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Republic Day 2020 Highlights: Parade ends with gravity-defying vertical Charlie by Sukhoi 30 MKI; in a first, Chinook choppers, all-women bike stunts stun audience

Firstpost logoFirstpost 26-01-2020 FP Staff
a helicopter flying in the air: Republic Day 2020 Highlights: Parade ends with gravity-defying vertical Charlie by Sukhoi 30 MKI; in a first, Chinook choppers, all-women bike stunts stun audience © Provided by Firstpost Republic Day 2020 Highlights: Parade ends with gravity-defying vertical Charlie by Sukhoi 30 MKI; in a first, Chinook choppers, all-women bike stunts stun audience

11:59 (IST)

Modi greets crowds at Rajpath

As the 71st Republic Day parade came to an end, Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the crowds at Rajpath.

11:53 (IST)

President Ram Nath Kovind, Jair Bolsonaro leave from Rajpath, tricolour balloons are released

Tricolour balloons are released into the sky at the end of the parade. President Ram Nath Kovind and chief guest and Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro leave from Rajpath after the National Anthem.

11:50 (IST)

Sukhoi 30 MKS performs gravity-defying vertical Charlie

The gravity-defying manoeuvre by the aircraft brought the Republic Day parade to an end

11:49 (IST)

Sukhoi 30MKIs in Trishul manoeuvre, Jaguar jets in Arrowhead formation enthrall audiences

Sukhoi 30MKIs of Indian Air Force execute the 'Trishul' manoeuvre. The formation is being led by Group Captain Nishit Ohri. The captains of the other two aircraft are Wing Commander Nilesh Dixit and Wing Commander Karan Dogra.

Five Jaguar Deep penetration strike aircraft, in ‘Arrowhead’ formation fly past at a speed of 780 kmph. The formation is led by Group Captain Parijat Saurabh. 

11:43 (IST)

Apache helicopters part of flypast, Dornier jets fly in Vic formation

Five Apache helicopters flying in the formation led by Group Captain Mannarath Shylu VM, Commanding Officer 125 Helicopter Squadron.

Wing Commander SK Chauhan leads the 'Vic' formation, comprising three Dornier aircraft. The captains of the other two aircraft are Squadron Leader Vikas Kumar and Squadron Leader Abhishek Vashisht. 

11:41 (IST)

ALH, Chinook helicopters begin much-awaited flypast

Trishul formation, comprising of three ALH helicopters in ‘Vic’ formation. This is the first time that a tri-service formation is taking part in the Republic Day.

Additionally, three Chinook helicopters took part in the Republic Day parade for the first time after being inducted last year.

11:22 (IST)

All-women contingent performs gravity-defying motorcycle stunts for first time

In a first, the daredevil stunts have been performed by an all-women contingent at the Republic Day parade. 21 women on five motorcycles make a human pyramid. Assistant Sub Inspector Anita Kumari VV leads this formation.

11:20 (IST)

CRPF head constable, inspector lead daredevil stunts at Rajpath

Inspector Seema Nag, salutes standing on top of a  moving motorcycle. Head Constable Meena Chaudhary is displaying the ready position to fire two pistols

in both her hands while balancing herself on the motorcycle.

11:16 (IST)

School children perform dances from Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal

West Zone Cultural Centre, Udaipur presented the Garba, a folk dance of Gujarat. The children from Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya B-Block, JanakPuri, New Delhi perform on the theme ‘Mharo Rang Rangilo Rajasthan’.

The cultural show be led by Arvind Gupta DAV Centenary Public School, Model Town, Delhi on the theme ‘Yog – Vishwa Shakti ki Ore’. ‘The Baul’, a group of mystic minstrels from the historical Bengal region, is the theme of Vinay Nagar Bengali Senior Secondary School, Sarojini Nagar, Delhi.

11:12 (IST)

Dhanush gun system part of Republic Day parade for first time

 
The 'Dhanush' gun system, commanded by Capt. Mrigank Bharadwaj, was part of the Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath for the first time. The 155mm/45 Caliber Dhanush gun system is a towed Howitzer designed indigenously by the Ordinance Factory Board.
 
The gun with a maximum range of 36.5 km has the capability of automatic gun alignment and positioning. The gun, which is equipped with inertial navigation system and advanced gun sighting system, has been designed to meet futuristic requirements of the Army.

11:10 (IST)

Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar pass by saluting dais in jeeps

The children were conferred the award for exceptional achievements in the fields of bravery, social service, art and culture, sports, innovation and scholastic. It will be followed by children’s pageant comprising over 600 participants.

11:09 (IST)

Horticultural tableau shows Dal Lake, Sanchi Stupa

CPWD horticulture tableau's theme this year is 'Kashmir se Kanyakumari'. It shows a memorial of Swami Vivekananda in Kanyakumari, a 'Shikara' on the Dal lake and the Sanchi Stupa in Madhya Pradesh.

11:02 (IST)

Jammu and Kashmir's Back to Village tableau

The tableau of Jammu and Kashmir being showcased at the Republic Day parade. Jammu and Kashmir government’s ‘Back to Village’ program is the theme of the union territory's tableau and focusses on education in the Union Territory, especially in parts heavily impacted by terrorism.

11:00 (IST)

Odisha tableau shows state's architecture

The tableau of Odisha shows the Rukuna Ratha Yatra of Lord Lingaraja. Rajasthan Meghalaya, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh were among the other states whose tableaux were at Rajpath.

10:53 (IST)

Kullu Dussehra festival highlight of Himachal Pradesh

Tableau of Himachal Pradesh showcases the Kullu Dussehra festival and the tableau of Madhya Pradesh depicts the Tribal Museum of state.

10:52 (IST)

Telangana, Assam tableaux depict festivals, crafts from states

Telangana tableaux depicts Bathukamma, a floral festival of the state and tableaux of Assam depicts bamboo and cane crafts from the state.

10:50 (IST)

Mobile phone, internet services snapped in Jammu and Kashmir

 
Mobile phone services were snapped in Kashmir on Sunday as a precautionary measure for ensuring smooth passage of Republic Day celebrations in the valley, PTI reported. While mobile internet services were suspended hours after their restoration on Saturday, mobile phone connectivity was suspended in the early hours of Sunday.
 
Suspension of mobile phone and Internet services on Republic and Independence days has been part of the security drill in the valley since 2005 when militants used a mobile phone to trigger an IED blast near the venue of Independence day celebrations.

10:45 (IST)

State tableaux start descending along Rajpath

Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Goa are among the states whose colourful and culturaly rich tableaux are on display at the parade this year.

10:43 (IST)

Birla Balika Vidyapeeth's band participates in parade for 56th consecutive year

Birla Balika Vidyapeeth, Pilani's band is led by Senior Under Officer Charu Surana. The school has been continuously participating in the Republic Day parade for 56 years consecutively.

10:42 (IST)

BSF's Camel, NCC, NSS contingents bring in a show of colour and youth

The Camel Contingent of Border Security Force under the command of Deputy Commandant Ghanshyam Singh.  BSF's motto is ‘Duty unto Death’; There are over 75 different dress items which are necessary to ceremonially dress the camels and riders of the Force. There are over 75 different dress items which are necessary to ceremonially dress the camels and riders of the Force.

The National Service Scheme (NSS) contingent comprised 148 volunteers. The National Cadet Corps (NCC) Boys Marching contingent led by Commander Junior Under-Officer Charandeep Singh Bhaduria, NCC Directorate Uttar Pradesh, while the Girls contingent will be headed by Senior Under-Officer Shreeshma Hegde, NCC Directorate, Karnataka and Goa.

10:38 (IST)

Indian Navy contingent showcases aircraft, submarine

The Indian Navy showcases its assets like Boeing P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft and the Kolkata Class Destroyer and the Kalvari Class submarine. The indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant under construction at the Cochin Shipyard.

10:37 (IST)

CRPF, ITBP, BSF contingent march past saluting dais

The contingents of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Delhi Police and Border Security Force (BSF) marched in the parade at Rajpath.

The Indian Coast Guard marching contingent led by Deputy Commandant Gaurav Sharma. The motto of the Indian Coast Guard is ‘VayamRakshamah’ meaning ‘We Protect’.

10:28 (IST)

Naval, Air Force Bands, DRDO, veterans give salute to President

Amogn other contingents that gave their salute to President Ram Nath Kovind were those of the defence veterans, Air force and Naval Bands and the DRDO.

10:25 (IST)

Fourth generation woman Army officer leader Corps of Signals

The marching contingent of the Corps of Signals is led by Captain Tanya Shergil, a fourth generation Army Officer. The motto of the Corps is “Teevra Chaukas”.

10:24 (IST)

Defence regiments pass by saluting dais

Sikh Light Infantry Regiment is led by Major Anjum Gorka of 6th Battalion of the Sikh Light Infantry Regiment. The motto of the Regiment is ‘Deg Teg Fateh’ and the war cry is ‘Jo Bole So Nihal, Sat Shri Akal’.

The battle tank of the Indian Army, T- 90 Bhishma, is commanded by Captain Sunny Chahar of 86 Armoured Regiment at the Rajpath. The K-9 VAJRA-T commanded by Captain Abhinav Sahu of 269 Medium Regiment and Advanced Light Helicopters- Weapon System Integrated Rudra and 2 Advanced Light Helicopters, Dhruv of Army Aviation in ‘Diamond’ formation had the crowds in awe.

10:20 (IST)

President Kovind accorded 21-gun salute

The 21 Gun Salute was presented by 2233 Field Battery under the command of Lieutenant Colonel C Sandeep. On Republic Day every year, a 21-gun salute is given to the National Flag and the President during the Flag Hoisting Ceremony.

10:12 (IST)

Param Vir Chakra, Ashok Chakra awardees honoured at Rajpath

After the Param Vir Chakra and Ashok Chakra awardees, the highest peacetime gallantry awards in India, the first contingent in the uniform of the erstwhile Gwalior Lancers is 61 Cavalry was led by Captain Deepanshu Sheoran. The 61 Cavalry is the only active serving horse cavalry regiment in the world. It was raised on 1 August, 1953 with the amalgamation of six state forces’ cavalry units.

10:05 (IST)

IAF's Mi-17, Mi-35 helicopters begin parade

IAF's Mi-17, Mi-35 helicopters shower flower petals on the crowds. Parade Commander, Lt Gen Asit Mistry gives salute to President.

10:03 (IST)

President Ram Nath Kovind takes National Salute at Rajpath

In the high-security enclosure at Rajpath, President Ram Nath Kovind took the National Salute. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also present as the National Anthem plays and the tricolour is unfurled.

09:57 (IST)

PM Modi arrives at Rajpath for Republic Day parade

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at Rajpath and is welcomed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

Modialso welcomes Vice PResident M Venkaiah Naidu.

09:54 (IST)

Ram Nath Kovind, Jair Bolsonaro to arrive for Republic Day parade soon

President of India Ram Nath Kovind and President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro, the chief guest for this year's Republic Day parade will be welcomed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

09:51 (IST)

Woman power at the Republic Day parade

Tania Shergill, a young Army officer who grew up in a family where for generations men had lived their life serving the nation in olive green uniform, will be leading an all-men contingent comprising 147 personnel on Republic Day.

Major Sheena Nayyar will lead a contingent of the transportable satellite terminal. The system provides the fail-safe secure communication to the forces on the move.

Additionally, an all-women team of CRPF will showcase their daredevil skills at Rajpath.

09:48 (IST)

Crowds gather along Rajpath to watch the Republic Day Parade

President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro will soon reach the venue to take start Republic Day celebrations.

09:45 (IST)

Republic Day celebrations held in Bhubaneswar

Republic Day celebrations were held at the Mahatma Gandhi Road in Bhubaneswar. Earlier this morning, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik hoisted the national flag.

09:41 (IST)

Modi pays tributes to National War Memorial

Prime Minister Narendra Modi lays a floral wreath at the Amar Jawwan Jyoti or the eternal flame at the National War Memorial. He is flanked by Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and Army Chief Gen Naravane, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh, Air Force Chief Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria.

09:35 (IST)

Narendra Modi's reaches National War Memorial

The National War Memorial has been built as a tribute to the soldiers killed during the Indo-China War in 1962, the Indo-Pak Wars in 1947, 1965 and 1971, the Kargil Conflict in 1999, and the Indian Peace Keeping Force Operations in Sri Lanka. It was inaugurated in February last year. It's structure comprises in four concentric circles or chakras:

  • The Amar Chakra (circle of immortality): The 'Amar Chakra' comprises a15-metre tall obelisk and the eternal flame.
  • The Veerta Chakra (circle of bravery): The 'Veerta Chakra' is about the six important battles of the army, air force and navy, which have been depicted in bronze.
  • The Tyag Chakra (circle of sacrifice): The 'Tyag Chakra' holds the names of about 25,700 battle casualties which have been written on a 1.5 metre wall.
  • The Rakshak Chakra (circle of protection): The outermost tier is the 'Suraksha Chakra', comprising 695 trees depicting 'standing soldiers guarding.

09:31 (IST)

India's first President Rajendra Prasad led the first Republic Day Parade in 1950

The first Republic Day parade was held in 1950 and was presided over by India's first President after Independence Rajendra Prasad.

09:25 (IST)

Constitution being attacked through 'deep-rooted' conspiracy, says Sonia Gandhi
 
Congress president Sonia Gandhi urged people on the eve of Republic Day to rise above personal prejudices and stand united to protect the Constitution and its values, claiming that they are being attacked through a "deep-rooted" conspiracy.
 
"A deep-rooted conspiracy has been hatched to set a discourse to divide countrymen based on religion, regionalism and language as also to subvert and undermine the Constitution. An unprecedented atmosphere of disturbance, fear and insecurity has been foisted upon the country. The common citizen is convinced that the constitutional values are no longer safe in the hands of the present dispensation," she said.
 
She urged people to rise above personal prejudices and parochial political gains, and take a renewed pledge towards nation building. "Today, the Constitution and its values are being attacked by way of a concerted and vicious conspiracy. Constitutional principles are being systematically encroached upon as also the independence of Constitutional institutions is being scuttled at the whims of autocratic authoritarianism," Gandhi said.
  

09:21 (IST)

Traffic restrictions in place in Delhi; Metro schedules partially modified

The Delhi Traffic Police has put in place certain restrictions on the movement of traffic in the national capital ahead of the Republic Day parade. According to the advisory, no cross-traffic will be allowed on Rajpath from 11 pm on Saturday at Rafi Marg, Janpath and Mansingh Road till the Republic Day Parade is over.

The C-Hexagon around India Gate will remain closed from 2 am on 26 January till the end of the parade. Besides, traffic on Tilak Marg, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg and Netaji Subhash Road will not be allowed from 5 am till the parade is over, it said.

The Delhi Metro schedules on Yellow Line (HUDA City Centre to Samaypur Badli), and Violet Line (Kashmere Gate to Raja Nahar Singh) have also been partially modified for Sunday. The entry and exit at Central Secretariat and Udyog Bhawan Metro stations will remain closed till 12 noon. All the Metro parking lots will remain closed till 2 pm.

09:17 (IST)

Hymn 'Abide With Me' dropped from list of Beating Retreat tunes

The defence ministry has dropped the traditional Christian hymn Abide With Me from the list of tunes to be played during the Beating Retreat ceremony and may be replaced with Vande Mataram, reports claimed.

The tune, which has been played at the annual ceremony at Delhi’s Vijay Chowk since 1950, usually marks the end of the ceremony, after which the bands play Sare Jahan Se Acha. Abide with Me, written in the 19th Century by Scottish poet Henry Francis Lyte and composed by William Henry Monk, was believed to be a favourite of Mahatma Gandhi’s.

09:15 (IST)

BJP chief JP Nadda, Rajnath Singh celebrate Republic Day

BJP President Jagat Prakash Nadda hoisted the tricolour at party headquarters, while Defence Minister Rajanth Singh and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari unfurled the national flag at their respective residence. Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal and Goa Governor Satya Pal Malik led celebrations in Bhubaneswar and Panaji respectively.

09:12 (IST)

WATCH | Republic Day celebrations at minus 20 degrees Celsius

Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel celebrated Republic Day at 17,000 feet in extremely cold conditions. The temperature in Ladakh at present is minus 20 degrees Celsius. Also called Himveers, the personnel unfurled the national flag and chanted 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' and 'Vande Mataram'.

09:07 (IST)

Chennai's witnesses Republic Day parade

A Republic Day parade is underway at Kamarajar Road off Marina Beach in Chennai. Earlier, Tamil Nadu Governor, Chief Minister and deputy Chief Minister had started the Republic Day celebrations with a flag-hoisting ceremony.

08:56 (IST)

Over 10,000 security forces deployed to keep vigil over Republic Day celebrations today

Over ten thousand security personnel have been deployed to keep vigil over the Republic Day celebrations on Sunday, said officials. Sharpshooters and snipers have been deployed atop high-rise buildings to keep watch on the eight-km-long parade route from Rajpath to the Red Fort, they said

The celebration venue Rajpath will remain inaccessible to general traffic till 12 noon, till when the entry and exit gates of the Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan, Patel Chowk and Lok Kalyan Marg metro stations too will remain closed, beginning from 8.45 am.

The Delhi police has also installed its facial recognition devices at all entry gates of the R-Day celebration venue to identify miscreants and suspects, said officials.

08:48 (IST)

Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, other Union minister greet people on Republic Day

Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his greetings to countrymen on the occasion of 71st Republic Day.  "Wishing everyone a happy #RepublicDay. Jai Hind," he tweeted.

The prime minister was joined by Union ministers in wishing people on the micro-blogging site.  Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted, "Greetings to all Indians on 71st Republic Day".
HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' said, "On the occasion of Republic Day, I congratulate students, parents and all related to the education sector." "Wishing everyone a happy #RepublicDay," Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted, "Greetings and good wishes on the occasion of 71st Republic Day.  #RepublicDay #Indian"

08:44 (IST)

Tricolour unfurled at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh

The tricolour flag was unfurled at Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi on Sunday. Demonstrations have been ongoing in the area since 15 December 2019, and protestors have blocked Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch to protest against the new citizenship law.

Recently, the Delhi High Court asked the Delhi Police to look into the matter of blockage of Kalindi Kunj road blockage which was causing an inconvenience to commuters, due to the protest at Shaheen Bagh.

08:38 (IST)

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to be chief guest at 71st Republic Day parade amid tight security

With the 71st Republic Day celebrations set to begin here shortly, the entire national capital has been put under a multi-layered, ground-to-air security cover with thousands of armed personnel keeping a tight vigil over it, including the celebration venue Rajpath.

Aided by dozens of drones in the air and hundreds of CCTV cameras and facial recognition devices, besides several anti-aircraft guns on the ground, the security personnel are keeping a hawk-eyed vigil over Rajpath, where President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be celebrating the occasion along with chief guest, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, and other dignitaries, besides thousands of citizens.

08:27 (IST)

Tamil Nadu Governor, CM Palaniswami present at flag-hoisting ceremony at Chennai

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit unfurled the national flag on Republic Day in Chennai. Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam were also present.

08:25 (IST)

Pune students create portraits of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Rajmata Jijau

More than 4,000 students gathered to create large portraits of the national flag, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Rajmata Jijau and Tanaji Malusare in Pune

08:20 (IST)

Beating Retreat ceremony performed at Attari-Wagah border

A centuries-old tradition, Beating Retreat marked the end of the day’s fighting during battle and soldiers returning to their camps in the evening. It was performed at the Attari-Wagah border in Amritsar on the eve of Republic Day.

The ceremony will also be performed at Vijay Chowk to mark the end of Republic Day celebrations.

Republic Day 2020 LATEST Updates: The gravity-defying certical Charlie manoeuvre by the Sukhoi 30MKI brought the Republic Day parade to an end. Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the crowds at Rajpath.

Sukhoi 30MKIs of Indian Air Force executed the 'Trishul' manoeuvre, while five Jaguar Deep penetration strike aircraft, in ‘Arrowhead’ formation flew past at a speed of 780 kmph.

Five Apache helicopters flew in the formation led by Group Captain Mannarath Shylu VM, Commanding Officer 125 Helicopter Squadron. Wing Commander SK Chauhan led the 'Vic' formation, comprising three Dornier aircraft.

Trishul formation, comprising of three ALH helicopters in ‘Vic’ formation. This is the first time that a tri-service formation is taking part in the Republic Day. Additionally, three Chinook helicopters took part in the Republic Day parade for the first time after being inducted last year.

In a first, the daredevil stunts have been performed by an all-women contingent at the Republic Day parade. 21 women on five motorcycles make a human pyramid. Assistant Sub Inspector Anita Kumari VV leads this formation.

West Zone Cultural Centre, Udaipur presented the Garba, a folk dance of Gujarat. The children from Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya B-Block, JanakPuri, New Delhi perform on the theme ‘Mharo Rang Rangilo Rajasthan’.

The cultural show be led by Arvind Gupta DAV Centenary Public School, Model Town, Delhi on the theme ‘Yog – Vishwa Shakti ki Ore’. ‘The Baul’, a group of mystic minstrels from the historical Bengal region, is the theme of Vinay Nagar Bengali Senior Secondary School, Sarojini Nagar, Delhi.

The children were conferred the award for exceptional achievements in the fields of bravery, social service, art and culture, sports, innovation and scholastic. It will be followed by children’s pageant comprising over 600 participants.

The tableau of Jammu and Kashmir being showcased at the Republic Day parade. Jammu and Kashmir government’s ‘Back to Village’ program is the theme of the union territory's tableau and focusses on education in the Union Territory, especially in parts heavily impacted by terrorism.

Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Goa are among the states whose colourful and culturaly rich tableaux are on display at the parade this year. Telangana tableau depicts Bathukamma, a floral festival of the state and tableau of Assam depicts bamboo and cane crafts from the state.

Birla Balika Vidyapeeth, Pilani's band is led by Senior Under Officer Charu Surana. The school has been continuously participating in the Republic Day parade for 56 years consecutively.

The marching contingent of the Corps of Signals is led by Captain Tanya Shergil, a fourth generation Army Officer. The motto of the Corps is “Teevra Chaukas”. The Camel Contingent of Border Security Force under the command of Deputy Commandant Ghanshyam Singh.  BSF's motto is ‘Duty unto Death’; There are over 75 different dress items which are necessary to ceremonially dress the camels and riders of the Force.

The Indian Navy showcases its assets like Boeing P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft and the Kolkata Class Destroyer and the Kalvari Class submarine. The indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant under construction at the Cochin Shipyard.

Sikh Light Infantry Regiment is led by Major Anjum Gorka of 6th Battalion of the Sikh Light Infantry Regiment. The motto of the Regiment is ‘Deg Teg Fateh’ and the war cry is ‘Jo Bole So Nihal, Sat Shri Akal’.

After the Param Vir Chakra and Ashok Chakra awardees, the highest peacetime gallantry awards in India, the first contingent in the uniform of the erstwhile Gwalior Lancers is 61 Cavalry was led by Captain Deepanshu Sheoran.

In the high-security enclosure at Rajpath, President Ram Nath Kovind took the National Salute. Prime Minister NArendra Modi, Brazilian Presidenr Jair Bolsonaro and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also present as the National Anthem plays and the tricolour is unfurled.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi lays a floral wreath at the Amar Jawwan Jyoti or the eternal flame at the National War Memorial. He is flanked by Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and Army Chief Gen Naravane, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh, Air Force Chief Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi urged people on the eve of Republic Day to rise above personal prejudices and stand united to protect the Constitution and its values, claiming that they are being attacked through a "deep-rooted" conspiracy.

Aided by dozens of drones in the air and hundreds of CCTV cameras and facial recognition devices, besides several anti-aircraft guns on the ground, the security personnel are keeping a hawk-eyed vigil over Rajpath, where President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be celebrating the occasion along with chief guest, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, and other dignitaries, besides thousands of citizens. Twenty-two tableaux, 16 from States and Union Territories and six from various ministries and departments, depicting the nation's rich cultural heritage and economic progress will also roll down the Rajpath.

Preparations are under full swing for the 71st Republic Day Parade which will commence at the 9 am at Delhi's Rajpath on Sunday. India's rising military might, rich cultural diversity and socio-economic progress will be on full display during the event where Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro will be the chief guest.

Facial recognition software, CCTVs among security measures

The National Capital has been brought under a massive ground-to-air security cover, with thousands of police and paramilitary personnel keeping a hawk-eye vigil. Facial recognition system and drones are part of the measures taken by the Delhi Police for the occasion.

a group of people standing in front of a building: Security personnel stand guard at the Rajpath which is decked up for the Republic Day Parade. PTI © Provided by Firstpost Security personnel stand guard at the Rajpath which is decked up for the Republic Day Parade. PTI

Sharpshooters and snipers will be deployed atop high-rise buildings to keep a watch on the eight-km-long parade route from Rajpath to the Red Fort on Sunday, officials told PTI adding that

hundreds of CCTV cameras have also been installed as part of the security arrangements.

Details of Republic Day Parade ceremony

The Republic Day Parade ceremony will commence with Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the National War Memorial near the India Gate. He will lead the nation in paying tributes to the martyrs by laying a wreath. This is for the first time that the prime minister will pay homage to martyrs at the National War memorial instead of Amar Jawan Jyoti. The memorial was inaugurated by Modi in February 2019. Thereafter, the prime minister 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.

School children will convey the age-old message of yoga and spiritual values through dance and music during the parade, the defence ministry said.

The parade will commence with President Ram Nath Kovind taking the salute. The parade will be commanded by Parade Commander Lt General Asit Mistry, General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area. Major General Alok Kacker, Chief of Staff of Delhi Area, will be the second-in-command.

Twenty-two tableaux will be on display

Anti-satellite weapon Shakthi, Army's battle tank Bhishma, infantry combat vehicles and newly inducted Chinook and Apache helicopters of the Indian Air Force will be part of the grand military parade.  Twenty-two tableaux — 16 from States and Union Territories and six from various ministries and departments — depicting the nation's rich cultural heritage and economic progress will also roll down the Rajpath.

The first contingent in the uniform of the erstwhile Gwalior Lancers will be 61 Cavalry. The 61 Cavalry is the only active serving horse cavalry regiment in the world. It was raised on August 1, 1953, with the amalgamation of six state forces' cavalry units. The Indian Army will be represented by a mounted column of 61 Cavalry, eight mechanised columns, six marching contingents and fly-past by Rudra and Dhruv Advanced Light helicopters of the army aviation wing.

Indigenously-developed Main Battle Tank of the Indian Army, T-90 Bhishma tank, infantry combat vehicle Ballway Machine Pikate, the K-9 Vajra and Dhanush guns, transportable satellite terminal and Akash weapon system will be the main attraction in the mechanised columns.

The other marching contingents of the Army will include the Parachute regiment, the Grenadiers regiment, the Sikh Light Infantry regiment, the Kumaon regiment and the Corps of Signals.

The Naval contingent will comprise of 144 young sailors led by Lieutenant Jitin Malkat. It will be followed by the Naval Tableau titled 'Indian Navy - Silent, Strong, and Swift'.

The Air Force contingent, comprising of 144 air warriors, will be led by Flight Lt Shrikant Sharma. The Air Force tableau showcases scaled-down models of the Rafale aircraft, the Tejas aircraft, the Light Combat Helicopter, the Akash missiles system and the Astra missiles.

Various far-reaching reforms of the government including 'Start-up India', and 'Jal Jeevan Mission' will be showcased in six tableaux from different ministries and departments.

For the first time, a contingent of women bikers of CRPF will perform daredevil stunts. The contingent will be led by Inspector Seema Nag who will be seen saluting while standing atop a moving motorcycle.

The grand finale and the most keenly awaited segment of the parade, the flypast will comprise of the 'Trishul' formation by three advanced light helicopters. It is for the first time that a 'tri-service formation' is taking part in the Republic Day Parade.

It will be followed by the 'Vic' formation of Chinook helicopters, used for airlifting diverse loads to remote locations. Apache helicopters, Dornier aircraft, C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, an Airborne Early Warning and Control System aircraft and the 'Globe' formation comprising three C-17 Globemasters are also expected to enthral the people.

Five Jaguar Deep penetration strike aircraft and five MiG-29 upgrade air superiority fighters in 'Arrowhead' formation will also display their aerial manoeuvre. The parade will culminate with a fleet of Sukhoi-30 MKI jets splitting the sky with a breathtaking 'Vertical Charlie' aerobatic manoeuvre.

a group of people standing in front of Rashtrapati Bhavan: President Ram Nath Kovind (C) welcomes Brazil's President Jair Messias Bolsonaro as Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) looks on, during a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI © Provided by Firstpost President Ram Nath Kovind (C) welcomes Brazil's President Jair Messias Bolsonaro as Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) looks on, during a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI

Republic Day medals, awards

A total of 1,040 police personnel will be conferred President's police medal for gallantry award and distinguished service on Republic Day. The Jammu and Kashmir Police will receive the maximum number of gallantry honours with 108 medals followed by the Central Reserve Police Force (76).

On the eve of the Republic Day, a total of nine personnel of the border guarding force, with six posthumous, have been awarded the Police Medal for Gallantry (PMG), a force spokesperson said.  Four SSB personnel have also been awarded the police medal for gallantry (PMG) for killing a dreaded Naxal commander in Jharkhand.

Twenty-nine CISF officials, as well as 15 ITBP officials, have been awarded different police medals. The President's Police Medal for Distinguished Services was awarded to Ambika Nath Mishra, the principal chief security commissioner of the Eastern Railway and Railway Protection Special Force (RPSF) Commandant Bharat Singh Meena.

With inputs from PTI

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