Sustained Development Systems for 3 Billion

Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, Former President of Republic of India

Presented by the Dean's International Lecture Program at the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, at the University of Sydney

19 May, 2011


Dr A P J Abdul Kalam became the 11th President of India on 25th July 2002. During his five years in office his focus was on transforming India into a developed nation by 2020. A scientist and aeronautical engineer by training he advocates that it is possible to work cooperatively for an economically developed, prosperous and peaceful society. His lecture for Sydney Ideas outlined his vision for providing sustainable development for a county that is projected to have the largest population on earth within 50 years.

Dr Abdul Kalam


Dr A P J Abdul Kalam was a pioneer in fibre glass technology and led a young team to initiate this effort in India Space Research Organisation (ISRO) from design, development leading to production of composites rocket motor cases. Dr. Kalam made significant contribution as Project Director to develop India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-3) which successfully injected the Rohini satellite in the near earth orbit in July 1980 and made India an exclusive member of Space Club.

He was the Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and Secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development from July 1992 to December 1999. Dr Kalam has served as the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, in the rank of Cabinet Minister, from November 1999 to November 2001 and was responsible for evolving policies, strategies and missions for many development applications.

Dr Kalam took up academic pursuit as Professor, Technology & Societal Transformation at Anna University, Chennai from November 2001 and was involved in teaching and research tasks. During the last decade, Dr Kalam has addressed over five million youth below the age of 17 and inspired them to become an active participant of India Vision 2020. He has addressed several children science congresses across the country.

Dr Kalam has published a number of books, including: Wings of Fire, India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium, Ignited Minds: Unleashing the power within India, and Mission India: A vision for Indian youth.

Dr Kalam is one of the most distinguished scientists of India with the unique honour of receiving honorary doctorates from 40 universities and institutions from India and abroad. He is a recipient of ‘Bharat Ratna’, India’s highest civilian award. The Royal Society, UK has awarded Dr Kalam with the “King Charles-II Medal” for Science and Technology in October 2007. He received the Woodrow Wilson Award in 2008. The Royal Academy of Engineering, London conferred on him the International Medal 2008 in June 2009 at London.