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    Venkataraman responsible for shaping missile programme: Kalam

    New Delhi (PTI): R Venkataraman was "responsible" for shaping the country's missile programme, former President A P J Abdul Kalam saidon Tuesday.

    Kalam, known as 'Missile Man' for his work on the weapon system as a key defence scientist, said this in a tribute to the former President, who diedon Tuesday.

    As Defence Minister, Venkataraman was "personally responsible for bringing me from space programme to missile programme, shaping the missile programme to cover the entire missile systems needed by the nation and naming it as Integrated Guided Missile Development programme", Kalam said.

    Kalam said Venkataraman was guiding the programme throughout, while it was being executed by the DRDO and its partners.

    Observing that he knew Venkataraman for 25 years and had constant professional and personal interaction, Kalam said, "He (Venkataraman) was a great teacher for making people aware of good aspects of politics and leadership management. He was well known for sowing the seeds of making Tamil Nadu as an industrially advanced state".

    Kalam said when he took over as President, Venkataraman's way of life in Rashtrapati Bhavan became a good example for him. "During my regular morning walks under the 14 banyan trees nurtured by Venkataraman, I am reminded of his purity of life".

    In his demise, the nation has lost a freedom fighter, a value-based political leader, a teacher and a good human being, Kalam said.

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