President Ram Nath Kovind will lead the nation in celebrating the 73rd Republic Day tomorrow.
The celebrations this year are special as the Republic Day falls in the 75th year of Independence.
To mark the occasion, the Ministry of Defence has conceptualised a series of new events during the main parade at Rajpath tomorrow and ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony at Vijay Chowk on 29 January.
It has been decided that the Republic Day celebrations will now be week-long from 23-30 January every year. The celebrations commenced on 23 January, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and will culminate on 30 January, which is observed as Martyrs’ Day.
Several firsts planned during the main parade include the launch of ‘Shaheedon Ko Shat Shat Naman’ programme by the National Cadet Corps; a grand flypast by 75 aircraft/helicopters of the Indian Air Force; cultural performances by 480 dancers selected through a nationwide Vande Bharatam dance competition; display of ten scrolls each of 75 metres prepared during the ‘Kala Kumbh’ event and installation of 10 large LED screens for a better viewing experience of spectators. A drone show by 1,000 indigenously developed drones has been planned for ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony, along with projection mapping.
The parade at Rajpath will start at 1030 hrs, instead of the earlier timing of 1000 hrs, to provide better visibility.
Special seating arrangements have been made keeping in view the current COVID-19 situation. The number of seats for spectators has been significantly reduced and people are being encouraged to register on the MyGov portal to witness the live celebrations online. They will also get to vote for the best marching contingent and tableau in the popular choice category.
Only double vaccinated adults/one dose vaccinated children of 15 years and above will be allowed entry at the parade. Children below 15 years of age will not be permitted. All social distancing norms will be followed and wearing of masks is compulsory. No foreign contingent will be participating this year in view of the pandemic.
Special arrangements have been made to give an opportunity to those segments of society which usually do not get to watch the parade. Some sections of auto-rickshaw drivers, construction workers, safai karamcharis and frontline health workers will be invited to watch the parade as well as the ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony.
The parade ceremony will commence with Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the National War Memorial. He will lead the nation in paying solemn tributes to the fallen heroes by laying a wreath. Thereafter, the PM and other dignitaries will head to the saluting dais at Rajpath to witness the parade.
As per tradition, the national flag will be unfurled followed by the national anthem with a booming 21-gun salute. The parade will commence with the President taking the salute. The parade will be commanded by Lt Gen Vijay Kumar Mishra, Ati Vishisth Seva Medal, a second-generation Army officer. Maj Gen Alok Kacker, Chief of Staff, Delhi Area will be the Parade Second-in-Command.
Tableaux of 12 states/Union Territories and nine ministries/departments, which have been prepared on various themes under ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ will take part in the parade.