How did Dr. Kalam get a post in DTD&P?

In 1958, when Dr. Kalam came out of HAL as a graduate of aeronautical engineering, he had two options for employment in flying. One was the job at the Directorate of Technical Development and Production (DTD&P) (Air) of the Ministry of Defence and another was a career in the Indian Air Force. He had applied to both the places and received interview calls simultaneously.

He went to Delhi for an interview with DTD&P, in which he performed well because of his knowledge in the subject. Then he went to Dehradun for the interview with the Air Force Selection Board. But here, the interview was more on personality rather than testing his knowledge. He came ninth in the batch of 25, and the first eight officers were selected to be commissioned in the Air Force.

After returning to Delhi, Kalam received his appointment letter from DTD&P and he joined as Senior Scientific Assistant the very next day with a basic salary of Rs. 250 per month. At DTD&P, he was posted at the Technical Centre (Civil Aviation). During his initial years in the Directorate, he worked on supersonic target aircraft with the help of his officer-in-charge, R. Varadharajan, which got him the appreciation of the Director, Dr. Neelakantan. Then he was sent to the Aircraft and Armament Testing Unit (AP&ATU) at Kanpur to get shop-floor exposure to aircraft maintenance.

In 1968, the groups of officers under the Chief Resident Engineer of DTD&P were brought under the control of DRDO. Thus, Dr. Kalam became a part of DRDO.

Picture Credit : Google

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