The scientist in Kalam would have been delighted at the answer, but statesman Kalam probably felt a tad uneasy.
Would you rather become scientists and go to Mars or become politicians, was the teaser President A P J Abdul Kalam posed to students of Bharati Vidya Bhavan’s exploratory science centre. The answer was overwhelmingly in favour of the former: politics as a career was booted out by a hand vote.
Kalam, on a visit to Pune, spent an hour on Wednesday doing what he enjoys most: interacting with students.
Gautam Kundu Das, a class VIII student, wanted to know what the President thought of the current examination system. “Your aptitude and capacity for a particular subject has to be identified. At present, the exam system identifies this and in the absence of an alternate system, this has to continue,” Kalam said.
Another student, Arya Chitra, wanted to know the meaning of the word “superpower” and how lives of poor citizens in a superpower India would be different. Kalam said that even he didn’t know the “real” meaning of superpower. “We need to uplift lives of the 220 million (poor) people of India. That will transform India into a developed nation. He also narrated stories of five great scientists –Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, C V Raman, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking – to his enthralled young audience.