A strong and resurgent India will be celebrating its 64th Republic Day today.
This year's parade will be presided over President Pranab Mukherjee, Chief Guest King highlight the nation's achievements in various fields, the military prowess, scintillating display of air power as also country's rich and diverse cultural heritage.
The parade ceremony will commence at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate where the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh will lead the nation in paying homage to the martyrs by laying wreath.
An eternal flame burns at the Amar Jawan Jyoti to commemorate the indomitable courage of our Armed Forces personnel who have made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the motherland. The Amar Jawan, the immortal soldier, is symbolised by a reversed rifle topped by a helmet.
As per tradition, after unfurling of the National Flag, the National Anthem will be played. The parade will then commence and President Pranab Mukherjee will take the salute for the first time.
This year's chief guest will be Bhutan's King Jigme KhesarNamgyel Wangchuk.
The parade will be commanded by Lt. General Subroto Mitra, General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area. Major General Rajbir Singh, Chief of Staff, Delhi Area will be the parade Second-in-Command.
ParamVir Chakra winners Subedar Major (Hononary Captain) Bana Singh, 8 JAK LI, Naib Subedar Yogendra Singh Yadav, 18 Grenadiers and Havaldar Sanjay Kumar, 13 JAK RIF and Ashok Chakra Winners Major General C. A. Pithawalla, GoC, Andhra Sub Area, Lt Col Jas Ram Singh (retired), Major D. Sree Ram Kumar, 90 Field Regiment, Honorary Naib Subedar Chhering Mutup (retired), Jammu, Hukum Singh and Govind Singh, both from district Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh and BhureLal of district Guna, also from Madhya Pradesh will follow the Deputy Parade Commander on Jeeps.
The highlights of this year's parade will be the above 5,000 kms range Agni-V missile. The advanced long range surface-to-surface ballistic missile capable of being launched from anywhere in any direction and within a few minutes from a self-contained road mobile launcher is being paraded by the Defence Research and Development Organisation. The state-of-the-art missile, which was successfully flight tested in the month of April last year, has provided the true deterrence capability and brought India at par with the elite group of advanced countries possessing this capability. A mini version of INS Vikramaditya which will join the Naval fleet by the end of this year is being showcased to highlight Indian Navy's blue water operating capability.
The DRDO will also put on display the Armoured Amphibious Dozer (AAD), an indigenously developed versatile Combat Engineer support equipment with excellent earth moving and amphibious capabilities in varied terrain. Besides Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW and C) System and Naval Sonar will also be on display on Rajpath by DRDO.
The weaponry put on display by the Indian Army includes the Main Battle Tank 'Arjun', APC Ambulance tracked, the only Super Sonic Cruise Missile Brahmos Weapon System,Pinaka Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher System, Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) Recce Vehicle, Sarvatra Bridge, Mobile Integrated Network Terminal (MINT) and Radio Trunking System Mk-II (RTS Mk-II). The Army's Mechanized Columns will conclude with a fly past by the Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv of the Army Aviation Corps.
The Indian Air Force will showcase its latest acquisitions on its tableau. It comprise the new basic trainer aircraft, the Pilatus PC-7 Mk-II and the new VIP helicopter, the Augusta Westland AW-101. It will also showcase the indigenous 'eyes in the sky' atop the Embraer 145, Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft and the strategic heavy lift aircraft, C-17 Globemaster-III, which will enter service by the middle of this year.
The Indian Navy's tableau depicts a scaled down model of INS Vikramaditya, a large aircraft carrier which will join the naval fleet by the end of this year. The ship is capable of sustaining at sea for more than 45 days at a stretch. She is also equipped to carry over 30 combat aircraft at any time giving her the freedom to operate and strike anywhere at sea. The Navy's tableau also focusing on INS Chakra, a nuclear propelled submarine.
The marching contingents of Army will include the horse-mounted columns of the 61st Cavalry, Mechanized Infantry Regiment, Maratha Light Infantry, Dogra Regiment, Garhwal Rifles, Ladakh Scouts, 8 Gorkha Training Centre, Army Ordnance Corps and Territorial Army (Punjab).
The marching contingents of Navy comprising 144 men will be led by Lt. Commander Ajay Kumar Verma and the Air Force contingent comprising 144 men will be led by Flight Lieutenant Heena Pore. The marching contingents of paramilitary and other auxiliary civil forces will include contingents from the Border Security Force, Assam Rifles, Coast Guard, Central Reserve Police Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Central Industrial Security Force, SashastraSeemaBal, Railway Protection Force, Delhi Police, National Cadet Corps and National Service Scheme. The Camel-mounted band of the BSF and the Ex-Servicemen marching contingent will be another major attraction.
Tableaux from 19 states and Central Ministries and Departments will present the varied historical, architectural and cultural heritage of the country. They will also showcase country's progress in different fields. Twenty one of the 22 children selected for the National Bravery Award-2012 will also participate in the parade. One child has got the award posthumously. In the children's pageant section, 1,000 boys and girls drawn from Delhi's two schools, one school fromKendriyaVidyalayaSangathanand one from Eastern Zone Cultural Centre, Kolkata will present dances and other programmes.
Tornadoes, the motorcycle display by the Army Service Corps will be a major attraction of the parade. The tornadoes team consists of 135 riders on motorcycles performing Standing Salute, Ladder Balance, Fish Riding, Back Riding, Long Arm, Verma Lotus, ASC Special, Balance Seat and Fish, Sudershan Chakra, Balance Ride Standing, Ladder Lotus and Human Pyramid forms under the leadership of Major S S Rathore. They will perform breathtaking stunts in a synchronised and synergetic display of mind, body and machine coordination.
The grand finale of the parade will be a spectacular fly past by the IAF. The fly past commence with 'Chakra' formation, comprising three Mi-35 helicopters in 'Vic' formation, followed by the Hercules formation comprising three C-130J Super Hercules aircraft in 'Vic' formation. Trailing them will be a Big Boy formation comprising one IL-78, flanked by two AN-32 and two Dorniers. Next in line will be the fighters, - while five Jaguars will fly in Arrowhead formation, another five Mig-29 air Superiority Fighter called the "Tridents" will fly in Fulcrum style. Then the breathtaking Trishul formation comprising threeSu-30 MKI would fly over the Rajpath and once in front of the saluting dais the Su-30MKI aircraft will split upwards, making a Trishul in the sky. The fly past will conclude with another Sukhoi Su-30 MKI carrying out a Vertical Charlie manoeuvre over the saluting dais.
The ceremony will culminate with the national anthem and release of balloons. (ANI)