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Kalam’s body flown to Rameshwaram, to be cremated on Thursday

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Photo Credit: oneindia.com

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New Delhi: The mortal remains of former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam were on Wednesday flown from Delhi to be taken to his hometown Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu.

Several top leaders were present at the Palam airport, from where the body was flown out of Delhi in a C-130 J Super Hercules aircraft of the Indian Air Force.

The body of India’s ‘Missile Man’ was brought in a gun carriage from his 10, Rajaji Marg residence.

According to Defence Ministry Spokesperson Sitanshu Kar, the mortal remains will be flown to Madurai, from where a helicopter of the Indian Air Force will take it to Rameswaram in the afternoon.

In Rameswaram, the body will be kept for people to pay homage till 7 p.m.

The cremation will take place at 11 a.m. on Thursday.

(IANS)

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Government to build Kalam memorial in Rameswaram

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday paid tributes to former president APJ Abdul Kalam and said a memorial for him will be built at his birthplace Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu.

“The government has acquired land at Kalam sahab’s birthplace to build a memorial for him. We want it to be an inspiration for future generations,” Modi said at a function to mark Kalam’s birth anniversary.

The prime minister went on: “Soon after quitting the president’s post, he took a flight to Chennai and started teaching.

“And look at his last moments… Where is Rameswaram, where is Delhi, and where is northeast… Going there at his age and spending time with students reflects his commitment,” he said.

Modi said Kalam was committed to enriching India’s human resource.

India must be powerful, but not just by weapons… This was not Kalam sahab’s thought. Weapon power is important, and he contributed to it, but he believed a nation is not identified by boundaries, but by the people.

“So he took up both together, defense research and … enrichment of human resource,” Modi said.

The prime minister was speaking after unveiling a bust of Kalam at the DRDO complex here.

A scientist-turned-politician, Kalam was born and raised in Rameswaram and studied physics and aerospace engineering.

He spent four decades as a scientist and science administrator, mainly at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and was intimately involved in India’s civilian space programme and military missile development efforts.

Kalam was the 11th president of India in 2002-07. He died on July 27 this year.

(IANS)

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Postal stamp on Ashoka released; Kalam, Manjhi to follow soon

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Patna: Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday released a postal stamp on emperor Ashoka while announcing that stamps would also be released soon to honour former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Bihar’s mountain man Dashrath Manjhi. “This postal stamp in honour of Ashoka would be available for sale in the post offices,” he said while releasing the Rs.5 stamp. Prasad said Kalam, a Bharat Ratna who died last month, was an icon and Manjhi, who single-handed cut through a hill to make a road for his village in Bihar’s Gaya district died in 2007 in his early 80s.

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Last week a biopic based on Manjhi’s life, Manjhi-the ‘Mountain Man’, was released in cinemas across the country. Prasad said he would also propose to senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders to install a big statue of Ashoka in Patna and Delhi. In May, Prasad had announced to release the postal stamp during a BJP function here to celebrate the birth anniversary of Ashoka. Some BJP leaders claimed that Ashoka belonged to the present-day agrarian caste Kushwaha but historians and experts have refuted the claim. The Kushwahas, an Other Backward Class community, account for nearly 9 percent of Bihar’s 10.5 crore population.

(IANS)

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Global satellite to be named after Dr. Kalam

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Bengaluru: A global satellite for earth observation and disaster risk reduction — GlobalSat for DRR — proposed under the UN framework is to be dedicated to A.P.J. Abdul Kalam as a tribute to the vision of the celebrated rocket scientist and former Indian president who died July 27.

This has been stated by Milind Pimprikar, Chairman of CANEUS (CANada-EUrope-US-ASia) Organization on Space Technologies for Societal Applications headquartered in Montreal, Canada.

Founded in 1999, CANEUS serves to develop a common platform for space technology solutions for natural and man-made disaster management. The “GlobalSat for DRR” is a UN-driven global initiative on sharing space technology for disaster risk reduction, Pimprikar told IANS.

Launch of this satellite was mooted at the third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held at Sendai in Japan this March.

The concept was initiated by CANEUS in cooperation with UN agencies including the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, the United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank.

The GlobalSat was proposed in response to the need for a globally interconnected disaster and environmental management system since no single country can afford to develop a complete set of sensors and satellite systems needed for forecasting, monitoring and mitigating disasters like floods, drought, typhoons, earthquakes, wild fires, windstorms, or tidal events, Pimprikar said.

The UN-led GlobalSat will provide a common platform that will allow sharing of space and data segments, with an ability to serve individual nation’s disaster management and development needs.

Pimprikar said the goals of UN GlobatSat are the same as those of Kalam. In his “World Space Vision-2050” Kalam had envisaged space faring nations joining hands to find solutions to mankind’s major problems such as natural disasters, energy and water scarcity, health-care education issues and weather prediction.

“Therefore we now plan to dedicate the UN GlobalSat initiative as a tribute to Late Dr. Abdul Kalam by renaming it “UN Kalam GlobalSat”, Pimprikar said.

Pimprikar hoped the renaming will inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and space explorers to foster innovation and entrepreneurship and pooling of resources to find low-cost solutions to major problems facing mankind.

Pimprikar said the recommendations made at the Sendai conference including the proposed GlobalSat will be formally adopted by more than 150 world leaders at the UN Session in New York in September that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also going to attend.

Noting that Modi has already proposed an Indian initiative for a dedicated satellite for the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries. Pimprikar said India, “as a leading space nation in the world, has the unique opportunity to champion and lead the proposed “UN GlobalSat” initiative at the UN Session.

“Respecting India’s leadership, other nations from across the globe will support it wholeheartedly to seek formal UN endorsement of “UN Kalam GlobalSat”, he said.

After the formal approval, the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs will work out the details that can be addressed and finalised for implementation at the proposed UN-India Workshop in early 2016, he said.

The eventual goal of this satellite, he said, “is to establish a public/private partnership that would create a low-cost, internationally shared data collection and distribution backbone in space with no barriers to entry for participating nations.”

(IANS)