Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam: Former President of India
  Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam    
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08-12-2004 : Srinagar
Our Visionaries

My greetings to all the Children, who have assembled here from various schools in Srinagar. During my interaction with Five hundred thousand children in different parts of the country both urban and rural areas and e-mails and letters received from many citizens of our nation, I realize our youth have a dream. Their dream is to live in a prosperous, happy and safe India. How do we build a new India of their dream? To realize this dream certain unique qualities are essential. I am going to talk to you about these qualities based on my experiences with two great personalities.


My message

My dear children I have knowledge card for you. To begin with, I will read out and all of you repeat it with me.


Launch of EDUSAT

Dear Children I would like to recall a recent event of launching geo-synchronous vehicle on 20th September 2004. It is a huge three stage controlled and guided rocket system weighing 400 tones. This world class rocket system has put a communication satellite called EDUSAT (Education satellite) in the geosynchronous orbit. This rocket has capability to inject a satellite of one thousand Kg in the orbit with the velocity of 10.2 kilometers per second. This means speed of the satellite is 36 times the speed of modern passenger jet aircraft. That means you will be surprised to know it will take less than five minutes to travel from Delhi to Chennai instead of two and half hours by a jet. Do you know what geosynchronous orbit is? Geosynchronous orbit refers to the path of the satellite around the earth at an altitude of 36,000 kilometers in equatorial plane with the same rotational velocity of earth. The satellite now beams the education programmes throughout the day and night.


Objective of EDUSAT

The prime objective of the EDUSAT programme is to provide support to education through low-cost ground segments and to reach the un-reached people of India to every nook and corner. The satellite is specially configured to have multiple beams covering different regions of India. This is a satellite operating in Ku band in 17 Giga hertz frequency band facilitating the use of small transmit/receive ground terminals. It provides communication coverage through five regional beams and a national beam.

This system will be primarily for school, college and higher level of education; however it will also support non-formal education. In the initial phase EDUSAT will cover about 100 to 200 classrooms per beam. The EDUSAT, when fully operational will have a capacity of 30 uplinks and about 5000 remote terminals per uplink. EDUSAT is expected to provide one-lakh fifty thousand ground terminals in its full capacity.

For example, suppose a mathematics teacher takes a class at Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh, it is beamed to EDUSAT satellite in real time and the students in the class rooms at Gurudaspur, Punjab will see the teacher and hear the lessons. Students from the various parts of the country -a village school in Bihar, a village in Orissa, North East, West Bengal, will also hear his/her teaching and can ask the questions in sequence. Hence a good teacher teaching anywhere in the country in any language can be heard, seen and interacted. No where in the world an exclusive education satellite is in the orbit today, except India?s. This great scientific achievement has been made possible due to our great Indian space Scientists and partner institutions. Friends, we are witnessing how a space vision by Prof. Vikram Sarabhai has been transformed into reality leading to benefit to society. Prof. Vikram Sarabhai was indeed my role model when I started my professional career as rocket engineer.

I want thousands of municipal schools be linked through satellite so that students can interact freely. I am working on this project and talking to civic bodies of various towns and cities so that this goal could be achieved soon.


Jamsetji Tata and Swami Vivekananda

Friends, when I am in this beautiful environment let me tell you another interesting event that took place in a ship which was sailing from Japan to Canada in 1893. Two great human beings were traveling in that ship. They introduced each other. They were Swami Vivekananda and Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata. Swamiji asked Nausserwanji Tata where he was going and what was the mission. Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata said, ?Swamiji, I am going with a mission to bring steel industry to country?. Friends it was in 1893, when India was ruled by the Britishers. Swamiji said, ?it is indeed a beautiful mission. My best wishes. However, I would like to give you a small caution. Whatever amount you spend to get the process of making steel simultaneously you should learn the metallurgical science of making steel also. I would prefer you to start an Institute, a laboratory to do advanced research on the subject?. What a prophetic statement which came in the year 1893. Many things happened after that. Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata could not get the technology for manufacturing steel from UK. However, he could get the know how of manufacturing steel after crossing the Atlantic from USA and he established the Tata Iron and Steel Company at Jamshedpur. A big planning took place. That planning had two parts: the first part was to start steel manufacturing plant presently at Jamshedpur in Jharkhand. Simultaneously, he donated one sixth of his property for establishing an Institute of Material Research at Bangalore.

I have visited Jamshedpur sometime back and I saw the fruits of Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata?s vision: 4 million tons of steel per year being produced by Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO). Due to his foresight, India today is self-reliant in steel technology..



Dear Children, I will now administer a six point oath in Hindi which I would like you all to repeat after me.

Six point Oath for Children

My best wishes to you all for success in your educational career. May God bless you.


Now I would like to answer some of the questions asked by you.

1. What can we do to prevent brain drain?

Jasdeep Singh, Class-XI, Army School

Ans.Every year 3 million graduates are passing out from our Universities. Out of which 3 lakh are engineers. If 10% of them go and serve in different countries it does not do any harm to us. Their umbilical connectivity both family and knowledge is an asset to us. Hence, in my view there is no need to prevent this brain drain.

.2. How could one achieve greatness individually and for the nation?

Atif Javaid Fazili, Class-X, Burnhall School

Ans. Choose an aim and work hard towards it. There will be definitely problems on your way. Do not allow the problems to become your master. Defeat the problem and proceed towards your goal.

3. Inspite of progress made by India, why have we not been recognized as a super power by the UN and other nations of the world?

Naveed Kawoosa, Class-X, Burnhall School

Ans. Many nations are keen to have India as the member of the Security Council. It is a question of time, no world body can leave a nation of 1 billion out of the Security Council. We fulfill all requirements, like our contributions to the UN Peacekeeping Forces and the fact that we are a stable democratic nation. I believe in 5 years time we will get admission as a permanent member of the Security Council.

4. Which is your favourite book? How has it influenced your public life?

Tanay Bhandari, Class-V, Army School

Ans. Light from many lamps, Thirukkural, The Kuran and Man the unknown. I apply the learning in all my activities.

5. Which was your favourite prank during your school days?

Siddharth Marya, Class-V, Army School

Ans (Story of catching a moving train)

6. It was your ambition to become a pilot? Do you regret destiny?s decision?

Robin Thotha, Class-XI, KV No. 1

Ans. I still feel that I have missed something when I meet an air force officer.

7. Which invention or discovery has fascinated you the most?

Alankrit Kumar, Class-VII, Army School

Ans. Electricity, as Thomas Alva Edison's discovery changed the course of history. Today electricity is equated with economic development.

8. In our country, where the rich are becoming richer and the poor are becoming poorer by the day, how can technologies fill this gap?

Geeta Kaur, Class-IX, KV No 1

Ans. This Vision 2020 and PURA are the programmes specially designed to bridge this gap. It is not true to say that the poor are getting poorer. In 1980 the population living below the poverty line was 40 percent. Today it is 26 percent. But I do agree that we have to reduce the population living below the poverty line faster. The Vision 2020 Programme is especially designed to do this.

9. Given a choice, what are the three wishes you would like to be granted for yourself individually?

Navneet K., Class-VIII, Army School

Ans. To see a happy India, prosperous India and safe India.

10. What is your vision for the future of missile technology in the country?.

Faizan, Class-IX, Burnhall

Ans. Reusable missiles.

11. After interacting with the children of other states during our visits organized by the army we feel that equal opportunities in terms of education and research are not available to us in J & K. How can we be assured of similar opportunities in times to come?.

Muneer Ahmed Mir, Class-XI, KV No 1

Ans. Recently, Prime Minister has visited all the three regions of J&K. He has assured the generation of employment potential and starting of industries in the state, reinforcing the agriculture and horticulture. EDUSAT is now in the orbit. This can provide quality education to the youth of J & K through a universal tele-education programme.

12. You have a golden vision for India, which is known as ?VISION 2020?. May I request you to share with us the road map you have perceived for achieving this vision?

Peer Zada Zuryab, Class-IX, Burnhall

Ans. We have identified five areas where India has a core competence for integrated action: (1) Agriculture and food processing (2) Reliable and Quality Electric power, Surface transport and Infrastructure for all parts of the country. (3) Education and Healthcare (4) Information and Communication Technology (5) Strategic sectors. These five areas are closely inter-related and if well done would lead to food, economic and national security.




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