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 Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam...MY FAV IDOL???

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PostSubject: Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam...MY FAV IDOL???   Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:52 pm

Life & Career

The Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was born on 15 October 1931 at Dhanushkodi in the Rameswaram district of Tamil Nadu.

He was neither educated abroad, nor was his family financially very strong to support his academic pursuits. His father, Jainulabiddin Marakayar had to rent boats out to fishermen to pay for his school fees.

Mother Ashiamma, had gained much formal education. His father possessed great innate wisdom, true generosity of spirit and was a spiritual person.

He received secondary education at the Schwartz School, a missionary institute in Ramanathapuram, and later joined the St Joseph's College at Tiruchirrapalli, where he graduated with a Bachelor in Science. Abdul Kalam went on to study Aeronautical Engineering at the Madras Institute of Technology.

He was the first graduate in the family, with his brothers not even finishing school. He distributed newspapers at a young age to help with household expenses.

Abdul Kalam was perhaps marked out to be different right from the beginning. Since he was the youngest in the family, he got his fair share of pampering from the elders.

But neighbours remember him as a reserved boy who was very interested in reading books. In a way, library was the foundation on which Kalam built his career.

Thoroughly Indian, the only brief exposure that he got abroad was in 1963-64 when he was invited by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) to spend four months in the United States at the Wallops Island Rocketry Centre and the Langley Research Centre.

In 1958, Kalam joined the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) and served as a senior scientific assistant, heading a small team that developed a prototype hovercraft. But the project, never took off.

In 1962, Kalam moved out of DRDO and joined Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) where he succeeded in putting the 35-kg Rohini-I satellite on a low-earth orbit with help of the SLV-III (Satellite Launch Vehicle).

After spending 19 fruitful years in ISRO, he returned to DRDO in 1982 to head the country's Integrated Missile Development Programme, which culminated in the successful launch of the Agni and Prithvi missiles.

Dr. Kalam was Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister & Secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development from July 1992 to December 1999. He was Chief Scientific Advisor to the Govt of India till he demitted office in November 2001.

A great humanitarian, he extended his knowledge of space technology and mechanisms to help disabled children, replacing their 3-kg metal supporters with very light braces made of carbon, which weigh just 300 grams.

A vegetarian and a teetotaller, Abdul Kalam recites the Quran and the Bhagvad Gita with equal ease. A confirmed bachelor, his modesty is evident from the fact that he gives all the credit to his colleagues.

He has been felicitated with many national awards. He was awarded the Padmabhushan in 1981, the Padma Vibhushan in 1990 and the HK Firodia Award for Excellence in Science and Technology in 1996. More recently, he was honoured with the Bharat Ratna in 1998, the highest civilian award in India.

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