MMC inaugurated the APJ Abdul Kalam Auditorium in the year 2017. This space can contain more 2500 people and situated in the 5th floor of the St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara Block (Main Block). The auditorium is named after Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam for the following reasons:
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, in full Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, (born October 15, 1931, Rameswaram, India—died July 27, 2015, Shillong), Indian scientist and politician who played a leading role in the development of India’s missile and nuclear weapons programs. He was president of India from 2002 to 2007.
Kalam earned a degree in aeronautical engineering from the Madras Institute of Technology and in 1958 joined the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). In 1969 he moved to the Indian Space Research Organisation, where he was project director of the SLV-III, the first satellite launch vehicle that was both designed and produced in India. Rejoining DRDO in 1982, Kalam planned the program that produced a number of successful missiles, which helped earn him the nickname “Missile Man.” Among those successes was Agni, India’s first intermediate-range ballistic missile, which incorporated aspects of the SLV-III and was launched in 1989.
From 1992 to 1997 Kalam was scientific adviser to the defense minister, and he later served as principal scientific adviser (1999–2001) to the government with the rank of cabinet minister. His prominent role in the country’s 1998 nuclear weapons tests solidified India as a nuclear power and established Kalam as a national hero, although the tests caused great concern in the international community. In 1998 Kalam put forward a countrywide plan called Technology Vision 2020, which he described as a road map for transforming India from a less-developed to a developed society in 20 years. The plan called for, among other measures, increasing agricultural productivity, emphasizing technology as a vehicle for economic growth, and widening access to health care and education.
In 2002 India’s ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) put forward Kalam to succeed outgoing President Kocheril Raman Narayanan. Kalam was nominated by the Hindu nationalist (Hindutva) NDA even though he was Muslim, and his stature and popular appeal were such that even the main opposition party, the Indian National Congress, also proposed his candidacy. Kalam easily won the election and was sworn in as India’s 11th president, a largely ceremonial post, in July 2002. He left office at the end of his term in 2007 and was succeeded by Pratibha Patil, the country’s first woman president.
Upon returning to civilian life, Kalam remained committed to using science and technology to transform India into a developed country and served as a lecturer at several universities. On July 27, 2015, he collapsed while delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong and was pronounced dead from cardiac arrest soon afterward.
Kalam wrote several books, including an autobiography, Wings of Fire (1999). Among his numerous awards were two of the country’s highest honours, the Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the Bharat Ratna (1997).
On 25th July 2002, when Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was sworn in as the 11th President of the Republic of India, he became the first scientist and the first bachelor to occupy the office of Rashtrapati Bhawan. In the next five years, the missile man of India demonstrated his abilities as a true People’s president or even ‘Children’s President’. Known for his pivotal role in India’s Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998, Dr. Kalam has been an inspirational figure for everyone, whether a child, youth or adult.
Post presidency, Dr. Kalam was actively involved in academics as faculty in some of the premier institutes of the country. In one such role, he visited the Indian Institute of Management- Ahmedabad, for a couple of days as visiting faculty for the course ‘Globalising & Resurgent India through Innovation Transformation’ (GRIT). At 80, it was stirring to see him arrive at 7:45 PM and take the lecture on Vision 2020 and sustainability till 12:30 AM with just a cup of milk. He said, A leader must have a ‘Vision’ – for an organization, ‘Passion’ – to work for achieving the goals, ‘Curiosity’ to travel an unexplored path, and ‘Courage’ to take decisions, in order to succeed, along with demonstrating the transparent actions & nobility in management.
When he was only 10 years old, he had been discussing about birds flying on a sea-shore, which led him to aim to be a pilot one day. To achieve his dream, he studied Physics first, then Aeronautics, but he couldn’t become a pilot as he was ranked 9th and the required vacancy was only 8. Nevertheless, he didn’t regret it because he went on to become the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. Later on, he was able to fulfill his dream of flying when he piloted a SU-30 MKI Flanker (Mach-3) and controlled it for half an hour.
Such was the spirit of Dr. Kalam. Today, just a couple of hours ago when he tweeted about his scheduled lecture at IIM-Shillong, he was on his way to do what he loves best, spend time among the future of the country and lead them to glory. With his sudden demise, he leaves behind his legacy of infinite wisdom, thoughtfulness and intelligence. Here are some inspirational quotes by Dr. Kalam which will no doubt forever ring true.
“Dream is not that which you see while sleeping it is something that does not let you sleep.”
“Don’t take rest after your first victory because if you fail in second, more lips are waiting to say that your first victory was just luck.”
“To succeed in your mission, you must have a single-minded devotion to your goal.”
“If you fail, never give up because FAIL means “First Attempt In Learning.”
“All of us do not have equal talent. But, all of us have an equal opportunity to develop our talents.”
“Be active! Take on responsibility! Work for the things you believe in. If you do not, you are surrendering your fate to others.”
“You cannot change your future, but you can change your habits, and surely your habits will change your future.”
“We have no ability to be equal to all have opportunities equal to their ability lane.”
“It is very Easy To Defeat Someone, But it is Very Hard To Win Someone.”
“If you want to shine like a sun, First burn like the sun.”
“Your best teacher is your last mistake.”