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10 April 2009

Wings of Fire - chapter 20-24

Wings of Fire
1. Was the launch of Prithvi smooth? What was the response of the west to launch of Prithvi?

The surface to surface weapon system became Prithvi(Earth). Col.V.J.Sundaram was selected as leader for Prithvi, who belonged to the EME corps of the Indian Army.

He had an extraordinary capability to evaluate alternative ways of operation. He would suggest moving forward in new terrains

In 1988, work on Prithvi was completed. They setup special facilities at SHAR for the launch of Prithvi. They are launch pad, Black house, Control consoles and mobile telemetry stations. Kalam worked with the director of SHAR, MR Kurup.

Prithvi was launched on 25 February 1988. It was an epoch-making event in the history of rocketry in the country.

The launch Prithvi sent shock waves across the neighboring countries the response of the west shock and anger. A seven-nation technology embargo was clamped. The emergence of India as a self-reliant country in the field of guide missiles upset all the developed nations of the world.

2.What were the set backs in the successful launch of Agni?



Kalam’s long cherished dream of REX, gave the name Agni [Fire].

R.N.Agrawal, an alumnus of MIT, with brilliant academic record, selected as a leader of Agni.

Agni had more than 500 scientists and may organizations.

The launch had been scheduled for 20April 1989. Unlike space launch vehicles, a missile launch involves wide-ranging safety hazards.

All activists preparing to the launch went according to the schedule. They decided to move the people from nearby village’s to safety areas. This led to media controversies.

Besides, foreign pressure was exerted to abandon the flight trial.

They were at T-14 seconds when the computer warned that one of the instruments was functioning erratically. That was rectified immediately. After sometime down-range station asked for a ‘hold’, another few seconds, multiple holds were necessitated. They had to abort the launch.

After a detailed analysis it was decided that the missile was ready for launch on 1st may 1989. But due to technical problems it was postponed.

Kalam spoke to the DRDL-RCI community, at a gathering of more than 2000 people. He promised to the gathering that they will be back after successful launching of Agni before the end of the May 1989.

It was amazing to know that hundreds of scientists and staff worked continuously and completed the system readiness with acceptance tests in just 10 days. This time, it was the weather that posed as obstacle. There was a cyclone threat.

Finally, the launch was scheduled for 22nd May 1989. The Defence Minister KC Pant asked Kalam that how would he like to celebrate Agni’s success. Kalam replied that “We need 1 00000 saplings of plants at RCI”.

3. What was the mood in India during the Gulf War of 1991? How did the successful testing of the missiles assuage the situation?





On 23rd may Agni took off at 0710 hours it was a perfect launch. The missile followed textbook trajectory. All flight parameters were met. They had achieved success after five years of continuous work. They had survived pressure from everywhere to stop the programme. And it was a great success at last.

India celebrated the nation’s forty-fourth Independence Day with the test firing of Akash. This was an important step in ground based air defence.

Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi called the Agni a major achievement in our efforts to safeguard our Independence and security is self-reliant means.

President R.Venkataraman saw in the Agni success, the fulfillment of his dream. He congratulated Kalam and said that it was a tribute to his dedication, hardwork and talent.

In today’s world technological backward means a threat to our freedom and it was impossible to compromise on security and integrity of our nation.

The launch of Nag and Agni took us in an area of competence where there was little competition.

The year 1991, 15th January, the Gulf War broken out between Iraq and Allied forces led by the USA. India had satellites by that time, the rockets and missiles were captured by television. People started discussing about scud and patriots. People often wondered if the Prithvi and Agni were equal to scud and patriots. When Kalam said that ‘Yes’ their faces would light up with pride and satisfaction.

Iraq was fighting with by and large vintage weapons of sixties and seventies the worked was now exercising superiority through technology. If you deprive opponent of the latest technology then you can dictate your terms. Electronic warfare and not guerrilla combat had come to dominate politics of war in the 21st century.

5. why, according to the author, should the culture of working for material possessions be discarded?

In 1991, Kalam decided to write his memories. He wanted to express his observations and opinions on certain issues.

The biggest problems, today’s youth faced is the lack of clarity of vision, a lack of direction. It was then that Kalam decided to write about his life. He did not want the poor or underprivileged to feel disheartened. Problems are a part of life suffering is the essence of success.

He quotes saying:

God has not promised

Skies always blue,

Flower-strewn pathways

All our life through

God has not promised

Sun without rain,

Joy with sorrow

Peace without pain

But God had promised

Strength for the day,

Rest for the labour

Light for the way

He wanted his life to be a model for any child who is living in an obscure place, who is underprivileged. It could perhaps help any child liberate themselves from the bondage of their backwardness and hopelessness. They should be aware that God is with them and nothing can go against them. He had come across many people and organizations, which he had to deal with who were so full of limitation that they could not prove their worth.

Technology is a group activity. It is based on interacting intelligence of many. The biggest success of IGMDP is what a few superb teams of scientists and engineers created. He pins down his success to a team of young people who created and put their heart and soul to the creation.

A Service of Love

HUMAN INTEREST

A SERVICE OF LOVE

- O. Henry

O Henry is the pen name of American writer William Sydney Porter. Porter’s 400 short stories are known for their wit, word play, characterization and the clever use of twist endings. O Henry stories are famous for their surprise endings, to the point that such an ending is often referred as an “O Henry ending”.

A service of Love is based on one’s love (one loves one’s Art no services seems too hard) for his best love story.

Joe Larrabee came from the Middle West. He was a genius in painting. When he was six years old child, he drew a picture of the town pump with an important person passing in a hurry. At twenty with a small amount of money, he left for New York to learn painting.

Delia Caruthers came from the South. She was a promising singer. Her relatives colleted a small amount for Delia to go to New York and to music.

Joe and Delia met at a studio, they fell in love and in a short time they were married. They began to live in a flat and were very happy as they had their art.

Joe was painting in the class of the great Magister and Delia was studying under Rosenstock, a famous musician. Their aims were clear. Joe would learn to paint old gentle man with side whiskers and thick purses. Delia was going to master the piano and fell concert halls all over the country.

After a while art became weak. They had spent all their money. They did not pay the fees to Mr Magister and Mr Rosenstock. Delia felt that she must give music lessons to buy their food. One evening she came with high hopes. She had found a pupil General A.B.Pikney’s daughter, Clementia. She is eighteen years old. Delia had to give three lessons a week. For that she would get fifteen dollars per week. Joe did not happy with it. He wanted to earn some money. But Delia insisted that Joe should not give up his studies.

During all the next week Joe had an early breakfast. Joe was very must interested in morning-effect sketches. He was doing in the central park. Delia lived at 7’O clock and he would return at 7’O clock in the evening.

At the end of the week, Delia proudly threw five-dollar bills on the center table. She complained about Clementia, trying her patience. She commented on their house, their drawing room and the rugs that covered the floor. And they Joe, with pride, drew forth a ten a five, a two and one dollar and laid them beside Delia’s earnings. He said Delia that he had sold one of his paintings and had ordered another an oil sketch of Lackwanna goods yard. Both of them were very happy that they had thirty two dollars on hand.

On next Saturday evening Joe reached home first. He washed his hands which had a great deal of paint .Half an Hour later, Delia arrived her right hand tied up in a shapeless bundle of wraps and bandages. Joe was concerned.

Delia told the story of Clementia who wanted Welsh rabbit at five in the afternoon. The general had the dish prepared. Clementia was so nervous that she poured it hot on Delia’s hands and wrist. But general Pinkney was concerned and sent someone out a drugstore for some oil and things to bind it up with.

Joe pulled out some white threads beneath the bandages and asked what this is?

Delia replied that the bandage had some oil on it. Joe asked what time in the afternoon had she been burn. Delia said five o’clock. Joe drew her to the sofa, sat beside her and put his arm across her shoulders. He asked her “what have you been doing for the last two weeks. She could not lie any longer. She put her head down and started crying. She said that she worked at a place where ironing shirts in twenty four street laundry. But she was happy that at least Joe could sell his paintings.

Delia asked him that what made him suspect that she wasn’t giving music lessons to Clementina. Joe replied that he did not suspect till that night. It was he who had sent up cotton waste and oil from the Engine-room that afternoon to a girl who had her hand burned with an iron. Joe had been working the Engine in that laundry for the last two weeks.

Joe’s buyer from Peoria and Delia’s General Pinkney were both the creations of the same art. They were creations of imaginations.

Both of them began to laugh and said when one loves ones art no service seems too hard-when one loves.

Comprehension

1.How did Delia earn the fifteen dollars that she threw on the table at the end of the week?

Delia earned the fifteen dollars by ironing shirts in a laundry.

2.How did Joe earn his eighteen dollars?

Joe earned his eighteen dollars by working in the engine room in the same laundry.

3.Why did Joe need to wash his hands so hard before Delia returned?

Joe needed to wash his hands so hard to wash off the grease and dirt from the engine he worked.

4.At what point in the story did Delia and Joe guess the truth about the other?

When the day Delia came home with a burnt hand tied up in bandages.

5.Why was Delia’s laughter not very joyous when she tried to explain the fact that her hand was in a bandage?

Delia’s laughter is not very joyous, because she was in pain and in a situation where she could not tell Joe the truth.

6.Is this a story about great art or great love?

It is a story about great love between two people who think nothing of making sacrifices for the sake of each other’s happiness.

Meanings


Human interest – in newspaper articles or broadcast ect. reference to people lives and their emotions

Genius - someone who has outstanding creative or intellectual ability

Promising – talented

Hung about –to move things slowly

Praised the sky – praised a lot

Side whiskers – the lines of short hair growing down in front of each of a man's ears

Concert halls - a musical performance given before an audience by singers or players.

Mistress – controlling position

Wearily – make some one very tired

Oysters – a large sea fish

Champagne – a white wine made in France

Welsh rabbit - dish consisting of melted cheese, usually with butter, ale and seasoning mixed in, served on toast

Awfully – extremely bad or unpleasant

Tenderly – gentle, caring or sympathetic

19 February 2009

Value of one additional mark

Value of one additional mark

What is the value of one additional mark?

If a student achieves success in competition, then an additional mark may not be very valuable. But if that additional one mark will turn failure into success, then it is worth a lot.

Here are two cases:

First, the student tries again and succeeds the next year. So he looses the salary for one year. That also means that he may be working one year less before he retires. He will lose the salary for the final year of his career and that salary could be 50,000, 2 lakhs or even more per month.

Second, a student does not succeed. For example, if someone fails for the third time in ICS/IAS, he will not get another chance. That means getting a smaller salary. If you add the difference in the earnings for a lifetime, it may add up to many lakhs of rupees.

But money is not all. There are other important advantages of success such as better job, pride of achievement, more respect, more self-confidence, more satisfaction, greater security, etc.

This shows that one additional mark in a competition may be worth a lot because it can make the difference between success and failure. And you should do whatever possible to get each additional mark.

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Kalpana Chawla

Kalpana Chawla

INSPIRATION

Reaching For The Stars


Kalpana Chawla
India’s first woman astronaut, Kalpana Chawla, was born on 1st of July 1961 at Karnal in Haryana. Her parents were Banarasi Lal Chawla and Sanjyoti. She was the youngest of the four children. She was fondly called as Montu at home. She grew up on accounts of the remarkable hard work and perseverance. She brought up in Karnal, which was full of social restrictions. Banarasi Lal Chawla’s family gave importance to academic excellence to all their children.

Kalpana went to a school, the Tagore Bal Niketan. Her childhood life was similar to those of hundreds of other children growing up in India. She was a shy, but cheerful girl with boundless energy and a strong inclination for adventure. She impressed all with her determination and commitment to work. She was an introvert, fun-loving. She enjoy organizing picnics and outings with her friends. She learnt to drive a car when she was only fourteen years old. As a child, Kalpana was fascinated by aircraft. She loved making models of aircraft. As she slept on hot summer nights on the open on coir cot; she would lose herself in the endless dark sky scattered with twinkling stars/

By the time Kalpana left school, she had an impressive academic record. She joined Punjab Engineering College (PEC) in Chandigarh. By then she decided that she will be a flight engineer and design aircraft. So, she took up aeronautical engineering. Then she was the only girl student. Every time she had to make a choice she selected the more challenging one. At college, she was very enthusiastic, pleasant and unassuming who could take to everybody. She spent most of her time in the classroom, the library or the laboratory.

After completion of her undergraduate course, she decided to continue her studies in the United States of America. She decided to attend the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), in 1982, she left her small home town to travel to Texas.

Once in Arlington, Kalpana plunged into the tightly packed routine of the American MS programme.

In December 1983, Kalpana married French-American Jean-Pierre Harrison.

After completing her mater’s programme, Kalpana moved with her husband to Colorado, where she completed her Ph.D. Programme.

In 1988, Kalpana joined the NASA Ames Research Center in California. She also applied to NASA Space Center to become an astronaut. In 1993, she was given a job as vice president and research scientist with Overset Methods, Inc. in the Silicon Valley. She was put in charge of development and implementing techniques for aerodynamic optimization.

Finally, Kalpana was informed by NASA that she was to appear for an interview and medical evaluation that could lead her to the job of an astronaut. She was chosen from a total of 2962 applications. She had worked hard for interview. Eventually she was one of the nineteen candidates to be selected by NASA’s fifteenth batch of astronauts. It was an honour beyond her wildest dreams. The young woman was a pride to the nation and her family.

In March 1995, Kalpana moved to Houston with her husband, to begin her tough journey. She had to spend months in high-fidelity simulators and under zero-gravity conditions.

In November 1997, Kalpana was given a chance, which she had dreamed all her life. She was one of the six crew members on board the Columbia Shuttle’s STS – 87 Mission. She was assigned the job of the prime robotic arm operator. Being mission specialist, she had to monitor experiments conducted on board and perform Extra-Vehicular Activities.

Kalpana was never to forget her first sight of the earth from the shuttle thousands of miles in space. She realized that our planet is really only a very small part of the vast universe. She was a nature enthusiast and never missed a chance to speak about the urgent need to take care of our habitat.

In spite of her hectic schedule at NASA and the pressures of her life, she never forgot her friends or the institutions, she had been associated with. She was a loyal friend who believed in lasting relationships. She stood by her people in different times of her life. She got involved with a programme allowing two students from her school, the Tagore Bal Niketan, to visit the NASA facilities every year. Before her last journey, she had made careful plans to sponsor a young student to a University in South Africa.

She was once again selected as a crew member for the STS-107 launch. The purpose of the 16-day mission was mainly to conduct research on micro-gravity. It was a perfect launch; the members began the work that had been assigned to them. Kalpana conducted a lot of experiments on earth sciences. She even heard to her favourite music CD’s.

On February 2003, Columbia was ready to re-enter the earth’s atmosphere. Kalpana’s family and friends were watching at Cape Canaveral where the shuttle was to land. Suddenly all communication with the Columbia snapped. When it was at a height of 207,135 feet in the sky. The Columbia burst leaving no survivors.

Kalpana was a truly remarkable woman with a rare combination of brilliant mind and intensely humane spirit. She had left behind a legacy of faith in the ability of human beings. She will remain a part of the world’s heritage for the extraordinary will power and daring that she showed in her attempt to reach for the stars.

Questions

1. How did Kalpana Chawla’s family background contribute to the shaping of her personality?

Kalpana Chawla had heard accounts of the problems faced by her immigrant parents, of their courage and hard work, learnt that it is important to believe in one’s dreams and to realize them through grit and determination.

2. What was the first barrier that Kalpana as a child came up against?

She came up with low value attached to education for girls.

3. Write a brief not on early indications in Kalpana’s life of the future that awaited her.

Her immense energy and enthusiastic response to adventure, her determination and commitment to work, fascination for aircraft, her favourite pastime of watching the star-strewn sky.

4. What lasting effect did the view of the earth from space have on Kalpana?

Kalpana struck by the thought that our planet is only a small part of the universe, realised that the earth is vulnerable to destruction unless we take care of our environment and conserve our natural resources.

5. According to those who knew her, when faced with options, Kalpana always chose the more difficult and challenging one. Give two instances from her life to substantiate this option.

Kalpana gave up a comfortable and well- paid job in the Silicon Valley to become an astronaut, after her first voyage aboard the Columbia shuttle, could have chosen to be ground crew instead of deciding to go into space a second time.

6. Kalpana Chawla was 'a rare combination of a brilliant mind and an intensely humane spirit '. Discuss.

Kalpana maintained an impressive academic record right from her school days. She did not ever shy away from challenges and hard work, proved herself as a student and later as a scientist and researcher in the Silicon Valley as well as in the NASA, fine human being as well – a loyal friend. She always willing to listen to others and respect them for themselves, longed to pay back what she saw as her debts to her school and society able to convince any unpleasantness, showed humility rare in one so accomplished, ect.

Meanings

Inspiration - supposed power which stimulates the mind

Reach for the stars – achieving something even though it’s difficult to achieve

Astronaut – a person’s job involves traveling and working in a spacecraft

Perseverance – the quality of continuing to try to achieve an aim in spite of difficulties

Inclination – tendency to do some thing

Adventure – an unusual, exciting or dangerous experience

Outing – a trip that you go on for pleasure or education

Picnic – when people pack a meal and take it to eat outdoors

Fascinated – very interested

Scattered – spread for apart over a wide area for a long time

Twinkling – to shine with light

Plunged – to move up and down suddenly and violently

Legacy – money or property that is given to you by somebody when they die

Snap – lose control or to break something with a sharp noise


Other Great Personalities include







Wings of Fire by APJ Abdul Kalam

Wings of Fire

Chapters 17-20
1. Why did the author decide that the burial of the Devil was essential for the rise of hope and vision’ in DRDL? How did he intend to achieve this?

Abdul Kalam visited DRDL in April 1982 to acquaint himself with the worksite. SL. Bansal, Director of DRDL introduced all employees in the laboratory to Kalam. Meanwhile Anna University in Madras conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Science on Kalam. Anna University recognized his efforts in the field of rocketry. The honorary degree was awarded at a convocation presided over by Prof. Ramanna.

Kalam took over the job at DRDL in June 1982. Very soon, he realized that the laboratory was still haunted by the winding up of the Devil missile. It was essential to the burial of the Devil and rise to hope and vision.

Kalam’s first few months were largely interactive. He explained about the goals to his subordinates. He was astonished to see the determination of the DRDL workforce. They were eager to go ahead.

In order to speed up the pace of R & D activities at DRDL, a decision on vital scientific, technical and technological problems had to be taken quickly. So his major decision was to create a scientist forum. Thus, a high level body called the Missile Technology Committee was formed.

After days of debate and thinking, the long term guided missile development programme was drawn up.

“The great thing in the world is not knowing so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.”

The determination to win should be our driving force.

Under the chairmanship of Kalam, a Committee was constituted to draw up a clear well defined missile development programme. The estimated expenditure was Rs.390 crore, spread over a period of 12 years.

Development programme take a long time to reach the production stage because of lack of funds. DRDL was known for its pioneering work in the field of anti-tank missiles. They proposed to develop a third generation anti-tank guided missile having ‘fire and forget’ capabilities.

Kalam made a presentation to the government. Dr. Arunachalam encouraged him and answered the question asked by the Defence Minister. Basically, every one was excited at the idea of India having her own missile system. The then Defence Minister R. Venkataraman was ready to allocate the required amount. In fact he suggested that they launch an integrated GMDP, instead of making missiles in phases. This was a very exciting challenge.


2. Describe briefly how the GMDP became the Integrated GMDP or IGMDP.

Abdul Kalam was astonished to see the determination of the DRDL workforce. They were eager to go ahead. Thus, a high level body called the Missile Technology Committee was formed. After days of debate and thinking, the long term guided missile development programme was drawn up.

“The great thing in the world is not knowing so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.”

The determination to win should be our driving force

Under the chairmanship of Kalam, a Committee was constituted to draw up a clear well defined missile development programme. The estimated expenditure was Rs.390 crore, spread over a period of 12 years.

Development programme take a long time to reach the production stage because of lack of funds. DRDL was known for its pioneering work in the field of anti-tank missiles. They proposed to develop a third generation anti-tank guided missile having ‘fire and forget’ capabilities.

Kalam made a presentation to the government. Dr. Arunachalam encouraged him and answered the question asked by the Defence Minister. Basically, every one was excited at the idea of India having her own missile system. The then Defence Minister R. Venkataraman was ready to allocate the required amount. In fact he suggested that they launch an integrated GMDP, instead of making missiles in phases. This was a very exciting challenge.

The Defence Minister sanctioned an unprecedented amount of Rs.338 crores. Thus, India’s prestigious integrated guided missile development programme (IGDMP) was born. The DRDL was full of fire and action.

The surface to surface weapon system became Prithvi (earth) and tactical core vehicle was called Trishul (the trident of Shiva). The surface-to-air area defence system was named Akash (sky) and the anti-tank missile project became Nag (cobra). Kalam’s long cherished dream of REX had given Agni (fire).

Dr. Arunachalam launched IGMDP on 27th July, 1983. It was a great event and a large number of scientists, professors, representatives of the armed forces and people from the production centers and inspection authorities were present on this occasion.

The launch of IGMDP was like a bright flash on the Indian scientific firmament. People were now curious to see how India was going to achieve all that was promised.


3. What were the qualities that Dr. Kalam was looking for in the leaders of missile projects?

The launch of IGMDP was like a bright flash on the Indian scientific firmament. People were now curious to see how India was going to achieve all that was promised. The most important task for Kalam was the selection of project directors to lead individual missile projects. DRDL had a large pool of highly talented people but unfortunately egotistical. Kalam wanted to right type of leaders who could visualize the goal and channelise the energies of the team members working at different work centers.

The wrong choice of leaders would jeopardize the entire future of programme. Many of Kalam’s senior colleagues befriend to him at this time. He respected their concerns since he wanted to do something best interest of the organization.

Kalam’s search for someone to lead the Prithvi project eneded with Col. V.J. Sundaram, who belonged to the EME corps of the Indian Army. He had an extraordinary capability to evaluate alternative ways of operation. He would suggest moving forward in new terrains. He knew Col. Sundaram would be the ideal choice.

For Trishul, he wanted some one who had a sound knowledge of electronics and missile warfare. He also wanted him to communicate these complexities to the team in order to promote understanding and support. He found in Commodore SR Mohan, from the Indian Navy, a talent for detail and an almost magical power of persuasion.

Agni was his dream project, and he wanted to select some one who would telerate his occasional meddling while running the project. He selected R.N. Agrawal, an alumnus of MIT, with brilliant academic record. He had been managing the aeronautical test facilities at DRDL.

Due to technological complexities, Akash and Nag were considered as missile of the future. Therefore he selected relatively young Prahalad and N.R. Iyer.


4. How did the author bring about the ‘infusion of young blood’ into the IGMDP? How did this make a difference to the working atmosphere, according to him?

The missile had partners in design, development and production. 12 academic institutions and 30 laboratories like DRDO, CSIR, and ISRO participated. There were more the fifty professors and one hundred research scholars worked on the missile.

Between April-June 1984, Kalam and his team of six members visited many campuses and enlisted young graduates, aspiring students and requested them to participate in the programme. They expected around 300 young engineers to join the laboratory.

India carried out its first nuclear explosion in 1974. We were the sixth country in the world to explode a nuclear device.

Around this time, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated. This was followed by widespread violence and riots. A curfew was imposed in the city of Hyderabad.

Mrs. Gandhi’s death was a tremendous loss to the scientific community. When her son Rajiv Gandhi took over, he was able to carry forward the policies of his mother.

Rajiv Gandhi laid the foundation stone for Research Centre Imarat (RCI) on 3rd August, 1985.

The young scientists whom they had recruited changed the dynamics of DRDL. They were quick enough to grasp the importance of their work. The young scientist’s negative attitude changed to positive. Even older scientists were rejuvenated by being a part of a young team.

Kalam encouraged the young scientists. He asked them to present their team’s work. Gradually, an atmosphere of confidence grew. Young scientists started questioning senior colleagues on solid technical issues. The work environment was lively, with a good blend of the experience of the older scientists and the innovation of their younger colleagues. This relationship had created very productive work culture at DRDL.


5. The author attributes rapid and proactive follow-up as an important managerial tactic. Write a paragraph to state your views on how this can make a difference.

After the successful completion, VSSC had to re-organize its resources and redefine its goal. Abdul Kalam was relieved of project activities. He took up the position of Director, Aerospace Dynamics and Design Group. New sites were identified at Vaattiyoorkavu and Valimala where the activities of VSSC were expanded. Fresh planning and analysis, especially of facilities, started. Soon it paved way for now formula and of re-entry experiment (REX), which much later on became Agni.

The work on the project spread fast. The appraisals for nearly 500 scientists became more and more difficult. Kalam had to write confidential reports. Many people thought that he was granting promotion to only those whom he favoured. Kalam tried to be fair judge.

It was difficult to judge an individual. Many people have intention of doing particular job. Many of them do their work in the manner of their convenient, and leave for home in the evening with a sense of satisfaction. They fail to evaluate their performance, only their intensions. Any delay caused is due to reasons beyond their controls.

Kalam, as a young scientist, wanted to more than what he was at the moment. He wanted to learn more, express more. He never used any influence to advance his career. Kalam says, “The key to my motivation has always been to look at how far I had still to go, rather than how far I had come.”

C V Raman

ENVIRONMENT

WATER: THE ELIXIR OF LIFE

C.V. Raman

Bharat Ratna Sir Chandrashekhara Venkata Raman is an Indian physicist. He was awarded the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on molecular scattering of light & for the discovery of the Raman Effect.

In this lesson Raman tried to bring about the importance of water, which has a unique power of maintaining animal and plant life.

Water, the elixir of life, is the commonest of all liquids, without water the land will be barren like the deserts in Egypt. On one side it is a sea of sand on the other side laid one of the greatest, most fertile, densely populated areas the valley of Nile. It is separated by the river Nile flowing down thousands of miles away. The entire soil is the creation of river Nile. Egypt, in fact was made by its river.

Water in the country side, which flows in serenity is the most beautiful sight. The rain fed tanks are neglected in south India. However, these tanks play a vital role in South Indian agriculture. Some of these tanks are large and it is beautiful sight to see the sun rise or sun set over them –water in a landscape compared to the eyes in a human face. It reflects changing moods of the day, bright and gray sometimes and dark and gloomy at other times.

Water carries silt and finely divided soil and deposit in low lying areas. The colour of water varies according to the place, swiftly flowing water can carry fairly large and heavy particles. Large amounts of solid particles can be transported. Silt deposited land is very fertile.

The flow of water has played a great part on the earth’s surface. The flow of water can play a destructive part and wash away the soil, which is the foundation of all agriculture. The problem of soil erosion is one of the major problems we face today.

Soil erosion occurs when soil on the earth’s surface is carried away by wind or water, heavy rain, sloping land, absence of vegetation, ruts through which water can flow down rapidly and absence of checks in the course of its flow.

The necessary measure are terracing of the land, building bunds to check the flow of water, contour cultivation, planning of right types of vegetation.

Water is the basis of all life. Every animal and plant contains water in its body. Water is essential for the body, moisture in the soil is equally important for the life and growth of plants and trees. The conservation and utilization of water is fundamental for human welfare. Much of Indian agriculture depends on monsoon. It is clear that the adoption of techniques preventing soil erosion would help to conserve and keep the water where it is wanted.

In India, where we depend on seasonal rainfall, an immense quantity of rain water runs off the ground. The collection of rain water and utilizing them is very important. Vast areas of land which at present are scrub jungle. By courageous and well-planned action, it could be turned into fertile and prosperous country.

The problem of afforestation closely connected with conservation of water supplies. The planning of trees in every possible way and the development of forest is one of the most urgent needs of India. Such plantation would check soil erosion and provide cheap fuel.

The measures necessary to conserve water serves as a purpose of value to the life of countryside. The cheapest means of transport is by boats and barges through canals and rivers. There is development of rail, road transport but a few measures are taken to improve waterways. The harnessing of water supplies usually makes possible the development of hydroelectric power. This would make a big difference in country life. If would also help to the top underground water.

Water is though a commonly found liquid, unique because of its power to sustain plant and animal life. The investigation of the nature and properties of water is therefore should be of the highest scientific field of interest.


Questions


1.Why water is considered the true elixir of life?
It has made life and vegetation possible on the earth.

2.C. V. Raman says that water in a landscape may be compared to the eyes in a human face. Why?

It reflects changing moods of the day, bright and gray sometimes and dark and gloomy at other times.

3.How does soil erosion occur and what are the chief factors that cause it?

Soil erosion occurs when soil on the earth’s surface is carried away by wind or water, heavy rain, sloping land, absence of vegetation, ruts through which water can flow down rapidly and absence of checks in the course of its flow.

4.What are the usual measures used to check soil erosion?

The necessary measure are terracing of the land, building bunds to check the flow of water, contour cultivation, planning of right types of vegetation.

5.What is the measure suggested by C. V. Raman and control the movement of water in order to harness if for useful purposes?

One of the most important measures suggested of C. V. Raman is widespread planting of trees.

6.Why is the study of the nature and properties of water of the highest scientific interest?

Water is though a commonly found liquid, unique because of its power to sustain plant and animal life.


Meanings for difficult words

Elixir – a sweet flavored liquid ; a substance believed to cure all ills

Barren – infertile

Silt – sand

Soil erosion – the washing away of soil by the flow water

Terracing – to form into terrace

Contour agriculture – used in a system of plowing, cultivating, sowing, etc., along the contour lines of the land in order to trap water runoff and prevent erosion

Scrub – low trees or shrubs collectively.

Afforestation – the conversion of bare or cultivated land into forest

Barges – A large, open pleasure boat used for parties or ceremonies

Harnessing – To bring under control and direct the force of:

Ruts – A sunken track or groove made by the passage of vehicles.

The Gold Frame

Humour


The Gold Frame - R.K. Laxman


Rasipuram Krishnaswamy Laxman is an Indian Cartoonist and Humorist. He is widely regarded as India’s greater-ever cartoonist and is the best known for his creation ‘The Common Man’.

The Gold Frame is written by R.K. Laxman. The Gold Frame, a short story speaks about a person called Datta, hardworking man, who commits a mistake and tries to rectify it. Laxman tries to bring out the satirical character of man in the customer who meets Datta.

The Modern Frame Works, A Photo Frame Shop was an extra-large wooden packing case built on shaking wooden stand. It was situated between a drug store and radio repair shop. Datta was its owner. He was silent, hardworking man. He gave laconic answers to his customers. Datta does not like casual friends, who tried to intrude on his silent zone. He always sat amidst cardboard pieces, bits of wood, glass sheets, nail boxes, glue bottles, paint tins and other odds and ends that went into putting a picture in a frame.

Many times he had to shake his dhoti vigorously in search of a lost object. This would shake his whole shop. His shop was fully covered with pictures.

One day a customer standing in the pavement, outside his shop showed him a picture and said ‘ I want this picture famed’. Datta ignored him. The customer unwrapped the newspaper and showed Datta the photograph.

The customer wanted the best kind of frame. Datta had a glimpse of the photograph. It was just another elderly person’s photograph.

The customer started to describe the greatness of the old man and the man in the photograph was God in his home.

Datta asked ‘what sort of a frame do you want?’. Datta gave the customer options like plain, wooden, lacquer, gold, plastic or just enamel painted. The customer surveyed the frames, which shown by Datta. The customer repeated ‘ I want the best’. He was unable to select the frame. At last, Datta came to his rescue and suggested one with a profusion of gold leaves and winding creepers. Datta said that it was imported from Germany. The customer was seemed, impressed and satisfied. Datta helped the customer with the mount also. The customer tried to bargain but, later on, agreed with Datta.

Datta had learned by long experience that his customers never came punctually. Either they came in advance and went away disappointed or they came months later and some of his customers never turned up. Therefore, he waited for them at least twice before executing their orders. Ten days later the rustic-looking customer came and asked if his frame was ready. Actually, he had come four days early.

The next morning Datta made his first job, keeping aside all the others. He wanted to finish the frame for the photograph. He took the picture out carefully and kept it on the wooden plank. As usual, his pencil stub was missing and he was frustrated. Finally, he stood up and shook his dhoti so violently that he upset tin containing enamel paint. Unfortunately, the paint spilled on the photograph.

Data stood transfixed. He could not recover from the transfixed state he had created.

When at last he fully recovered his senses he set about rescuing the picture. He rubbed the picture so hard with a cloth, and then he peeled off thin strips of the filmy coating from its surface. Before he realized what he had done half the old man’s face and nearly his entire turban were gone.

Data was now worried about how he would answer his customer, who had a fanatic devotion to the photograph.

Data racked his brain for a long while till he was overtaken by exhaustion.

In his state of mind, it did not occur to him that a particular photograph on the wall had caught his attention. It was an ordinary portrait of a middle-aged man. Data was amazed to see that he had the resemblance to the old man in the photograph.

An idea struck Datta. He brought down the old wooden box. He found a lot of photographs he could pick, which looked more or less like the old man.

At last, Datta found one photograph, which could replace the old man. After a couple of hours, he had a resplendent looking photograph in front of him. It had a gold frame asked by the customer.

The days that followed were filled with suspense and anxiety. Datta was nervous about the hoax he had played. At last, the customer came for his photograph. Datta's heart began to race. Nevertheless, he gave the photograph to the customer.

The customer was struck by its grandeur. He was silent like one who entered the inner sanctum of a temple. Datta held his breath and watched the customer’s expression. Suddenly the customer straightened up and asked indignantly ‘what have you done?’. Datta stood silent for a moment. He had rehearsed for this situation for a long time. Before he could speak, the customer said that he had asked for an oval gold frame whereas Datta had out a square gold frame.

Though, Datta was prepared for all kinds of question. This was unexpected. Thus, R.K.Laxman tries to bring about the humor through the absent-minded customer and cunning shop owner.

1. What was the intention of the customer in this story when he went to Datta?

The customer wanted the photograph of an elderly person framed.

2. What feature of the photograph made Datta think of it as just another photograph of an elderly person of those days?

It was a standard photograph with the usual whiskers and the large, heavy turban.

3. What was the disaster that struck the photograph? What was Datta’s reaction to this disaster?

A tin of white enamel paint accidentally fell on the photograph damaging it irreparably. Datta horrified, started rubbing the picture with a cloth to save it, but only made it worse.

4. How did Datta plan to repair the damage that had occurred?

Datta planned to replace the ruined photograph with a similar unclaimed one of the same period.

5. How did Datta go about his plan of action?

Datta searched among the unclaimed photographs in his shop until he found one that he felt could pass as the lost photograph; put it in a shining gold frame.

6. Explain the humour in the ending of the story?

Datta prepared for the customer’s anger on finding out what he had done, but man annoyed for a far less serious reason altogether – because the shape of the frame was not the one he had asked for.

Meanings

Laconic- brief or concise

Intrude – to disturb

Odds and ends – pieces of things

Vigorously – strong and active

Unwrapped – to remove the covering

Glimpse- very brief look

Lacquer- used to form a hard shiny and usually transparent covering on wood and metal

Profusion-overflowing; excessive

Creepers- creeping plants

Rustic-rural

Violently- using extreme physicalforce

Transfixed – to immobilize through surprise, fear, horror, etc.

Strips- to remove the surface

Racked one’s brain – to think as hard as one can, especially in order to remember something

Exhaustion- to make (person) very tired

Resemblance – likeness or similarity

Resplendent- brilliant appearance

Anxiety- strong feeling of fear

APJ Abdul Kalam Wings of Fire


Wings of Fire

Chapters 13-16


1. Write briefly about Wernher von Braun’s achievements. (OR)

2. What does the author have to say about ‘flow’ while working?

After returning from France, Kalam was informed that Wernhor von Braun was visiting Thumba. Everybody working in rocketing knew von Braun, who made the lethal V-2 missiles that destroyed London in World War-II. As a tribute to his genius, von Braun was given a top position in the rocketry programme at NASA. He produced the landmark Jupiter missile while working for US Army.

The V-2 missile was a greatest single achievement of von Braun. In August 1942, it became the first missile to exceed the speed of sound. Von Braun was a scientist, designer, production engineer, administrator and technology manger all rolled in one.

As he was taking to him, he knew he had met another Prof. Vikram Sarabhai. His words left a lasting impression on Kalam.

“Do not make rocketry your profession or your livelihood- make it your religion, your mission”.

With the three deaths in his family, he decided to plunge into the creation of SLV-3. Kalam believed that he must have single-minded devotion to reach the goal. Individuals like him are often called as workaholics.

The desire to work at optimum capacity leaves hardly any room for anything else. Kalam was always scoffed at for working 40 hours a week, but he knew people who worked 60, 80, and even 100hours a week, because they found their work exciting and rewarding. Total commitment is the common denominator among all successful men and women.

Once you have total commitment to your work- you also need good health and boundless energy.

Abdul Kalam felt the ‘flow’ of work as an overwhelming and joyous experience while working. It is a sensational experience when we act with total commitment.

When we are totally committed, action follows action according to an internal logic. There is no hurry and there are no disturbing demands on one’s attention. The distinction between the self and the activity disappears.

All of them working on SLV were experiencing flow. With this flow, they were able to achieve difficult target they had set.

As the work progressed he felt a tremendous surge of confidence- he was in complete control over himself and over the SLV-3 project.

The first requirement to get into flow is to work hard as you can at something that presents a challenge. Though it may not be an overwhelming challenge, it must make you feel that you are performing a task better today then yesterday.

“Another requirement for in flow is the availability of a significant span of uninterrupted time.” Kalam felt this was difficult as he was unable to concentrate fully without being disturbed.

He has been in laboratory for many days without knowing the time. Some days, the team members and Kalam were so involved in the work that the lunch hour slipped by without even being conscious that they were hungry.


3. What happened at the launch of SLV-3 on 10 August 1979? How did the author react?

The first experimental flight trail of SLV-3 was scheduled on 10th August 1979. The primary goals of the mission were to realize a fully integrated launch vehicle and to evaluate on board system as well as the ground system. The four stage SLV, 23 meter long, weighing 17 tonnes. It took of elegantly at 0708hours and immediately started following its programmed trajectory.

Stage I and Stage II was performed to perfection. But suddenly at the end of Stage II, the vehicle went out of control, the vehicle crashed into sea 560 km off Sriharikota.

Abdul Kalam and his teammates were disappointed, angry and frustrated. Over the years, Kalam had learnt carry on with the disappointments. It was a day of misery. Completely drained both mentally and physically, Kalam went straight into his room and slumped into the bed.

Dr. Brahm Prakash woke hip up in the evening and asked about going to lunch. Kalam was touched by his affection and concern. During the meal, he carefully avoided the topic of SLV-3 later on he explained that the whole team was behind him in this moment of misery.

A post flight review was held, which was attended by more than seventy scientists. They were eager to pin point the mistakes. It was established that the mishap had occurred in the failure of Stage II’s control system. No control system was available at this stage and hence the vehicle got out of control.

The findings were presented to Prof. Dhawan at a meeting. Kalam took the full responsibility of the failure and offered to resign by Prof. Dhawan left the place saying that he would like to put Kalam into orbit.

Early in November 1979, Brahm Prakash retired. He had always been his sheet-anchor. He believed in team spirit and had inspired the management pattern for the SLV project, which later became the blue print for all scientific projects in the country.


4. What were some of VSSC’s goals after the successful launch of SLV-3?

The SLV-3 launch was on 17th July, 1980. The newspapers were filled with all kinds of predictions.

Many newspapers clearly explained the history of SLV-3 and how the rocket nosedived into the sea. This launch was important in its own way. It was the future of the Indian Space Programme.

In the early hours of 18th July, 1980 at 0830 hours to be precise, India’s first satellite launch vehicle lifted off from SHAR.

As the vehicle took off the staffs were jubilant. The whole nation was excited. India had entered the small group of nations that had possessed satellite launch capabilities. It was both the culmination of a national dream and the beginning of a very important phase in our nation’s history.

The credit for the successful SLV-3 flight goes to the pillars of Indian space programme - Prof. Sarabhai in particular and hundred of VSSC Scientists and to Prof. Dhawan and Prof. Brahm Prakash.

Abdul Kalam was very happy at this success but was sad because he did not have his parents, brother-in-law and Prof. Sarabhai to share the success with him.

After a month, the Nehru Space Center arranged his meeting with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. A meeting of the parliamentary panel on science and technology, chaired by the Prime Minister, was scheduled. Prof. M G K Menon and Dr. Nag Chaudhari were also present.

The Prime Minister congratulated the team and asked Kalam to speak a few words. He spoke about the rocket system and about its speed. There was a thunderous applause and the entire room spread with happiness.

After the successful completion, VSSC had to re-organise its resources and redefine its goals. Kalam was relieved of project activities. He took up the position of Director, Aerospace Dynamics and Design Group. New sites were identified at Vaattiyoorkavu and Valaimala where the activities of VSSC were expanded. Fresh planning and analysis, especially of facilities, started. Soon it paved way for new formula and of Re-entry experiment (REX), which, after wards became Agni.


5. How did the success of SLV-3 change the equilibrium in the author’s position in ISRO?

The next SLV-3 flight SLV3-D1 took off on 31st May, 1981. Kalam had the opportunity of witnessing the launch from the gallery. He had become the focus of media attention and it had aroused the envy of his senior colleagues.

Abdul Kalam’s life was not that of a ruthless achiever. The SLV-3 was made through a collective effort. He felt bad about this sense of envy and bitterness.

In January 1981, he was invited by Dr. Bhagiratha Rao of High Altitude laboratory in Dehradun to give a lecture on SLV-3.

The renowned nuclear scientist, Prof. Raja Ramanna, presided over the gathering. He spoke of India’s efforts at generating nuclear energy and the challenge in conducting the first nuclear test for peaceful purposes.

Prof. Ramanna was genuinely pleased at meeting Kalam. Then he came to the point.

The Devil missile programme had been shelved in spite of tremendous achievements made by Narayanan and his team at DRDL. Prof. Ramanna asked if Kalam would be interested to join DRDL and shoulder the responsibility of shaping their guided missile development programme.

Abdul Kalam felt honoured with such a proposal. Prof. Ramanna had been the guiding spirit behind the Pokhran nuclear test (in 1974). Kalam met Prof. Dhawan and told him of Prof. Ramanna’s request. Kalam had nearly worked for eighteen years at ISRO and now he was sad to leave it.

Meanwhile Abdul Kalam was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1981. This brought about mixed feelings at VSSC. Some were envious while some unduly singled out for recognition.

APJ Abdul Kalam

Chapters 9 – 12

1. Why was Sriharikota chosen to be the site of the rocket launch station?


In February 1969, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi visited Thumba and dedicated TERLS to International Space Community. She also commissioned India’s first filament winding machine in their laboratory.

In 1969, Prof. Sarabhai decided to plunge ahead in building and launching our own satellites. He chose the east coast, so that vehicle could take the advantage of the earth’s west to east coast rotation. He finally selected Sriharikota Island, a hundred kilometers north of Madras. Thus, SHAR Rocket Launch Station was born. This Island was crescent shaped and had a maximum width of eight kilometers. It was along side the east coast line. It was the size of Chennai.

In 1968, Indian Rocket Society was formed. Prof.Sarabhai had picked a few scientists to give form to his dream of an Indian SLV. It came to be known as SLV – 3. Kalam felt honoured to be chosen as the Project Leader. He was also given the additional responsibility of designing the fourth stage of SLV-3.

Kalam was not a perfectionist. He preferred to learn by making mistakes. For that matter, he did not want to commit mistakes necessarily. He supported learning of his team members through successful and unsuccessful attempts.

Kalam laid the foundation for stage-IV on two rocks. His team members carried on the work. He was sorry that he could not spend enough time with them. At this stage, a professor from France, Dr. Curian, President of CNSE(Center Nationale de Etudes Spatiales). At France, they were developing the Diamont Launch Vehicles.

Dr. Curian was a thorough professional. He helped Kalam in realizing his target. Dr. Curian was so impressed by their plan that he inquired if they could create the Diamont’s fourth stage.



Work on Diamont’s fourth stage began simultaneously. Abdul Kalam gave instructions in writing. He wanted the team to meet once in a week. Dr. Curian was very appreciative. He said that they had achieved everything in a year’s time, what their counterpart could hardly manage in three years.

A good leader commands commitment and participation from her on his team. He has to get the team together to share whatever little development has been achieved. The slight loss of time was the very small price to pay for that commitment and sense of teamwork. Kalam could spot out good leadership qualities in his small group of workers. They existed in all levels.

Kalam continued to observe his colleagues carefully if they had the interest and willingness to experiment. He also started to listen and observe anyone who showed the slightest promise.

Kalam continued to work towards modifying SLV-3’s stage IV design to suit the Diamont airframe. After two years, when they were about the deliver it to CNES, the French suddenly cancelled the programme, saying they did not need our design any more. This was a great shock to Kalam and his team.

Kalam got over this disappointment, as he was busy with RATO.

The SLV was slowly taking shape. Thumba was now a perfect launch pad for SLV. On one occasion, Prof. Sarabhai identified a person who could be given the responsigbility for developing a tele-command system for SLV-3. Two men were competent to carry out this task- Prof. U.R.Rao and Prof. G. Madhavan Nair.

Abdul Kalam was impressed by Madhavan Nair’s dedication and abilities. He went out of his way to demonstrate his highly reliable tele-command system. Prof. Sarabhai was impressed. He later on became the Director of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

2. Prof. Vikram Sarabhai was the author’s mentor. What does he say about Sarabhai’s contribution to Indian Science programmes? Use the successful testing of RATO from Chapter 10 to give an example.


Prof. Sarabhai thought that mistakes were inevitable but manageable. To illustrate, once he came to Thumba, on one of his routine visits, he was shown the operation of the nose cone jettisoning mechanism. Prof. Sarabhai was asked to formally activate the system. To their horror, when he pressed the button, there wasn’t any reaction.

They asked him to wait for a few minutes, while they re-forged some connections. When he pressed the button for a second time, the pyros were fired and the nose cone was jettisoned.

Prof. Sarabhai congratulated them. He then called Kalam and talked to him of rock launching station, facilities like launch pad, block houses, radar, telementary and so on. Slowly he brought about the incident that took place, when he had gone to activate the system. In spite of reprimanding him, he went directly to solve the problem. They lacked a single roof to carry out system integration of all rockets and rocket systems. At last he took up a decision to set up Rocket Engineering Section. Prof. Sarabhai was a vision. He could use errors to encourage new ideas. The failure led to the birth of a rocket engineering laboratory.

Abdul Kalam used to brief Prof. Sarabhai after every missile panel meeting. After one such meeting, Prof. Sarabhai was visiting Thumba to review the SLV design.

Abdul Kalam reached Trivandrum, as he was supposed to meet Prof. Sarabhai at the airport. As he reached Trivandrum, there was a pall of gloom that hung in the airport. Unfortunately, Prof. Sarabhai had passed away early that morning, following a cardiac arrest.

Prof. Sarabhai was the Mahatma of Indian Science. His vision defined the country’s space programme. He generated leadership qualities and inspired them through both ideas and examples. He had trained many scientists and engineers who were later to take charge of important scientific projects.

As a tribute to the man, who tailed hard for its existence, the whole complex at Thumba was merged together to form an integrated space center and named it as Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre.

The RATO system was successfully tested on 8th October 1972 at Bareilly Air Force Station in Uttar Pradesh. The Indian RATO was produced at Rs. 17,000 a piece, while it was imported at a cost of Rs. 33,000 a piece. The vision of Prof. Sarabhai had finally comes fruit.

3. What, according to the author, does one need to be a successful team leader?

In February 1969, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi visited Thumba and dedicated TERLS to International Space Community. She also commissioned India’s first filament winding machine in their laboratory.

In 1969, Prof. Sarabhai decided to plunge ahead in building and launching our own satellites. He chose the east coast, so that vehicle could take the advantage of the earth’s west to east coast rotation. He finally selected Sriharikota Island, a hundred kilometers north of Madras. Thus, SHAR Rocket Launch Station was born. This Island was crescent shaped and had a maximum width of eight kilometers. It was along side the east coast line. It was the size of Madras.

In 1968, Indian Rocket Society was formed. Prof.Sarabhai had picked a few scientists to give form to his dream of an Indian SLV. It came to be known as SLV – 3. Kalam felt honoured to be chosen as the Project Leader. He was also given the additional responsibility of designing the fourth stage of SLV-3.

Kalam was not a perfectionist. He preferred to learn by making mistakes. For that matter, he did not want to commit mistakes necessarily. He supported learning of his team members through successful and unsuccessful attempts.

Kalam laid the foundation for stage-IV on two rocks. His team members carried on the work. He was sorry that he could not spend enough time with them. At this stage, a professor from France, Dr. Curian, President of CNSE (Center Nationale de Etudes Spatiales). At France, they were developing the Diamont Launch Vehicles.

Dr. Curian was a thorough professional. He helped Kalam in realizing his target. Dr. Curian was so impressed by their plan that he inquired if they could create the Diamont’s fourth stage.

Work on Diamont’s fourth stage began simultaneously. Abdul Kalam gave instructions in writing. He wanted the team to meet once in a week. Dr. Curian was very appreciative. He said that they had achieved everything in a year’s time, what their counterpart could hardly manage in three years.

A good leader commands commitment and participation from her on his team. He has to get the team together to share whatever little development has been achieved. The slight loss of time was the very small price to pay for that commitment and sense of teamwork. Kalam could spot out good leadership qualities in his small group of workers. They existed in all levels.

Abdul Kalam continued to observe his colleagues carefully if they had the interest and willingness to experiment. He also started to listen and observe anyone who showed the slightest promise.

Abdul Kalam continued to work towards modifying SLV-3’s stage IV design to suit the Diamont airframe. After two years, when they were about the deliver it to CNES, the French suddenly cancelled the programme, saying they did not need our design any more. This was a great shock to Kalam and his team.

Abdul Kalam got over this disappointment, as he was busy with RATO.

The SLV was slowly taking shape. Thumba was now a perfect launch pad for SLV. On one occasion, Prof. Sarabhai identified a person who could be given the responsigbility for developing a tele-command system for SLV-3. Two men were competent to carry out this task- Prof. U.R.Rao and Prof. G. Madhavan Nair.

Abdul Kalam was impressed by Madhavan Nair’s dedication and abilities. He went out of his way to demonstrate his highly reliable tele-command system. Prof. Sarabhai was impressed. He later on became the Director of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).


4. ‘SLVs and missiles can be called first cousins’ Describe how?


A massive missile development project had been taken up by DRDO at Defence Research and Development Laboratory, Hyderabad. It was the development of surface-to-air missile.

The RATO project was abandoned and Narayanan was chosen as the leader of DRDO, to make new missile. Narayanan was a man of tremendous energy. He gathered around him a strong group of enthusiastic people.

Abdul Kalam was totally involved in SLV-3 project. SLV-3 was taking shape. Kalam’s team was trekking towards success on several individual paths. The emphasis was on communication particularly within the team.

While working on SLV-3, Kalam was able to define the problem and slove them through effective communication. At one of the space science council review meetings, Kalam quite frustrated with procurement delays, complained agitatedly about the bureaucracy practiced by the Controller of Accounts and Financial Adviser of VSSC. Dr. Brahm Prakash was surprised by such blunt accusations.

5. The author makes an interesting differentiation between communication and conversation. What does he say? Elaborate on this in your own words.

Abdul Kalam explained the differentiation between communication and conversation, where as he was a good communicator but a terrible conversationalist.

Communication can define as the exchange of information between individuals through a common system of symbols. It is a two party affair which aims at passing on or receiving a specific piece of information. Most of the people did not get communication because they confuse with conversation.

Conversation has full of friendly remarks and informal way of talking, it lacks any useful information. Kalam was a terrible conversationalist.

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