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A P J Abdul Kalam- receive unique honour and exceptinal award "King Charles II Medal"



Dr. Kalam, former president, receives King Charles II Medal in the presence of NRIs

London, Oct. 22, 2007
Cap. Mahesh Inder Singh

The Royal Society King Charles II Medal (prestigious medal) was awarded to A P J Abdul Kalam, 75, a former president of India at the Royal Society in the presence of NRI Lord Karan Billimoria-Chief of the Cobra Beer, industrialist Lord Swraj Paul, Acting High Commissioner of India to the UK, Asoke Mukerjee and Lord Meghnad Desai, a leading economist.

The Royal Society King Charles II Medal, which consists of a silver-gilt medal, was instituted by Council in 1997. It is awarded at the discretion of Council only to foreign Heads of State who have made an outstanding contribution to furthering scientific research in their country. The Medal is awarded only in exceptional circumstances and is normally presented on the occasion of a State Visit.

This is unique honour for former presidendent A P J Abdul Kalam for his outstanding contribution to the practice and promotion of science in India. He is the second leader after the first award was being given to Emperor Akihito of Japan in 1998

Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam said he considered it as an unique honour "to India and its people".

Lord Martin Rees, Royal Society of England President said: President Kalam had led India at a time when science and technology investment in the country had radically increased. 'He has played a major part in preparing a roadmap for transforming India from a developing into a developed nation. As a scientist himself, he has also made a great contribution to scientific advances in his country

Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen (A.P.J.) Abdul Kalam was born on October 15, 1931 in Dhanushkodi, Tamil Nadu. He belongs to a working class Muslim family. Kalam received his PhD in aeronautical engineering from the Madras Institute of Technology in 1958. He joined India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) upon graduation to work on a failed hovercraft project. In 1962, he moved to the Indian Space Research Organization, where his team successfully launched several satellites. In 1982, he returned to the DRDO as director, focusing on guided missiles. In 1992, he became scientific advisor to India's defense minister. On May 11, 1998, Kalam led India's successful underground nuclear weapon tests. On July 18, 2002, Kalam was elected by an overwhelming majority (upwards of 90%) as President.














Brief history of the Society

The history of science since 1660 is closely intertwined with the story of the Royal Society.

The origins of the Royal Society lie in an "invisible college" of natural philosophers who began meeting in the mid-1640s to discuss the ideas of Francis Bacon. Its official foundation date is 28 November 1660, when 12 of them met at Gresham College after a lecture by Christopher Wren, the Gresham Professor of Astronomy, and decided to found ’a Colledge for the Promoting of Physico-Mathematicall Experimentall Learning’. This group included Wren himself, Robert Boyle, John Wilkins, Sir Robert Moray, and William, Viscount Brouncker.

The Society was to meet weekly to witness experiments and discuss what we would now call scientific topics. The first Curator of Experiments was Robert Hooke. It was Moray who first told the King, Charles II, of this venture and secured his approval and encouragement. At first apparently nameless, the name The Royal Society first appears in print in 1661, and in the second Royal Charter of 1663 the Society is referred to as ’The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge’.

The Society found accommodation at Gresham College and rapidly began to acquire a library (the first book was presented in 1661) and a repository or museum of specimens of scientific interest. After the Fire of 1666 it moved for some years to Arundel House, London home of the Dukes of Norfolk. It was not until 1710, under the Presidency of Isaac Newton, that the Society acquired its own home, two houses in Crane Court, off the Strand.