The Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Centre for Policy Research and Analysis of IIM Shillong organised the eighth edition of the eponymous annual lecture series to commemorate the death anniversary of the late former President of India.
Kalam died suddenly in Shillong on July 17, 2015 while on a visit to deliver a lecture at IIM Shillong.
The Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial Lecture serves as a platform to reflect on the remarkable ideals of Dr Kalam and their relevance to contemporary challenges. Esteemed speakers from diverse fields are invited to share their insights and experiences aligned with Dr Kalam’s vision, fostering innovation, leadership, and social progress.
The memorial lecture was delivered by the eminent defence scientist, Dr Vasudev K Aatre, a former Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri, former Director General DRDO, and Secretary of the Department of Defence R&D.
Dr Aatre fondly recounted his interactions with Dr Kalam and highlighted one of Kalam’s best qualities: his ability to “never get angry at anyone” and his capacity to “realize the potential in everyone.” He focused on the evolution of scientific and technological philosophy from ancient civilizations like the Greeks and Mesopotamians to the modern era of artificial intelligence (AI).
He elucidated how ancient Greek philosophers laid the foundation for scientific research and observational techniques. Furthermore, Dr Aatre shed light on the profound impact of significant scientific theories, such as the theory of relativity and the big bang theory, on the works of Aristotle, Francis Bacon, Euclid, and Pythagoras.
The lecture delved into the significance of modern technologies like the Internet of Things (IoTs), artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, nanotechnology, and the Global Positioning System (GPS). Dr Aatre encouraged the youth to channel their creativity using the three Ps—Purpose, Passion, and Perseverance—as guiding principles for personal and national growth.
In emphasizing the role of management in science and technology, Dr Aatre asserted that effective technology management is now essential for progress and development. He urged the youth to lead the nation with fairness and justice, envisioning a self-sufficient and self-reliant Indian economy.
The central themes of Dr Aatre’s lecture revolved around sustainability, the beauty of science, and the profound connection between human civilization and scientific advancements. He underscored the significance of economic and defence self-reliance for India’s development, emphasizing the need for top-notch educational institutions to generate knowledge for society. Additionally, Dr Aatre stressed the importance of effective resource management and sustainable practices to ensure long-term economic growth and maintain India’s competitive edge in the global arena.
The event culminated with the institute’s fraternity paying homage to Dr Kalam by offering floral tributes, and faculty members shared their personal experiences of working with Dr Kalam and how he continues to inspire students and teachers alike.