A lifelong scientist, Kalam's prominent role in India's 1998 nuclear weapons tests established him as a national hero. In 2002, India's ruling National Democratic Alliance helped him win election against the country's former President, Kocheril Raman Narayanan and Kalam became India's 11th President in July 2002.

I am Kalam (in pics)

At the end of his tenure as the President of India in July 2007, Kalam expressed willingness to consider a second term in office provided there was certainty over his victory in the Presidential election.

However, few days later, Kalam decided not to contest for the top job again stating that he wanted to avoid involving Rashtrapati Bhavan in any political processes. Also, he had no required numbers to get re-elected.

In the last Presidential election too, his name once again came to the fore. Kalam’s friends have always described him as apolitical; however after serving as the 11th President of India, he graduated from that level.

Notably, Kalam has received several prestigious awards, and he is the third Indian President who had been awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour.

JPN

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