Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, popularly known as APJ Abdul Kalam was born in a Tamil Muslim family on October 15th, 1931. Who knew that a lad who was born to poverty-stricken parents would one day become a millennial aerospace scientist and step up to be the 11th President of India? Being on a constant quest to learn and gain as much knowledge as he can, his educational journey was full of challenges. Let us walk you through APJ Abdul Kalam‘s education to inspire a large number of students across the world.
|Rameshwaram Elementary School
|Schwartz Higher Secondary School
|Saint Joseph’s College
|Madras Institute of Technology
Distinguished Fellow and Honorary Fellow
King Charles II Medal
|India’s First SLV (Satellite Launch Vehicle)
Nuclear Tests in Pokhran
Kalam-Raju Stent (Universal Healthcare Plan)
Ballistic missiles project
Wings of Fire
Forge Your Future
You are Born to Blossom
APJ Abdul Kalam’s Education
Even though APJ Abdul Kalam was an average student, his desire to read and spend hours studying and learning Mathematics, proved to create a strong foundation in his initial stage of education. Upon completing his schooling at Rameshwaram Elementary School and Schwartz Higher Secondary School, he continued his graduation in Physics from Saint Joseph’s College and later in 1955, he studied Aerospace Engineering at Madras Institute of Technology.
When we talk about APJ Abdul Kalam’s education, it is quite obvious that he always wanted to make a successful career in Aviation. Becoming a fighter pilot was once his dearest dream, which was not fulfilled as he couldn’t reach the final merit of IAF. After completing his higher education, Kalam joined the DRDO (Aeronautical Development Establishment of the Defence Research and Development Organisation) as a scientist and late in the early 1960s, worked with the INCOSPAR (Indian National Committee for Space Research) under Vikram Sarabhai, a renowned space scientist.
Even though he got immense opportunities to design hovercrafts and small helicopters, he was never convinced and always aimed for something bigger and there was no failure in this world that could stop him. Later, Abdul Kalam started independently working on expandable rocket projects at DRDO. Things took a magnificent turn when he received transfer orders to the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) where he started as a project director of SLV-III, India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle, which deployed the Rohini satellite into orbit the earth in July 1980.
“Dream is not that which you see while sleeping it is something that does not let you sleep.”
His dedication led to the development of 4 missile projects namely Prithvi, Trishul, Akash and Nag. Due to this contribution, he earned the title of the ‘Missile Man of India’. Later in 1992, Kalam was appointed as the Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister and promoted to Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India in 1999.
APJ Abdul Kalam’s education has immensely added to his valuable role in conducting the Pokhran-II, a series of 5 nuclear test explosions in 1998. His status as a national hero made India to be recognised as a full-fledged nuclear state. This is not the end, in the same year, Kalam proposed a countrywide plan called ‘Technology Vision 2020’ to develop nuclear empowerment, and improve agricultural productivity and various technological innovations, to name a few.
Do You Know: Named after him, the Abdul Kalam Scholarship is an initiative undertaken by various state governments and educational organisations for Indian students who belong to a minority group and are planning to pursue higher education. This scholarship is available to enrol in various institutions in India and abroad.
APJ Abdul Kalam’s Education: Lessons to Remember
A leader who contributed to the youth skilling and development initiative, working tirelessly in his field and directing several projects, APJ Abdul Kalam has always been an inspiration to people in this world. Amongst the great personalities, his struggles and passion have always given the power to dream to millions of others. There will always be an indelible impression not only on adults but also on children aiming to become successful in life.
Beyond his work on developing India’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs, let us see how exactly the former president has played a crucial role in our knowledge and growth:
“You cannot change your future, but you can change your habits, and surely your habits will change your future.”
1. Be Prepared For Life: It isn’t always necessary that your life will exactly be like you want it to be, instead, let your life take its course and go with the flow. Do not forget, everything that happens happens for a reason. APJ Abdul Kalam’s education always taught us to never allow our failure to take over our lives but rather always have a ‘Plan B’ approach.
2. Leadership: A good leader acknowledges the contribution, shoulders the responsibility and never blames for failures and gives credit for success. Taking undue credit for something you haven’t done or achieved does not make you better and may influence bad qualities in your juniors.
3. A Vision of your Own: One of the most influential factors that greatly accelerates civilization is people having a vision about everything they do, what matters to them the most, how well can they reap their rewards and giving them a definition in their lives.
4. Humbleness: In an era where egoism is at its peak and humility is at its downfall, legends would never fail to show their modesty and greatly influence the masses.
Best Books By APJ Abdul Kalaam
Not only was APJ Abdul Kalaam a great human being and politician, but he was also a great writer. He was able to pen down his ideas and views beautifully and could share his thoughts with the rest of the world in the most uncomplicated manner. Here is a list of the best books by APJ Abdul Kalaam.
- Ignited Minds
Written in the year 2002, this book shares wonderfully the accounts and interactions Dr Kalaam had with students from all over the country. The excellent feature of this book is that through his many interactions with different children, he realised the true potential of the youth of our country. Hence the name Ignited Minds. Dr Kalaam, through this book, gave the message that we should try to look beyond what only our eyes can see. You can buy the book here.
- Wings Of Fire
One of the best autobiographies written ever, Wings of Fire, describes Dr Kalam’s incredible journey of a simple boy from a humble background to a chief scientist who had a major hand behind the Indian Space Research innovations and then later became the President of India. You can buy the book here.
- Indomitable Spirit
Bringing together the thoughts, values and ideals of our former President APJ Abdul Kalaam, Indomitable Spirit is an ode to womanhood. Dr Kalaam says that women are beautiful creations of God and deserve respect, love and attention. This book also gives a detailed description of Dr Kalaam’s journey from the shores of Rameswaram to the Rashtrapati Bhawan. You can buy this splendid book here.
- Turning Points
A sequel to the book Wings of Fire, Turning Points takes us through an in-depth journey of what happened after Dr Kalaam became the President. It is a blueprint vision for 2020. Dr Kalaam stresses the importance and acceptance of technology in our lives to move forward. You can buy the book here.
Also Read: Greatest Scientist of all Times
APJ Abdul Kalam’s Educational Quotes
Here are some of the most popular quotes by APJ Abdul Kalam:
- “You have to dream before your dreams can come true.”
- “The best brains of the nations may be found on the last benches of the classrooms.”
- “Don’t read success stories, you will only get messages. Read failure stories, you will get some ideas to get success.”
- “Don’t take rest after your first victory because if you fail in the second, more lips are waiting to say that your first victory was just luck.”
- “If you salute your duty, you no need to salute anybody, but if you pollute your duty, you have to salute everybody.”
- “One best book is equal to a hundred good friends, but one good friend is equal to a library.”
- “Unless India stands up to the world, no one will respect us. In this world, fear has no place. Only strength respects strength.”
- “Your best teacher is your last mistake.”
- “I’m not a handsome guy, but I can give my hand to someone who needs help. Beauty is in the heart, not in the face.”
- “Be active! Take on responsibility! Work for the things you believe in. If you do not, you are surrendering your fate to others.”
Hopefully, this blog has helped you in giving an insight into APJ Abdul Kalam’s education and what makes him honoured with India’s highest civilian award “Bharat Ratna” in 1997. Those planning to take their career to new heights, and looking forward to pursuing courses abroad, can reach out to Leverage Edu. We will surely help you choose the right career and the best university according to your chosen field of interest.