Arti Agrawal

Arti Agrawal is a scientist and engineer known for her work on computational photonics as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM; she has been recognized in both of these areas by a number of awards. Her research is focused on numerical modeling and simulation of photonic devices and optical components. Agrawal is currently serving as Associate Professor and the Director of Women in Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Technology Sydney and Associate Vice President of Diversity for the IEEE Photonics Society.

Early life and education

Agrawal was born in New DelhiIndia. She earned her Ph.D. in Physics at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 2005, developing mathematical techniques to study optical beam propagation in waveguides  with Anurag Sharma. Agrawal was awarded a Royal Society Postdoctoral Fellowship to study photonic crystal fibers at the City, University of London; she then spent almost a decade working there as a researcher, lecturer, and PhD adviser.

Research and career

Agrawal is an author or editor of a number of books on computational photonics and over 50 peer-reviewed articles. She teaches physics, optics, and engineering courses. Her areas of expertise include finite element methodssolar cellsphotonic crystal fibersnanophotonics, non-paraxial optics, supercontinuum generation, and biomedical optics.

Agrawal has engaged with numerous organizations and projects relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM, including outreach to young students, creating internship and scholarship opportunities for women, founding networking groups, organizing conferences, and is currently leading a department dedicated to women in STEM. She focuses her efforts on women, people of color, and those identifying as LGBTQ+.

Awards, selected

Academic service, selected

  • Associate Vice President of Diversity, IEEE Photonics Society
  • Chair and Board Member, Membership Engagement and Development Council, OSA
  • Associate Editor, IEEE Photonics Journal
  • Section Editor, Journal of the European Optical Society
  • Organizer, Women in Engineering Symposium, 2019
  • Founder, GWN (LGBTQ+Women’s Networking) Multicultural group, 2009

Publications, selected

Recent Trends in Computational Photonics, Springer (2017)

  • Finite Element Time Domain Methods for Photonics, Springer (2017)
  • “Hut-like pillar array Si solar cells,” Solar Energy (2016)
  • “Golden spiral photonic crystal fiber: polarization and dispersion properties,” Optics Letters (2008)
  • “New method for nonparaxial beam propagation,” Journal of the Optical Society of America A (2004)

Ishwar Puri

Ishwar Kanwar Puri is an Indian-American and Canadian scientist, engineer, and academic. He is dean of the Faculty of Engineering and professor of mechanical engineering at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He is ranked among the top 2% of scientists worldwide based on citations of their work.


Puri studied at St. Xavier’s School, Delhi from 1964-76. Thereafter, he graduated with a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from Delhi College of Engineering of Delhi University, Delhi in 1982. He then completed his M.S. (1984) and Ph.D (1987) degrees in engineering science (applied mechanics) from University of California, San Diego.

Career in engineering science

Puri’s vision for McMaster Engineering has been to invest in excellence by recruiting and retaining the best talent, marshalling resources to help the faculty, staff and students fulfill their capabilities, recognizing outstanding contributions and innovations, and efficient governance and administration.

Motivated by the need to “prepare students to be flexible in a rapidly changing world and to meet challenges not yet imagined”, in 2019 he announced the most significant transformation in the sixty year history of engineering education at McMaster University through The Pivot, where design thinking, an innovation mindset and entrepreneurship are embedded in all programming. The three pillars of The Pivot are (1) changing the curriculum by seamless, project-based learning experiences, (2) reimagining the classroom by creating purpose-built studio spaces that replace lecture halls, and (3) amplifying experiential learning by offering more extracurricular and research opportunities to students.

His leadership facilitated the first McMaster MOOC, which was launched through Coursera. In partnership with the Faculty of Health Sciences, Dr. Puri initiated the McMaster University’s – and first of its kind in Canada – Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences Program (IBEHS) that integrates engineering and health sciences, allowing multiple career pathways for graduates in health, engineering and entrepreneurship.

The 2017 ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects ranked the Faculty’s civil engineering program 29th in the world, and metallurgical engineering, computer science and engineering, and transportation science and technology programs within the top 75 around the globe.

He established the community-engaged co-curricular experiential learning MacChangers program, which enables teams of McMaster students across disciplines to propose local solutions to the problems posed by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. MacChangers, which was the first Canadian program to be part of the US National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges Scholars Program, has led to social innovation startups, such as for healthcare. In June 2020, during one of the first such hackathons, students successfully collaborated with members of the Hamilton, Ontario community to propose solutions to local challenges related to combatting COVID-19 in the areas of food, mobility, digital technology, and supporting local businesses.

Before he was appointed dean and professor at McMaster, he served as N. Waldo Harrison Professor and Head of the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM) at Virginia Tech. He led the ESM program for nine years from 2004 through 2013.

He was a postdoctoral researcher and then an Assistant Research Engineer at the University of California, San Diego from 1987-90. In January, 1990, he was appointed as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago. This was converted to a tenure-track appointment as assistant professor in August, 1991. He was thereafter promoted to the rank of associate professor with tenure in 1994, and the rank of Professor in 1999.

He continued to serve at UIC as Director of Graduate Studies of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering programs from 1994–97, and also 1999-2000; as Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies from 2000–01, and finally as Executive Associate Dean of Engineering (2001–04). At UIC, he also served on the steering committee of the UIC Institute for Environmental Studies, and helped facilitate several of UIC’s micro- and nanotechnology initiatives.

In 2004, Puri moved to Virginia Tech to assume the position of professor and department head of engineering science and mechanics. He helped move that program into new convergences at the intersections of the life and physical sciences, and engineering mechanics, and promoted transformative scholarship, particularly through several new faculty hires in novel and interdisciplinary areas of applied mechanics. These efforts helped the department to be ranked fifth in the United States in the undergraduate engineering physics/engineering science category by U.S. News & World Report in 2012.

As department head, he played a leading role at Virginia Tech in the reoccupation of Norris Hall, where his department was housed, after the tragic shootings initiated by a mentally disturbed student.



Puri is the eldest child born in 1959 into a Punjabi Khatri family in New Delhi, India where he lived until his early twenties.

His father was Dr. Krishan Kanwar Puri, who retired as Department Head of Chemistry at Delhi College of Engineering, Delhi, and his mother was Dr. Sushila Gaind Puri who retired as Department Head of Anesthesiology at G. B. Pant Hospital, New Delhi. The elder Dr. Puri, his father, wrote his thesis on acetin fats at the University of Münster where he received his Dr. rer. nat. degree. His mother began her career as a pioneering anesthesiologist at Lady Harding Medical College and Hospital in New Delhi.

Before marrying, his parents settled separately in Delhi in 1947 as refugees due to the partition of India. His Puri family origins lie in Ghartal village that is in Gujranwala District, now in Pakistan, and his Gaind family origins are from Pasrur in Sialkot District, also in Pakistan now.

He lives with his wife, Beth Levinson, in Ancaster, Ontario in Canada. Ms. Levinson’s Jewish roots run through San DiegoCalifornia and Brooklyn, in the United States to Eastern Europe where many of her relatives were consumed and displaced by the Holocaust. They have three children.

Together, the family has established the Ishwar K. Puri and Beth R. Levinson Scholarship that enables the education of an underprivileged girl student through grades K-12 at St. Xavier’s School, Delhi in India.

Rama Govindarajan

Rama Govindarajan is an Indian scientist specialized in the field of fluid dynamics. She previously worked at the Engineering Mechanics Unit of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research from 1998-2012 and as a professor at the TIFR Hyderabad Centre for Interdisciplinary Sciences from 2012-2016. As of 2019 she is working as a professor at International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS), Bengaluru. Professor Govindarajan is a recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award for the year 2007.


Govindarajan did her undergraduate degree (B.Tech.) in chemical engineering from IIT Delhi in 1984. She got her master’s degree (M.S.) in chemical engineering, from Drexel UniversityPhiladelphia, United States in 1986. Her doctoral degree (Ph.D) thesis was on the subject of aerospace engineering from the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore in 1994. She worked in post-doctoral research in the Deptartment of Aeronautics at Caltech in 1994.


Govindarajan started her career as scientist in the Computational and Theoretical fluid dynamics division of National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore, and worked there for a decade from 1988 to 1998. She became a faculty member at the Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research and worked in that position between 1998 and 2012. From 2012 to 2016, she was a professor at the TIFR Centre for Interdisciplinary Sciences. She has published a large number of technical papers in her field of specialization of fluid physics and has also published a few books. Her main research interests relate to instability and transition to turbulence of shear flows, physics of interfacial flows.


Of the many awards that she has received so far, the most notable is the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award for the year 2007 for her “original contributions to the understanding of instabilities in shear and non-parallel flows, flow entrainment, turbulent transition and small-scale hydraulic jumps”. She was also awarded with the Young Scientist award of 1987 and Outstanding Scientist award of 1996 given by the National Aerospace Laboratories. She received the CNR Rao Oration award of 2004 at JNCASR Bangalore.

Ravi Grover

Ravi B. Grover is an Indian nuclear scientist and a mechanical engineer. He is the founding vice chancellor (during initial years he was designated as director equivalent to vice chancellor) of the Homi Bhabha National Institute, a member of the Atomic Energy Commission,  a fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering, and World Academy of Art and Science. He was the president of the Indian Society of Heat and Mass Transfer for the period 2010–2013. He has been awarded Padma Shri by Government of India in the year 2014.

He retired from his previous position as Principal Adviser, Strategic Planning Group, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), in February 2013. Following retirement, he was appointed to DAE’s Homi Bhabha Chair for a period of five years. Concurrently with his position in the DAE, he conceptualized setting up of Homi Bhabha National Institute and led it from 2005 to 2016. Presently he is Emeritus Professor, Homi Bhabha National Institute. His prior positions include Director of the Knowledge Management Group and Associate Director, Technical Coordination & International Relations Group at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). He represented BARC training school in the World Nuclear University in 2003.


Education and academic career

Ravi B. Grover completed his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the prestigious Delhi College of Engineering in 1970 and joined the staff of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. He completed a PhD in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of ScienceBangalore, in 1982.

He was awarded Dhirubhai Ambani Oration Award by Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers in 2008, Distinguished Alumnus Award by Delhi College of Engineering Alumni Association in 2009, Distinguished Alumnus Award by Indian Institute of Science and Indian Institute of Science Alumni Association in 2011. In 2016, Delhi college of Engineering Alumni Association bestowed him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

During first 25 years of his career, Dr. Grover worked as a nuclear engineer and specialised in thermal hydraulics. He worked on fluid to fluid modelling techniques for two-phase flows, reactor fuel and core thermal hydraulics, safety analysis and process design of reactor systems and equipment. Post 1996, he took up managerial responsibilities including technology transfer, human resource development and extramural funding.

On 15 January 2013, the Prime Minister of India conferred on him the Lifetime Achievement Award for the year 2011 for his outstanding contributions in the field of nuclear engineering, towards national initiative to open international civil nuclear trade, further development of framework for governance of nuclear power and human resource development. The citation for the award stated, “During a career spanning four decades, Dr. Grover has distinguished himself as an academic, research and development engineer and a science administrator. His knowledge of nuclear engineering and nuclear law has earned him the title ‘nuclear diplomat’.” Citation says, ” He played maximum role in all steps taken by the Government of India towards opening international civil nuclear trade.” Citation also acknowledges his role during negotiations in 2005 aimed at India joining ITER and he has been leading the Indian delegation to ITER Council since its inception.

In 2014, he was conferred India’s fourth highest civilian award, the Padma Shri. In 2016, Delhi College of Engineering Alumni Association presented him a lifetime achievement award for his continued high level involvement in professional activities.

Support for Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy

Ravi Grover is well known in India as a proponent of nuclear energy as can be seen from his publications related to nuclear energy. He is an editor of the International Journal of Nuclear Knowledge Management.

Dr Grover along with his colleagues formulated a scenario for growth of electricity demand in India by taking into consideration economic growth, population growth, and improvement in energy intensity of GDP and formulating a possible supply mix considering India’s fuel resource base to delineate niche area for nuclear energy. This was the first such long-term forecast of electricity demand in India and firmly established the role of nuclear energy in India’s electricity mix. Based on a very simple logic, in an article published in The Hindu, he explains why India needs nuclear energy. He has been writing in media about issues related to India’s electricity needs and have been highlighting the importance of nuclear energy.

He has worked on details of India’s regime on civil liability for nuclear damage and is credited with explaining fine detail regarding Supplier’s liability.


Setting up of Homi Bhabha National Institute

Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI) was accredited as a deemed to be university in 2005 and Ravi Grover was its first Director. He played a lead role in setting up the Institute. To comply with the new regulations, his title was changed to Vice Chancellor. He was head of HBNI from 2005 until February 2016 and has brought it to the stage of one of the leading research universities in India. Ravi Grover has written a brief history of the Institute in an article published by him on the website of the Indian National Academy of Engineering. He has also written an article in Current Science (10 October 2019) explaining the rationale for setting up the Institute.


Sudhir Kumar Mishra

Sudhir Kumar Mishra is an Indian engineer, defence scientist and civil servant. He is currently a director general at the Defence Research & Development Organisation, and the chief executive officer and managing director of BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between India’s and Russia’s ministries of defence.

Early life and education

Mishra was born and brought up in Jabalpur,Madhya Pradesh in central India. Throughout meritorious, he got admission in to the Mechanical Engineering department of the prestigious Government Engineering College, Jabalpur where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1982. He later received his master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and his doctoral degree from the National Institute of Technology, Warangal.


Soon after graduating from IIT Madras, he joined DRDO’s main missile laboratory, the DRDL Hyderabad in 1984 and worked under A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and other eminent scientists on the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme and other missile programmes of India, including the Agni and BrahMos. He served as the Project Director of BrahMos, the world’s only supersonic missile. He also served as Counsellor and Technical Adviser (Defence Technology) at the Embassy of India in Moscow, coordinating several defence R&D projects between India and Russia. He served as the Director (Missiles) at DRDO overseeing all the missile programmes of India, and later as the Chief Controller (Research and Development) at DRDO.

Minal Rohit

Minal Rohit is an Indian scientist and systems engineer with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). She helped send the Mangalyaan space probe to Mars.

After graduating from Nirma Institute of Technology, Rohit joined the ISRO. She worked with mechanical engineers on the team of MOM. She monitored systems and the methane sensors involved with the spacecraft. She became part of the team that launched MOM as a system integration engineer .


Early life and education

Minal Sampat was born in Rajkot, India.

As a child, Rohit dreamt of becoming a doctor, but a space show on the TV changed her mind in class 8. During her education, she noticed that her female peers aimed for scientific careers based on their possible salaries rather than the pursuit of knowledge. Although she ended up getting a full education along with college, many girls around her only received partial education. She graduated from Gujarat University in 1999, along with graduating from Space Applications Centre with a B Tech in communications and was a gold medalist in electronics and communication engineering from Nirma Institute of Technology and Science, Ahmedabad.


Rohit started her career as a Satellite Communications engineer at Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and went on to work for the Space Application Center. She was one of 500 scientists and engineers who worked on the Mars Orbiter Mission. As Systems Engineer for the mission, she helped integrate and test the sensors that the orbiter was carrying. She abstained from taking any leaves for two years.

Rohit was a head engineer and a Project Manager for upcoming projects such as Chandrayaan II. Sampat is currently Deputy Project Director at ISRO. She aims to become the first woman director to head a national space agency.

Research contributions

Rohit was one of 500 scientists working on the Mangalyaan mission headed by the ISRO, and one of the 10 women assigned to the project. She served as project manager as well as systems engineer and was involved with incorporating the components of the methane sensor (MSM), Lyman-Alpha Photometer (LAP), Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS), and Mars Color Camera (MCC) onto the orbiter. She is a senior engineer at the ISRO.

She is currently involved with the Chandrayaan-II, the follow up mission to the Chandrayaan-1, India’s first successful Lunar probe. Her primary work on the project involves improving the Insat-3DS satellite to increase atmospheric data and quality received.


Minal Rohit was one of ten women out of 500 scientists to bring India to Mars. She helped India become the first country to orbit Mars with a satellite on the first attempt.

Rohit was featured in a short film Snapshots from Afar where she discussed her contribution to the Mangalyaan space probe to Mars.

Awards and accomplishments

Rohit won the Young Scientist Merit Award from the ISRO in 2007 for her contributions to their Telemedicine program and the ISRO Team Excellence Award in 2013 for her work on INSAT 3D meteorological payloads. Regarding the MOM project, Rohit and her colleges were praised in a speech from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over their work on the mission with the 15 month time constraint. She graduated Gujarat University with a gold medal in electronic and communication engineering.

She received the ISRO Young Scientist Merit Award 2013 for her contribution to the Telemedicine programme. Sampat was named one of CNN’s 2014 Women of the Year.

Personal life

Rohit has one son.


Tessy Thomas

Tessy Thomas (born April 1963) is an Indian scientist and Director General of Aeronautical Systems and the former Project Director for Agni-IV missile in Defence Research and Development Organisation. She is the first ever woman scientist to head a missile project in India.

Early life

Tessy Thomas was born in April 1963 in AlappuzhaKerala, to a Syrian Christian family. She was named after Mother Teresa (Tessy being a derivative of Teresa or Tressia). There is conflicting information on whether her father was an IFS officer or a small-time businessman or an accountant. When Thomas was 13 her father suffered from a stroke which left his right side paralyzed. Her mother who was a teacher remained a home maker to look after the family in such dire condition.

She grew up near Thumba Rocket Launching Station and says her fascination with rockets and missiles began then. She was stimulated even by the wonderment of aircraft flying.

Thomas has four other sisters and one brother. She has mentioned in interviews about her parents ensuring their children received proper education and encouraging the six siblings to pursue careers of their own interest so that they can excel. Two of her siblings are engineers while another pursued a MBA.

Thomas credited her home town and mother for her personal development. “I grew up with the pretty backwaters of Kerala as my backyard. I guess nature gives you strength and good thoughts. The power of nature cannot be undermined in one’s development.” Of her mother she has said, “It must have been tough for my mother — who was not allowed to work — to look after us on her own. Yet she made sure each of her five daughters and one son had a good education…. I’ve inherited her strong will for sure. I am equally persevering and determined like my mother.”


Tessy Thomas studied in St. Michael’s Higher Secondary School and St. Joseph’s Girl’s Higher Secondary School in Alleppey (Alappzuha). She had a natural flair for mathematics and physics. She scored one hundred percent in mathematics during her 11th and 12th years in school. In the same years she had also scored more than ninety five percent in science.

She took an education loan of Rs. 100 per month from State Bank of India to study engineering from Government Engineering College, Thrissur. She also received a scholarship that covered her tuition fees having been entered into the first ten students of the merit list during her admissions. The loan gave her the courage to live in a hostel while pursuing her B. Tech.

In both school and college Thomas was involved in extracurricular activities including political issues. She excelled in sports especially badminton bringing much recognition to her alma maters.

She also has an M.Tech in Guided Missile from the Institute of Armament Technology, Pune (now known as the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology). She also pursued MBA in Operations Management and Ph.D. in guidance missile under DRDO.


Tessy Thomas joined DRDO in 1988, where she worked on the design and development of the new generation ballistic missile, Agni. She was appointed by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam for the Agni Project. In addition, Tessy was the associate project director of the 3,000 km range Agni-III missile project. She was the project director for mission Agni IV which was successfully tested in 2011. Later, Tessy was appointed as the project director of the 5,000 km range Agni-V in 2009, which was successfully tested on 19 April 2012. In 2018, she became the Director-General, Aeronautical Systems of DRDO

She is a fellow in various universities such as the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE), Institution of Engineers-India (IEI) and Tata Administrative Service (TAS)

Personal life

She is married to Saroj Kumar, a commander in the Indian Navy and they have a son, Tejas.


Thomas received the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for her contribution for making India self-reliant in the field of missile technology.

She was also the recipient of the Dr Thomas Cangan Leadership Award at the Faculty of Management Studies – Institute of Rural Management, Jaipur (FMS-IRM) in 2018.


Anil Kakodkar

Anil Kakodkar (born 11 November 1943) is an Indian nuclear physicist and mechanical engineer. He was the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India and the Secretary to the Government of India, he was the Director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay from 1996–2000. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian honour, on 26 January 2009.

Apart from playing a major role in India’s nuclear tests asserting sovereignty, Kakodkar champions India’s self-reliance on thorium as a fuel for nuclear energy.


Early life

Kakodkar was born on 11 November 1943 in Barwani princely state (present day Madhya Pradesh state) to Kamala Kakodkar and Purushottam Kakodkar, both Gandhian freedom fighters. He had his early education at Barwani and at Khargone, until moving to Mumbai for post-matriculation studies.

Kakodkar graduated from Ruparel College, then from VJTIUniversity of Mumbai with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1963. He joined the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in 1964. He obtained a master’s degree in experimental stress analysis from the University of Nottingham in 1969.


He joined the Reactor Engineering Division of the BARC and played a key role in design and construction of the Dhruva reactor, a completely original but high-tech project. He was a part of the core team of architects of India’s Peaceful Nuclear Tests in 1974 and 1998. Further he has led the indigenous development in India’s Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor Technology. He worked in the rehabilitation of the two reactors at Kalpakkam and the first unit at Rawatbhata, which at one stage were on the verge of being written off.

In 1996 he became Director of the BARC and since 2000 he is leading the Atomic Energy Commission of India and also is the secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy. He has published over 250 scientific papers.

He believes that India should be self-reliant in energy, especially by use of the cheap national thorium resources. He continues to engage in designing the Advanced Heavy Water Reactor, that uses thorium-uranium 233 as the primary energy source with plutonium as the driver fuel. The unique reactor system, with simplified but safe technology, will generate 75 per cent of electricity from thorium.


Other positions

Dr. Kakodkar is a member of many boards, commissions, and other organizations. Some of them are:

  • Chairman, Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay – 2006–15.
  • Chairman, Board of Directors of Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Limited, Pune (current).
  • Member, Atomic Energy Commission
  • Member, ONGC Energy Centre Trust
  • Chairman, empowered committee on IIT reforms
  • He is a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineeringand served as its president during 1999–2000.
  • He is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, India and the Maharashtra Academy of Sciences.
  • He is a member of the– International Nuclear Energy Academyand Honorary member of the World Innovation Foundation. He was member of the International Nuclear Safety Advisory Group (INSAG) during 1999–2002
  • He is on the board of Governors of VJTIMumbai
  • He will head Rail safety committee as per Rail budget speech by Railway Minister in 2012
  • He is chairman Rajiv Gandhi Science and Technology Commission, Government of Maharashtra, Mantralaya, Mumbai.
  • He is chairman of steering and monitoring committee of Biomedical Engineering and Technology (incubation) Centre, a network of 11 engineering and medical institutes for medical device innovation.
  • He is chairperson of Dr. B R Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar.


National awards

Other awards

  • Highest civilian award of the Maharashtra state-Maharashtra Bhushan Award(2012)
  • Highest civilian award of the Goa state-Gomant Vibhushan Award(2010)
  • Hari Om Ashram Prerit Vikram Sarabhai Award (1988)
  • K. Firodia Awardfor Excellence in Science and Technology (1997)
  • Rockwell Medalfor Excellence in Technology (1997)
  • FICCIAward for outstanding contribution to Nuclear Science and Technology (1997–98)
  • ANACON– 1998 Life Time Achievement Award for Nuclear Sciences
  • Indian Science Congress Association’s H. J. Bhabha Memorial Award (1999–2000)
  • Godavari Gaurav Award (2000)
  • Y. Nayudamma Memorial Award (2002)
  • Chemtech Foundation’s Achiever of the Year Award for Energy (2002)
  • Gujar Mal Modi Innovative Science and Technology Awardin 2004.
  • Homi Bhabha Lifetime Achievement Award 2010.
  • Acharya Varahmihir Award (2004) by Varahmihir Institute of Scientific Heritage and Research, Ujjain (M.P.), India


G. Madhavan Nair

  1. Madhavan Nair(born 31 October 1943) is an Indian space scientistand a former Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation, and Secretary to the Department of SpaceGovernment of India. He has also been the Chairman of the Space Commission and Chairman of the Governing Body of the Antrix CorporationBangalore. He was Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Technology Patna until he stepped down due to his involvement in a controversial deal relating to sale of radio spectrum bandwidth involving Antrix. He was subsequently barred from holding any government positions.

Nair was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian honour, on 26 January 2009.


Early life

Nair was born in KulasekharamTravancore State, (now in Kanyakumari districtTamil Nadu), India. He graduated with a B.Sc. in Engineering (1966) from College of Engineering, Trivandrum, of the University of Kerala with specialization in Electronics & Communication Engineering. After his graduation, Nair attended a training program at the Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) Training School, Mumbai.



Nair is a leading technologist in the field of rocket systems and has made significant contribution to the development of multi-stage satellite launch vehicles, achieving self-reliance in independent access to space using indigenous technologies. Nair and his team have advanced their work in the face of several challenges in the regime of technology denials by adopting several innovations and novel techniques to realise world class launch vehicle systems. India today has a pride of place amongst the space-faring nations in launch vehicle technology. Specifically, as Project Director, he led the development of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) which has since become the workhorse for launching mainly Indian remote sensing satellites.

As Director of ISRO’s largest R & D Centre, the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, he also saw India’s Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) successfully come to fruition. Further, as Director of the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre of ISRO, he played a central role in the design and development of the crucial cryogenic engine for GSLV. A list of Positions held before is listed below:

2010–? Chairman, Centre for Management Development, Trivandrum
2003–09 Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation, Bangalore
1999–2003 Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Trivandrum
1995–99 Director, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, Trivandrum
1994–96 Programme Director, ILVP, VSSC, Trivandrum
1988–95 Project Director, PSLV, Trivandrum
1984–88 Associate Project Director, PSLV, Trivandrum
1980–84 Head, Electronics Systems, VSSC, Trivandrum
1974–80 Project Engineer, SLV-3 Project, Trivandrum
1972–74 Project Manager, Telecommand System, VSSC, Trivandrum
1967–72 Head, Payload Integration Section, TERLS, Trivandrum

As Chairman of ISRO

As the Chairman of Indian Space Research Organization, Nair is entrusted with the responsibility for the development of space technology and its application to national development. During his tenure as Chairman, ISRO/Secretary, DOS, twenty seven successful missions were accomplished i.e., INSAT-3E, Resourcesat-1, Edusat, Cartosat-1, Hamsat-1, INSAT-4A, PSLV-C5, GSLV-F01, PSLV-C6, Cartosat-2, INSAT-4B, SRE-1, PSLV-C7, PSLV-C8, GSLV-F04, INSAT-4CR, PSLV-C10, Cartosat-2A, IMS-1, PSLV-C9, Chandrayaan-1, PSLV-C11, PSLV-C12, RISAT-2, ANUSAT, PSLV-C14 and Ocensat-2 . He has taken initiatives towards development of futuristic technologies to enhance the space systems capabilities as well as to reduce the cost of access to space. Nair has given major thrust for evolving application programmes such as tele-education and telemedicine for meeting the needs of society at large. As Chairman Space Commission, Nair is responsible for chalking out the future plan for space research in the country. Major thrust are in scientific exploration of outer space using the Astrosat and Chandrayaan (moon) missions apart from implementing schemes for telemedicine, tele-education and disaster management support systems. He is also providing guidance and leadership in undertaking new technology developments related to launch vehicle, spacecraft for communication, remote sensing and applications programmes to meet societal needs.

In the international arena, Nair has led the Indian delegations for bilateral cooperation and negotiations with many Space Agencies and Countries, specially with France, Russia, Brazil, Israel, etc., and has been instrumental in working out mutually beneficial international cooperative agreements. Nair has led the Indian delegation to the S&T Sub-Committee of United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN-COPUOS) since 1998.

His main focus has always been to achieve self-reliance in the high technology areas and to bring the benefits of space technology to India’s development, specially targeting the needs of the rural and poor sections of society.

Establishment of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology

  1. Madhavan Nair initiated and implemented the establishment of Indian Institute of Space Science and Technologyin Thiruvananthapuram. There were some objections and impediments in its establishment.



Nair has won several awards such as National Aeronautical Award, FIE Foundation’s Award, Shri Om Prakash Bhasin Award, Swadeshi Sastra Puraskar Award, Vikram Sarabhai Memorial Gold Medal of the Indian Science Congress Association, Dr.Yelavarthy Nayudamma Memorial Award-2004, HK Firodia Award-2005, Fifth “Shri Balvantbhai Parekh Award”, Lokmanya Tilak Award from Tilak Smarak Trust, “Sree Chithira Thirunal Award” from Sree Chithira Thirunal Trust, “MP Birla Memorial Award 2009”, “Bhu Ratna Award”, “Mohamed Abdu Rahiman Sahib National Award”, “AV Rama Rao Technology Award”, “Chanakya Award” etc., He has also received Gold Medal from the Prime Minister at the 94th Indian Science Congress at Chidambaram in 2007. He received M M Chugani award for 2006, conferred by Indian Physics Association at IIT Mumbai during March 2008. He was also conferred with “Raja Rammohan Puraskar” award on the 236th birth anniversary of Raja Rammohan Roy at Kolkata during May 2008.

The Government of India awarded Nair the Padma Bhushan in 1998 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2009

Nair has received numerous honorary degrees, including:



In August 2017, Nair’s autobiography, titled Agnipareekshakal, was published.

A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam (15 October 1931 – 27 July 2015) was an Indian aerospace scientist and politician who served as the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007. He was born and raised in RameswaramTamil Nadu and studied physics and aerospace engineering. He spent the next four decades as a scientist and science administrator, mainly at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and was intimately involved in India’s civilian space programme and military missile development efforts. He thus came to be known as the Missile Man of India for his work on the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology. He also played a pivotal organisational, technical, and political role in India’s Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998, the first since the original nuclear test by India in 1974.

Kalam was elected as the 11th President of India in 2002 with the support of both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the then-opposition Indian National Congress. Widely referred to as the “People’s President”, he returned to his civilian life of education, writing and public service after a single term. He was a recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour.

While delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong, Kalam collapsed and died from an apparent cardiac arrest on 27 July 2015, aged 83.Thousands, including national-level dignitaries, attended the funeral ceremony held in his hometown of Rameswaram, where he was buried with full state honours.


Early life and education

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was born on 15 October 1931 to a Tamil Muslim family in the pilgrimage centre of Rameswaram on Pamban Island, then in the Madras Presidency and now in the State of Tamil Nadu. His father Jainulabdeen was a boat owner and imam of a local mosque;  his mother Ashiamma was a housewife. His father owned a ferry that took Hindu pilgrims back and forth between Rameswaram and the now uninhabited Dhanushkodi.  Kalam was the youngest of four brothers and one sister in his family. His ancestors had been wealthy traders and landowners, with numerous properties and large tracts of land. Their business had involved trading groceries between the mainland and the island and to and from Sri Lanka, as well as ferrying pilgrims between the mainland and Pamban. As a result, the family acquired the title of “Mara Kalam Iyakkivar” (wooden boat steerers), which over the years became shortened to “Marakier.” With the opening of the Pamban Bridge to the mainland in 1914, however, the businesses failed and the family fortune and properties were lost over time, apart from the ancestral home.  By his early childhood, Kalam’s family had become poor; at an early age, he sold newspapers to supplement his family’s income.

In his school years, Kalam had average grades but was described as a bright and hardworking student who had a strong desire to learn. He spent hours on his studies, especially mathematics. After completing his education at the Schwartz Higher Secondary School, Ramanathapuram, Kalam went on to attend Saint Joseph’s College, Tiruchirappalli, then affiliated with the University of Madras, from where he graduated in physics in 1954. He moved to Madras in 1955 to study aerospace engineering in Madras Institute of Technology. While Kalam was working on a senior class project, the Dean was dissatisfied with his lack of progress and threatened to revoke his scholarship unless the project was finished within the next three days. Kalam met the deadline, impressing the Dean, who later said to him, “I was putting you under stress and asking you to meet a difficult deadline”. He narrowly missed achieving his dream of becoming a fighter pilot, as he placed ninth in qualifiers, and only eight positions were available in the IAF.


Career as a scientist

This was my first stage, in which I learnt leadership from three great teachers—Dr Vikram Sarabhai, Prof Satish Dhawan and Dr Brahm Prakash. This was the time of learning and acquisition of knowledge for me.

After graduating from the Madras Institute of Technology in 1960, Kalam joined the Aeronautical Development Establishment of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (by Press Information Bureau, Government of India) as a scientist after becoming a member of the Defence Research & Development Service (DRDS). He started his career by designing a small hovercraft, but remained unconvinced by his choice of a job at DRDO. Kalam was also part of the INCOSPAR committee working under Vikram Sarabhai, the renowned space scientist. In 1969, Kalam was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) where he was the project director of India’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully deployed the Rohini satellite in near-earth orbit in July 1980; Kalam had first started work on an expandable rocket project independently at DRDO in 1965. In 1969, Kalam received the government’s approval and expanded the programme to include more engineers.

Kalam addresses engineering students at IIT Guwahati

In 1963 to 1964, he visited NASA‘s Langley Research Center in Hampton, VirginiaGoddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland; and Wallops Flight Facility. Between the 1970s and 1990s, Kalam made an effort to develop the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and SLV-III projects, both of which proved to be successful.

Kalam was invited by Raja Ramanna to witness the country’s first nuclear test Smiling Buddha as the representative of TBRL, even though he had not participated in its development. In the 1970s, Kalam also directed two projects, Project Devil and Project Valiant, which sought to develop ballistic missiles from the technology of the successful SLV programme.  Despite the disapproval of the Union Cabinet, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi allotted secret funds for these aerospace projects through her discretionary powers under Kalam’s directorship. Kalam played an integral role convincing the Union Cabinet to conceal the true nature of these classified aerospace projects. His research and educational leadership brought him great laurels and prestige in the 1980s, which prompted the government to initiate an advanced missile programme under his directorship. Kalam and Dr V S Arunachalam, metallurgist and scientific adviser to the Defence Minister, worked on the suggestion by the then Defence Minister, R. Venkataraman on a proposal for simultaneous development of a quiver of missiles instead of taking planned missiles one after another. R Venkatraman was instrumental in getting the cabinet approval for allocating ₹ 3.88 billion for the mission, named Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) and appointed Kalam as the chief executive. Kalam played a major part in developing many missiles under the mission including Agni, an intermediate range ballistic missile and Prithvi, the tactical surface-to-surface missile, although the projects have been criticised for mismanagement and cost and time overruns.

Kalam served as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and Secretary of the Defence Research and Development Organisation from July 1992 to December 1999. The Pokhran-II nuclear tests were conducted during this period in which he played an intensive political and technological role. Kalam served as the Chief Project Coordinator, along with Rajagopala Chidambaram, during the testing phase. Media coverage of Kalam during this period made him the country’s best known nuclear scientist. However, the director of the site test, K Santhanam, said that the thermonuclear bomb had been a “fizzle” and criticised Kalam for issuing an incorrect report. Both Kalam and Chidambaram dismissed the claims.

In 1998, along with cardiologist Soma Raju, Kalam developed a low cost coronary stent, named the “Kalam-Raju Stent”. In 2012, the duo designed a rugged tablet computer for health care in rural areas, which was named the “Kalam-Raju Tablet”.




Kalam served as the 11th President of India, succeeding K. R. Narayanan. He won the 2002 presidential election with an electoral vote of 922,884, surpassing the 107,366 votes won by Lakshmi Sahgal. His term lasted from 25 July 2002 to 25 July 2007.

On 10 June 2002, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) which was in power at the time, expressed that they would nominate Kalam for the post of President, and both the Samajwadi Party and the Nationalist Congress Party backed his candidacy. After the Samajwadi Party announced its support for Kalam, Narayanan chose not to seek a second term in office, leaving the field clear. Kalam said of the announcement of his candidature:

I am really overwhelmed. Everywhere both in Internet and in other media, I have been asked for a message. I was thinking what message I can give to the people of the country at this juncture.

On 18 June, Kalam filed his nomination papers in the Indian Parliament, accompanied by Vajpayee and his senior Cabinet colleagues.


The polling for the presidential election began on 15 July 2002 in Parliament and the state assemblies, with the media claiming that the election was a one-sided affair and Kalam’s victory was a foregone conclusion; the count was held on 18 July. Kalam became the 11th president of the Republic of India in an easy victory, and moved into the Rashtrapati Bhavan after he was sworn in on 25 July. Kalam was the third President of India to have been honoured with a Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, before becoming the President. Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (1954) and Dr Zakir Hussain (1963) were the earlier recipients of Bharat Ratna who later became the President of India. He was also the first scientist and the first bachelor to occupy Rashtrapati Bhawan.

During his term as president, he was affectionately known as the People’s President, saying that signing the Office of Profit Bill was the toughest decision he had taken during his tenure. Kalam was criticised for his inaction in deciding the fate of 20 out of the 21 mercy petitions submitted to him during his tenure. Article 72 of the Constitution of India empowers the President of India to grant pardons, and suspend or commute the death sentence of convicts on death row. Kalam acted on only one mercy plea in his five-year tenure as president, rejecting the plea of rapist Dhananjoy Chatterjee, who was later hanged. Perhaps the most notable plea was from Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri terrorist who was convicted of conspiracy in the December 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament and was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court of India in 2004. While the sentence was scheduled to be carried out on 20 October 2006, the pending action on his mercy plea resulted in him remaining on death row. He also took the controversial decision to impose President’s Rule in Bihar in 2005.

In September 2003, in an interactive session in PGI Chandigarh, Kalam supported the need of Uniform Civil Code in India, keeping in view the population of the country.

At the end of his term, on 20 June 2007, Kalam expressed his willingness to consider a second term in office provided there was certainty about his victory in the 2007 presidential election. However, two days later, he decided not to contest the Presidential election again stating that he wanted to avoid involving Rashtrapati Bhavan from any political processes. He did not have the support of the left parties, Shiv Sena and UPA constituents, to receive a renewed mandate.

Nearing the expiry of the term of the 12th President Pratibha Patil on 24 July 2012, media reports in April claimed that Kalam was likely to be nominated for his second term. After the reports, social networking sites witnessed a number of people supporting his candidature. The BJP potentially backed his nomination, saying that the party would lend their support if the Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party and Indian National Congress proposed him for the 2012 presidential election. A month ahead of the election, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mamata Banerjee also expressed their support for Kalam. Days afterwards, Mulayam Singh Yadav backed out, leaving Mamata Banerjee as the solitary supporter. On 18 June 2012, Kalam declined to contest the 2012 presidential poll. He said of his decision not to do so:

Many, many citizens have also expressed the same wish. It only reflects their love and affection for me and the aspiration of the people. I am really overwhelmed by this support. This being their wish, I respect it. I want to thank them for the trust they have in me.


After leaving office, Kalam became a visiting professor at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong, the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, and the Indian Institute of Management Indore; an honorary fellow of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalorechancellor of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology Thiruvananthapuram; professor of Aerospace Engineering at Anna University; and an adjunct at many other academic and research institutions across India. He taught information technology at the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad, and technology at Banaras Hindu University and Anna University.

In May 2012, Kalam launched a programme for the youth of India called the What Can I Give Movement, with a central theme of defeating corruption.

In 2011, Kalam was criticised by civil groups over his stand on the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant; he supported the establishment of the nuclear power plant and was accused of not speaking with the local people. The protesters were hostile to his visit as they saw him as a pro-nuclear scientist and were unimpressed by the assurances he provided regarding the safety features of the plant.


On 27 July 2015, Kalam travelled to Shillong to deliver a lecture on “Creating a Livable Planet Earth” at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong. While climbing a flight of stairs, he experienced some discomfort, but was able to enter the auditorium after a brief rest. At around 6:35 p.m. IST, only five minutes into his lecture, he collapsed. He was rushed to the nearby Bethany Hospital in a critical condition; upon arrival, he lacked a pulse or any other signs of life.  Despite being placed in the intensive care unit, Kalam was confirmed dead of a sudden cardiac arrest at 7:45 p.m. IST. His last words, to his aide Srijan Pal Singh, were reportedly: “Funny guy! Are you doing well?”

Following his death, Kalam’s body was airlifted in an Indian Air Force helicopter from Shillong to Guwahati, from where it was flown to New Delhi on the morning of 28 July in an air force C-130J Hercules. The flight landed at Palam Air Base that afternoon and was received by the President, the Vice-President, the Prime Minister, Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal, and the three service chiefs of the Indian Armed Forces, who laid wreaths on Kalam’s body. His body was then placed on a gun carriage draped with the Indian flag and taken to his Delhi residence at 10 Rajaji Marg; there, the public and numerous dignitaries paid homage, including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.

On the morning of 29 July, Kalam’s body, wrapped in the Indian flag, was taken to Palam Air Base and flown to Madurai in an air force C-130J aircraft, arriving at Madurai Airport that afternoon. His body was received at the airport by the three service chiefs and national and state dignitaries, including cabinet ministers Manohar ParrikarVenkaiah NaiduPon Radhakrishnan and the governors of Tamil Nadu and Meghalaya, K Rosaiah and V. Shanmuganathan. After a brief ceremony, Kalam’s body was flown by air force helicopter to the town of Mandapam, from where it was taken in an army truck to his hometown of Rameswaram. Upon arriving at Rameswaram, his body was displayed in an open area in front of the local bus station to allow the public to pay their final respects until 8 p.m. that evening.

On 30 July 2015, the former president was laid to rest at Rameswaram‘s Pei Karumbu Ground with full state honours. Over 350,000 people attended the last rites, including the Prime Minister, the governor of Tamil Nadu and the chief ministers of Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.

Personal life

Kalam was the youngest of five siblings, the eldest of whom was a sister, Asim Zohra (d. 1997), followed by three elder brothers: Mohammed Muthu Meera Lebbai Maraikayar (born 4 November 1916), Mustafa Kalam (d. 1999) and Kasim Mohammed (d. 1995). He was extremely close to his elder siblings and their extended families throughout his life, and would regularly send small sums of money to his older relations, himself remaining a lifelong bachelor.

Kalam was noted for his integrity and his simple lifestyle. He never owned a television, and was in the habit of rising at 6:30 or 7 a.m. and sleeping by 2 a.m. His few personal possessions included his books, his veena, some articles of clothing, a CD player and a laptop; at his death, he left no will, and his possessions went to his eldest brother, who survived him.


Awards and honours

Kalam received 7 honorary doctorates from 40 universities. The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 1981 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1990 for his work with ISRO and DRDO and his role as a scientific advisor to the Government. In 1997, Kalam received India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, for his contribution to the scientific research and modernisation of defence technology in India. In 2013, he was the recipient of the Von Braun Award from the National Space Society “to recognize excellence in the management and leadership of a space-related project”.

In 2012, Kalam was ranked number 2 in Outlook India’s poll of the Greatest Indian.

Following his death, Kalam received numerous tributes. The Tamil Nadu state government announced that his birthday, 15 October, would be observed across the state as “Youth Renaissance Day;” the state government further instituted the “Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam Award“, constituting an 8-gram gold medal, a certificate and ₹500,000 (US$7,000). The award will be awarded annually on Independence Day, beginning in 2015, to residents of the state with achievements in promoting scientific growth, the humanities or the welfare of students.

On the anniversary of Kalam’s birth in 2015 the CBSE set topics on his name in the CBSE expression series.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi ceremonially released postage stamps commemorating Kalam at DRDO Bhawan in New Delhi on 15 October 2015, the 84th anniversary of Kalam’s birth.

Researchers at the NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) had discovered a new bacterium on the filters of the International Space Station (ISS) and named it Solibacillus kalamii to honour the late president Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.

Several educational and scientific institutions and other locations were renamed or named in honour of Kalam following his death.

  • Kerala Technological University, headquartered at Thiruvananthapuramwhere Kalam lived for years, was renamed to A P J Abdul Kalam Technological University after his death.
  • An agricultural college at Kishanganj, Bihar, was renamed the “Dr. Kalam Agricultural College, Kishanganj” by the Bihar state government on the day of Kalam’s funeral. The state government also announced it would name a proposed science city after Kalam.
  • India’s First Medical Tech Institute named as Kalam Institute of Health Technologylocated at Visakhapatnam.
  • Uttar Pradesh Technical University(UPTU) was renamed A. P. J. Abdul Kalam Technical University by the Uttar Pradesh state government.
  • P. J. Abdul Kalam Memorial Travancore Institute of Digestive Diseases, a new research institute in Kollam city, Kerala attached to the Travancore Medical College Hospital.
  • A new academic complex at Mahatma Gandhi University in Kerala.
  • Construction of  A. P. J. Abdul Kalam Science Citystarted in Patna in February 2019.
  • A new science centre and planetarium in Lawspet, Puducherry.
  • India and the US have launched the Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship in September 2014. The first call for applicants was announced on Friday, 12 March 2016, for the fellowship which will enable up to 6 Indian PhD students and post-doctoral researchers to work with US host institutions for a period of 6–12 months. The fellowship will be operated by the binational US-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) under the Fulbright programme.
  • Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Planetarium in Burla, SambalpurOdishawas named after him.


Other awards and honours

Year of award or honour Name of award or honour Awarding organisation
2014 Honorary professor Beijing University, China
2014 Doctor of Science Edinburgh University, UK
2013 Von Braun Award National Space Society
2012 Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) Simon Fraser University
2011 IEEE Honorary Membership IEEE
2010 Doctor of Engineering University of Waterloo
2009 Honorary Doctorate Oakland University
2009 Hoover Medal ASME Foundation, USA
2009 International von Kármán Wings Award California Institute of Technology, USA
2008 Doctor of Engineering (Honoris Causa) Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
2008 Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh
2007 Honorary Doctorate of Science and Technology Carnegie Mellon University
2007 King Charles II Medal Royal Society, UK
2007 Honorary Doctorate of Science University of Wolverhampton, UK
2000 Ramanujan Award Alwars Research Centre, Chennai
1998 Veer Savarkar Award Government of India
1997 Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration Indian National Congress
1997 Bharat Ratna President of India
1995 Honorary Fellow National Academy of Medical Sciences,
1994 Distinguished Fellow Institute of Directors (India)
1990 Padma Vibhushan Government of India
1981 Padma Bhushan Government of India

Books, documentaries and popular culture

Kalam’s writings

  • Developments in Fluid Mechanics and Space Technologyby A P J Abdul Kalam and Roddam NarasimhaIndian Academy of Sciences, 1988
  • India 2020: A Vision for the New Millenniumby A P J Abdul Kalam,  S. Rajan; New York, 1998.
  • Wings of Fire: An Autobiographyby A P J Abdul Kalam, Arun Tiwari; Universities Press, 1999.
  • Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power Within Indiaby A P J Abdul Kalam; Viking, 2002.
  • The Luminous Sparksby A P J Abdul Kalam, by; Punya Publishing Pvt Ltd., 2004.
  • Mission Indiaby A P J Abdul Kalam, Paintings by Manav GuptaPenguin Books, 2005
  • Inspiring Thoughtsby A P J Abdul Kalam; Rajpal & Sons, 2007
  • Indomitable Spiritby A P J Abdul Kalam; Rajpal and Sons Publishing
  • Envisioning an Empowered Nationby A P J Abdul Kalam with A Sivathanu Pillai; Tata McGraw-Hill, New Delhi ]
  • You Are Born To Blossom: Take My Journey Beyondby A P J Abdul Kalam and Arun Tiwari; Ocean Books, 2011.
  • Turning Points: A journey through challengesby A P J Abdul Kalam; Harper Collins India, 2012.
  • Target 3 Billionby A P J Abdul Kalam and Srijan Pal Singh; December 2011 | Publisher Penguin Books.
  • My Journey: Transforming Dreams into Actionsby A P J Abdul Kalam; 2014 by the Rupa Publication.
  • A Manifesto for Change: A Sequel to India 2020by A P J Abdul Kalam and V Ponraj; July 2014 by Harper Collins.
  • Forge your Future: Candid, Forthright, Inspiringby A P J Abdul Kalam; by Rajpal and Sons, 29 October 2014.
  • Reignited: Scientific Pathways to a Brighter Futureby A P J Abdul Kalam and Srijan Pal Singh; by Penguin India, 14 May 2015.
  • Transcendence: My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamijiby A P J Abdul Kalam with Arun Tiwari; HarperCollins Publishers, June 2015
  • Advantage India: From Challenge to Opportunityby A P J Abdul Kalam and Srijan Pal Singh; HarperCollins Publishers,15 Oct 2015.



  • Eternal Quest: Life and Times of Dr Kalamby S Chandra; Pentagon Publishers, 2002
  • President A P J Abdul Kalamby R K Pruthi; Anmol Publications, 2002.
  • A P J Abdul Kalam: The Visionary of Indiaby K Bhushan, G Katyal; A P H Pub Corp, 2002.
  • A Little Dream(documentary film) by P. Dhanapal; Minveli Media Works Private Limited, 2008.
  • The Kalam Effect: My Years with the Presidentby P M Nair; Harper Collins, 2008.
  • My Days With Mahatma Abdul Kalamby Fr A K George; Novel Corporation, 2009.
  • P.J. Abdul Kalam: A Lifeby Arun Tiwari; Haper Collins, 2015.
  • The People’s President: Dr A P J Abdul Kalamby S M Khan; Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016.