Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), India’s military research and development organization, has decided to rename its missile complex in Hyderabad after former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, bestowing an honour to one of the country’s most popular scientists.
Defence minister Manohar Parrikar will rename the complex on 15 October on the occasion of Kalam’s 84th birth anniversary.
It is at this complex that Kalam,India’s 11th president, began his career as a scientist; he worked there for nearly two decades.
The missile complex comprises Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL), Defence Research and Development Laboratory(DRDL) and Research Centre Imarat (RCI), considered a brainchild of Kalam.
“As founder(-)director, Dr Kalam conceived and steered RCI as a generator of critical missile technologies,” a government statement on Wednesday said.
Kalam, who oversaw the Pokhran nuclear tests in 1998 and was very popular during his presidency from 2002-07,died in July. Fondly called “People’s President”, Kalam endeared himself to the masses by opening up the doors of Rashtrapati Bhavan, the palatial official residence of the country’s first citizen to the public, especially children,whom he saw as the country’s future.
Kalam worked as a scientist and administrator at DRDO for four decades. He played an integral role in the development of intermediate ballistic range missile Agni, and surface-to-surface missile Prithvi.