A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Little did Jainulabdeen and Ashiamma know that their son would grow up to be the first citizen of India. An Indian scientist and administrator, Kalam served as the 11th President of India from 2002 until 2007. One amongst the most respected people of the country, Kalam contributed immensely both as a scientist and as a president. His contribution at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was immense. He was responsible for numerous projects such as Project Devil and Project Valiant and launch of the Rohini-1, besides developing missiles under the missions Agni and Prithvi. For the same, he was popularly tagged as the “Missile Man of India”. Kalam was honored with great laurels and awards for his work by both the Government of India and other countries. After completing his term as President, Kalam served as a visiting professor in various esteemed institutes and universities of India.

Childhood & Early Life
  • A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was born to Jainulabdeen and Ashiamma on October 15, 1931. He came from a family whose financial conditions weren’t sound enough. As a means to support his family’s meagre income, Kalam took up odd jobs in his childhood but never gave up on his education.  
    • After graduating from MIT, Kalam took up the position of chief scientist at the Aeronautical Development Establishment of Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). However, the profile didn’t appeal Kalam much who shifted to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) where he was the project director of India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle.
    • His years at the ISRO were the most crucial ones, as they left a lasting impact on him. Kalam lead many projects and turned out to be successful each time.
    • In the 1970s, Kalam directed two projects, namely, Project Devil and Project Valiant, which sought to develop ballistic missiles from the technology of the successful SLV programme.
    • A milestone was achieved when locally built Rohini-1 was launched into space, using the SLV rocket. Upon watching the raving success of Kalam, the government agreed for initiation of an advanced missile program under his directorship. He played a pivotal role in developing missiles under the missions Agni and Prithvi. 
    • Kalam was the Chief Executive of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (I.G.M.D.P) which researched in simultaneous development of a quiver of missiles instead of taking planned missiles one by one.
    • From 1992 until 1999, Kalam was appointed as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of Defence Research and Development Organisation. It was during this time that Kalam served as the Chief Project Coordinator for Pokhran II nuclear tests, after which he was fondly called the “Missile Man of India”. 
    • Kalam succeeded K. R. Narayan to serve as the 11th President of India from 2002 until 2007. It was a highly one-sided contest. With his appointment, Kalam became the first scientist and first ever bachelor to occupy the Rastrapati Bhawan. 
    • During his tenure as a President, Kalam was both appreciated and criticised. The latter was mostly due to his inaction in deciding the fate of 20 mercy petitioners. 
    • In addition to all the profiles that Dr Kalam held, he authored numerous influential and inspirational books. Amongst all his books, “India 2020” was the widely read and appreciated one. It forecast an action plan which advocated India turning into a knowledge superpower and as one of the developed nations of the world by the year 2020. His other books include, “Ignited Minds”, “Mission India”, “Inspiring Thoughts” and “The Luminous Sparks”. 
    • In 2011, he launched his mission for the youth of the nation called the “What Can I Give Movement” with the main aim to defeat corruption in India.
    • After completing his term as President, Dr Kalam served as visiting professor in various esteemed institutes and universities of India, such as Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad and Indore. He also served as Chancellor of Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology Thiruvananthapuram, Aerospace Engineering at Anna University (Chennai), JSS University (Mysore).
  • He graduated from Saint Joseph’s College, Tiruchirappalli in 1954 but not satisfied with his degree, he left for Madras later next year to study aerospace engineering. He enrolled at the Madras Institute of Technology (MIT).
    Awards & Achievements
    • Kalam was the proud recipient of Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and Bharat Ratna awards from the Government of India. He received the same in the years 1981, 1990 and 1997, respectively.
    • In 1997, he was honored by the Government of India with the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration. 
    • Later, the next year, he was awarded the Veer Savarkar Award by the Government of India.
    • The Alwars Research Centre, Chennai, bestowed Kalam with Ramanujan Award in the year 2000.
    • Kalam was honored with the King Charles II Medal by the Royal Society, U.K in 2007.
    • The California Institute of Technology, U.S.A, presented Kalam with the International von Karman Wings Award in the year 2009. The same year, he won the Hoover Medal by ASME Foundation, USA.
    • The IEEE honored Kalam with IEEE Honorary Membership in 2011.
    • Kalam was the proud recipient of honorary doctorates from 40 universities.
    • In addition to this, Kalam’s 79th birthday was recognised as World Students’ Day by United Nations. 
    • He was nominated for the MTV Youth Icon of the Year award in 2003 and in 2006.
      Personal Life
      • Dr A.P.J. Kalam remained unmarried throughout his life.
      • Dr Abdul Kalam passed away at Bethany Hospital, Shillong, Meghalaya, due to heart failure after having collapsed during a lecture at Indian Institute of Management, Shillong.
        10 quotes by the scientist, author and former President:
      1. You have to dream before your dreams can come true.
      2. Excellence is a continuous process and not an accident.
      3. Life is a difficult game. You can win it only by retaining your birthright to be a person.
      4. Man needs his difficulties because they are necessary to enjoy success.
      5. We will be remembered only if we give to our younger generation a prosperous and safe India, resulting out of economic prosperity coupled with civilizational heritage.
      6. Those who cannot work with their hearts achieve but a hollow, half-hearted success that breeds bitterness all around.
      7. Educationists should build the capacities of the spirit of inquiry, creativity, entrepreneurial and moral leadership among students and become their role model.
      8. Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work.
      9. If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.
      10. My message, especially to young people is to have courage to think differently, courage to invent, to travel the unexplored path, courage to discover the impossible and to conquer the problems and succeed. These are great qualities that they must work towards. This is my message to the young people.14 5 3 2

Importance of Higher Education in Today’s Modern Society

Education is a very important role in our lives. Everyone has been being educated since the day they were born. There is a rapidly growing demand for a higher education in the world today. Although a higher education is difficult to receive, the rewards of self-improvement, job insurance, a development of character, and social improvements are what is going to satisfy you.

Sure it is hard go to school longer, but learning for personal knowledge will greatly improve you. You learn skills like problem solving which will teach you to figure things out for yourself. A better education will also gain you experience. You would never know what you liked or did not like if you never had a chance to experience it. I do not know about you but I want to make educated decisions in my life. If you don’t know how to make educated decisions, you will never be content with yourself. How good does it feel to outsmart someone when you apply what you have been taught or have been able to help somebody just from the education which you received? Knowledge is a very powerful thing that can change the lives of others and yourself.

With a higher education you are insured that you will have a better paying job. I like being able to spend money freely and a higher education allows you to get the better paying job that will provide this stability. The multi-million dollar businesses are going to pay the big bucks to someone who has the higher education and knows what they are doing rather than the individual who does not have the higher education. A better job will also provide you benefits to a more successful life. Every person I know has said that being successful is raising and supporting a family. I know that if you have a better paying job it will ease the process of providing for you family and make it more enjoyable. Instead of being at work to provide your family with money they need to survive,

What AAP’s historic mandate means for Indian politics

The Delhi wave confirms lessons the Lok Sabha elections had offered. In a limited setting, Arvind Kejriwal has done precisely what Narendra Modi and the BJP had done to beat them at their game.

Here are five big takeaways.

Indian democracy is alive and kicking

Modi won the general elections with a resounding 282 seats using the vibrancy of Indian democracy, the disillusionment with the establishment, and every conceivable technique of reaching out to the electorate. But the overwhelming verdict left many worried. Was India heading towards political hegemony?

The impact of the Aam Aadmi Party victory in a city state like Delhi should not be over-estimated, but it shows both the impermanence of politics and resilience of Indian democracy. The AAP used precisely the open nature of Indian polity to mount a similar campaign. Voters like having checks – and anecdotal evidence suggests many were uncomfortable with the concentration of power in one man, one party.

No substitute for organisational resilience

In 2014, Modi’s success was in galvanising the cadre and bringing back energy to the organisation. Last May also spelt an almost existential crisis for the AAP. Kejriwal had walked out of the Delhi government; the AAP had over-reached in the general polls and 96% of their candidates lost their deposits.

But they stayed the course. Kejriwal kept his flock together; stayed away from other states, including Haryana; kept nibbling away at BJP’s claims; exposed the Lieutenant-Governor’s willingness to toe the Centre’s line; urged his party MLAs to remain connected with their constituencies.

In a recent piece, Ajaz Ashraf highlighted how 11 men and a woman constituted their Delhi Election Campaign Committee and made several innovations like jansabhas and Delhi dialogue. The AAP’s organisation remained resilient.

Creating a multi-class, multi-caste alliance is the future

Before 2014, many predicted while the BJP may win the elites, they had little traction among the disadvantaged. Modi proved them wrong. In the run-up to the Delhi polls, many had billed it as a battle of classes, where the underclass would prefer the AAP while the middle class and upper middle classes would stick to the BJP. This view missed the larger trend of Indian politics. Parties which are able to bridge the class, caste, regional divide will flourish; those who are not able to do so may remain significant but will not cross the threshold.

Modi won urban and rural India; he won the middle class and upper castes of north India but also won the lower middle class, sections of the poor and backward castes and Dalits. Kejriwal’s success was being able to carve out a wide social alliance. The AAP focused on the slum clusters, Muslims, workers and marginalised groups. They also spent time in middle-class localities, fought in TV newsrooms, and drew out specific campaigns for the diverse communities. The future is in adding to your core vote.

Personality and leadership issue are critical

Modi filled in the yearning for leadership in the 2014 polls. And the Delhi verdict is a clear vote not as much for the 60-plus AAP MLA candidates as it is for Kejriwal. This was a personalised campaign; the “paanch saal Kejriwal” song became as much of a buzz as “Modiji aanewaale hain” was last year.

The appeal of a Jawaharlal Nehru or an Indira Gandhi, or even an Atal Bihari Vajpayee, drove voters to particular formations in the past. But the need for a strong leader as the face of the campaign is now becoming an almost key ingredient of electoral campaigns. In Delhi, the toss-up was between Kejriwal and the Modi-Bedi combine. People decided to go with the former. This has lessons for future elections – in Bihar, the JD(U)-RJD alliance is all set to project Nitish Kumar as the face, while the BJP is not yet clear who will lead the party. That could well be risky, for people want to know who will lead them before they vote.

The electorate prefers decisive verdicts

One other pattern that is increasingly apparent is the desire of the electorate to have clean verdicts. Modi waged the Lok Sabha campaign on a 272-plus pitch; the voters responded. In Delhi, Kejriwal claimed the last time around, he could not deliver because he did not have a full majority.

There appears to be increasing disenchantment with politically fragmented setups. Bihar in 2005 and 2010; UP, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab in 2007 and 2012; Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in 2008 and 2013; Andhra Pradesh in 2004, 2009 and 2014; Telangana in 2014; Gujarat ever since 2002; Odisha in 2009 and 2014; Tamil Nadu in 2011; West Bengal in 2011 have a clear message – either a party on its own or a pre-poll alliance has won a majority. Delhi has confirmed the trend.

Delnet Membership

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DELNET has been established with the prime objective of promoting resource sharing among the libraries through the development of a network of libraries. It aims to collect, store, and disseminate information besides offering computerised services to users, to coordinate efforts for suitable collection development and also to reduce unnecessary duplication wherever possible.

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Election Data

Party Won
Bharatiya Janata Party 282
Communist Party of India 1
Communist Party of India (Marxist) 9
Indian National Congress 44
Nationalist Congress Party 6
Aam Aadmi Party 4
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 37
All India N.R. Congress 1
All India Trinamool Congress 34
All India United Democratic Front 3
Biju Janata Dal 20
Indian National Lok Dal 2
Indian Union Muslim League 2
Jammu & Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party 3
Janata Dal (Secular) 2
Janata Dal (United) 2
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha 2
Kerala Congress (M) 1
Lok Jan Shakti Party 6
Naga Peoples Front 1
National Peoples Party 1
Pattali Makkal Katchi 1
Rashtriya Janata Dal 4
Revolutionary Socialist Party 1
Samajwadi Party 5
Shiromani Akali Dal 4
Shivsena 18
Sikkim Democratic Front 1
Telangana Rashtra Samithi 11
Telugu Desam 16
All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen 1
Apna Dal 2
Rashtriya Lok Samta Party 3
Swabhimani Paksha 1
Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party 9
Independent 3
Total 543

Indian General Election 2014

India gained its independence and a democratic status in 1947 and the general elections coming ahead in 2014 will mark 67 years of its status. The minds behind the thought of India as a sovereign nation were excellent and had no personal motives while participating in the establishment of a democratic set up.

Corruption was far from their noble thoughts and deeds. The political situation has become highly corrupted and there are flaws in the election process that are beyond estimate. The electoral process is still followed while staging elections in the country so that the government at the Center can be established and can function to run the country.

India has parliamentary constituencies where in Members of Parliament for the Lok Sabha are chosen through voting/election which is done every 5 years. May 31, 2014 marks the end of present constitutional term of the Lok Sabha.

Indian General Election


ECI (Election Commission of India) is the authority responsible for holding the election while the President is the one who dissolves the Parliament. These elections will decide the next government that shall hold the power with its members elected by the country. The present government is led by UPA coalition with Indian National Congress leading it. It is speculated that after Dr. Manmohan Singh, the current Prime Minister of India having led the government for two consecutive terms, Mr. Rahul Gandhi, may be appointed as the next prime ministerial candidate for 2014 elections.

In opposition, BJP’s proposed candidate is Mr. Narendra Modi who is also the present Chief Minister of Gujarat. There may be changes to the candidate decisions and time will decide the real leaders who come ahead to fight for the position of Prime Minister. It is believed that so far the two biggest parties have been banking on urban and rural India for their vote bank. While Congress continues to cash upon rural India’s penchant for them, BJP tries to win the confidence of Urban Indians by devising policies that favor them.

Narendra Modi is popular amongst the young and educated citizens who live in the world of internet and expect technological advancement in the country. His electoral ideas and campaigning ways have capitalized social networking and captured audiences online for supporting his ideology and actions. His active presence on Twitter and use of Google hangouts to reach people and have a direct word with them mark his people friendliness approach in politics. He is a leader of present generation and is capable of mobilizing large numbers through his vocal skills and his firm resolutions. He has also managed to stand out of all criticism and controversies that he has faced in the past.

Congress is also actively following the web audiences and Rahul Gandhi is trying to reach the countrymen by showing active participation as a future Prime Ministerial candidate. Vocal presence on internet and social media has become the need of the hour with the middle class and their issues considered playing a deciding role in upcoming general elections. Rahul Gandhi has been reaching out the villagers and countrymen in many situations of crisis and also to embark upon some significant projects. He has however failed to express opinions in matters of political and economic concerns where a leader should showcase active interest and involvement.

Inflation and related problems of unemployment, increased taxes on all commodities, heightened rates of criminal acts and rapes, series of corruption scandals are key issues which have displeased Urban India to a great extent and can be a challenge before the Congress in upcoming elections of 2014. BJP’s internal issues and lack of unity and consensus over pity leadership issues within the party may create problems for it when contesting elections against Congress in many states. If both the parties due to their loopholes fail to win the elections, a Third front formed by small political parties may come in power in coalition. Pranab Mukherjee who was competent as a candidate for Prime minister has been ruled out by giving him post of President of India. Gandhis due to their political background have taken a strong hold in the position as leaders always and this is the reason that Rahul Gandhi is ready to start his active political career with this opportunity.

Many states in India have been able to establish monarchial rule with consistent presence as ruling parties in the region. Jammu and Kashmir has Kashmir National Conference in ruling while DMK rules the politics of Tamil Nadu. Other big states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi too have big leaders who compete by gathering votes of minority to oust others from coming to power.

Even as true democracy fails to exist, even when religious and regional issues continue to be used for political gimmicks and even when criminalization of politics has become the modus operandi, the country continues to foresee the upcoming elections as a time of political upturn.

The future of the nation in hands of such leaders who rule for money and power for their own family and relatives and where selfish interests overweigh country’s interest is not anywhere bright. While parties like Aam Aadmi party hope to change the country’s present scenario, bring about law and order for the common man and work for the interests of everyone eliminating corruption from all political machineries, the dream may not be practically realizable at least by upcoming elections in India with the strong hold of corrupt and devilish politicians befooling the uneducated and poor people to get the vote bank. The vulnerability of Kejriwal and his team make them weak as favorable options for Parliamentary elections in 2014. “United we stand, Divided we fall” is the mantra of coalition that continues to rule with support from small parties that find their own selfish interests met by coming to power. If India is in need of real leaders who can transform the current system and make it truly democratic and free from corruption, a drastic change in the political set up and parties in power is needed.


Rise of aam aadmi party in Indian Politics

The Aam Aadmi Party is on a high. And it has reasons to be. On December 08, 2013, the party with broom as its election symbol literally swept the Congress party in the Delhi Assembly elections and stunned the BJP by winning 28 seats in the 70-member House. Its convener, the 45-year-old Arvind Kejriwal defeated the three-time chief minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit, and became the seventh CM of Delhi in just over a year after launching the AAP.

It cannot be denied that the new party captured the imagination of the people of Delhi with its innovative style of campaigning, with its anti-corruption plank and with its promise of changing the way politics is done in India. They talked of people’s participation and clean governance, and when offered outside support by the Congress which won eight seats in Delhi, they went to the people and sought their opinion on government formation.

It’s almost been a fairy-tale launch for the AAP. No wonder buoyed by the success in 2013, they have now set their eyes on 2014. Notwithstanding the fact that the BJP is hoping to come back to power at the Centre after a decade and notwithstanding the fact that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity has been growing in the country, they sincerely feel that there is an unprecedented excitement and buzz about the AAP.

Thus the decision by them to take the national plunge and fight in almost 300 seats in the upcoming General Elections this year. As they say – make hay while the sun shines. Which brings us to the question – can AAP make an impact in Lok Sabha polls and can it repeat its good showing in Delhi at the national level? After what happened in Delhi where the Congress, BJP and the opinion makers did not give them much of a chance, not many would want to hazard a comment about their prospects at this juncture. But one thing can be said for sure – it’s going to be an uphill task.

For a start, how are they going to take on regional leaders and players? How is it going to tackle Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party and Mayawati’s BSP in Uttar Pradesh, Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, Naveen Patnaik’s BJD in Odisha, Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD and Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) in Bihar or for that matter Narendra Modi’s BJP in Gujarat. And how is it going to deal with caste, religion, linguistic and region factors at the state level, which still exist, even though we may not like it? For instance, the Marathi manoos factor which all political parties in Mumbai play upto. Plus the humongous task of finding 543 people with clean image and impeccable integrity.

While one can never say for sure, but what worked in Delhi may not necessarily work at the national level. AAP launched its campaign in Delhi in the backdrop of Jan Lokpal movement. Delhi was the venue for the anti-corruption agitation in 2011 and it helped AAP that it chose to fight its first election from the national capital. The fact that Congress was facing double incumbency in Delhi – of Sheila’s government and that of the UPA – went in their favour. The support from the media, especially electronic, who captured their every move helped. Would AAP have had the same success in Delhi if the venue of the anti-graft movement had been in some other state? It’s a point to ponder upon.

The AAP knows that to succeed at the all-India level a political party needs to have a strong cadre, strong leaders in the state and a strong organisational structure, all of which requires time and money. And at the national level it will not be enough to portray themselves as anti-establishment and committed to root out corruption. The AAP will have to spell out its views on handling the economy of the country, inflation and price rise; its take on foreign policy, how it proposes to deal with Pakistan and the United States; how it will address the issue of Naxalism, terrorism and separatism; what does it think of Centre-state relations and creation of states like Telangana; its plan regarding agriculture, farmers and rural India; its vision on education and job creation and its ideas on women’s safety among other things.

And before that it has to deliver in Delhi first and show the people of this country that it is capable of governing. It is one thing to come to power and completely another to rule successfully. Pure rhetoric and a press conference a day will not help. A case in point – to the credit of the AAP, it delivered on two of its poll promises of giving free water and cutting power tariffs after assuming office. But questions are also being raised as to whether they are compromising on good economics for populist schemes and how good is subsidy for economic growth.

When Arvind Kejriwal spoke in the Delhi Assembly just before the trust vote, he sidestepped these questions raised by members of Congress and BJP and instead delivered an emotional speech. But a party who harbours national ambitions has to eventually take up hard questions and cannot play on the emotional quotient for long. Also, AAP leaders like Prashant Bhushan saying that a referendum should be held in J&K on the issue of the removal of Army from the state for internal security does not help their cause.

Though Kejriwal said on record that Kashmir is an integral part of India, it raises questions as to whether some of AAP leaders hold separatist views. Bhushan has made similar comments in the past too. He had once said in Varanasi that a plebiscite should be held in J&K to determine whether the people want to stay with India or not. They will also have to give convincing answers to assertions by certain quarters that they are ‘communists’ in disguise.

It cannot be denied that the AAP needs to develop an ideology, and now, and go beyond mere rhetoric. They still have a long way to go and to travel that distance they have to tread carefully. They have to clear the air about the accusations that are being levelled against them that they are being used by the Congress to spoil the chances of the BJP. Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar did say that his party sees AAP as an ally.

AAP formed the government in Delhi after Kejriwal said that they would never take the support of either the Congress of the BJP. But they went ahead with government formation saying that the people had wanted them to do so. That’s all very well but didn’t the AAP centre their campaign around the ‘corrupt’ Congress? They have to accept the fact that as long as they are running the government with Congress, they’ll always be under the scanner. Questions like what’s happening to the probe regarding corruption charges against Sheila Dikshit will be thrown at them.

Also, they want to fight in all the seats in Haryana in the Lok Sabha polls but will they raise the issue of land deals of Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra in the state, a matter that they have raked up in the past? And if they do, what happens to their government in Delhi? Going into the election mode they have to counter these questions head on.

At the same time, it cannot be denied that the AAP has generated a lot of interest and they have given BJP a scare of sorts. Even if they do not win enough seats to form the government at Centre or be kingmaker for that matter, they may end up cutting into BJP votes, something that one suspects the Congress would be hoping for.

The common man, reeling under price rise and inflation and increasingly disgusted with corruption voted for the AAP in large numbers in Delhi, in spite of the fact that they were a rookie party without any experience. Will the joyride continue and will the AAP bridge the gap from state Assembly to Parliament – just a couple of months and we will have the answer to this question.