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Dr. Kalam, an Astute Scientist and a True Statesman

Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, highly respected and loved president remains forever in some corner of our hearts as an educationist par excellence, a visionary in pursuit of perfection, a nationalist and an immortal force behind all aspirations. He was humility personified and simplicity epitomized. He was the face of Mother India in her cultural and scientific temperaments. This issue of Built Constructions is a tribute to this noble human tabernacle.

Known as the People's President, he was a lifelong scientist, who studied physics and aerospace engineering. His prominent role in India's 1998 nuclear explorations established him as India's 'Missile Man'. He was honoured with India's highest civilian award Bharat Ratna in 1997. Among his multifarious accolades, including honorary doctorates from 40 universities, he was granted the Padma Bhushan (1981), the Padma Vibhushan (1990). Known for his popularity among youth, MTV nominated him twice for a Youth Icon of the Year award in 2003 and 2006. On April 29, 2009, he became the first Asian to be bestowed with the Hoover Medal, America's top engineering prize, for his outstanding contribution to public service.

Dr. APJ became the 11th President of world's largest democracy in July 2002. He was always keen to utilise any opportunity he had during his five years of addressing the youth and students, and made himself far more reachable to the people than any other president has.

Dr. Kalam's love in life was to teach and interact with the young minds of the nation so that he could guide them in achieving their dreams. His passion to interact with school children and teachers had made him extremely popular and respectable among kids. He literally used to set inspirational fire to their unseen wings and make them fly.

Kalam's life and achievements especially in the field of aerospace engineering have fueled the imagination of generations to come. Post his tenure as a scientist, Dr. Kalam started to take up more leadership and management roles. Cumulatively, Dr. Kalam would have easily managed funds of many billions of dollars and many thousand talented scientists and engineers.

On July 27, 2015 Kalam suffered a massive heart attack while lecturing at the Indian Institute of Management. He was 83. The sad demise of Dr. Kalam, brought the nation to a standstill. Dr. Kalam was laid to rest on July 30 with full state honors in his native Tamil Nadu. The government has also announced Kalam's birthday (October 15) as "Youth Renaissance Day."

The most enduring and important legacy he developed will foster a sense of new nationalism. He transcended caste, religion, region and language, and represented the best in our society. Academic and professional credentials are not enough to be so greatly loved. Dr Kalam achieved God-like status because he possessed all good qualities of which most noteworthy is his humility.

In this issue, Built Construction focuses on Precast Technology and myriad options it offers along with other regular features our readers enjoy.

With Best Regards,

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