Former president A P J Abdul Kalam has been conferred with a Honourary Doctorate of Science by the University of Wolverhampton in the United Kingdom in recognition of his eminence in the international community as a scientist, educationist and statesman.
NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul, Chancellor of the University, presented the Doctorate to 76-year-old Kalam at a special ceremony at Wolverhampton on Monday. This is the 33rd Honourary Doctorate received by Kalam from Indian and foreign universities.
Delivering a special lecture on 'Creative Leadership' on the occasion, Kalam recalled the vision and leadership of Vikram Sarabhai and Satish Dhawan in nuclear and space programmes, Sir C V Raman in Science, Jamsetji Nauroji Tata in Industry, and said India is "in the process of transforming into a developed country before the year 2020".
"This transformation requires synergy and team work between the private sector, public sector, state and central governments, NGOs and citizens for providing an equitable growth in all sectors of economy namely agriculture, manufacturing and services."
Lord Paul said "Dr Kalam's accomplishments are an inspiration to all."
Reading the citation, University Vice Chancellor Professor Caroline Gipps said, "Dr Kalam has achieved eminence in his own academic field and he has also educated and inspired others. I have the honour to present Dr Kalam the award of Doctor of Science honoris causa of the University of Wolverhampton, in recognition of Dr Kalam's eminence in the international community as a scientist, educationist and statesman."
Professor Gipps said, "It is difficult to encapsulate in a few words the breadth of the contribution Dr Kalam has made to the development of the Indian nation. He has been a people's president with a vision that scientific and technological advancement can be a powerful tool in the right hands to tackle sociological challenges, not only in India but across the world."
She added that Kalam is an accomplished poet, a scholar and a musician who plays the Veena.
Kalam has been honoured with many awards including the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award and the King George medal for Science and Technology by the Royal Society of Britain. He has authored a number of books, among which Wings of Fire, Ignited Minds and India Vision 2020 are household names in India and have been published in many languages.
In his address, Kalam spelt out a ten-point distinctive profile of India by 2020. He envisaged, among others, a nation where the rural and urban divide has reduced to a thin line, where there is an equitable distribution and adequate access to energy and quality water and where agriculture, industry and service sector work together in symphony."For a prosperous and developed India, the important thrust will be on the generation of a number of creative leaders from our educational institutions," he observed.