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APJ Abdul Kalam Passes Away
Jul 28, 2015

India's 11th President APJ Abdul died on 27 July, 2015 evening at a hospital in Meghalaya, where he had gone to deliver a lecture. He was 83. The former President, who was in office from 2002 to 2007, had collapsed during the lecture at the Indian Institute of Management, Shillong, around 6.30 pm. He was taken to the Bethany Hospital. Doctors said he had suffered a massive cardiac arrest. The government has declared a seven-day national mourning as a mark of respect for the former President. Dr Kalam was born in Rameswaram on October 15, 1931.

Major Achievements

  • He served as the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007.

  • He was born and raised in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu and studied physics and aerospace engineering.

  • He specialized in aeronautical engineering from Madras Institute of Technology. 

  • A major part of his life was spent mainly at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

  • He was involved in the India's civilian space program and military missile development efforts.

  • His contribution as project director to develop India's first indigenous satellite launch vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully injected the Rohini satellite in the near earth orbit in July 1980 was significant. 

  • He was responsible for the evolution of ISRO's launch vehicle programme, specifically the PSLV configuration. 

  • He was known as the Missile Man of India for his work on the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology.

  • He contributed to the development of Agni and Prithvi missiles. 

  • He played a pivotal role in India's Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998, the first since the original nuclear test by India in 1974.

  • Dr Kalam has served as the principal scientific advisor to the Indian government of India from November 1999 to November 2001. 

  • He received several prestigious awards including, Padma Bhushan (1981), Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna (1997). 

  • A bachelor, the former president was a veena player and was deeply interested in Carnatic music. He was vegetarian all his life.

  • The books that he wrote are: 'Wings of Fire', 'India 2020 - A Vision for the New Millennium', 'My Journey' and 'Ignited Minds—Unleashing the power within India'. They have been translated in many Indian languages.


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