New Delhi: India's most loved president, renowned scientist and Bharat Ratna, APJ Abdul Kalam passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture to students at IIM-Shillong on Monday evening. He was 84.
At a time when India was struggling to develop missile technology, he spearheaded India's efforts by serving as the head of the missile programme which earned him the sobriquet 'India's Missile Man.
Also hailed as India’s original rocket man, he made a notable effort in the development of launch vehicles for satellites. Here is a list of his notable contributions:
- He was head of the Indian Space Research Organization team that developed India-made satellite launch vehicles and was directly responsible for the successful launch that deployed the Rohini satellite in orbit.
- Kalam was closely involved in the country's civilian space programme and military missile development efforts. He worked as a scientist and science administrator, mainly at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) before he became the president.
- He served as the Chief Project Coordinator, along with R. Chidambaram during the testing phase of India's Pokhran-II in 1998, shortly after the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government came to power.
- He served as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of Defence Research and Development Organisation from July 1992 to December 1999.
- Kalam was also part of the INCOSPAR committee working under Vikram Sarabhai, the renowned space scientist. In 1969, Kalam was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organization (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 orbit in July 1980.
- During the period between the 1970s and 1990s, Kalam made an effort to develop the Polar SLV and SLV-III projects, both of which proved to be success.
- 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. Despite the disapproval of Union Cabinet, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi allotted secret funds for these aerospace projects through her discretionary powers under Kalam's directorship. Kalam played an integral role convincing the Union Cabinet to conceal the true nature of these classified aerospace projects.
- In 1998, along with cardiologist Dr.Soma Raju of CARE Hospitals Hyderabad, Kalam developed a low cost Coronary stent. It was named as "Kalam-Raju Stent" honouring them.
- In 2012, the duo, designed a rugged tablet PC for health care in rural areas, which was named as "Kalam-Raju Tablet".