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AVUL PAKIR JAINULABDEEN ABDUL KALAM was the eleventh President of India, from 2002 to 2007. He is a recipient of the Padma Bhushan, the Padma Vibhushan and the nation's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna. Born in 1931 in Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, Dr Kalam studied aeronautical engineering at the Madras Institute of Technology. He played a key role in the development of India's first satellite launch vehicle, the SLV-3; in the building and operationalization of India's strategic missile systems; and in the 1998 nuclear tests. As an elder statesman, he remains in the public eye for his role in offering counsel, reaching out to people and building bridges across religious and social divides. Dr Kalam's focus stays on transforming India into a developed nation by 2020 and to this end he continues to travel across the country for his teaching assignments at IITs and IIMs, to address conferences and to meet students and people from all walks of life. V. PONRAJ is a scientist from ADA (Aeronautical Development Agency), DRDO, Bangalore. He worked with Dr Kalam as an advisor on science and technology and public policy from 2007 to 2014. He was the director (technology interface) at the President's Secretariat from 2003 to 2007. He has worked closely on developed India missions pioneered by Dr Kalam and is presently working on a Ph.D.

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