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A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, former President of India, Bharat Ratna and far-sighted architect of India's space and missile programmes, passed away in Shillong on Monday. Kalam was an institution-builder and a team-builder, a visionary and a dreamer, who always wanted to build a strong and self-reliant India. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Defence Minister R. Venkataraman, scientific advisor to the Defence Minister V.S. Arunachalam and Kalam were a formidable team in the early 1980s who wanted to weld into India into a puissant country in science and technology. Kalam devised every stratagem in the book to beat the embargoes and sanction regimes including the Missile Technology Control Regime imposed on India following the Pokhran nuclear tests in 1974 and later in 1998.
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