APJ Abdul Kalam's 89th birth anniversary is being celebrated today. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was born on October 15, 1931, at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu. The former President's life as a student was very challenging, filled with hardships and struggles. There was a time when he had to sell newspapers from door to door to support his family and education. Dr APJ Adbul Kalam's commitment and love for education was such that he overcame all hardships and achieved excellence not only in academics; but also held the highest constitutional post in India. Dr APJ Abdul Kalam will remain an inspiration and role model for generations to come. In 1997, he received the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in India. He is a recipient of several other awards including Padma Bhushan (1981) and the Padma Vibhushan (1990). In 2002, Dr Kalam became the 11th President of India. But he always referred to himself as a teacher first.
APJ Abdul Kalam Birth Anniversary: Know the 10 big achievements of India's 'Missile Man'
- Dr APJ Abdul Kalam headed multiple nuclear tests at Pokhran. As the Chief Scientific Adviser to the then Prime Minister, Dr Kalam played a major role in heading the Pokhran-II nuclear tests
- The nuclear tests under the supervision of Dr Kalam, during July 1992 to December 1999, made India a nuclear power.
- Dr APJ Abdul Kalam led India's two major science research organisations - Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
- Dr Kalam is credited with pioneering work in the development and operationalization of 'Indigenous Guided Missiles' - AGNI and PRITHVI
- For his work on AGNI and PRITHVI, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was fondly called the 'Missile Man of India'.
- Dr Kalam led the project to develop India's first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV)
- Dr Kalam worked for over 10 years as the project director for the development of the indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle at ISRO
- In July 1980, under the guidance of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, India's SLV-III successfully deployed the Rohini satellite in the near-Earth orbit, making India a member of the exclusive space club
- Dr Kalam directed projects for the development of India's ballistic missiles. He headed the projects Devil and Valiant, for the development of ballistic missiles using the technology behind the successful SLV programme.
- APJ Abdul Kalam made huge contributions to the healthcare sector. He worked hard for making healthcare accessible to all. Dr Kalam worked with cardiologist Soma Raju, and developed a low cost coronary stent the 'Kalam-Raju Stent'
Dr Kalam died on July 27, 2015, while delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management in Shillong.