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    this evening. He was 83 years old.
    Kalam was rushed to the hospital
    earlier in the day when he collapsed
    while giving a public lecture at Indian
    Institute of Management (IIM)
    Shillong. His condition was said to be
    critical and was kept under
    observation in the ICU.
    It is reported that he suffered a
    cardiac arrest during the lecture and
    was admitted at the Bethany Hospital.
    Kalam was born on 15 October, 1931
    and served as the 11th President of
    India from 2002 to 2007. He received
    several prestigious awards, including
    the Bharat Ratna. After serving a
    term of five years as President, he
    returned to civilian life of education,
    writing, and public service.
    Born and raised in Rameswaram, Tamil
    Nadu, he studied physics and
    aerospace engineering in 1960.
    Kalam spent the next four decades as
    a scientist and science administrator,
    mainly at the Defence Research and
    Development Organisation (DRDO)
    and Indian Space Research
    Organisation (ISRO) and was
    intimately involved in the India’s
    civilian space programme and
    military missile development
    efforts. He thus came to be known as
    the Missile Man of India for his work
    on the development of ballistic
    missile and launch vehicle technology.
    He also played a pivotal
    organizational, technical and political
    role in India’s Pokhran-II nuclear
    tests in 1998, the first since
    the original nuclear test by India in
    Kalam started his career by designing
    a small helicopter for the Indian
    Army, but remained unconvinced with
    the choice of his job at DRDO. Kalam
    was also part of the INCOSPAR
    committee working under Vikram
    Sarabhai, the renowned space
    scientist. In 1969, Kalam was
    transferred to ISRO where he was the
    project director of India’s first
    indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle
    (SLV-III), which successfully
    deployed the Rohini satellite in near
    earth’s orbit in July 1980.
    Kalam first started work on an
    expandable rocket project
    independently at DRDO in 1965. In
    1969, he received the government’s
    approval and expanded the programme
    to include more engineers.
    During the period between the 1970s
    and 1990s, Kalam made an effort to
    develop the Polar Satellite Launching
    Vehicle (PSLV) and SLV-III projects,
    both of which proved to be success.
    In the 1970s, a landmark was achieved
    by ISRO when the locally
    built Rohini-1 was launched into
    space, using the SLV rocket. In the
    1970s, Kalam also directed two
    projects, namely, Project
    Devil and Project Valiant , which
    sought to develop ballistic missiles
    from the technology of the successful
    SLV programme.
    Kalam’s research and educational
    leadership brought him great laurels
    and prestige in the 1980s, which
    prompted the government to initiate
    an advanced missile programme under
    his directorship. Kalam and Dr V S
    Arunachalam, metallurgist and
    scientific adviser to the Defence
    Minister, worked on the suggestion by
    the then Defence Minister, R
    Venkataraman on a proposal for
    simultaneous development of a quiver
    of missiles instead of taking planned
    missiles one after
    another. Venkataraman was
    instrumental in getting the cabinet
    approval for allocating Rs 388 crores
    for the mission, named Integrated
    Guided Missile Development
    Programme (IGMDP) and appointed
    Kalam as the chief executive.
    Kalam played a major part in
    developing many missiles under the
    mission including Agni, an
    intermediate range ballistic missile
    and Prithvi, the tactical surface-to-
    surface missile, although the projects
    have been criticised for
    mismanagement and cost and time
    Kalam was the chief scientific
    adviser to the Prime Minister, and the
    Secretary of DRDO from July 1992 to
    December 1999.
    In 1998, along with cardiologist Soma
    Raju, Kalam developed a low
    cost coronary stent, named the
    “Kalam-Raju Stent”. In 2012, the
    duo, designed a rugged tablet
    computer for health care in rural
    areas, which was named the “Kalam-
    Raju Tablet”.

  2. We lost a True Indian…



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