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A P J Abdul Kalam (1931-2015)


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A P J Abdul Kalam (1931-2015)

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, usually referred to as A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, is an Indian politician and scientist who served as the 11th President of India. A Bharat Ratna recipient, Kalam is famous for his contribution to the missile technology for India.

Life of Kalam

Abdul Kalam

APJ  Abdul Kalam was born on 15th October 1931 in Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu. He was born to father Jainulabdeen, a boat owner and his mother Ashiamma, a housewife. After completing his school, he would distribute newspapers in order to financially contribute to his father’s income. 

He delicate four decades as a scientist and science administrator, mainly at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and was intimately involved in India's civilian space programme and military missile development efforts. 

Kalam was also part of the INCOSPAR committee working under Vikram Sarabhai, the renowned space scientist.  Kalam played a major part in developing many missiles under the mission including Agni, an intermediate range ballistic missile and Prithvi, the tactical surface-to-surface missile, although the projects have been criticised for mismanagement and cost and time overruns.

He is known as the Missile Man of India for his work on the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology. He also played a pivotal organisational, technical, and political role in India's Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998, the first since the original nuclear test by India in 1974.

After completing his school education at the Rameswaram Elementary School, he went on to attend Saint Joseph’s School in Tiruchirappalli where from he graduated in physics in the year 1954. After that he moved to Madras in the year 1955 to study aerospace engineering.

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 July 2007. Widely referred to as the "People's. President".

In 1998, along with cardiologist Soma Raju, Kalam developed a low cost coronary stent, named the "Kalam-Raju Stent". In 2012, the duo designed a rugged tablet computer for health care in rural areas, which was named the "Kalam-Raju Tablet".


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.

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.

Awards and honours

1981: Padma Bhushan – Government of India
1990: Padma Vibhushan – Government of India
1997: Bharat Ratna – Government of India
1997: Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration – Government of India
1998: Veer Savarkar Award – Government of India
2000: SASTRA Ramanujan Prize – Shanmugha Arts,Science,Technology & Research Academy, India
2013: Von Braun Award – National Space Society


United Nations declared his birthday as World Students' Day
Government of Tamil Nadu announced that an award will be given in his name Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam Award
On 4 September 2015, Wheeler Island near the coast of Indian state Orissa has been renamed to honour the late Indian president, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam as A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Island.

Pay tribute to Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam Here.

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