In­dia Cel­e­brates Repub­lic Day

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THE NA­TION’S MIL­I­TARY PROW­ESS and achieve­ments in dif­fer­ent fields, state-of-the-art de­fence plat­forms, its di­verse cul­tural and so­cial tra­di­tions, and the gov­ern­ment’s em­pha­sis on self-re­liance and in­di­geni­sa­tion were show­cased be­fore the pub­lic at the his­toric Rajpath when the coun­try cel­e­brated its 68th Repub­lic Day on Jan­uary 26, 2017.

The pa­rade cer­e­mony com­menced at the Amar Jawan Jy­oti at In­dia Gate where the Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi paid homage to the mar­tyrs by lay­ing a wreath. As per tradition, af­ter un­furl­ing the na­tional flag, the na­tional an­them played with a 21-gun salute. The pa­rade then com­menced and the Pres­i­dent Pranab Mukher­jee took the salute. This year’s chief guest at the pa­rade was Sheikh Mo­hammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emi­rates (UAE) Armed Forces.

The high­lights of this year’s pa­rade were a 149-mem­ber UAE Pres­i­den­tial Guard, the Air Force, the Navy and Army con­tin­gent. For the first time a con­tin­gent of the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Guard (NSG), pop­u­larly known as the Black Cat Com­man­does, marched, past the Rajpath. The pa­rade also saw the fly-past of three LCA Te­jas air­craft and the Air­borne Early Warn­ing & Con­trol Sys­tem (AEW&C) de­vel­oped by DRDO.

The In­dian Army’s mis­sile fir­ing ca­pa­bil­ity, T-90 ‘Bhishma’ tank, in­fantry com­bat ve­hi­cle BMP-2K, mo­bile au­ton­o­mous launcher of the BrahMos mis­sile sys­tem, weapon lo­cat­ing radar ‘Swathi’, Akash weapon sys­tem, CBRN re­connnai­sance ve­hi­cle and Dhanush gun sys­tem were the main draw in the mecha- nised columns. The march­ing con­tin­gents of Army in­cluded horse-mounted columns of the 61st Cav­alry, the Mach­a­nised In­fantry Reg­i­ment, the Bi­har Reg­i­ment, the 39 Gorkha Train­ing Cen­tre, 58 Gorkha Train­ing Cen­tre, the Madras En­gi­neer­ing Group and Cen­tre and 103 In­fantry Bat­tal­ion (Ter­ri­to­rial Army) Sikh LI. The pa­rade was com­manded by Lt Gen­eral Manoj Mukund Nar­a­vane, Gen­eral Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing of Delhi Area. Ma­jor Gen­eral Ra­jesh Sa­hai, Chief of Staff, Head­quar­ters, Delhi Area, was the pa­rade sec­ond-in-com­mand.

From left to right (clock­wise): Var­i­ous con­tin­gents march­ing down Rajpath; con­tin­gent of the UAE Armed Forces; T-90 Bhishma tank; Akash launcher sys­tems; and the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Guard (NSG) march­ing con­tin­gent de­but at the Repub­lic Day pa­rade.

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