A brief history of Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam

Creator of Missiles in independent India.
 A great scientist in the real sense of the term,and last but not least, 
Former President of India,Dr.Abdul Kalam, was born at the popular pilgrimage ce October 15,1931 His full name is Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul kalam.In stort ,he is known as A P J Abdul Kalam.He was born in a poor ,but honest and cultured family.They stayed in the old ancestral house in Masjid land of Rameswaram.His father was not very educated, but he had land other skills and was practical.The famous temple of Rameswaram was located just ten minutes away from his house.It was not very easy for his father to run large family,but he was polite and hardworking. On his bost he used to ferry pilgrims form one bank to the other.Despite financial difficulties he admitted this bright child at the Rameswaram Primary School.
ntre and island Rameswaram in the southern state of Tamil Nadu,on
According to Dr.Abdul Kalam,as reported in one of his write-ups,some cultured Hindu families stayed near his place and among them lived the priest of the main temple of Rameswaram.The good values of this family influenced kalam to some extents.He understood what was said in the Bhagwad Gita and in what context.Even today he remains a strict vegetarian and draws inspiration form the gita.When he was child he received a lot of love and care from this cultured neighbour.
When World War II ended ,this 13-year -old boy asked permission to study at the secondary school at the district headquarters in Ramanathapuram.His father granted his permission and also accompanied him to the station. He gave his blessings and wished him well to move ahead. He was admitted at the Swartz High School run by Christian missionaries in Ramanathapuram and stayed at the hostel.Though his parents faced difficulties ,they had kept his wish in mind and encuraged him to study.kalam too made up his mind to take up as much responsibility as possible of his family.This bright and intelligent boy won the hearts of his teachers as well. They in turn helped him.For further studies, in 1950  he wast to the nearby city of Tiruchchirappalli and joined the St.Joseph College.Now,he had gained confidence.His English professor Father Sequiera was his hostel warden.He stayed there for four years.In the last year of his college he got interested in physices.After his BSc, he joined the Chennai (Madras) Institute of Technology MIT ,and chose the aviation engineering course.He was clear that he wanted to become a pilot. He obtained the DMIT after three years of his study,standing first in the examination.
After completion of his MIT course,he joined the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.Bangalore as trainee,When he successfully completed his training and graduation in aeromautical engineering ,he had two opportunities.Both of them were to his linking.One was to join the Air Force and move ahead as a pilot.The other was to join as Director of Technical Development and Production (DTD&P),under the Ministry of Defence.He sent applications to both and was called for interview at both places,after reaching Delhi he appeared for the interview and it went off as he had exppected.One week after this interiview he was to present himself beforce the Air Force Selection Committee in Dehradun.Here  besides physical fitness many other aspects were to be taken into consideration.It was a slightly different kind of interview .Eight candicates were to be selected from 25 candidates.He came in the ninth position.He felt he had lost the opportunity and was sad too.From there he went to Rishikesh.After haiving a dip in the holy Ganga,he felt at peace with himself.He then went to the nearby Shivanand Ashrama. He was impressed to see the Swamiji ,He met Swami Shivanand .Smilingly,the Swamiji asked him the reason for his sadness ,His having missed an oppportunityto work in the Air Force had pained him,he told the Swamiji with areasuuring demeanour destined to happen has happended! Therefore,don't despair.Probably, it must have been for the better.Resign yourself to God's wish. Talking to Swamiji he felt at peace with himself. Bowing before him he took leave and came to Delhi.

Shortly,he received an appointment letter to join duty as Senior Scientific Assistant at a monthly salary of Rs.250.It happened as it was destined.He stayed in north India for three years.In between he stayed for a year at the industrial town of Kanpur. He met different kinds of people.But his mind always pined for the quietude of Rameswaram.

He was then transferred to the newly established Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) in Bangalore. He came to Bangalore to take charge and after some time a group of four scientists was formed under his command. The group was given the responsibility of building an indigenous hovercraft in three years.The then Defence minister V K Krishna Menon wanted the work to be completed at the earliest. When he visited Bangalore,he would make it a point to see the progress of the project. A temporary model that could lift 550 Kgs payload was also prepared.Thereafter,Krishna Menon left the Defence Ministry and the project too,was shelved. Once, the head of the establishment told Kalam that a dignitary was coming to see the project. The dignitary came on the appointed day. He inquired in detail about the project and its progress. He asked various questions.Kalam had no inkling who this gentleman was.Actually,he was the director of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Researvh(TIFR) Professor M G K Menon. Some time later the indian committee on space research called Kalam for an interview at Mumbai for the post of rocket engineer.Dr.Vikram Sarabhai and Prof Menon interviewed Kalam and then invited him to work in the space research department.Kalam was quite impressed by the way Dr.sarabhai conducted the interview.He had decided to take up the offer of the space research department. The following day onwards his necessary basic training in the computer department of TIFR started.According to him, the environment at the space research institute was genial and totally different form other government departments. By the end of 1962 it was decided to set up a rocket launching centre at Thumba in Karala. Kalam was selected to visit NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration),America for six months training in rocket launching.He went to his native place to meet his father and other family members.The whole family was thrilled to hear that he had got an opportunity to go abroad. His father thanked God.Tears of joy welled in everyone's eyes.
Six months later, Kalam returned to India. The country's first rocket-Nike -Apacha was gifted form abroad. It was decided to send this rocked into space on Novemer 21,1963.Kalam had taken care of all the technical responsibilities.After its successs the mood of scientists and technicians was very upbeat.At a meeting called by Dr sarabhai it ws sdecided to march forward in the direction of making satellite launch vehicles (SLV) and artificial satellites.
 Therefore ,on November 20,1967 ,the Rohini -75 rocket was sent into space form the Thumba station.
In February 1969, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi opened the equatorial rocket launching centre at Thumba for international space research. This ensured scientist form any country to make use of the facilily at the experimental station.Meanwhile, in 1968, the Indian Rocket Society was established. To the east of India, around 100 km north of Chennai, at the Sriharikota island,the country;s Second rocket launching centre was set up. India's National Space Research committee (INCOSPAR) was re-constituted and the Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO), a new government agency was established.
In the initial 15-20 year after we attained independence , the Army had to totally depend on foreign help for spare parts and other defence material.Foreign power pushed their old and outdated army machinery to the developing countries like us. As if doing a favour, they provided the equipment and also earned lots of money. To overcome this shortfall, the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) was started. its entire responsibllity was give to Kalam. Despite facing econonmic difficulties, he took froward this programme, working for 12 to 15 hours a day.For this,he undertook a deep and detailed study of missiles and found four types of missiles absolutely necessary.
As head of the Rohini Project,Kalam did a wonderful and successsful job.His biggest gain was the opportunity he got to discuss and interact with experts in various subjects. At ISRO,he he worked on satellite launch vehicle and successfully launched the SLV-3. He came to realiza that technology can be used to further the development of missiles. Today Kalam is grateful to Dr Sarabhai for his guidance and vision.

Even after joining the space department, the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) availed of the services of Kalam. He was in close touch with the organization.The group of scientists there had helped him in developing missiles.Kalam had contributed the most.The rocket tipped with bombs is known as a missile.Missile is actually a destructive weapon. It has nothing to do with the rocket used in space flight. Missiles can be fired from aeroplanes,submarines or form the ground.Ths missiles that can be controlled by radio waves or though some internal mechanism are termed as guided missiles. These missiles can locate their assinged target at the fixed place.Antimissiles are used to stop the fired missiles on their tracks and destroy them.Initially,Germary,America,Russia and China used to produce missiles.India has begun producing various missiles like Prithvi,Aakash,Nag,Agni and others.India is the sixth country in the world to produce missiles.

On December 30, 1971, after attending a panel meeting in Delhi,Kalam was returning to Thumba, On that day Dr.Sarabhai was in Thumba. Kalam telephoned him form Delhi and told him about the meeting,sarabhai told him that he was going to Mumbai. Kalam expressed the desire to meet him at the Thumba airport.But when Kalam reached Thumba he came to know that a few hours back,sarabhai had left for heavenly abode. The charge of the space department was handed over to  Prof Satish Dhawan. Dhawan entrusted kalam the SLV-3 programme as the manager.

In 1975, ISRO became a government organization and came under the space department.In 1976,kalam's father passed away at the age of 102 years.Some time later his mother too died.

Once again plans were afoot to move Kalam from ISRO  to the Defence Research and Development Laboratory(DRDL).From June 1982, he took charge as its director. Some time later,commeding his services the Anna University of Chennai conferred on him an honorary doctorate degree with Prof Raja Ramanna as the chief guest of the function.On January 26, 1981, he was conferred the Padma Bhushan.
Meanwhile , on the morning of July 18,1980, at 08.03 hours, the Indian satellite launch vehicle SLV-3was successfully launched from the Sriharikota range . All the stages were carried out perfectly and the Rohini satellite was placed in orbit at the schedule time. When Kalam came out of the centre's premises,elated colleagues lifted him on their shoulders.Immmediately the success of the porgramme was announced on radio and TV.The then Prime Minister late Smt.Indira Gandhi congratulated the entire team on its success. India became the fifth country to achieve such a feat.

Thereafter,the improved ASLV was produced, where the payload was increased from 40 kg to 150 kg. On  June 26, 1984, under his leadership the "Devil Mission" especically developed for the army was sucesssfully tested. To see its progress, the Prime Minister Late Shri Rajiv Gandhi visited the site.In Augest,1985, Kalam was invited by the American Air Force to pay a visit to their facilities.Along with him, three other colleagues were also invited.On September 16, 1985, The Trishul missile was successfully test fired from the Sriharikota testing range. On the morning of February 25,1988,at 11.23 hours,the Prithvi missile was successfully test fired from SHAR. This missile can carry a bomb load of 1000 kg and fire at a distance of 150 km. Western nations displayed concern and veiled threats over its success.

Seven countires decided not to deliver the necessary raw materials to India, On the morning of May 22, 1989,at 7.10 hours ,the "Agni" was successfully test fired. On Republic Day, January 26, 1990, Kalam was conferred the " Padma Vibhushan", Jadavpur University and then IIT Mumbai conferred on him honoray doctorate degrees.

Kalam was made the Director of the Defence Research and Development Orgainzation.Then he was appointed as  Scientific Advisor to the Deferce minister. On November 25,1990, he was appointed as the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Central Government.

He was accorded cabinet minister rank, He then became scientific advisor to the Prime Minister advising and guiding him on scientific development and various scientific and techmnical policies for different departments.

The Central Government honoured Kalam for services with India's highest award, the "BHARAT RATNA".besides Kalam,28 other distinguished persons have till now received India;s highest award.Kalam is the youngest scientist to get this award.

He developed the surface-to-surface Prithvi missile for the Indian Navy. It can a payload of 1,000 kg to a range of 250 km. It can be used as a war weapon. He has developed the supersonic system, which can destroy the enemy warships.For the Air Force too he has developed a powerfull missile Thsi missile can be fired form air-to-surface.Now he is making it more effective with the radar system This way pilot less planes can themselves detect enemy planes and terget them. Making plans till 2020, he has also publised a book, "India-2020".

Kalam resigned form his post of hhief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and planned to serve science. He joined the Anna University of Tamil Nadu. Mean while, the National Democratic Alliance requested him to contest the presidential election.With a very good majoritity he was elected as "President of India".

On July 25, 2002, he was sworn in as President of India by Shri B N Kirpal,Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India. Kalam become the "11th President of India"tile 2007.

Alwarys  smiling,Kalam is simple,humble and soft spoken.He patiently listens to friends and colleagues and explains to them in a simple and easy way.

On July 27,2015 Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam left for heavenly abode at the age of 84 in Shillong,due to heart attack at 6.30 pm on Monday evening.

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