APJ Abdul Kalam, popularly known as the Missile Man of India, served as the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007. He passed away on July 27 in 2015 while delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management, Shillong. He was 83.
Kalam contributed immensely to the field of defence and space research development aeronautics. This helped him to earn the title of ‘Missile Man’.
Born on October 15 in Tamil Nadu’s Rameswaram, APJ Abdul Kalam studied physics and aerospace engineering. He worked as a scientist and science administrator at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for 40 years.
Kalam is often credited for developing India’s civilian space programme and military missile systems. He had also played a pivotal organisational and technical role in Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998 under the Atal Bihari Bajpayee government.
Kalam was elected as the President in 2002. Her served for the full five-year term and was widely referred to as ‘People’s President’ for his causal approach.
Kalam breathed his last on July 27, 2015. He died while delivering a lecture at IIM, Shillong on the stage. Thousands including Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the funeral held in his hometown of Rameshwaram.
Kalam’s contribution to humankind and his rise from a science administrator to President led him to become one of the most accomplished and inspirational leaders in the world. Seven years after Kalam’s death, his contributions to the country’s technological developments are still remembered.