The country celebrates Student’s Day on the birth anniversary of legendary scientist, engineer and politician APJ Abdul Kalam today i.e. 15 October. Contribution of APJ Abdul Kalam to the field of technology is being reaped by thousands of scientists and engineers, and millions of Indians even to this day.
Fondly known as the ‘Missile Man’ for the initiatives he took while he was associated with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) technologies developed by him are being used by the organizations even in present times.
“Excellence is a continuous process and not an accident,” believed the former President of India, and that is exactly what he did in DRDO and ISRO in order to make India a superpower in space science and technology.
Contribution of APJ Abdul Kalam to DRDO
Dr Kalam started his career at DRDO after graduating from the Madras Institute of Technology.He joined the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation as a scientist after becoming a member of the Defence Research and Development Service (DRDS).
Kalam apparently started his career by designing a small hovercraft at DRDO. In 1965, Kalam independently started work on an expandable rocket project at the institution, and in 1969 he received the government’s approval and expanded the programme to include more engineers.
During his tenure at DRDO, Kalam directed two projects namely Project Devil and Project Valiant, which aimed at developing ballistic missiles from the technology of SLV programme. Kalam also played an instrumental role in developing missiles like Agni and Prithvi under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) of which he was the chief executive.
Kalam is also credited with playing a major role in the Pokhran-II nuclear tests, which were carried out during his stint as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and Secretary of the Defence Research and Development Organisation from July 1992 to December 1999. Kalam has even received the Bharat Ratna for his contributions to scientific research and modernisation of defence technology in India.
Contribution of APJ Abdul Kalam to ISRO
Dr Kalam was part of the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR), which was set up by Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, father of Indian space programme. INCOSPAR, the team of rocket engineers of which Kalam was a part, set up the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) that is used by ISRO to launch sounding rockets even today.
Kalam was also the project director of India’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully deployed the Rohini satellite in near-earth orbit. Kalam has also played a contributory role in the development of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
Kalam has also won the prestigious Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan for his contributions to ISRO and DRDO, as well as for his role as a scientific advisor to the Government of India.