|Best ever President of India: Dr APJ Abdul Kalam|
Dr Kalam also often referred to as the "Missile Man of India". People loved and respected Dr APJ Abdul Kalam so much during his tenure as President that he was popularly called as "The People's President".
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam (Born: 15 October 1931 – Died: 27 July 2015), born and raised in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu and studied physics and aerospace engineering. He spent the next 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. He received honorary doctorates from about 30 universities globally.
In the year 1981, the Government of India presented him the nation's highest civilian honour, the Padma Bhushan and then again, the Padma Vibhushan in 1990 and the Bharat Ratna in 1997. Before Kalam, there have been only two presidents - Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Zakir Hussain - to have received the Bharat Ratna before being appointed to the highest office in India.
While delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong, Kalam collapsed and died from an apparent cardiac arrest on 27 July 2015, aged 83. Thousands including national-level dignitaries attended the funeral ceremony held in his hometown of Rameshwaram, where he was buried with full state honours.
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam regards his work on India's nuclear weapons program as a way to assert India's place as a future superpower. Even during his tenure as President, APJ Kalam took an avid interest in the spheres of India's science and technology. He has even put forward a project plan for establishing bio-implants. He was also an ardent advocate of open-source software over proprietary solutions to churn out more profits in the field of information technology in India.
APJ Abdul Kalam Quotes
"When failure occurred, the leader of the organisation owned that failure. When success came, he gave it to his team. The best management lesson I have learned did not come to me from reading a book; it came from that experience,"
"If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher."
"Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow."
"You have to dream before your dreams can come true."
"Science is a beautiful gift to humanity; we should not distort it."
"If four things are followed - having a great aim, acquiring knowledge, hard work, and perseverance - then anything can be achieved."
"My view is that at a younger age your optimism is more and you have more imagination etc. You have less bias."
"Those who cannot work with their hearts achieve but a hollow, half-hearted success that breeds bitterness all around"
His notable books
- Wings of Fire: An Autobiography
- Turning Points: A Journey Through Challenges
- Ignited Minds: Unleashing the power within India
- Learning How to Fly: Life Lessons for the Youth
- My Journey: Transforming Dreams into Actions
- You Are Born to Blossom
- My Life: An Illustrated Biography
- Target 3 Billion: Innovative Solutions Towards Sustainable Development
- Forge your Future
- Beyond 2020
- My India: Ideas for the Future: Notes for the Future
- Mission India: A Vision of Indian Youth
Awards and honours
- 1981 - The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Bhushan
- 1990 - Awarded Padma Vibhushan for his work with ISRO and DRDO and his role as a scientific advisor to the Government.
- 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
- 2012 - Kalam received 7 honorary doctorates from 40 universities.
- 2012 - Kalam was ranked number 2 in Outlook India's poll of the Greatest Indian.
- 2013 - Von Braun Award from the National Space Society "to recognize excellence in the management and leadership of a space-related project"
- 2013 - The Tamil Nadu state government announced that his birthday, 15 October, would be observed across the state as "Youth Renaissance Day"
- 2013 - Tamil Nadu state Government instituted the "Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Award," constituting an 8-gram gold medal, a certificate and ₹500,000 (US$7,200). 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.
- 2015 - 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.
- 2015 - Wheeler Island, a national missile test site in Odisha, was renamed Abdul Kalam Island in September 2015.
- 2015 - Uttar Pradesh Technical University (UPTU) was renamed "A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Technical University" by the Uttar Pradesh state government.
- 2015 - A prominent road in New Delhi was renamed from Aurangzeb Road to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Road
- 2017 - 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.
- 2018 - Scientists from the Botanical Survey of India named a newly found plant species as Drypetes kalamii, in his honour.
- 2019 - Tamil Actor Vivekh urged everyone to plant trees on the 88th Birth Anniversary of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.