Kalam was hospitalized after collapsing during a lecture in the northeastern city of Shillong, local media station NDTV reports. He held longstanding leadership positions for India’s defense and space programs, and was elected president with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in July of 2002.
The former President, who was in office from 2002 to 2007, had collapsed during the lecture at the Indian Institute of Management, Shillong, around 6.30 pm. He was taken to the Bethany hospital. Doctors said he had suffered from a massive cardiac arrest. He had no pulse when he was admitted to the hospital. We can attribute his death to cardiac arrest,” a doctor said. “The body of the former president will be flown to New Delhi via Guwahati Tuesday morning,” Warjri said.
"President Kalam was brought to the hospital at 7 pm. When he brought in there was no sign of life. He was taken to ICU to try and revive him, which was futile," hospital sources told NDTV.
Dr Kalam's body will be taken back to Delhi on Tuesday. The government will declare a seven-day national mourning, reported Press Trust of India, quoting Union Home Secretary LC Goel.
Narendra Modi posted on twitter: “Very sad day for India, deeply Saddened hearing the news at the sudden demise of Bharat Ratna Dr APJ Abdul Kalam”
Rajnath Singh posted on twitter: “Deeply saddened at the sudden demise of the former president of India Dr. APAJ Abdul Kalam. He was an inspiration to an entire generation.”
A.R.Rahman posted on twitter: “Dr. Kalam, when you became the President, you gave the word 'hope' a new meaning for Indians... Today, we have...”
He played a major role in the centre's evolution to a key hub of space research in India, helping to develop the country's first indigenous satellite-launch vehicle.
Indian scientists have hailed him as the father of the Indian nuclear bomb and its missile delivery systems.
As president, he also played a key role when India tested its nuclear weapons in 1998.
The former president was proud of his Indian education and liked to describe himself as "Made in India", having never been trained abroad.