World Students’ Day is celebrated every year on the birth anniversary of former President APJ Abdul Kalam on October 15. It is celebrated to pay tribute to the selfless contribution of Kalam towards the development of education in our society.
On this occasion, we bring to you a brief history and significance of this day and how APJ Abdul Kalam played a pivotal role in its invention.
World Students’ Day History
Lovingly known as the people’s President, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was a dedicated teacher, so much so that he returned back to teaching immediately the next day he completed his tenure of being a President. He ignited the minds of the common men, especially the youth.
Even during his scientific and political career, he considered himself to be a teacher and always expressed delight in teaching the students. He was so involved in teaching that he took his last breath while delivering a lecture at IIM Shillong, where he suffered a cardiac arrest in 2015.
It was his dedication towards teaching and his motivational quotes that inspired the students and the UN declared October 15 as World Students’ Day in 2010.
Kalam- A man with A Vision
APJ Abdul Kalam was born in the then British India in Rameswaram, Madras Presidency, was an Aerospace scientist and the 11th President of India, his Birth Anniversary is celebrated as World Students Day.
He was a graduate in Physics from the University of Madras in 1954 and shifted to Madras to study Aerospace Engineering in 1955, after which he spent his life as a scientist at the Defence Research And Development Organization (DRDO), and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
One thing that he was passionate about was teaching. He wanted himself to be remembered as a teacher and shared a special bond with his students and it was on his 79th birthday that October 15 was declared the World Students’ Day by the United Nations. This year will be the 10th World Students’ Day.
Kalam was a man with a vision. He always strived to work for the best. He belonged to a poor Muslim family and still managed to overcome all his hurdles and went on to become a successful President of our nation.
He has inspired many through his writings like Wings of Fire: An Autobiography (1999), Ignited Minds: Unleading the Power Within India (2002), and India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium.
Kalam worked towards the development of the Indian military missile programs and thus came to be known as the ‘missile man of India’. He was involved in India’s “Pokhran II” nuclear tests in 1998.
He took charge as the President of India in 2002 and became the people’s President. He was also awarded India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna. Apart from this, he has also been the recipient of other awards like the Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, accounting for a total of 22 awards.
As a student, Kalam was an average student whose favorite subject was Mathematics. He used to score average marks but was always open to learning. He was a man who had a vision for a better future.
Life As A Scientist
As a scientist, Kalam worked at several organizations which include, the DRDO under the Aeronautical Development Establishment where he became a part of the DRDS (Defence Research And Development Services). He also served as a scientist at ISRO, working as a Project Director for SLV-III, India’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle, when in July 1980 the Rohini satellite was successfully deployed in near-earth orbit.
Kalam has also worked under a popular scientist, Vikram Sarabhai, as part of the INCOSPAR committee. Kalam worked under two projects namely, ”Project Devil”, and “Project Valiant” in the 1970s.
From July 1992 to December 1999, Kalam was employed as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and Secretary of the DRDO. It was during this that he was involved in the Pokhran II nuclear tests.
In 1998, he also invented an inexpensive coronary stent (“Kalam-Raju stent”), jointly along with cardiologist Soma Raju.
His Tenure As The President Of India
In 2002, it was in the Presidential election that he won with 922,884 votes and became the 11th President of India, after KR Narayan. Even throughout his Presidentship, he considered himself to be a teacher. He was always in a close relationship with the students and worked towards developing a better future for them.
After completing his tenure he immediately got back to his teaching life and became a guest lecturer at the Indian Institute of Management, Shillong, the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and the Indian Institute of Management, Indore.
He also served as an honorary fellow of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Chancellor of the Indian Institute of Space and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, Aerospace Engineering lecturer at Anna University. He was also an IT professor at the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad and Banaras Hindu University, and Anna University.
How is World Students’ Day Celebrated?
World Students’ Day is celebrated in all schools and colleges in remembrance of a wonderful teacher and great human being, APJ Abdul Kalam.
Every school and college celebrates the day in their own ways, for instance, various quiz competitions, speech competitions are conducted in every school and college where the basic theme is mostly science and technology.
A few schools also display the life and works of APJ Abdul Kalam and inspire them in becoming future world leaders.
As a student, you can also get involved and celebrate the day with certain ideas. For instance, you can form a group of students and arrange a peaceful parade reciting the famous quotes and sayings of the missile man, or you could just sit together and speak about the various technologies involved in taking the nation towards development.
Whatever you do, just remember how our renowned President worked towards building a better future for you. So don’t forget to thank him and pay your tribute.
World Students’ Day 2021 Theme & Quotes
Last year’s theme was “Learning for people, planet, prosperity, peace”. This year’s theme has not been declared yet. On World Students’ Day, here is a list of some famous quotes by APJ Abdul Kalam:
- “If people remember me as a good teacher, that will be the biggest honor for me.”
- You cannot change your future, but you can change your habits, and surely your habits will change your future”.
- “Dream, Dream, Dream. Dreams transform into thoughts And thoughts result in action.”
- “Wisdom is a weapon to ward off destruction; It is an inner fortress which enemies cannot destroy. “
- “Look at the sky. we are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work”.
- “All of us do not have equal talent. But, all of us have an equal opportunity to develop our talents”
- “Thinking Should become your CAPITAL ASSET, no matter Whatever ups and downs You Come across in your Life”.
- “A renaissance is imperative for us to once again become a knowledge superpower rather than simply providing cheap labor in areas of high technology.”
- “Success is when your signature turns into your autograph”.