World Mourns Passing of India’s Eleventh President

India’s former president, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, died July 27, 2015, at the age of 83. He served as India’s eleventh president from 2002 to 2007. A student of physics and aerospace engineering, Kalam was a career scientist for four decades before becoming president. He worked on the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology, and was intimately involved with India’s civilian space program and military missile development efforts. 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 honor. Kalam visited the University of Central Florida twice: first, in 2009, when he spoke on “Technology for Global Transformation” and again, in 2012, when he spent several days at UCF and elsewhere in Florida. During that trip, he addressed thousands of students, faculty, staff and members of the community, focusing on the themes of energy independence and sustainable development. His death was mourned across the world with thousands, including national-level dignitaries, attending the funeral ceremony held in his hometown of Rameshwaram, where he was buried with full state honors.

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