When A.P.J. Abdul Kalam wrote India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium with Y.S. Rajan in 1998, little did they expect the magnitude of the response they would get. The idea that India could actually be a developed nation in a short time rather than remain condemned to a subsistence diet of marginal improvements and promises struck a chord among readers. The book continues to be a best-seller. Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power Within India goes the logical next step and examines why, given all our skills, resources and talents, we, so obviously capable of being the best, settle so often for the worst. What is it that we as a nation are missing? For at the heart of Ignited Minds is an irresistible premise: the people of a nation have the power, by dint of hard work, to realize their dream of a truly good life. Kalam offers no formulaic prescription in Ignited Minds. Instead, he takes up different issues and themes that struck him on his pilgrimage around the country as he met thousands of school children, teachers, scientists and saints and seers in the course of two years: the necessity for a patriotism that transcends religion and politics; for role models who point out the path to take; and for confidence in ourselves and in our strengths. Who was he to write on so large a theme, he wondered as he started writing this book. But at the end, Kalam’s humility notwithstanding, this may well prove to be the book that motivates us to get back on the winning track and unleash the energy within a nation that hasn’t allowed itself full rein. About The author:
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, b. 15 October 1931, is one of India’s most distinguished scientists. He was responsible for the development of India’s first satellite launch vehicle, the SLV-3, development and operationalization of strategic missiles and their weaponization, and for building indigenous capability in critical technologies. As Chairman of the Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), he guided a number of technology projects and missions to take India into the twenty-first century. The document on Technology Vision 2020 is a blueprint to make India a developed country. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam held various positions in ISRO and DRDO and became Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India holding the rank of a Cabinet Minister. He has the unique honour of receiving honorary doctorates from thirty universities and the country’s three highest civilian honours—Padma Bhushan (1981), Padma Vibhushan (1990) and Bharat Ratna (1997). He has done a short stint as Professor of Technology and Societal Transformation at Anna University, Chennai, and is at the halfway mark in meeting 100,000 high school students throughout the country
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