honour the late president Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.