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PEOPLE’S PRESIDENT NO MORE

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  28 July 2015 12:00 AM GMT

End came suddenly while talking to students on a topic favourite to his heart; loved NE and passed away in Shillong

Our Bureau

Shillong/ Guwahati, July 27: Missile man and an inspiration for generations of Indians, Dr Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, who won popular acclaim as India’s president in 2002–07, passed away today at a hospital in Shillong after collapsing during a lecture at the Rajiv Gandhi Indian Institute of Magement.

“Kalam is no more,” Meghalaya Governor V Shanmughathan told reporters, shortly after the former president passed away at the Bethany Hospital where he was taken to from the magement school.

“He collapsed ten minutes into his speech at IIM. He was rushed to Bethany Hospital. Efforts made by the doctor are appreciated. But he passed away at 7.45 pm,” the Governor said.

Doctors said Kalam suffered a massive cardiac arrest.

Kalam collapsed at the Indian Institute of Magement–Shillong while delivering a lecture on ‘Liveable Planet’ to the students of the B–school at around 6.10 pm in the evening.

A team of doctors from the State government, Indian army and North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regiol Institute of Health and Medical Sciences were also called in to examine Dr Kalam. He was declared dead at around 7.45 pm, after which his body was carried to the military hospital in Shillong for necessary procedures.

Dr Kalam’s body will be flown through Guwahati to New Delhi tomorrow.

Dr Kalam became the 11th President of India on 25th July 2002. His focus was on transforming India into a developed tion by 2020. His persol life story starting from a poverty–ridden childhood, a titanic struggle to get education, a peerless scientist who contributed hugely to the tion’s development, then to go on to occupy the highest constitutiol post of the land and grace it with great integrity and dignity, and to walk away from office humbly to be a teacher looked up to by millions — will always remain a source of inspiration for the country.

Born on 15th October 1931 at Rameswaram in Tamil du, Dr Kalam specialized in Aeroutical Engineering from Madras Institute of Technology. He made significant contribution as Project Director to develop India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV–III) which successfully injected the Rohini satellite in the near earth orbit in July 1980 and made India a member of the exclusive Space Club.

He was then responsible for the evolution of ISRO’s launch vehicle programme, particularly the PSLV configuration. After working for two decades in ISRO and mastering launch vehicle technologies, Dr Kalam took up the responsibility of developing Indigenous Guided Missiles at Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as the Chief Executive of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). He was responsible for the development and operatiolisation of AGNI and PRITHVI Missiles and for building indigenous capability in critical technologies through networking of multiple institutions.

Dr Kalam was the Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister and Secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development from July 1992 to December 1999. During this period he led the weaponisation of strategic missile systems and the Pokhran–II nuclear tests in collaboration with Department of Atomic Energy, which made India a nuclear weapon State. He also gave thrust to self–reliance in defence systems by multiple development tasks and mission projects such as Light Combat Aircraft.

As Chairman of Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) and as an eminent scientist, he led the country with the help of 500 experts to arrive at Technology Vision 2020, giving a road map for transforming India from the present developing status to a developed tion.

Dr Kalam served as the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, with the rank of Cabinet Minister, from November 1999 to November 2001 and was responsible for evolving policies, strategies and missions for many development applications. Dr Kalam was also the Chairman, Ex–officio, of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet (SAC–C) and piloted India Millennium Mission 2020.

Dr Kalam took up academic pursuit as Professor, Technology & Societal Transformation at An University, Cheni from November 2001 and was involved in teaching and research tasks. Above all he took up a mission to ignite the young minds for tiol development by meeting high school students across the country.

In Dr Kalam’s literary pursuit, four books – Wings of Fire, India 2020 – A Vision for the New Millennium, My Journey and Ignited Minds – Unleashing the power within India – have become household mes in India and among Indian tiols abroad. These books have been translated into many Indian languages.

Dr Kalam was one of the most distinguished scientists of India with the unique honour of receiving honorary doctorates from 40 universities and institutions. He has been awarded the coveted civilian awards – Padma Bhushan (1981) and Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the highest civilian award Bharat Rat (1997). He was a recipient of several other awards and Fellow of many professiol institutions.

Condolences pour in

Condoling the demise of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, President Prab Mukherjee has termed it as one of the greatest losses to the country. Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister rendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajth Singh too condoled his demise.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi said Dr Kalam will be “missed dearly and remembered fondly by every Indian”.

Assam Governor PB Acharya, Meghalaya Governor V Shanmugathan, Aruchal Pradesh Governor JP Rajkhowa, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, Aruchal Chief Minister bam Tuki too condoled his demise and said that the tion has lost a gem.

Union Minister of State Sarbanda Sonowal, Speaker of Assam Assembly Prab Kumar Gogoi, former Chief Minister of Assam Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, State BJP president Siddhartha Bhattacharya, APPC president Anjan Dutta, AGP president Atul Bora are among others who have expressed their grief at the passing of Dr Kalam.

Timeline
1931: Born on 15th October.
1954: Graduated from Saint Joseph’s College, Tiruchirappalli.
1955: Enrolled at the Madras Institute of Technology to study aerospace engineering.
1960: Joined Aeroutical Development Establishment of Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) as a chief scientist.
1969: Was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
1992–1999: Served as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of Defence Research and Development Organisation.
2002–2007: Served as the 11th President of India.

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