Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam (1931-2015) was the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007. He was the recipient of the Padma Bhushan in 1981, the Padma Vibhushan in 1990 and the nation’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna in 1997.
Born in 1931 at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, Dr. Kalam studied aeronautical engineering at the Madras Institute of Technology. He played a key role in the development of India’s first satellite launch vehicle, the SLV-3, in building and operationalization of India’s strategic missile and the Pokhran Nuclear Test in 1998.
Dr. Kalam’s focus was always on transforming India into a developed nation by 2020 and to accomplish this he continued to travel across the country for his teaching assignment at IITs and IIMs. He passed away at one such lecture he had gone to deliver at IIM Shillong on 27th July 2015. His message and influence continue to resonate with the people across the country and in all walks of life.