Jim Durham
News Bureau Director

His Excellency Dr. Abdul Kalam
His Excellency Dr. Abdul Kalam

His Excellency Dr. Abdul Kalam, the former President of India and perhaps the most revered leader that growing power has ever had, will be in Kentucky for an 11-day visit in April and the Global Scholars of Georgetown College are proud to play host to him one evening.

Dr. Kalam will speak on “Synergy Among Partners Promotes Economic and Cultural Growth: Building Friendship Between the Peoples of India and Kentucky,” at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 13 in Ensor Learning Resource Center’s Milton and Kathleen Neal Fireside Room. GSP executive director Amy Carrington and her 21 Global Scholars are inviting everyone to this free event.

“We should all be focusing on India because they are a rising star in the world,” Carrington said. “And, President Kalam is a ‘rock star’ on the level of the Pope to the people of India.”

The University of Kentucky, which just recently launched a new Indian Studies Program and Minor, is sponsoring his visit and establishing an Endowment Fund in honor of him. Kalam’s travels to many parts of the state and his numerous presentations are immensely pleasing former Kentucky Gov. Martha Layne Collins, Georgetown College’s Executive-Scholar-in-Residence and a co-architect of our Global Scholars Program.

Collins also has a unique perspective as Chairman of Kentucky’s World Trade Center. In fact, she sent a WTC contingent on a trade mission to India last year and Kalam hosted their reception. “Dr. Kalam loves Kentucky,” she said.

Dr. Kalam has said that he would like to see Kentucky be one of the top five states that India does business with. And, he especially is trying to get the word out to young people. So, obviously, Collins and Carrington see his Georgetown stop as an eye-opener for their Global Scholars and other students and further evidence that Kentucky can be a key “player” in the global marketplace.

Carrington said, “This visit presents an opportunity for international learning for our campus community and those from the larger community who might be interested in learning about India. His Excellency is coming to build friendships among Kentuckians and Indians in order to increase trade.”

Kalam’s timely visit comes only a week after U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner traveled to India to meet with the country’s leading financial entrepreneurs in Mumbai and to New Delhi where he helped launch the U.S.-India Economic and Financial Partnership with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Gov. Collins pointed out that former President Kalam was and is still popular in India because “he is not a politician.” His earlier background is that of an aeronautical engineer and scientist. (see links http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._P._J._Abdul_Kalam http://www.abdulkalam.com/ )

More About H.E. Dr. APJ Kalam:

Born Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam on Oct. 15, 1931, his Excellency Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, known as “The People’s President” of India was the 11th President of India, serving from July 25, 2002 until July 25, 2007. The position of the President of India is comparable to that of the Queen of England. India follows the British system of Parliamentary Democracy so the position of the Prime Minister of India is similar to the role of the US President. There have been only 12 individuals in the entire history of India to date who have ever held this highest office. India is the largest democracy on earth and H.E. President APJ Abdul Kalam is perhaps the most popular and revered leader India has ever had. Before his term as India’s president, he worked as an aeronautical engineer.

Links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._P._J._Abdul_Kalam <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._P._J._Abdul_Kalam>
http://www.abdulkalam.com/ <http://www.abdulkalam.com/>