Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam


Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam
Associated organizations
Indian Space Research Organisation
Fields of study
Aerospace, Nuclear physics


Dr. Bharat Ratna Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam is an Indian scientist and administrator who served as the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007. He was born and raised in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, studied physics at St. Joseph's College in Tiruchirappalli, and aerospace engineering at the Madras Institute of Technology (MIT) in Chennai.

Before his term as President, he worked as an aerospace engineer with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Dr. Abdul Kalam is popularly known as the Missile Man of India for his work on the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology. He played a pivotal organizational, technical and political role in India's Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998, the first since the original nuclear test by India in 1974.

Dr. Abdul Kalam attended Saint Joseph's College in Tiruchirappalli, graduating with a degree in physics in 1954. He then moved to Madras in 1955 to study aerospace engineering. After graduating from the Madras Institute of Technology in Chennai in 1960, he joined the Aeronautical Development Establishment of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) as a scientist. At DRDO in 1965, Dr. Abdul Kalam started work on an expandable rocket project independently, which was expanded in 1969, under government approval, to include more engineers. Also in 1969, Dr. Abdul 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.

Dr. Abdul Kalam's experience in defense research, tenure as Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister, and pivotal role as Secretary of the DRDO (1992-1999) earned him the reputation of being the country's top nuclear scientist.

Dr. Abdul Kalam is currently a visiting professor at the Indian Institute of Management in Shillong, the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, and the Indian Institute of Management in Indore. He is an honorary fellow of the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and Chancellor of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology in Thiruvananthapuram. In addition, he serves as professor of Aerospace Engineering at Anna University in Chennai and at Jagadguru Sri Shivarathreeshwara (JSS) University in Mysore.