Chennai: On the occasion of the 73rd Independence Day celebration, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Kailasavadivoo Sivan was honoured with the Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Award for his stellar work in promotion of science and technology. The award carries 8 gm gold medal, Rs 5 lakh in cash and a citation.
However, Sivan could not receive the award personally but is likely to receive it from Tamilnadu chief minister K Palaniswami later.
Following the death of former President A P J Abdul Kalam in 2015, former Chief Minister, late J Jayalalithaa, had then announced an award in his name. It would promote scientific growth, humanities and students’ welfare and the awardees should hail from Tamilnadu. The award is given on Independence Day every year.
A native of Kanyakumari District of Tamilnadu, the citation hailed him as Rocket Man and traced his humble origins to his splendid rise in career which includes a stint as director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre and Liquid Propulsion Centre.
The citation of the award read Sivan’s leadership led to the historical achievement of most successful GSLV flight with indigenous cryogenic stage. It was under his tutelage, ISRO successfully launched India’s second moon mission Chandrayaan 2 on 22 July. He was the chief architect of SITARA, a 6D trajectory simulation software.
He had also received the Dr Vikram Sarabhai Research Award in 1999. He worked on the design and development of launch vehicles for ISRO and has immensely contributed towards end to end mission planning, design, and mission integration and analysis, said a media report quoting the TN government.
The 62-year-old space scientist is a native of Kaniyakumari and was a first graduate in his family. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in engineering from the Madras Institute of Technology in 1980. he went on to do his Master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. Sivan then joined ISRO.
In 2015, Jayalalithaa had presented the first Kalam award to ISRO scientist N Valarmathi.