Nation celebrates ex-president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam's 89th birth anniversary

Updated: Oct 15, 2020, 04:14 PM(IST)

India on Thursday paid homage to 'Missile Man' former President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam on his 89th birth anniversary.

Early life

Born on October 15, 1931, at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, Dr Kalam specialised in Aeronautical Engineering from Madras Institute of Technology. 


President of India

After a successful career as an aerospace scientist, Kalam went on to become the eleventh President of India and served the country from 2002 to 2007.


Project Devil and project Valiant

During his tenure at DRDO, Kalam also directed two projects - Project Devil and Valiant -  which were aimed at developing ballistic missile from the SLV programme technology.



Dr Kalam was responsible for the development and operationalisation of AGNI and PRITHVI missiles and for building indigenous capability in critical technologies through networking of multiple institutions. 


Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station

Dr Kalam was also part of the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) which set up the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) that is used by ISRO to launch sounding rockets even today.



Kalam was also the project director of India’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully deployed the Rohini satellite in near-earth orbit. Kalam has also played a contributory role in the development of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).


Pokhran-II nuclear tests

He was the Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and Secretary, Department of Defence Research and Development from July 1992 to December 1999, during which he played key role in the Pokhran-II nuclear tests which took place in May, 1998.

(Photograph:Zee News Network)

Long list of awards

India's former president received honourary doctorates from 30 universities and institutions. 

He was awarded the coveted civilian awards - Padma Bhushan (1981) and Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna (1997).


'Wings of Fire'

Among his literary works include "Wings of Fire", "India 2020 - A Vision for the New Millennium", "My journey" and "Ignited Minds - Unleashing the power within India".


'People's President'

He was fondly called 'People's President' by many for his friendly and humble nature.

Kalam, 83, passed away on July 27, 2015, while delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Shillong.



'An inspiration to the countrymen'

"Humble tribute to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam ji on his birth anniversary," PM Modi tweeted.

"He dreamed of a capable India of the 21st century and made his own special contribution in this direction. His ideal life will always inspire the countrymen," PM Modi wrote on Twitter.


Read in App