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Some Facts from life of former President APJ Abdul Kalam

JAMMU, July 28: Here are some facts from life of former president APJ Abdul Kalam:

-Before becoming the president, Kalam, acknowledged as the driving force behind India's quest for cutting-edge defence technologies, used to stay in a one-room flat.

-Though a nominated president can avail free air tickets for his relatives attending swearing-in ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, Kalam, who led a modest life, chose not to avail such privileges and paid for 2nd AC train tickets for kin.

-Once during an event, the country's first bachelor president, Kalam refused to sit on a chair that was designated for him at convocation at BHU because the chair was larger in size than the other chairs!

-Once while speaking to around 400 students, Kalam ensured the power cut didn't cause any interruption. He walked right in the middle of the crowd and asked the students to surround him. He then spoke to them with his bare voice and delivered, like always, an inspiring keynote.

-He was one of the few scientists who worked at ISRO during the early years of the organisation, when a church was made the office and a nearby beach the site for a launchpad.He was also the Director of the project that indigenously developed the SLV - III which launched satellite Rohini and made India and exclusive member of the space club; and the PSLV, which was used in the Moon and the Mars missions.

-He has written many inspirational books, like Wings of Fire which aims at motivating Indian youth. “Guiding Souls: Dialogues on the Purpose of Life” reveals his spiritual side. He is also a poet. He has written some poems in Tamil also.

-He graduated from Madras Institute of Technology in Aeronautical Engineering. He was Project Director at DRDO, where he played major role in the development of India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III).

-He was also chief executive of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme(IGMDP), where he was involved in developing many missiles of India including “Agni” and “Prithvi”.

-He was the Chief Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and Secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development (July 1992 to December 1999). Pokhran-2 nuclear tests were conducted under his leadership.

-On Wednesday April 29, 2009, he became the first Asian to be bestowed the Hoover Medal, America’s top engineering prize, for his outstanding contribution to public service.

-The Government of India has honoured him with the nation’s highest civilian honours: the Padma Bhushan (1981), Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the Bharat Ratna (1997) for his contribution in ISRO and DRDO and his role as a scientific advisor to the Government of India.


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