Many firsts of 2024 R-Day parade


French President Emmanuel Macron is set to be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations, making him the sixth French leader to grace the prestigious annual event…reports Asian Lite News

Republic Day approaches, and preparations for the celebration are underway nationwide. In Delhi, the focal point for the festivities is Rajpath, where impressive parades featuring the Indian army, navy, air force, police, and paramilitary groups will unfold.

The Republic Day 2024 parade is set to commence at 10:30 am on January 26, following the route from Vijay Chowk to Kartavya Path. The venue will accommodate approximately 77,000 people, with 42,000 reserved for the general public.

The themes this year are likely to echo sentiments of “Viksit Bharat” and “Bharat – Loktantra ki Matruka,” emphasising India’s essential qualities as a democracy.

All-Women Tri-Services Group

Major General Sumit Mehta on January 22 said that an all-women tri-services group will partake in the Republic Day Parade for the first time. The group comprises women troops from the Army’s military police and personnel from the other two services.

This historic contingent will include women troops from the Army’s military police, as well as women from the other two services. Two of the three living Param Vir Chakra awardees, Hony Captain Yogendra Yadav and Subedar Major Sanjay Kumar, are set to participate in the Republic Day parade, he confirmed.

Participant in French Bastille Day parade

Squadron Leader Sumita Yadav, an air traffic controller in the Indian Air Force and an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, will be participating in this year’s Republic Day parade. She gained attention last July when she marched in the Bastille Day parade in Paris, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief guest.

“It was a proud moment saluting our Prime Minister on foreign soil as part of the contingent during Bastille Day. And it is a matter of greater pride that I will be saluting our Supreme Commander with the French President in attendance on Republic Day. Not many people get this opportunity, and I consider myself lucky to get this unique opportunity,” she said.

French contingent to join R-Day parade

French President Emmanuel Macron is set to be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations, making him the sixth French leader to grace the prestigious annual event. A 95-member marching contingent, a 33-member band contingent, two Rafale fighters, and an Airbus A330 multi-role tanker transport aircraft from France will also participate in the celebrations.

Captain Louis, belonging to the Corps of the French Foreign Legion, highlighted the French Foreign Legion’s role. Established in 1831, it comprises nearly 9,500 officers and legionnaires from around 140 nationalities. Lieutenant Romain Bression expressed that the French team’s participation reflects the growing defence cooperation between India and France.

Six Indians to Join French Military Team in R-Day Parade

Six Indian individuals are set to be a part of the French military team marching alongside Indian contingents at the 75th Republic Day parade, officials confirmed to PTI. Commander of the French marching contingent, Captain Noel Louis, announced the participation of six Indians in the French team. The individuals include CCH Sujan Pathak, CPL Dipak Arya, CPL Parbin Tandan, Gurvachan Singh, Aniket Ghartimagar, and Vikas Djeassegar.

Saree Extravaganza Planned

Among the noteworthy highlights this year includes the Culture Ministry’s showcase of sarees from various Indian states and union territories, to be presented in the ‘Anant Sutra’ exhibition.

‘Anant Sutra – The Endless Thread’ textile installation will be displayed at Kartavya Path, positioned behind the seated spectators. The installation is set to display around 1,900 sarees and drapes from all corners of India, creatively mounted on wooden frames along the Kartavya Path. Each saree will feature QR codes, allowing attendees to scan and learn details about the weaving and embroidery techniques employed.

Amita Prasad Sarbhai, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, shared that the installation includes a 150-year-old saree, paying homage to the women and weavers of India.

AI to take space in parade

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is set to feature a tableau in this year’s Republic Day Parade, emphasising the role of artificial intelligence (AI) across diverse sectors. The tableau will illustrate AI in action, showcasing a scene of a teacher using a VR headset to educate children. Additionally, the role of AI in logistics and cattle management is highlighted.

JL Gupta, Director of the Ministry of Electronics and IT said, “This year’s tableau focuses on AI-based technology and its public benefits. The presentation also sheds light on the positive impact of AI in the health sector. Aligning with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for electronic manufacturing, semiconductor chips are featured in the display.”

Chandrayaan-3 to be highlighted

The Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) tableau is set to shine at this year’s Republic Day Parade, showcasing the achievements of the Chandrayaan-3 mission, ANI reported. The tableau prominently features the launch and successful landing of Chandrayaan-3, with a special focus on its touchdown at the moon’s South Pole.

Flypast to also have French inclusion

A French refuel aircraft and two French Rafale aircraft will grace the skies in a flypast.  The flypast will showcase new-generation vehicles such as Terrain Vehicles, Light Specialist Vehicles, and Special Mobility Vehicles. Notable aircraft like ALH Dhruv Rudra and LCH Prachand will also participate. The Indian Air Force flypast, consisting of 51 planes including fighters, helicopters, and transport aircraft, will notably feature 15 women aviators.

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