Thursday December 13, 2018
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Cabinet condoles Kalam’s death, says India lost a great son


New Delhi: The union cabinet on Tuesday expressed sorrow at the death of former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and in a resolution passed at a special cabinet meeting said “in his passing away the country has lost a visionary scientist, a true nationalist and a great son”. 56762-1654557

The cabinet met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and extended its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family on behalf of the government and the entire nation.

“Kalam made significant contribution in developing India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle and made India an exclusive member of Space Club. Popularly known as the ‘Missile Man of India’, Kalam was responsible for the development and operationalisation of AGNI and PRITHVI Missiles. He gave thrust to self-reliance in defence systems by introducing Light Combat Aircraft,” the resolution said.

It said that he was the scientific adviser to defence minister and secretary, department of defence research and development during 1992-99.

“During this period, strategic missile systems were developed and the Pokhran-II nuclear tests were conducted. Kalam had served as the principal scientific advisor to the government, from 1999 to 2001 and was responsible for evolving policies, strategies and missions for many development applications and piloted India Millennium Mission 2020,” it added.

The former president died in Shillong on Monday evening after collapsing during a lecture at the IIM-Shillong.

He was born on October 15, 1931 at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, and specialized in aeronautical engineering from Madras Institute of Technology.

In his literary pursuit, his books – “Wings of Fire”, “India 2020 – A Vision for the New Millennium”, “My journey” and “Ignited Minds – Unleashing the power within India” became household names in India and abroad, the resolution said.

It added that Kalam was passionate about transforming society through technology, in particular by inspiring the youth of India to harness science and technology for human welfare.

Kalam was the recipient of many national and international awards including honorary doctorates from 48 universities from India and abroad. He received the country’s highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna, in 1997.

“Eventually, from a very humble beginning, he rose to the highest office of the country and served as the 11th president of India from 2002 to 2007. During his tenure, he was affectionately known as the People’s President,” it said.


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Kenyan Scientist George Njoroge Gets Global Award

Dr. Njoroge says all the credit for his undying devotion to science and finding new cures should go to his late mother, Alice Nyaucha

George Njoroge is a native of Kiambu with over 100 patents for his work in immunology and cancer.

Kenyan scientist George Njoroge was feted with the Pioneer Award for Impact in Science and Medicine in New York. The researcher is also an author and co-author of over 120 scientific publications. His research primarily focuses on finding new drugs and development.

Kenya has produced yet another star, but this time it shines in the scientific field. George Njoroge is a United States-based Kenyan with the Pioneer Award for Impact in Science and Medicine under his belt. He received the award on Sunday, July 14 at the FACE List in New York, an event organized by Face2Face Africa. George is also a senior researcher at Eli Lilly and Merck Research Laboratories’ former Director of Research.

Njoroge received the honor after discovering molecules that could be used in treating a
variety of viral infections. ‘Over the years, I’ve received lots of accolades both here in the USA and other parts of the world. However, I find it quite remarkable to get recognition by an afro-centric organization. This makes me dance joyfully and with exhilaration,’ he said.

Who is George Njoroge?

George Njoroge is a native of Kiambu with over 100 patents for his work in immunology and cancer. He attended Kiawairia and Kamuchege Primary schools before advancing to Thika High School for his secondary education. He received his first-class honors undergraduate degree from the University of Nairobi before joining CASE Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio for a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry.

The 64-year-old says he’s not done despite holding a prestigious position at a global
pharmaceutical company. He wants to move to Naivasha in the next year to be in close proximity with his upcoming biotechnology institute. Njoroge hopes to attract well over 100 doctoral degree holders from all over the world to work in the institute to find a cure for cancer, diabetes, AIDS, and Malaria.

Dr. Njoroge, second from left, receives honorary doctorate from Mount Kenya University.

After accepting the Face2Face Africa Award, Njoroge said, ‘Africa has to step up the plate and get involved by participating in the global scientific platform, we cannot afford to be left behind. The African content has great brains and an abundance of resources. We only need to embrace the power that comes with biotechnology.’

Other Awards

However, this was not the first time the scientist was on a podium receiving an honorary
award, in 2017, he became the first African scientist to earn 100 patents from the American Patent and Trade Office. This honor also came after the scientist found a
treatment capable of curing some viral diseases. Mount Kenya University also saw
Njoroge’s ability through his research and awarded him an honorary Doctor of
Pharmacy degree back in 2014.

At Merck Research Laboratories, George conducted the research that paved the way for the discovery of Victrelis. Victrelis is the first ever oral drug for Hepatitis C. A US media outlet was quoted saying, ‘Victrelis was approved by the FDA in 2011 and is currently on sale in more than 45 countries worldwide, with over $1 billion in sales. The discovery earned the scientist a coveted 2012 Hero of Chemistry honor, which was awarded to him by the American Chemical Society, which is the largest scientific society in the world.’

With chronic hepatitis currently affecting over 3 million Americans and between 130 and 170 million others around the globe, Dr. Njoroge’s findings are immense. The drug has
already been approved in 43 countries and is currently on sale in 23 of said countries.


Dr. Njoroge says all the credit for his undying devotion to science and finding new cures should go to his late mother, Alice Nyaucha. She was a practitioner of herbal medicine and inspired his love for science since he was a little boy. The researcher is married to Ester Nyambura, and the couple has two children both pursuing medical degrees.

Read more breaking news from Kenya on TUKO