Fondly recalling former President A P J Abdul Kalam‘s two memorable visits to China to interact with students, the Chinese academic community on Tuesday paid rich tributes to India’s ‘missile man’ saying he was not simply a scientist of India but of the entire world.
“Kalam’s death made us feel very very sad. We will remember him forever with tears in our eyes,” said Professor Jiang Jingkui, who heads the Centre for South Asian Studies in Peking University which honoured Kalam as visiting professor.
Kalam passed away on Monday, aged 83.
“He is not simply a scientist of India but also for the entire world. People of China will remember him for long,” said Jiang who heads the Hindi department of the university.
Kalam visited China twice, first in 2012 and later 2014 on the invitation of the Chinese government.
He addressed his first class at the Peking University, one of China’s oldest universities last year after formally taking over as honorary professor. The university offered him full facilities for him to continue with the teaching subjects of his choice.
Addressing the students, Kalam had called for Sino-Indian joint space collaboration besides interface between universities of the two countries on development themes.
Kalam took a class on “Sustained development system and creative leadership” to a group of students drawn from different disciplines.
Responding to a question on how India and China can collaborate to generate clean energy, Kalam said that both countries being emerging space powers should jointly take up the challenge to build satellites that could generate round- the-clock solar energy and connect the world with clean power.
Currently solar power can be harnessed only during the day. Research is on to harness solar power through satellite for round-the-clock availability.
The challenges to bring the power to earth are too many but it could be worked out through joint collaboration. If the two countries can join together for space solar power carbon neutral cities can be found everywhere, Kalam had said.
Also in order to address development challenges, Kalam said that Chinese and Indian universities should have research and academic interfaces in development themes.
During his first visit in 2012, Kalam told state-run CCTV in an interview that India will eventually will get the Permanent Membership of the UN Security Council as it is “undemocratic” to keep a country with over a billion people out of the decision-making process.
“It will come. You cannot keep a billion people away from the decision making process,” Kalam said responding to question on whether India would get the UNSC membership.
“Billion people…how can you keep away and keep veto power? It is not democratic,” a smiling Kalam had said.
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