Dr APJ Abdul Kalam believed teachers play a crucial role in molding students’ character, instilling values, enhancing their learning with technology, and nurturing innovation and creativity for a competitive future.
October 15 is commemorated as World Students’ Day in honour of the notable contributions of former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam in the field of education. This observance coincides with the birth anniversary of Dr Kalam, India’s 11th President, renowned as the ‘Missile Man of India’. He was a distinguished scientist and administrator who worked with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for four decades.
Dr Kalam’s commitment to education was so unwavering that he returned to his teaching profession immediately after concluding his term as the 11th President of India. He believed that teachers play a pivotal role in shaping students’ character, instilling human values, enhancing their learning abilities through technology, and fostering their confidence to be innovative and creative, thus equipping them to face the future competitively.
Dr Kalam always encouraged his students to strive to become the best versions of themselves, imparting valuable wisdom: “If you fail, never give up because F.A.I.L. means ‘First Attempt In Learning.’ End is not the end; in fact, E.N.D. means ‘Effort Never Dies.’ If you receive ‘No’ as an answer, remember N.O. means ‘Next Opportunity.’ So, let’s maintain a positive outlook.”
Dr Kalam was born on October 15, 1931, in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu. He pursued aeronautical engineering at the Madras Institute of Technology and joined the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). In recognition of his exceptional contributions, he was honored with the Padma Vibhushan in 1990 and the Bharat Ratna in 1997.
The former President played a pivotal role in India’s aerospace and defense research, having been present during the country’s first nuclear test, Smiling Buddha. He later spearheaded Project Devil and Project Valiant, initiatives aimed at developing ballistic missiles based on the technology of the successful SLV programme. Over the years, Dr Kalam became an integral part of India’s advanced missile programme as its director.