The memorial of the late President- APJ Abdul Kalam- is ready to be unveiled on July 27. To be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself, the premier had taken personal interest in the design and approval of the project. In fact, it is said that Narendra Modi was spearheading the 'Vision 2020', which was the late President's dream. 

The then Minister for Urban Development M. Venkaiah Naidu had assured that the monument will be completed in record time. The then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar too assured that the process of completing the work in time would be given high priority and that DRDO will ensure that there would not be a delay of even a single day. 

The Central Public Works Department (CPWD) under Naidu's ministry is said to have proposed to take up the project, but Parrikar turned it down saying that DRDO will be more efficient in completing the project on time. He also said that Kalam had a long stint with DRDO and therefore the organisation should be allowed to build the memorial. The then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu- late J Jayalalithaa had also promised all cooperation from the state government. Naidu had said, "The memorial, besides being a symbol of our collective gratitude to Kalam, will stand like a temple or mosque or church for the present and future generations to remember the Indian system and culture and draw inspiration from the life of the great man."

Things to know

The memorial has been built near the tomb where Kalam was laid to rest exactly two years ago. The building has been designed and built by the Defence Research and Development Organisation at a cost of Rs 15 crore. It is aesthetically visualised with a domed structure in the middle, built in remembrance of the late scientist. It is also surrounded by greenery, set amid coconut and other trees. 

Behind the memorial building, a 7-foot life-size bronze statue of Dr Kalam has been unveiled. A 45-foot tall prototype of ‘Agni-II’ missile, a project that was close to Kalam's heart, has also been installed at the rear of the memorial. 

On the 27th of July, PM Modi will also launch a ‘Kalam 2020 Science Vehicle’  for the benefit of the people in the area. The monument has a unique digital resource-based mobile museum, showcasing through exhibits, write-ups and photos the life and times and scientific achievements of Dr Abdul Kalam, including his extensive work at DRDO and during the Pokhran-II nuclear tests. The memorial also has a planetarium and an auditorium, running shows depicting the life and times of Kalam.

A science vehicle will also be flagged off on July 27 that will traverse through 17 states including Tamil Nadu,  Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh,  Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. The vehicle will stop at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on October 15. 

PM Modi is likely to hoist the National Flag in front of Kalam memorial before inauguration.