The 11th President of India, Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam passed away on 27 July, 2015. He died due to a cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Shillong.
APJ Abdul Kalam was also known as the ‘Missile Man of India’ for his contribution to the development of India’s missile projects, Prithvi and Agni missiles. India became a nuclear power under Kalam who was the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister between 1992 and 1999. The former president was also the head of several nuclear tests at Pokhran.
His list of achievements also includes being the head of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Kalam also worked on the development of ISRO’s indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle as project director.
Under his leadership, Rohini Satellite was deployed in near-Earth orbit through the SLV-III in 1980.
The Missile Man also contributed to the medical health sector by creating a low-cost coronary stent along with cardiologist Soma Raju. The stent is known as 'Kalam-Raju Stent'.
For his contribution towards the development of the nation, he was awarded the third highest civilian honour Padma Bhushan in 1990. In 1997, Kalam became the recipient of India’s highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna.
The former President was also known as people’s president as he met several young people and students during his tenure.
Kalam authored India 2020: A Visionfor the New Millennium with YS Rajan which was published in 1998. His autobiography Wings of Fire was published a year later in 1999.