APJ Abdul Kalam was an aerospace scientist and a phenomenal teacher who served as the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007, and widely referred to “People’s President”. Kalam collapsed while delivering a lecture at Indian Institute of Management (IIM)-Shillong and died from an apparent cardiac arrest on July 27, 2015.
On APJ Abdul Kalam’s death anniversary, here is a look at some of his most renowned scientific contributions:
At a time when it was no less than a dream for India to have its own Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV), Dr Kalam’s hard work and efforts for over a decade, making it possible for the country to have its first indigenous SLV. SLV III was developed by Kalam which was used for launching the Rohini satellite into Earth’s orbit. It also marked India’s entry into the Space club.
After working for Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for over two decades, Dr Kalam took the responsibility of developing indigenous guided missiles at Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Dr Kalam was responsible for the development and operationalisation of Agni and Prithvi missiles, which made him popular as the ‘Missile Man of India’.
Dr Kalam was the Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister of India between 1992 and 1999 when India went ahead with the nuclear explosions at Pokhran.
He also engineered the Pokhran-II nuclear tests which catapulted India into the club of Nuclear Powers. It was till then only exclusive to five countries – USA, China, UK, France, and Russia.
Dr Kalam collaborated with cardiologist Dr B.Soma Raju for development of India’s first coronary stent. The stent was named Kalam-Raju-Stent and was developed in 1994. It led to reduction in prices of imported coronary stents in India by over 50 per cent. The upgraded versions of this stent are now available in the market.
Ever since Dr Kalam passed out of the Madras Institute of Technology, where he specialised in Aeronautical Engineering, he had been associated with avionics. He was deeply involved with country’s Light Combat Aircraft and also became the first Indian Head of State to fly a fighter plane.
After the success of Kalam-Raju-Stent, Dr Kalam along with Dr Soma Raju developed a tablet computer in 2012 that was aimed at arming healthcare workers taking care of underprivileged people in rural India to respond to emergency medical situations.
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