You are on page 1of 36

Page 1 of 18

WINGSOFFIRE
Unit 1(chapters 1 to 4) Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam ,usually known as Dr A P J Abdul Kalam was the eleventh president of India.He was popularly known as peoples President. He was a nuclear scientist by profession and was regarded the father of Indian missile development. His name is associated with the development of Indias first satellite launch vehicle SLV-3 and Agni missile. He is a voracious reader, writes poetry and plays rudra veena. He has received many honorary doctorates and was Padma Bhushan in 1981, Vibhushan in 1990 and Bharat Ratna in 1997.Wings of Fire, Ignited Minds, India2020, A vision for the millennium were some of his works. Wings of Fire is his autobiography .He gives triumphs tribulations and pays glowing tribute to his colleagues, friends and everyone who helped in realizing the collective dreams .He says that everyone is born with a divine fire in oneself and one should give wings to this fire. CHILDHOOD Kalam was born on 15 october 1931 into a middle class Tamil family,in the island town of Rameswaram. His was a very secured childhood both materially and emotionally. His father Jainulabdeen and mother Ashiamma were an ideal couple. They were very generous and Kalam learnt from them- honesty, kindness, discipline and a deep rooted faith in God. Jainulabdeen was neither highly educated nor very rich. He was a man of principles and avoided comforts and luxuries but essential needs were well provided for. They lived in their ancestral house situated in the Rameswarams mosque street. The famous Shiva temple was about a ten minute walk from their house. It being a place of two shrines being side by side, people of both religions lived amicably as neighbours. The stories from Ramayana and Mohammad Prophets life formed Kalams bedtime stories. He was brought up imbibing both the cultures. EARLY INFLUENCES:JAINULABDEEN:Jainulabdeen observed daily namaaz and would help the people by giving them the sacred water. But he was so humble and said that he was only a channel or a helper. He asked people to thank Allah for his mercy and generosity.He was able to explain complicated spiritual concepts in simple Tamil. He used to say that one moves beyond his body when he prays and that troubles and adversity come to teach people. He said that fear prevents ones hopes from being fulfilled. He also said that people in distress need consolation. Praying to solve problems is a wrong approach, he says. One should pray for self reliance and happiness comes from within and not from external sources. Kalam was greatly influenced by his fathers philosophy. He saw his father put his philosophy into practice. Jainulabdeen started a brisk business of ferrying pilgrims from Rameswaram to Dhanushkodi and back. A severe cyclone struck the Rameswaram coast and the boat was wrecked in the strong winds. Jainulabdeen bore the loss in calmness. He was more concerned about a greater tragedy a train full of passengers had flushed away when the Pamban Bridge had collapsed. Kalam says that he learnt both from his fathers attitude and the actual disaster, how to cope up with difficulties in life. When Kalam seeked his fathers permission to go for higher studies, Jainulabdeen permitted him telling that neither their love nor their needs would bind him. AHMED JALLALUDDIN: Jallaluddin was Kalams relative. He helped Jainulabdeen in building the boat. He was 15 years older than Kalam and used to call him Azad. He later married Kalams sister Zohara.He had not much schooling as his family couldnt afford it.He always encouraged Kalam to excel and seemed to get a great deal of satisfaction from Kalams academic success. Jallaluddin was the only person on the island

who could write in English.He wrote letters for everyone who needed and no other person could match him in his knowledge and awareness of the outside world. Jallaluddin was a major influence on Kalams life at

Page 2 of 18 that stage.He talked to Kalam on many things spiritual concepts,scientific discoveries,contemporary writing and literature,strides made by medical science etc.It was he who helped Kalam look beyond the limited horizons of his life.Jallaluddin used to communicate with God as if God were listening to him.Later,he used to tell Kalam the incidents in World War 2 and Kalam would try to trace them in the news paper.He travelled with Kalam to enrol him in Schwartz High School and to arrange for his boarding there.He spoke to Kalam about the power of positive thinking when Kalam didnt take to the new setting.He said to the author to strive to control his thoughts and through these to influence his destiny. SAMSUDDIN Samsuddin was Kalams cousin who helped in shaping his boyhood.He was the only distributor for the news paper Dinamani.Kalam used to look at the pictures in the papers before Samsuddin delivered them.At the time of second World War,the train halt at Rameswaram was suspended and the bundles of news paper were tossed out of the moving train,onto the road between Rameswaram and Dhanushkodi.Samsuddin needed a helping hand and he chose Kalam for it.Thus Samsuddin gave the opportunity to earn and Kalam says that he could feel the thrill and pride of his first earnings even after many years.Kalam says that he was benifitted from his interaction with Jallaluddin and Samsuddin,whose wisdom was based on intuition rather than instruction.He admits that whatever creativity he has displayed in his later life was inspired by their presence in his childhood. He also says that he had acquired a practical bent of mind because of these two friends. THE SECOND WORLD WAR Kalam was 8 years old at the time of second world war.He says that the war influenced him indirectly by providing him with his earnings.there was a great demand for tamarind seeds then.Kalam used to collect and sell them which would fetch him the then princely amount of one anna.The war came to an end and the whole country was filled with an optimism.The optimism affected Kalam and he seeked his fathers permission to go Ramanathapuram to study. PAKSHI LAKSHMANA SASTRY He was the high priest of the Shiva temple in Rameswaram.He was also a close friend of his fathers.The two people used to discuss spiritual matters .They had similar thoughts regarding spirituality despite of the differences in their traditions,mode of worship and dressing.Ramanatha Sastry,the son of Lakshmana Sastry was a good friend of Kalam.When Kalam was in 5th standard,a new teacher had come and he was unable to tolerate a muslim boy sitting beside a brahmin.He asked Kalam to go back and sit there.When Lakshmana Sastry came to know this,he summoned the teacher and asked him not to spread the poison of social inequality and communal intolerance in the minds of innocent children.Kalam remembers Lakshmana Sastrys words in many situations. SIVASUBRAMANIA IYER He was Kalams science teacher at Rameswaram.He was an orthodox brahmin in his upbringing but was a rebel at heart.He encouraged Kalam to develop his skills so that he could compete with the highly educated people in big cities. He also invited Kalam home for a meal.He served Kalam himself, as his wife refused to do so and by the next time,he was able to convince his wife that there is nothing wrong in it. Sivasubramanya Iyer was able to break some social barriers that prevailed in their small town. He rooted the idea of higher studies in Kalams mind. STR MANICKAM He was a militant nationalist who had a huge personal library.He encouraged Kalam to read more and more.Kalam acquired a growing love for reading and this habit has continued all through his life. IYADURAI SOLOMON He was authors teacher at Schwartz High School.He was warm and open minded and made his students feel comfortable in class.He was an ideal guide and a great teacher who

instilled in children a sense of their own worth.He has been Kalams mentor and raised his self-esteem.He

Page 3 of 18 said,`With faith,you can change your destiny.` He taught Kalam that one should desire intensely in order to make anything happen.Not only that,one should be completely certain that it would happen.Kalam came to know that this kind of firm belief is not only a strong motivating force,but it also does things happen.Iyadurai Solomon convinced Kalam that he too could aspire to become whatever he wished.Its because of the confidence he raised ,Kalam has decided to go for further studies.Iyadurai Solomon has been Kalams ideal guide and mentor. EDUCATION AT ST.JOSEPHS COLLEGE Kalam arrived at St.Josephs College in1950,to study for the intermediate examination.He stayed on the campus for 4 years and had a wonderful time with his two room mates,one being a brahmin and the other a christian.He acquired a taste for English literature and developed a keen interest in physics.He joined the B.Sc. course as he had no knowledge of other courses.He came to know that Physics,though fascinating, was not his subject and that he should take up Engineering to realise his dreams and that he should have done that straight after the Intermediate exam.He applied for admission at the Madras Institute of Technology(MIT). Kalam managed to get on the list but the fact was that he couldnt meet the expenditure.Zohara,Kalams sister,mortgaged her chain and bangles to help him out.Kalam promised himself that he would redeem them with his own earnings. THE THREE TEACHERS AT MIT Kalams curiosity was aroused by two decommissioned aircrafts which were put on display to demonstrate the various subsystems of flying machines.He felt a strange attraction towards them and used to spend a lot of time sitting there.He chose Aeronautical Engineering in his 2nd year.He had a clear goal now that hes going to fly aircraft. Kalam says that three teachers shaped his thinking and their instructions formed the foundation on which he later built his professional career. They were professors Sponder,KAVPandalai and Narasingha Rao.They were distinct personalities,different in many ways but sharing a common quality-the capacity of feeding their students intellectual hunger with brilliance and untiring zeal. Prof.Sponder taught technical aerodynamics.He was an Austrian who hated Germans but worked with them despite it.He was always calm,energetic and in control of himself.He kept himself updated of the latest technologies and wanted his students to do the same.Kalam consulted him first when he thought of opting for Aeronautical Engineering.Prof.Sponder observed that the real trouble with many students was not lack of educational opportunities.The trouble was in their failure to choose their field of study with sufficient care. He told the author that one should never worry about ones foundations.He also said that one should have a natural ability and passion for ones chosen field.Kalam had the most cherished memory from college,related to Prof.Sponder.He asked Kalam to sit beside him for the class photograph telling that Kalam was his best student and he also said that he would heap honour on his teachers. Prof.Pandalai taught aero-structure design and analysis.He was a friendly and enthusiastic teacher,whose approach was fresh.Kalam says that he unlocked the secrets of structural engineering to them.He was a man of great intellectual integrity and learning with no signs of arrogance.His students were free to disagree with him in classroom discussions. Prof.Narasingha Rao was a mathematician .He taught theoretical aerodynamics.His teaching made the author prefer mathematical physics to any other subject.He advised the author on how to prove equations in aerodynamics and thus helped him in acquiring the skill. Kalam says that an amalgamation of information took place in his mind and he says that he acquired this composite knowledge because of these three lecturers. FINAL YEAR AT MIT

It was a year of transition.Kalam was assigned a project to design a low level attack aircraft along with four other students.He was put in charge of drawing its

Page 4 of 18 aerodynamic design.Prof.Srinivasan,the then director of MIT declared the work disappointing.He ordered Kalam to complete it within three days.He also warned that his scholarship would be cancelled if he wouldnt submit it in time.Kalam was dumbstruck at this situation as the scholarship was his lifeline.He strove hard putting all his efforts .When he was about to complete the task,Prof.Srinivasan dropped in to see the progress.The work was appreciated by the professor. Kalam also enjoyed extracurricular work. He won an essay writing competition. The article he wrote was,`Let us make our own aircraft`. PREPARING TO START A CAREER Kalam went as a trainee to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited(HAL) at Bangalore.The theory he learnt in classroom was practically applied.He found the technicians working ,on the basis of their experience. He got two different job opportunities,both close to his long-standing dream of flying.One was a career in the Indian Air Force(IAF),and the other,at the Directorate of Technical Development and Production(DTD&P),of the Ministry of Defence.Kalam started his first long journey to Delhi and Dehradun to attend the interviews. The questions at the DTD&P(Air) were routine and didnt challenge his knowledge of subject.He was confident that he had done well.Then he proceeded to Dehradun for his interview at the Air Force selection Board.There, the emphasis was on personality,physical fitness and ability to speak well.Kalam was very much excited,confident and determined.But at the same time,he was so nervous,anxious and tense.He was disappointed as he was not selected.It took some time for Kalam to understand that he missed the chance.He had to overcome his disappointment somehow.He decided to go on a journey to soothe his mind.He went to Rishikesh which seemed to be an ideal place with its peaceful atmosphere. Kalam met Swami Sivananda in his Ashram and told him of his unsuccessful attempt to join the IAF and his long-cherished desire to fly. He comforted Kalam with his powerful words to accept his destiny.He cosoled him telling that he might not be destined to become a pilot.He said that ones destiny is pre-determined .He asked Kalam to forget the failure and think of it as a step that leads to his path. Kalam reminded his fathers words that learning to cope with setbacks and failures is a part of life. He returned to Delhi and enquired about the outcome of his interview.He was handed the appointment letter and he joined the next day at DTD&P(Air) as senior scientific assistant on the basic salary of Rs.250 per month. Kalam no more did feel depressed or unhappy at his failure to enter the IAF.He also realized that although he was not flying the aeroplanes,he was helping to make them airworthy. Wings of fire UNIT 2 (Chapters 5 to 8) Kalam was posted at the Technical Centre .He carried out a design assignment on supersonic target aircraft and the work was praised by the director .He was sent to the Aircraft and Armament Testing Unit (A&ATU) at Kanpur .On his return to Delhi, Kalam was given a new target which was carried out successfully .He later carried out the design and development of a vertical takeoff and landing system. Three years passed and Kalam was posted to the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), which was just born in Bangalore. THE NANDI PROJECT Kalam & his team were given three years to design and develop an indigenous hovercraft prototype, a Ground Equipment Machine (GEM).The project was bigger than their capabilities .None of them were experienced .No designs or standard parts were available. There was not much material available to read .There were no experienced people to consult. Kalam decided to go ahead with the limited information and resources available. They moved to the actual model after spending a few months on the drawing board. Things started moving slowly and there seemed some progress. VK Krishna Menon, the then Defence minister of India, was keenly interested in the progress of their small project. He felt that it was a stepping stone to India producing defence equipment within the country. His confidence set the tone for their

enthusiasm. But Kalam had a bitter experience from his senior colleagues. They were not satisfied with the experiments done with the limited parts. Kalam and his team were called a group of odd inventors trying to

Page 5 of 18 do something beyond the reality. They thought that it was an impossible dream. But, this type of opinion on them fired the ever-optimistic minds of Kalam and his team. The Defence minister used to make some routine visits and find out the progress. The hovercraft was named Nandi. The hovercraft, in its form and finish went beyond their expectations. Later, the Defence minister took a ride in it putting aside all the safety instructions. Kalam was confident enough that he would be able to fly the machine he had created and so disregarded the silent order of the group captain. It was a smooth ride and the minister was so pleased. He said to Kalam that the basic problems were now solved and that he should develop a more powerful prime mover in which he would take a second ride. The project was successfully completed .The director of ADE, Dr. OP Mediratta was very much pleased with the achievement of creating a successful working hovercraft. Unfortunately, by that time, Krishna Menon was out of office and in the new government, not many people shared his dream. The project had to face many controversies and unpleasant situations and it was finally shelved. Kalam feels bad that we still import the hovercrafts, depending on outside technology. The setback in this Nandi project was a new experience for him. He put his heart and soul in it and so was not able to bear that it could not be used practically. He was disappointed and disillusioned. He was so depressed that he started to think that there is a limit to everything and one cannot go beyond it. In this period of uncertainty and confusion, he recollected the words of Lakshmana Sastry, Seek the truth and the truth shall set you free. One day Dr. Mediratta inquired Kalam about the state of the hovercraft and asked him to demonstrate it for an important guest, the next day. The visitor was a tall, handsome, bearded man who asked Kalam several questions and asked him to give a ride in the machine. He was none other than Prof.MGK Menon, director of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR). INTERVIEW AT INCOSPAR Kalam received a call from the INdian COmmittee for SPAce Research (INCOSPAR).INCOSPAR was formed out of TIFR to organize space research in India. Kalam went to Bombay to attend the interview. He reminded himself that the best way to win was to not feel that desperate need to win. He decided to take things as they came. He felt that he could perform well if he were relaxed and free from doubt.Kalam was interviewed by Prof.Sarabhai along with Prof.Menon and Mr.Saraf. Kalam says that he had sensed their warmth and friendliness as he entered the room. He says that none of them were arrogant and proud. They didnt show any superiority feeling which many interviewers exhibit. Kalam was immediately struck by Prof.Sarabhai. He questioned Kalam in such a manner that it was an exploration of the inner capabilities and possibilities of Kalam. The entire encounter seemed to be a total moment of truth to Kalam. He also felt that his dream would be fulfilled as it seemed to be a part of their bigger dream. Kalam was absorbed as a rocket engineer at INCOSPAR. It was a turning point in Kalams life. WORK AND ATMOSPHERE AT INCOSPAR Kalam felt the atmosphere at INCOSPAR to be entirely different from that at DTD&P (Air).No one bothered about their designations and cadres. There was no need to give explanations. No one showed their authority or aggressive feelings. A friendly atmosphere prevailed there. THUMBA EQUATORIAL ROCKET LAUNCHING STATION(TERLS) INCOSPAR took the decision of setting up its Equatorial Rocket Launching Station at Thumba, a sleepy fishing village near Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram) in Kerala. It was chosen to be the suitable location by Dr. Chitnis as it was very close to the earths magnetic equator. This was the beginning of modern rocket-based research in India. The site selected measured about 600 acres and there stood a large church within the area. The then collector K Madhavan Nair had successfully carried on the task of acquiring the land with the co-operation of the bishop Right Rev. Dr. Dereria. Soon, the executive engineer of the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), RD John had transformed the entire area. Thus, the St. Mary Magdalene church housed the first office of the Thumba Space Centre. The prayer room was Kalams

first laboratory and the bishops room was his design and drawing office. Kalam was asked to attend a six-

Page 6 of 18 month training programme on sounding rocket launching techniques at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) work centres in the USA. He took some time off to visit Rameswaram before his journey. Jainulabdeen was very pleased to hear the news and organized a special namaaz. Jallaluddin and Samsuddin went to Bombay to bid good-bye to Kalam. When Jallaluddin said that they had faith and confidence in him and his capabilities, Kalam was unable to control his tears. WORK AT NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Kalam joined work at NASAs research centre in Virginia. From there, he went to Maryland, to the Goddard Space Flight Centre. He was impressed by the organizational structure of those institutions in the US. They were experienced people and they were not suffering from false pride. Kalam says that false pride was a big barrier to effective growth in several Indian institutions. He says that this pride was widespread in many organizations. It stops managers from listening to their subordinates. Kalam always thought that one can never be creative and give good results if he is disrespected and humiliated. Kalam says that a fine line is to be drawn between firmness and harshness, strong leadership and bullying, discipline and vindictiveness. He suggests us not to put off things and asks us to learn to solve the problems. It helps us in distinguishing between success and failure and also makes us depend on our inborn courage and wisdom. THE SPECIAL PAINTING AT NASA CENTER Kalam went to the east coast of Virginia towards the end of his visit. The sounding rocket programme undertaken by NASA was situated there. In the reception lobby, a painting was displayed which didnt drag Kalams attention at first. He felt that it was a normal painting. It depicted a battle scene, with a few rockets flying in the background. The soldiers launching the rockets seemed to be south Indians. A few days later, Kalam examined the painting very closely and he came to know that it was the army of Tipu Sultan fighting the British East India Company. He felt that it was an honour given to the foresight of an Indian ruler but felt unhappy that the fact was not known in our country. Tipu Sultan was the first Indian ruler who had used the rockets in the 18th century. The British forces captured more than 700 rockets and the subsystems of 900 rockets when Tipu Sultan was killed. These rockets were taken to England and were subjected by the British, which we call reverse engineering today. Indian rocketry came to a stand still with the death of Tipu and was revived 150 years later in an independent India. THE LAUNCH OF NIKE-APACHE Indias first rocket launch took place on 21 November 1963, soon after Kalam had returned from NASA.It was a sounding rocket called NIKE-APACHE. It had been made at NASA and was assembled in the church building at Thumba. The launch of this rocket was with a few tense moments. The only equipment available to transport the rocket to the launch pad was a truck and a manually operated hydraulic crane. There was a leak in the hydraulic system which was managed by the collective muscle power of Kalam and his team. The two persons that had played an active and crucial role in the NIKEAPACHE launch were D Eswaradas and R Arvamudan. Eswaradas undertook the rocket assembly and arranged the launch. Arvamudan was in charge of radar, telemetry and ground support. Kalam was in charge of rocket integration and safety. The launch was smooth and problem-free and they obtained excellent flight idea. They felt a sense of pride and accomplishment. THE ROHINI SOUNDING ROCKET (RSR) PROGRAMME The Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station was further developed, in active collaboration with France, the USA and the USSR. The real journey of the Indian space programme began with the Rohini sounding rocket (RSR) programme. Under the RSR programme, a family of operational sounding rockets was developed. Several rockets have been launched for various scientific and technological studies. The development of these rockets made India capable of producing fully indigenous sounding rockets as well as

their high performance solid propellants. This development of Indian rocketry in the 20th century can be seen as the revival of the 18th century vision of Tipu. Rocket technology had made great strides abroad.

Page 7 of 18 Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in Russia (1903), Robert Goddard in USA(1914) and Herman Oberth in Germany(1923) gave new dimensions to rocketry. During World War 2, Wernher von Brauns team in Nazi Germany produced the effective v-2 short-range ballistic missile. After the war, both the USA and the USSR captured their share of German rocket engineers which lead to the deadly Arms Race that lasted for decades. Rocketry was reborn in India as a result of the technological vision of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Prof. Vikram Sarabhai took on the challenge of giving physical dimensions to Nehrus dream. Their vision was very clear.India must be second to none in the application of advanced technologies. THE SITUATION AT INCOSPAR IN THE EARLY SIXTIES Kalam shares with us the situation at INCOSPAR in the early sixties. They were a group of young and inexperienced persons who were very active energetic and enthusiastic. They were given the task of shaping the Indian spirit of self-reliance in the field of science and technology. The particular task was to shape the Indian spirit of space research. Their biggest qualifications at INCOSPAR were not their degrees and training but Prof. Sarabhais faith in their capabilities. PROF. VIKRAM SARABHAI Vikram Srabhai was born into an affluent family of industrialists in Ahmedabad. As a research scholar, he worked under Sir C V Raman at the Indian Institute of Science. He was the main person in setting up the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad, in 1947. He set up Indias first rocket launching station (TERLS) at Thumba. He believed in the practical application of science and its benefits for the common man. He initiated Indias space programme when he undertook the launch of an indigenously built Indian satellite. TERLS was renamed the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre after his death. KALAMS FIRST MEET WITH PROF.SARABHAI Kalam first met Prof. Sarabhai, when he attended the interview at INCOSPAR. He was very much impressed by Sarabhais friendly behavior and attitude. Sarabhai posed the questions to know the capabilities of Kalam and his ability to work for a longer time goals. At that moment, Kalam decided to follow the foot-steps of Sarabhai in his future endeavors. 1. AN INNOVATOR Kalam says that prof. Sarabhai was an innovator.He was keen on trying new ideas and he liked the young people to do the same. At that time it was not all that easy to provide latest research facilities to the scientists. India had neither the infrastructure nor the money to use sophisticated technology in space research. So, Prof. Sarabhai wanted to compensate this by recruiting young people to develop space programme. He believed that young scientists would bring novel ideas with them which are important for new development in scientific research. He has the wisdom and judgment to realize not only if something was well done, but also when it was time to stop. 2. A MAN OF OPTIMISM Prof.Sarabhais was very optimistic and he spreads this optimism to all. The news of his coming to Thumba would electrify the people and all the laboratories, workshops and design offices would be on continuous work. People would work round the clock to show something new to Prof. Sarabhai. 3. AN EFFECTIVE LEADER He believed in an open and free exchange of views. He knew that the goal should be clear to the team members also. He felt that effective leadership was impossible without collective understanding of a problem. He once told Kalam that his job was to make decisions but it was equally important to see that those decisions were accepted by his team members. 4. A GOOD DECISION-MAKER Prof. Sarabhai took a series of decisions that have given life to many scientists in India. He wanted to create new frontiers in the field of science and technology in India. He shared his dream

of an Indian Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV) after the successful launch of Nike-Apache. His decision to make our own SLVs and our own satellites that too simultaneously, in a multi-dimensional fashion was

Page 8 of 18 remarkable. He discussed the matter with the scientists in different organizations at different locations. The most significant achievement was to establish and maintain nationwide trust in the plan. He also had a plan to develop a RATO system for military aircraft. 5. A MAN OF BRILLIANCE Prof. Sarabhai was a man of high intelligence. He utilized each persons knowledge and skills. He used to make every member get involved in the work. If he found any one of the members with excessive work, he used to reduce the pressure on them. If any one was without required skill or capability, he used to help them to perform better. He very well knows how to bring out the inner capabilities of his people. He recognised that Kalam had the quality of getting the work done not by using the authority but by persuading people to do it. Thats why he assigned Kalam the task of providing interface support to payload scientists. 6. A SUCCESSFUL PERSON Prof. Sarabhai was an unorthodox person in his approach. He always used to get unusual thoughts. He also emitted sudden flashes of inspiration. He was able to run the countrys space research establishmentunder-staffed and over-workedbut in a successful manner. 7. A WODERFUL ADMINISTRATOR Prof. Sarabhai had the great ability of coordinating the work of various organizations for achieving a goal. He was a wonderful administrator who selected the right man at the right place in Indias space programme. He reposed faith in the capabilities of the staff. All his plans laid emphasis on self-reliance and indigenous technology. KHALIL GIBRAN Kalam often read Khalil Gibran. He always found his words full of wisdom. Bread baked without love is a bitter bread, that feeds but half a mans hunger. Those who cannot work with their hearts achieve a hollow, half-hearted success that only breeds bitterness within. If a writer secretly prefers to be a lawyer or a doctor, his written words will feed only half the hunger of his readers. If a teacher is interested in working a business, his teaching will meet only half the need for knowledge of his students. If a scientist hates science, his performance will satisfy only half the needs of his mission. PROF.ODA Kalam had worked with several people who work dedicatedly. He gives here an incident that shows Prof. Odas dedication towards work. Kalam had to interact with scientists from TIFR, the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) and with the payload scientists from the USA, the USSR, France, West Germany and Japan. There are different types of pay loads x-ray payloads to look at the stars; payloads to analyse the gas composition of the upper atmosphere; sodium payloads find out wind conditions, its and velocity; and ionospheric payloads to explore the different layers of the atmosphere. Prof. Oda was an x-ray payload scientist from the Institute of Space and Aeronautical Sciences (ISAS), Japan. Kalam describes him as a tiny man with towering personality and radiant eyes. He insisted on using the timers he had brought from Japan. He stuck on to his stand that the Indian timers must be replaced by the Japanese ones. Kalam yielded to his suggestion and replaced the timers even though he felt them to be flimsy. The rocket took off elegantly but the telemetry signal reported mission failure on account of timer malfunction. Prof. Oda was so upset that tears welled up in his eyes. Kalam was stunned by the intensity of his response. ROHINI AND MENAKA Kalam was also involved with building subsystems like payload housing and jettisonable nose cones. Two Indian rockets Rohini and Menaka were born at Thumba. It was a huge achievement that the Indian payloads no longer needed to be launched by French rockets. The first Rohini75 rocket was launched from TERLS on 20 November 1967. V S NARAYANAN Once, Prof. Sarabhai asked Kalam to meet him at 3.30 a.m. in Delhi. At that time, Kalam happened to go through a book in which George Bernard shaw said that the world gets progress

because of a few men who try to adapt the world to themselves. It was also said that a project manager should learn to live with uncertainty and ambiguity. Kalam was introduced to VS Narayanan by Prof.

Page 9 of 18 Sarabhai. Narayanan was group captain from the IAF. Prof. Sarabhai unfolded his plan of developing a rocket-assisted takeoff system (RATO) for military aircraft. That would help our fighter planes to take off from the short runways in the Himalaya. They went to the Tilpat range, on the outskirts of New Delhi. The IAF was in dire need of a large number of RATO motors for their S-22 and HF- 24 aircraft. Narayanan was a great admirer of the strong approach of the Russian missile development programme. He also had tremendous enthusiasm for indigenous guided missiles. Narayanan obtained 75 lakhs as funding for the RATO task. He used to say that hewill provide whatever needed but not any extra time. THE TWO SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS Two significant developments occurred during the subsequent work on RATO motors. The first was the release of a ten-year profile for space research in the country, prepared by Prof. Sarabhai. It was a theme meant for open discussions. Its based on early ideas born at INCOSPAR. It included the utilization of satellites for television and developmental education; and meteorological observations and remote sensing for the management of natural resources. To this was added The development and launch of Satellite Launch Vehicles for low earth orbit and The upgrading and improvement of Indian satellites. Today, we in India take most of these developments, which is testimony to the visionary qualities of Prof. Sarabhai. The active international aid was stopped in the new plan and the emphasis (importance) was laid on self-reliance and indigenous technologies. The second development was the formation of a Missile panel in the Ministry of Defence. Narayanan and Kalam were inducted as members. The idea of making missiles in India was exciting to them and they spent hours studying the missiles made in various technologically advanced countries. Kalam distinguishes a sounding rocket from a satellite launching vehicle and these from a missile. Sounding rockets are normally used to probe the near-earth environment, including the upper regions of the atmosphere. They can carry a variety of scientific payloads to a range of altitudes but they cannot impart the final velocity needed to orbit the payload. A launch vehicle is designed to inject a technological payload, or satellite, into the orbit. The final stage of a launch vehicle provides the necessary velocity for a satellite to enter its orbit. This is a complex operation requiring on-board guidance and control systems. A missile is a more complex system. In addition to the large terminal velocity and on-board guidance and control systems, it must have the capability to home onto its target. When its target is fast-moving and capable of changing its direction, a missile should also be able to carry out target-tracking functions. JAYA CHANDRA BABU India was left with no choice in the matter of achieving self-reliance in military hardware and weapon system after the two wars with china and Pakistan. A large number of surface-to-air missiles were obtained from the USSR. Nothing indigenous was available. A long list of equipment to be imported was prepared. But Kalam was unhappy because a poor country like India couldnot afford it. Then he happened to discuss this issue with his young colleague Jaya Chandra Babu. The next day, Babu suggested a few relaxations such as financial approval by a single person air travel for all people on work lifting of goods by air-cargo sub-contracting to the private sector placement of orders on the basis of technical competence and smooth and quick accounting procedure. Babu said that those would streamline their working and the RATO system can be made without importing equipment. Those demands were presented to Prof. Sarabhai after weighing all the pros and cons (all the arguments for and against). He approved the proposals without a second thought, convinced of its merits. Thus, Babu had highlighted the importance of clever business practices in

developmental work. Kalam says that he could never forget Babus common sense in financial matters.

Page 10 of 18

ENGLISHUNIT 3&4 WINGS OF FIRE (CH.9 TO 16)


THE EVENT THAT BROUGHT GREAT SATISFACTION TO KALAM AND HIS TEAM IN 1969

India was dreaming of making its own satellites. In February 1969, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi visited Thumba to dedicate Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) to the International Space Science Community. On this occasion, she commissioned the countrys first filament winding machine initiating the work at the launch station. This event brought great satisfaction to Abdul Kalam and his team consisting of CR Satya, PN Subramanian and MN Satyanarayana. SELECTION OF SRIHARIKOTA ISLAND In 1969 Prof. Sarabhai decided to build and launch our own satellites. He made an aerial survey of the east coast to find a suitable site for the rocket launching station. He was particular about choosing a site on the east coast. This would enable the launch vehicle to take full advantage of the earths west to east rotation. Thus he selected Sriharikota island, a hundred kilometres north of Chennai. The SHAR Rocket Launch Station was thus born. The island was crescent shaped with a width of 8 kilometres. It lies alongside the coastline. Sriharikota is as big as Chennai in area. THE DEVELOPMENTS THAT HAPPENED DURING THE YEAR 1968 The Indian Rocket Society was formed. INCOSPAR was reconstituted as an advisory body under the INSA(Indian National Science Academy) ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) was created under the DAE (Department of Atomic Energy) to conduct space research in the country. PROF. SARABHAIS DREAM PROJECT During 1968, Prof. Sarabhai formed a team to give shape to his dream of an Indian SLV. He called it SLV-3. Abdul Kalam was chosen to be a project leader. He was also given the additional responsibility of designing the fourth stage of SLV-3. The task of designing the other three stages of SLV-3 was given to Dr. VR Gowarikar, MR Kurup and AE Muthunayagam. KALAM AS A PROJECT MANAGER Kalam faced urgent and conflicting demands on his time after taking up the leadership of executing the SLV-3 project. He had to attend to committee work, material procurement, correspondence, reviews, briefings and the need to be informed on a wide range of subjects. He used to prepare a general schedule and emphasise two or three things he would like to complete on each day. Once in the office, he would clear the table first. Then within the next ten minutes he would examine all the papers and divide them into different categories, namely, high priority, low priority, can be kept pending and reading material. Then he would put the high priority papers before him and keep all papers out of sight. COMPONENTS REQUIRED TO BUILD SLV-3 To build SLV-3 as many as 250 sub-assemblies and 44 major subsystems were identified during the design. The actual list of materials went up to more than one million components. It was a complex programme. It needs a project implementation, strategy. It was estimated that seven to ten years were required to build SLV-3. PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THE PRODUCTION OF HARDWARE FOR SLV-3 Prof. Sarabhai hand-picked a team to give a form to his dream of an Indian SLV, known as SLV-3. Abdul Kalam was the project leader. He was given the additional responsibility of designing the fourth stage of SLV-3. Dr. V.R.Gowarikar, MR Kurup and AE Muthunayagan were given the tasks of designing the other three stages. UR Rao and G Madhvan Nair were given the responsibility for developing a telecommand system for SLV-3. Gradually hardware began to emerge from the drawing boards. Each member of Kalams team had a unique contribution to make. Sasi Kumar built a very effective network of fabrication work centers. Namboodri and Pillai spent their days and nights developing four rocket motors simultaneously. MSR Dev and Sandlas drew up meticulous plans for mechanical and electrical integration of the vehicle. Madhavan

Page 11 of 18 Nair and Murthy examined the electronic systems and engineered them into sub-systems wherever it was possible. US Singh brought up the first launch ground system. He also chalked out a detailed work plan for the flight trials. Dr. Sundararajan closely monitored mission objectives and updated the systems. PROF. SARABHAIS APPROACH TO MISTAKES Prof. Sarabhai believed that mistakes are inevitable but generally manageable. He was a visionary who used errors to encourage new ideas. Kalam later came to know that the best way to prevent errors is to anticipate them. But, the failure of the timer circuit led to the birth of a rocket engineering laboratory. PROF. SARABHAIS DEATH Prof. Sarabhais sudden and untimely demise on 30 December 1971 was a great blow to Abdul Kalam personally and a huge loss to Indian science as a whole. Kalam considered him the mahatma of Indian science-a towering figure whose vision defined the countrys space programme. He generated leadership qualities in his team and inspired them through both idea and example. As a tribute to the man to whom it owed its existence, the whole complex at Thumba merged together to form an integrated space Centre and christened the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC). Dr. Brahm Prakash took over as the first director of VSSC. HANDS-ON; HANDS-OFF APPROACH Kalam says that each member in the SLV-3 project team was expert in his or her own field. So they valued independence. A project leader should adopt a delicate balance between hands-on and hands-off approach to manage the performance of such specialists. The hands-on approach means taking an active interest in the teams work, on a very regular basis. The hands-off approach trusts team members and recognizes their need for autonomy, to carry out their roles as they see fit. It depends on their self-motivation. When a leader goes too far with the hands-on approach, he is seen as an anxious and interfering type. Getting too hands-off can be seen as irresponsibility or not being interested. LEADERSHIP QUALITIES ACCORDING TO KALAM Kalam, as a team leader, used to observe his colleagues carefully to see if they had the willingness to experiment constantly. He used to get the team together to share the results, little developments, experiences and small successes. He says that a good leader receives commitment and participation from his team. He says that the SLV-3 team was a unique blend of untutored talents. It was a mixture of self-trained engineers whose dedication and character suited SLV-3 the most. He also wrote a short poem, appreciating the work of his team. Beautiful hands are those that do Work that is earnest and brave and true Moment by moment the long day through. Kalam says that a leader should be sufficiently independent and powerful. He used to adopt two techniques to strengthen personal freedom. First, to build the educational skills and second, to develop a passion for personal responsibility. He also learnt that leaders exist at every level. He allowed mistakes asa part of the learning process. He preferred a dash of daring and persistence to perfection. COMMUNICATION AND CONVERSATION Kalam used communication as his password or mantra for managing the gigantic project. He says that he was a terrible conversationalist but a good communicator. A conversation is full of pleasantries and need not have any useful information, whereas a communication is meant only for the exchange of information. Communication is a two-party affair which aims at passing on or receiving a specific piece of information. Kalam used to define the problems, identify the necessary action to solve it through genuine communication. DESCRIPTION OF LAUNCH VEHICLE USING HUMAN BODY Kalam describes a launch vehicle using the human body in comparison. The main mechanical structure is compared to the human body. The control and guidance system including their electronic circuit systems is compared to human brain. The propellants are compared to the muscles. He also says that SLVs and missiles can be called first cousins as they come from same lineage, rocketry. THE TRAGEDY THAT STRUCK KALAMS PERSONAL LIFE IN 1976

Page 12 of 18 The untimely death of Kalams brother-in-law, Jallaluddin was the first tragedy. He was Kalams mentor and guide. Kalam was shocked and became motionless on hearing the news. He could not think or feel anything. He recollected the time he spent with Jallaluddin. Kalam lost interest in many things for many days. Then came the news of his fathers death. He had been in ill health for quite sometime. Later, when Kalam was about to leave for France, his mother too passed away. WERNHER VON BRAUN Wernher von Braun was one of the most important rocket scientists .Everybody working in rocketry knows of Von Braun. He was the technical director of the German Missile Laboratory at Kummersdorf. He developed the V-2 missile for Nazis, which destroyed London during the World War II. In the final stages of the war he was captured by the Allied forces. As a tribute to his genius, he was given a top position in the rocketry programme at NASA. He produced the Jupiter missile, the first IRBM with a 3000 km range, while working for the US army. For 15 years after the War, Von Braun worked with the USA in the development of ballistic missiles. He created the Saturn rocket in the Apollo mission which put the first man on the moon. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE V-2 MISSILE The V-2 missile was the greatest single achievement in the history of rockets and missiles. It was the result of the efforts of Von Braun and his team in VFR. It began as a civilian effort but soon became an official army programme. The first V-2 missile was tested unsuccessfully in June1942. It toppled over on to its side and exploded. But on 16 August 1942, it became the first missile to exceed the speed of sound. VON BRAUNS PERSONALITY Kalam was filled with awe when he had to pick up Von Braun in Madras. They travelled in the Avro aircraft which took 90 minutes from Madras to Trivandrum. Von Braun asked Kalam about their work and listened to him just like another student of rocketry. Kalam never expected the father of modern rocketry to be so humble, receptive and encouraging. He made Kalam feel comfortable throughout the flight. VON BRAUNS OPINION ON AMERICA AND HIS ADVISE TO KALAM Von Braun told Kalam that America is a country of great possibilities but they suspect everything unAmerican and they have a low opinion on everything foreign. They also suffer from a NIH (Not Invented Here) complex. Von Braun advised Kalam to do the rocketry work all by himself without depending upon outside help. He also said that one doesnt just build on successes but also on failures. He said that mere hard work can fetch him honour. He said that one shouldnt build rock walls but create a terrace placing rock over rock. He made it clear that making a goal makes the difference. His words Do not make rocketry your profession or your livelihoodmake it your religion, your mission. made Kalam see something of Prof. Sarabhai in Von Braun. Kalam followed the words of Wernher Von Braun. He put a hold button on his life. He put all his being in the work without any other activities. WORKAHOLIC Kalam questions the term workaholic. He says that he finds pleasure in working and works towards that which he desires. Then why should the term be considered a mental lapse which implies illness? Kalam says that the common thing among all successful men and women is total commitment. One should be strong enough and in sound health to achieve something. FLOW Flow is the joy that one would experience while working with total commitment and involvement. It is an overwhelming sensation. During this joyous experience, action follows action. One need not try to do anything consciously. There is no hurry and no distractions to the workers attention. There would be no more difference between the worker and the work. The worker would flow into the work. Kalam says that their team used to be very relaxed, energetic and fresh even though they worked very hard. The difficult targets that seemed achievable might have created the flow, says Kalam. The first requirement to get into flow is to work as hard as one can, at something that presents a challenge. The challenge need not be an overwhelming one, but one that increases ones ability. The task that is performed should be better than the

previous one. Another pre-requisite for being in flow is the availability of a significant span of uninterrupted time. Kalam says that it is difficult to switch into flow state in less than half an hour and it is almost

Page 13 of 18 impossible to switch into the state if we are constantly disturbed. Disturbances break flow and it is difficult to regain flow within a short time. He used to experience the flow state almost everyday of the SLV-3 mission. He used to find the laboratory empty and then realize that it was way past his work hours. Sometimes, he and his team members were so caught up in work that the lunch time slipped away without their conscious that they were hungry. Thus according to Kalam, flow is the experience of joy in working with total commitment and involvement. THE SUCCESS STORY OF SLV-3 In 1969, Prof. Sarabhai decided to build Indias own satellites and Satellite Launch Vehicle. He picked up a team to materialize his dream. Abdul Kalam was a project leader and designer of the fourth stage of SLV-3. After Prof. Sarabhais demise, he was appointed Project Manager for SLV-3. The primary objectives of the SLV-3 project were design, development and operation of a standard SLV system capable of launching a 40 kg satellite into a 400 km circular orbit around the earth. A target of flight test within 64 months was set in March 1973. Three groups were constituted to carry out the project activities. They were Programme Management Group, Integration and Flight Testing Group and Subsystems Development Group. Abdul Kalam asked for 275 engineers but got only 50. However, the project team members were exceptionally talented. Almost 250 sub-assemblies and 44 major subsystems were conceived during the design. The list of the materials went up to over one million components. The self-sufficiency to produce SLV 3 came gradually. The team members were self-trained engineers. They had the necessary talent, character and dedication to make the SLV 3 project a success. Kalam used communication as his pass word for managing this gigantic project. The SLV 3 project members set three important deadlines for themselves. They were- development and flight worthiness of all subsystems through sounding rockets by 1975; sub-orbital flights by 1976 and the final orbital flight in 1978. In 1974 the century sounding rocket was launched to test some critical systems. The test was a great success. Kalam learned that the SLV 3 apogee rocket scheduled to be flight tested in France, developed some trouble. He went to France, removed the snags and successfully tested the apogee motor. He threw all his being into creating the SLV 3. The team members experienced a flow in their work. Though their targets were difficult, they were hopeful of achieving them. The hardware required for SLV 3 started coming in. The confidence of the team increased. Abdul Kalam was in complete control over the SLV 3 project. The first ever experimental flight of SLV 3 was scheduled for 10 August 1979 with the primary good of evaluating on-board systems and the ground system. The 23-metre-long, four-stage SLV 3 rocket, weighing 17 tonnes, finally took off elegantly at 0758 hours and moved in the programmed trajectory. Stage II went out of control and the vehicle crashed into the sea, 560 km off Sriharikota, within 317 seconds. The entire team was sad and disappointed. Kalam took the responsibility for this failure. The second flight of SLV 3 was scheduled for 18 July 1980 at 0803 hours. The eyes of the whole nation were on the second flight. Indias first Satellite Launch Vehicle, SLV 3 lifted off from SHAR. The fourth stage apogee motor has given the required velocity to put Rohini satellite into orbit. Kalam colleagues carried him on their shoulders. The success of SLV 3 was the culmination of a national dream and the beginning of a very important phase in the history of India. It was one hundred percent indigenous effort. It proved the scientific strength of India. On the Republic Day of 1981, Abdul Kalam was honoured with Padma Bhushan award. DR. BRAHM PRAKASH Dr. Brahm Prakash was the first Indian to head the Department of Metallurgy in the Indian Institute of Science. He developed techniques for the extraction and fabrication of a variety of nuclear-grade metals. He became the first director of the VSSC, which oversaw the launch of SLV-3. He was Kalams sheet-anchor. His belief in team spirit had inspired and guided the management pattern for the SLV project. This became a model and blueprint for all scientific projects in the country. He gave a new strength and dimension to the qualities that Kalam acquired from Prof. Sarabhai. Dr. Brahm Prakash always cautioned Kalam against haste

saying that big scientific projects were like mountains that should be climbed without urgency. He consoled Kalam at the time of the unsuccessful launch of the SLV 3. He waited for Kalam to take lunch with him.

Page 14 of 18 Kalam was deeply touched by his affection and concern. He demonstrated to Kalam that he was not alone and that his team was with him to share his grief. It gave great emotional support to Kalam. Dr. Brahm Prakash chided Kalam for his formality when Kalam thanked him on being conferred with the Padma Bhushan Award. He said that he feels as if his son has got the award. THE BITTER TRUTH SLV 3 was successfully launched from SHAR on 18 July 1980. The next SLV-3 named SLV 3 D1 took off on 31 May 1981. Kalam viewed this flight from the visitors gallery for the first time. He became the focus of the media attention and thus aroused the envy of some of his senior colleagues. Kalam was hurt at this environment. But he accepted it as he could not change it. The bitterness was real. Later, when the Padma Bhushan Award was conferred on him, there were mixed reactions at VSSC. A few shared his happiness while others felt that he was being unduly singled out for recognition. Some of his close associates turned envious. PROF. RAJA RAMANNA Prof. Raja Ramanna pioneered nuclear physics in India, with his research in nuclear fission. He was a renowned nuclear scientist whom Kalam always admired. He was then the scientific adviser to the defence minister. Kalam had the memories of his first meet with Prof. Sarabhai when he met Prof. Ramanna. He showed genuine pleasure at meeting Kalam. There was eagerness in his talk. His sympathetic friendliness accompanied by graceful movements struck Kalam. He asked Kalam if he would like to join DRDL and shoulder the responsibility of shaping their Guided Missile Development Programme (GMDP).

KALAM AT DRDL Kalam joined DRDL on 1 June 1982. He realized that the laboratory was still haunted by the winding up of the Devil missile. Many excellent professionals had not recovered from the disappointment. He realized that the burial of the Devil was essential for the rise of hope and vision. He made it out a point with his team. His message was not to make anything that couldnt be sold and not to spend the life making only one thing. His first few months at DRDL were largely interactive. He described and explained their goals and the interplay between their work and themselves. He was astonished to see the determination of the DRDL workforce. They were eager to go ahead despite of the premature winding up of their earlier projects. He extended invitations to people from various institutions. He felt that the stuffy work centers of DRDL needed a breath of fresh air. He mentions that ISRO was lucky to have had Prof. Sarabhai and Dr. Brahm Prakash who highlighted their goals clearly, made their missions larger than their lives and could then inspire the entire work force. He says that DRDL had not been so lucky. Kalam created a forum of senior scientists where important matters could be discussed collectively. It was called the Missile Technology Committee. The middle-level scientists and engineers were made involved in the management activities of the laboratory. LONG-TERM GUIDED MISSILE DEVELPOMENT PROGRAMME A committee was constituted under Kalams chairmanship to draw up a well-defined missile development programme for the production of indigenous missiles. They drafted a paper for the cabinet after consulting the three defence services-the army, the navy and the air force. The estimated expenditure was about Rs.390 crore, spread over a period of 12 years. Kalam and his team wanted to get funds to develop and produce two missiles, a tactical core vehicle and a surface-to-surface missile. They also proposed to develop a third generation anti-tank guided missile. All his colleagues were pleased with the proposal. Kalam made a presentation to the Government. The meeting was presided over by the Defence Minister, R Venkataraman and was attended by the three service chiefs and senior officials. Everyone seemed to have many doubts on their capabilities, the technological infrastructure, viability schedule and cost. Dr. Arunachalam, the scientific adviser, stood by Kalam throughout the session. Everyone was excited at the idea of India having her own missile systems.

WINGS OF FIREUNIT-5(CH. 17 TO 20)

INTEGRATED GUIDED MISSILE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

Page 15 of 18 The Defence Minister suggested Kalam and Dr. Arunachalam that they launch an integrated GMDP, instead of making missiles in phases. They were asked to come the next morning with their plan. They laboured all the night. They took into account all the variables like design, fabrication, system integration, experimental flights, evaluation, updating, user trials, quality, reliability and financial viability. They felt that a very exciting challenge had been thrown to them. The Defence Minister was very much pleased with their new proposal, which had turned overnight into the blueprint of an integrated programme with far reaching consequences. He immediately cleared the entire proposal. The Defence Minister also arranged an air force helicopter to take Kalam from Chennai to Madurai to attend his nieces wedding. Dr. Arunachalam told, You have earned this for your hard work of the last six months. The Defence Minister put up the proposal before the cabinet and saw it through. An unprecedented amount of Rs.388 crore was sanctioned. Thus was born Indias prestigious Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). Kalam presented the governments sanction letter before the Missile Technology Committee at DRDL. They were filled with excitement, fire and action.Dr. Arunachalam formally launched IGMDP on 27 July 1983. Kalam felt it to be the second-most significant day in his career, next to 18 July 1980, when SLV-3 had launched Rohini into Earths orbit. The launch of IGMDP was like a bright flash on the Indian scientific sky. THE FIVE PROJECTS The proposed projects were christened in accordance with the spirit of Indias self-reliance. The most important task before Kalam was the selection of the project directors to lead individual missile projects. Kalam observed the working styles of many scientists before making his decision. PRITHVI: The surface-to-surface weapon system was named Prithvi. Kalam chose Col. VJ Sundaram to lead Prithvi. He belonged to the EME corps of the Indian Army. He experimented with team work. Kalam found in him a readiness to experiment with new ways. He was an experimenter and innovator in team work. He had an extraordinary capability for evaluating alternative ways of operating. He would suggest moving forward into new grounds .He could provide effective work directions. The project director of Prithvi would be the first to make decisions with production agencies and the armed forces and Kalam believed that Sundaram would be the ideal choice to see that sound decisions were taken. Prithvi was launched on 25 February 1988. It was competent and precise in core guidance and technologies. Prithvi represented the self-reliance of the country in the field of advanced technology. It can carry 1000kg of warhead to a distance of 250 km.It is the surface-to-surface missile in the world. It is 100% indigenous in design, operation and deployment. It was meant were delivering non-nuclear weapons. TRISHUL: The tactical core vehicle was called Trishul. It was a short-range, quick reaction surface-to-air missile. For Trishul, Kalam selected Commodore SR Mohan from the Indian Navy. He not only had sound knowledge of electronics and missile warfare, but could also communicate the complexities to the team in order to promote understanding and support. Kalam found in him a magical power of persuasion. Trishul was successfully test fired in 1985 from Sriharikota. It took India into areas of competence where there was no competition. AGNI: Kalam gave the name Agni to his long-cherished dream of the REX (Re-entry Experiment) .It was an intermediate-range ballistic missile. Kalam chose RN Agarwal, an alumnus of MIT. He had a brilliant academic record. He had been managing the aeronautical test facilities at DRDL. He was found to be the right person who would tolerate Kalams occasional meddling in the running of the project. AKASH AND NAG: Kalam selected relatively young Prahlada and NR Iyer for Akash and Nag as their activities were expected to peak about half a decade later. Akash was a medium range surface-to-air missile. It was developed by the post-graduate students of Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc), Bangalore, under the leadership of Prof. Sarma.

Nag was an anti-tank guided missile. This missile had no equal in its field. Osmania Universitys

Page 16 of 18 Navigational Electronics Research and Training Unit developed state-of-the-art signal processing algorithms for Nag. RESEARCH CENTRE IMARAT (RCI) Kalam found the space available at DRDL inadequate to meet the requirements of IGMDP. He visited Imarat Kancha area. It was a barren land dotted with large rocks. Kalam felt the tremendous energy trapped in those rocks. He decided to locate the integration and check-out facilities needed for the missile projects there. It had become his mission for the next three years. A proposal was drawn up to establish a model high-technology research centre with very advanced technical facilities. He chose MV Suryakantha Rao to carry on this gigantic task. They approached the Military Engineering Service (MES) for construction, discussed with the Ministry of Defence and collaborated with an outside company to prepare the layout. An infrastructure to provide 40 MVA power and 5 million litres of water per day was planned. Developing this centre of excellence of missile technology was compared to the joy of a potter shaping artefacts. It came to be known as Research Centre Imarat (RCI) retaining the original identity of the place. The young Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi laid the foundation stone of RCI on 3 August 1985. He was very pleased with the progress made. He told the DRDL team that he understood the troubles faced by Indian scientists. He expressed his gratitude towards those who preferred to stay and work in India despite the odds rather than go abroad for comfortable careers. MAKING USE OF THE DEVIL MISSILE An altitude control system and an on-board computer were developed and a missile was needed to test this important system. After many discussions, the Devil missile was put to use. It was disassembled, modified and was fired with a make-shift launcher on 26 June 1984 to flight test the guidance system. The system met all the requirements. This had been the first significant step in the history of Indian missile development. Moving towards designing our own systems had begun. INDIRA GANDHIS VISIT TO DRDL Prime Minister Indira Gandhi expressed her desire to be personally informed of the progress of IGMDP. She visited DRDL on 19 July 1984. Kalam felt it to be an honour to receive her at DRDL. She was a strong woman and a great leader. She wanted the nation to be strong enough to meet any eventuality. She was the leader of 800 million people and she was very much conscious of it. Kalam says that every step, every gesture and every movement of her hands reflected this. She gave high regard to the work in the field of guided missiles which gave a lot of encouragement to Kalam and others. She spent an hour at DRDL and covered all the aspects of IGMDP. She later addressed the DRDL community and asked for the schedules of the flight systems that they were working on. She enquired what was needed to speed up the flight schedule. She also announced that a fast pace of work is the hope of the entire nation. She asked Kalam to lay emphasis not only on the schedule but also on the excellence of the IGMDP. Her appreciation of the work done provided immense encouragement to the staff. AN INFUSION OF YOUNG BLOOD The missile programme had partners in design, development and production from 12 academic institutions and 30 laboratories. Kalam, with a few members of the missile programme, visited campuses andrequested the aspiring students to participate in the programme. The young engineers changed the dynamics of DRDL. They didnt fully grasp the importance of their work, at first. Once they did, they felt the burden of the tremendous faith placed in them. The young scientific environment had changed the negative attitudes to positive. The things that were previously thought impractical began happening. Many older scientists were rejuvenated by being part of a young team. Kalam insisted that the youngest scientists would present their teams work at the review meetings. It would help them visualise the whole system. An atmosphere of confidence grew. The young started questioning the senior colleagues on solid technical issues. The work environment was lively with a good blend of the

experience of the older scientists and the innovation of their younger colleagues. Kalam says that the positive dependence between youth and experience had created a very productive work culture at DRDL.

Page 17 of 18 Trishul successfully took off on 16 September 1985. Another significant step was the successful test flight of the Pilotless Target Aircraft. The postgraduate students developed air defence software for multi-target acquisition by Akash. The re-entry vehicle system design methodology for Agni was developed by a young team at IIT, Madras, with DRDO scientists. A state-of-art signal processing algorithms for Nag was also developed by the Osmania Universitys Navigational Electronics Research and Training Unit. These were a few examples of collaborative effort. Kalam says that it would have been very difficult to achieve the advanced technological goals without the active partnership of those academic institutions. The challenge involved in the Agni payload was met by the young scientists working in the field of fluid dynamics. They made it possible by developing the required software within six months. Kalam says that the effort of these young teams made the country self-reliant in the area of protected technologies. It was a good example of the renewal factor. Our intellectual capacity was renewed through contact with enthusiastic young minds. THE SUCCESS MANTRA OF KALAM Kalam says that one should judge ones actions. Kalam, as a young scientist, desired to be more than what he was at that moment. He desired to feel more, learn more and express more. He desired to grow, improve and expand. He never used anybodys influence to advance his career. All he had was the inner urge (strong desire) to seek more within himself. The key to his motivation had always been to look at how far he had still to go, rather than how far he had come. LACK OF EMPOWERMENT In 1983 India did not have an adequate technology base. But the country lacked the empowerment(authority/facility) to utilise the expert technology that was available. Combining the approaches of Prof. Sarabhai, Prof. Dhawan and Dr. Brahm Prakash, Kalam tried to create a completely indigenous variety of technology management. India attempted to develop a model that was appropriate to our specific needs and capabilities. We borrowed ideas that had been developed elsewhere, but adapted them in the light of what we knew were our strengths. At the same time India recognized the restrictions that it had to work under. Appropriate management helped to prove what talent and potential lay in our research laboratories, government institutions and private industries. THE TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT PHILOSOPHY The Technology Management Philosophy of the missile development programme is not limited to missile development only. It represents the urge to succeed and awareness that the world is never again to be directed by muscle or money power. Only nations with technological superiority will enjoy freedom and sovereignty. Technology, unlike science, is a group of activity, it does not grow on individual intelligence, but by intelligence interacting and ceaselessly influencing one another. This is how the IGMDP has become a strong Indian family that makes missile systems. KALAMS ADVICE TO THE YOUTH OF TODAY Abdul Kalam wished that the story of his struggle to become a person, should give some insight into life of the youth of today. This may equip at least a few young people to stand up in the society. People tend to get addicted to the endless pursuits of external rewards like wealth, prestige, position, promotion, approval of ones lifestyle by others, ceremonial honours and status symbols of all kinds. The youth of today must de-learn this self-defeating way of living. The culture of working for material possessions and rewards must be discarded. Whenever Kalam saw wealthy, powerful, learned people struggling to be at peace with themselves, he remembered people like Jallaluddin and Iyadurai Solomon. They were happy without any money or possessions. They drew sustenance from within. They relied more on inner signals and on external markers. Life will be better without external pressures. The entire nation will be benefited by having strong, inner-directed people as its citizens. GREAT EMOTIONAL LOSS Dr. Brahm Prakashs death (3 January 1984) was a great emotional loss to Abdul Kalam. Kalam had had the privilege of working under him during the most challenging period of his career. Dr. Brahm Prakash played

a very important role in shaping Kalams leadership skills. He had been Kalams sheet-anchor. His humility and compassion were exemplary. Kalam says that Dr. Brahm Prakashs humility mellowed him and helped

Page 18 of 18 him control his aggressive approach. Kalam remembered his healing touch on the day of the failed SLV flight, and his sorrow deepened further.