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73rd Republic Day: India to witness many firsts at iconic R-day parade

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73rd Republic Day: India to witness many firsts at iconic R-day parade
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Security personnel stand guard near a barricade at Rajpath in New Delhi, on the eve of the Republic Day 2022 Parade.(PTI)

New Delhi: India will observe its 73rd Republic Day today, on January 26, to mark the establishment of the country's Constitution as it emerged from a brutal colonial past on this day in 1950.

The parade ceremony will begin with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the National War Memorial, who will lead the nation in paying solemn tributes to the fallen heroes by laying a wreath.

The parade at Rajpath will start at 10:30 am, instead of 10 am, to provide better visibility to the parade and flypast.

According to tradition, the National Flag will be unfurled followed by the National Anthem with a booming 21-gun salute. The parade will commence with President Ram Nath Kovind taking the salute. This would be followed by the distribution of the gallantry awards.

To mark the Republic Day event this year, which also coincides with the 75th year of Independence, the government decided to make it a week-long event starting from January 23. From this year onwards, the celebrations will begin on January 23, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, and culminate on January 30, which is observed as Martyrs' Day.

According to the Ministry of Defence, for the first time, an Indian Air Force (IAF) will show grand flypast by 75 aircraft or helicopters.

A drone show by 1,000 indigenously developed drones has been planned for the 'Beating the Retreat ceremony, along with projection mapping will be shown for the first time.

In another first, 480 dancers will perform during the cultural programme at the parade have been selected through a nationwide Vande Bharatam dance competition.

The main parade will also see the launch of the 'Shaheedon Ko Shat Shat Naman' programme by the National Cadet and a 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.

Special arrangements have been made keeping in view the current COVID-19 situation.

"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," an official statement reads.

To watch the Republic Day Parade and at the 'Beating the Retreat' ceremony some sections of auto-rickshaw drivers, construction workers, safai karamcharis, and frontline health workers will be invited.

Winners of the highest gallantry awards will be commanded by Parade Commander, Lieutenant General Vijay Kumar Mishra, Ati Vishisth Seva Medal, a second-generation Army officer. Major General Alok Kacker, Chief of Staff, Delhi Area will be the Parade Second-in-Command.

A total of six marching contingents of the Army will be there including the Rajput Regiment, the Assam Regiment, the Jammu and Kashmir Light Regiment, the Sikh Light Regiment, the Army Ordnance Corps and the Parachute Regiment.

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