Honorary doctorate for India leader, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

23 May 2011

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam (centre) at the University of Sydney with visiting students.
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam (centre) at the University of Sydney with visiting students.

The University of Sydney recently awarded an honorary doctorate to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former president of India and a distinguished scientist and technologist.

In a ceremony attended by Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence, Dr Kalam was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering in recognition of his outstanding global contribution to the profession.

Following the award ceremony Professor Archie Johnston, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, said Dr Kalam remains widely respected as an engineering visionary.

"Dr Kalam's continues to play an influential role in encouraging the uptake of science and technology by young people, especially among students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds," said Professor Johnston.

"He is very active in the efforts to improve India's rural infrastructure and for innovative approaches to renewable energy development.

"He is highly regarded for his innovative campaigns to improve the quality of India's rural infrastructure."

Dr Kalam initiated a program called Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas which focuses on the physical connectivity of urban areas through better roads, digital connectivity through improved internet access, knowledge connectivity through better education.

He was instrumental in the establishment of the Society for Biomedical Technology in 1993 and has championed research and development in the area of telemedicine.

Dr Kalam was awarded India's highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna (1997) for his scientific and technological contributions to the nation. He has also received other civilian awards, Padma Vibhushan (1990) and Padma Bhushan (1981). Prior to becoming President, he has served as the Senior Scientific Advisor to the Government of India.

He is also the recipient of the 2008 Hoover Medal, an honour conferred upon an engineer whose professional achievements and personal endeavours have advanced the well-being of mankind, and the 2007 King Charles II Medal for Science and Technology awarded by the Royal Society of UK, among others.

He is author of several books including Ignited Minds - Unleashing the Power within India, and Envisioning an Empowered India, and Children Ask Kalam, Wings of Fire, India 2020 - A Vision for the New Millennium, among others. These have been translated into many Indian and foreign languages.

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