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Business News/ News / India/  Why is APJ Abdul Kalam's birth anniversary celebrated as World Students Day?
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Why is APJ Abdul Kalam's birth anniversary celebrated as World Students Day?

World Students' Day is celebrated on October 15 to honour Abdul Kalam's contributions.

Gyanganga Vidyalaya children pay tribute to former President Dr A.P.J. Abdul kalam on his death anniversary in Surat (ANI)Premium
Gyanganga Vidyalaya children pay tribute to former President Dr A.P.J. Abdul kalam on his death anniversary in Surat (ANI)

World Students' Day is celebrated on October 15 every year to honour former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam's contributions to the field of education. The occasion coincides with the late teacher's birth anniversary. India's 11th president – dubbed the Missile Man of India – was an eminent scientist and administrator who worked for more than four decades with the Defence Research and Development Organisation.

October 15 was designated as World Students' Day in 2010 to honour Kalam's many contributions – especially in the fields of academia and research. While many reports claim that the declaration came from the United Nations, the occasion is not celebrated beyond India.

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Kalam was born in 1931 to a Tamil Muslim family living on Ramban Island – then part of the Madras Presidency. His father was a boat owner and the imam of a local mosque while his mother was a housewife. The youngest of five children, he studied at a school in Ramanathapuram before attending Saint Joseph's College in Tiruchirappalli. He went on to study aeronautical engineering from the Madras Institute of Technology.

“Over the years I had nurtured the hope to be able to fly to handle a machine as it rose higher and higher in the stratosphere was my dearest dream," he wrote in one of his memoirs – My Journey: Transforming Dreams into Actions

But it remained a pipe dream with the late president coming in ninth out of 25 candidates. Unfortunately, there had only been eight slots available.

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Kalam eventually joined the DRDO's Aeronautical Development Establishment team as a scientist in 1960. He was transferred to ISRO nine years later and helmed several important projects. He was a project director for India's first Satellite Launch Vehicle and continued working on an expandable rocket project. 

APJ Abdul Kalam witnessed the country's first nuclear test, Smiling Buddha, and later directed Project Devil and Project Valiant -- efforts to develop ballistic missiles from the technology of the successful SLV programme. As the years went by, Kalam became an integral part of India's aerospace projects and defence research with the government initiating an advanced missile programme under his directorship. 

Kalam was elected as President in in 2002 with support from multiple parties. He remained at the post for a single term before opting out of a re-election bid. Following his term in office Kalam had become a visiting professor for several leading institutions. 

 

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Published: 15 Oct 2023, 07:43 AM IST
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